Fitness Council recognizes successes

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The Wicomico County Executive’s Fitness Council has announced two winners for July’s Award of Excellence: Zoey McKenzie, 13, of Hebron, and Maria M. Curtis of the Wicomico County Board of Education.

Each woman received awards in recognition of their significant lifestyle changes through nutrition and exercise.

McKenzie was nominated by Dr. George Whitehead for her life-changing accomplishments. She recently participated in Healthy Us, a program sponsored by Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Richard A. Henson Family YMCA and the Rotary Club of Salisbury.

There she learned about portion control and how nutrition and exercise can help her manage Type II diabetes. So far, McKenzie has lost 122 pounds.

“I couldn’t have changed my eating habits,” McKenzie said, “without my Aunt Debbie and the Healthy Us program encouraging me to never give up.”

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Curtis, the second WEFC Fitness Council winner, was nominated by Diane Pellegrino. Curtis said it was the passing of a favorite uncle and the depression that followed that ultimately motivated her to begin the journey to a healthier life.

“Finally, in 2013, I started attending (Lifestyle Balance) diabetes prevention sessions at the YMCA that were sponsored by the Health Department,” Curtis said. “It was there that I was given insight and tools to help me modify the way I thought about food and exercise.”

Curtis, who has shed 47 pounds, credits her sons for providing the additional inspiration and support that keeps her focused.

“Whether you make the change for yourself, for your children or to enjoy your grandchildren, the choice is yours, she said. “But choose to take a step in this direction because you will win, if you don’t quit.”

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