Wellness walk inspires healthy living

Optavia health coach Elizabeth Knop (right) leads a group of 20 women celebrating health and wellbeing, with Shannon Huhta. Photo by J. Hanlon.

By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
Six months ago Elizabeth Knop began a journey toward healthier living, and has since lost 40 pounds. She achieved this through a program called Optavia. Wanting to inspire others, she became an independent health coach for the program.
Knop partnered with another coach, Kelly Dorman, to organize a wellness walk last Saturday morning for about 20 clients, friends and other coaches. They met up at Powell Lake Township Park, walked along the Polly Ann Trail, cut over to downtown to get a drink from Evergreen’s and chat in the park.
“We just wanted this to be a community event to get people walking and moving,” said Dorman, an elementary school teacher. “We haven’t been able to get together with people for so long. What better way than to go on a walk?”
“We’re trying to help spread hope and health in Oxford right now,” said Knop, a medical receptionist and 22-year Oxford resident, “just getting outside and walking and spreading healthy tips and inspiration.”
The philosophy behind the Optavia program is to change your mindset first and focus on preventative health. Dorman explained “The mission of the whole thing is to learn how to be healthy, change the way we think about food and nutrition and change our mindset first before we change the way we do everything else.”
Another component of the program is community. “Normally without Covid times, we would be getting together,” Dorman said. “There would be that person-to-person community. We have been without that.” They’ve had online community and support, but it’s not quite the same. The Saturday morning walk was the first time Dorman and Knop met each other in person.
“I loved it, I thought it was fun,” said Tina Sayeua after the walk. “It’s motivating too.”
Kristie Drogosch said, “It’s a beautiful day to be outside after a long, cold winter, so it was a good choice.”

Melissa Lapine, Donna Weis, Kelly Dorman and Shannon Huhta walk and talk on the Polly Ann Trail in Oxford Village. Photo by J. Hanlon.

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