George Bosserman laughed when someone shared a quote about healthy living.

Clement Freud, grandson of Sigmund Freud, said when you give up bad habits, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer.

But Bosserman, a Red Lion resident, gave up some of his vices, hoping to add years to his life.

"If I get grandkids someday, I want to meet them and hold them," he said.

Bosserman has had diabetes for 10 years, but it was a class he finished last year that helped him change his eating habits.

After completing the I Can! Challenge -- a 12-week course offered by Aligning Forces for Quality in South Central Pennsylvania -- he learned how to take better care of himself.

A key lesson: The class that had the greatest impact on Bosserman's health was a field trip to the grocery store.

"I learned to shop on the outside walls of the store. That's where all the fresh foods, nuts and produce are," he said.

Those fresh foods are where all the nutrition is, Bosserman said.

"The inside aisles are where all the carbs and calories are," he said.

Lost weight, too: While he admits to missing some prepackaged foods, he doesn't miss the 18 pounds he lost during the program. Bosserman said he also lowered his blood sugar levels during the course.


The I Can! Challenge enrolled five students during its inaugural year in 2009. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the challenge is now held in both York and Gettysburg three times a year and has helped more than 90 people, said Christine Amy, project director for Aligning Forces for Quality.

The first class of the year begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15 at Family First Health, 116 S. George St. in York City. To register, call 801-4830 by Friday evening. There is a $25 registration fee that will be refunded to participants who complete at least 10 classes.

People with varying goals enroll in the 12-week program, Amy said.

The program teaches people with chronic conditions how to set goals, eat healthy, get fit, strengthen doctor-patient relationships, reduce stress and more, she said.

"Some people come to us wanting to lose a dress size for their daughter's wedding, and others want to get off of their blood pressure medication," Amy said.

She said the program has been able to realize success in a couple ways: All the participants have said how thankful they are to have the program and meet people like them while achieving their goals, and there's been a significant cost savings as patients have been able to reduce or eliminate medication.

Bosserman especially agrees with the former.

"The best part of the program is the interaction," he said. "Everyone talks about their problems and issues, and you know you're not alone in this. You learn from each other, and that's the most phenomenal part of the class."

-- Candy Woodall can also be reached at