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McChord dietitian busy reaching out to service members, families

Her main goal is to improve quality of life for her clients

Published: 11:02AM February 28th, 2013
McChord dietitian busy reaching out to service members, families

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Molly Maxfield doesn’t much care for the stigma of dietitions as food police. “I’m not your enemy, I’m your friend,” she says.

Molly Maxfield is trying to break the stigma that dietitians are the food police.

The registered dietitian at the Health and Wellness Center at McChord Field Fitness Center Annex will work with all kinds of diets. Maxfield once even designed an eating plan for a client who told her he only eats at fast food restaurants.

“I’m not your enemy, I’m your friend,” Maxfield said. “I’m going to cater to what they need.”

Many service members and families on Joint Base Lewis-McChord don’t even know they have free access to a dietician. Maxfield has been on staff since December and has been busy reaching out to the JBLM community to promote healthier lifestyles.

“Her main goal is to work in community outreach to promote health education to improve your quality of life,” said Danielle Knutson, health education promotion manager at HAWC. “And she’s been right on target.” Maxfield studied food science and nutrition at Central Washington University where she also played fastpitch soft- ball, and has worked as a registered dietitian since 2008.

Since she started at the HAWC she has seen about 30 clients for one-on-one consultation. Maxfield meets with clients to establish weight loss/gain goals and puts together meal plans and recipes to follow. She is able to track her clients’ progress on the website myfitnesspal.com. Some of her clients check in with her weekly, while others do monthly.

“The clientele is pretty motivated,” Maxfield said. “They usually see me because they want to.”

Every Thursday Maxfield co-teaches a Be Well class with Patrick Conway, fitness program manager at HAWC, for service members who fail the physical fitness test. Once a month Maxfield also teaches a nutrition seminar on various topics that focus on eating better and maintaining a healthy weight.

When she’s not teaching or meeting clients, she’s scoping out the menus of the JBLM restaurants looking for healthy options to share with her clients. She has also reached out to youth centers to talk about nutrition with children and their parents.

Slowly the word continues to spread of dietitian services on McChord Field.

“Even if they have just one question about nutrition, I want them to feel comfortable to come talk to me,” Maxfield said.

In her office by 7:30 a.m., often Maxfield is so busy she forgoes her lunch as she tries to squeeze in exercise during her lunch hour. She also teaches fitness classes at an off-base fitness center. Somehow during her busy schedule, she puts in time to plan her wedding to a JBLM Soldier in September.

“I’m busy but I’m in charge of my own schedule,” Maxfield said.

To contact Maxfield for a consultation call 982-0531.