It's the new year, which means most of us have made the annual commitment to lose weight. Much like most of us made the same commitment last year. And the year before that.
So what makes 2012 different? Well, perhaps a boost to your wannabe diet/lifestyle change from Rebecca Regnier will help.
Regnier is host of Full Plate, a new half-hour healthy lifestyle show airing 12:30 p.m. Sundays on WTVG-TV, Channel 13.
Unlike some of the stuffier shows challenging viewers to be healthier, Full Plate employs a not-so-serious approach to the serious business of getting in shape: exercising, cooking and eating healthier foods, and making all the necessary but sometimes difficult choices that go along with it.
And did I mention Full Plate can be a bit zany -- what Regnier calls "a Weight Watchers meeting with margaritas"?
"We're dealing with really serious things, health is serious," she said. "But there is room for fun so I think that's where I might be able to do something different."
Unlike the chiseled hosts of most other health-oriented shows, Regnier, 42, identifies with viewers struggling with weight.
"I'm like every woman: up five [pounds], down 10, up 20, down five. I'm a yo-yo dieter. I call myself the 'constant dieter,' like the constant gardener, but like with a diet," she said. "For me it's a fight. If I don't fight I become sedentary, and my cholesterol goes up and there's diabetes in my family.
"I'm always looking for a way to make it work in my life. So because of that I know a lot of women feel the same way and a lot of men feel the same way, so let's fight it together."
In fact, dieting is best as a team effort, she said.
"Research has shown us the No. 1 component of successful dieters is a supportive community," she said. "It's the secret sauce."
So to reach out to Full Plate's viewers, Regnier is using social media -- including her 8,200 followers on Twitter (@Laughitoff is her main account), her nearly 4,000 friends on Facebook, and those who read her humor blog Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat? -- as a support group. She feels so passionate about this form of teamwork to good health she wrote an e-book about it, Your Twitter Diet, which was recently published by 4R Inc.
Full Plate debuted Dec. 4, replacing the station's Coffee with the Fords. The show is recorded in a break-room kitchen converted to a studio in the basement of WTVG. The health program features a wide range of guests, including local doctors and health experts, professional cooks and those who want to share diet-friendly recipes, and even some of Regnier's friends and others working to shed pounds.
Regnier, who has worked at Channel 13 since 1996, including her most recent stint as morning co-anchor, was a finalist on Paula Deen's cooking competition Real Women of Philadelphia (the show's title refers to the cream cheese, not the city) last summer.
Her experience with Deen and the cooking show inspired her to create Full Plate. And she has bigger plans for her program than reaching just the Toledo area.
Regnier would love for Full Plate to be picked up by WTVG's owners, SJL Broadcasting, and distributed to its stations in other markets, and to one day become fully syndicated.
But "one step at a time," she said.
"I'm pretty happy with the production of it, but we're still tweaking [the show].But I'm very much looking forward to going to the next level with it."
Contact Kirk Baird at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6734.