Ed and Pat Frankel, Melissa Detrick

Frankel, Detrick PPA rounded

Photo: Spring 2014 PPA participants at the YMCA at New Holland. Ed and Pat Frankel are at far right in 2nd and 3rd rows. Melissa Detrick is at the far left in the back row. Instructor Heather Zynn is seated in the front.

What prompted 76 year-old Ed Frankel and his wife Pat, age 75, to join the Y and enroll in Project Pounds Away (PPA) last February? “We were feeling fat, old and desperate,” Ed explains and “needed someone to give us a punch” – to jump start the kind of diet and exercise changes they needed to kick poor habits and lead longer, healthier lives. The Frankels joined the Y through their health plan’s Silver Sneakers benefit in order to take part in PPA. Ed’s business partner Melissa Detrick, age 50, also participated and they all credit YMCA at New Holland personal coach Heather Zynn with being that punch. Throughout the sixteen week program, she urged them to try new exercises, set challenging goals and reach them. Ed notes that they enjoyed surprising Heather as well as themselves, by defying their initial ideas of what older adults could accomplish.

Heather and nutritionist Tina Lugo also helped them learn what Ed called “life-saving eating habits,” to shake a sugar addiction and be smart food shoppers. Melissa learned how to fit exercise into her busy days and appreciates how Heather and PPA “opened up exercise possibilities I wouldn’t have tried before,” such as Zumba, which she now enjoys with her 16-year old daughter. The three have lost a total of about 120 pounds and are enjoying some unexpected benefits of their renewed health and energy. Pat explains: “I got my husband back in the evenings – he no longer falls asleep right after dinner!” The process may not always be easy, but they’re all determined to stick to their healthy lifestyles and as Ed says, “keep moving!”