Since 2006, we have helped 8,000 Richmond and San Pablo residents achieve a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
Weigh of Life is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for families to enjoy improving their health through exercise classes, nutrition education and social support.
Before founding Weigh of Life, Jan Schilling served as a Registered Dietician for 50 years. Throughout her career, she watched the CDC track the incidence of overweight and obese individuals in the United States. When she began her career, 15 percent of the population was overweight or obese; when she retired, that number had gown to 67 percent, with the highest rates among diverse populations in low-income areas, such as Richmond and San Pablo.
Further, residents in low-income neighborhoods often have barriers to achieving healthy lifestyles that higher-income neighborhoods do not. High crime rates and unsafe spaces prevent residents from getting outdoor exercise, and the high cost of gyms and health clubs are often prohibitive.
Weigh of Life was created so that individuals at any income level who want to improve their exercise and nutrition habits and promote preventive health can do so in a safe and supportive environment.
We provide regular high-impact aerobic fitness classes every week at community centers in the underserved areas of Richmond and San Pablo. Classes include including Zumba, step aerobics, and kickboxing. See the Class Descriptions page for more information.
Classes include healthy eating demonstrations, cooking tips, and information on balanced diets.
Child supervision is offered so that parents -- the gatekeepers to their families’ fitness and nutrition habits -- can achieve and promote healthy lifestyles. When parents are exercising, we ensure that children stay active, too. Our child supervision has anywhere from 30-60 minutes of outdoor physical activity and opportunities to develop social skills.
To help participants achieve their goal of weight loss or maintenance, participants may choose to track their weight one day per week at each site. In fact, several physicians at Kaiser Richmond, LifeLong Medical Care, and other local health care providers refer patients to Weigh of Life for weight management.
We believe it is harder to achieve goals alone, which is why we provide social support for our participants. To promote community, we participate in multiple social events every year and partner with other nonprofit organizations. We motivate our members through family dinners, community events and outdoor activities.
What We've Achieved
- We have grown from 10 members to 500 members between 2006 and present day.
- 60% of our participants who choose to weigh are losing weight, 20-25% are maintaining a healthy weight (BMI between 20-25).
- Founder Jan Schilling received the Distinguished Volunteer award by the City of Richmond in 2012.