Lifestyle makeover pays off |
"At a party five years ago I noticed a family member in her 70s, struggling to get around," says Jodi Tauber, 50, of Bolingbrook. "I knew many of her same-aged friends were still active -enjoying walks and travel. My relative was significantly obese and her friends weren't. This was my moment of truth. If I didn't do something about the extra 100+ pounds I was carrying, I wouldn't be able to move by the time I became a senior."
Today Jodi is energetic, 100 pounds lighter, and she says she has more muscle now than she had at 25.
"The key is making a commitment," says Jodi.
Start with a visit to your doctor, including a check of your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. Jodi's physician recommended she see a registered dietitian, so she made an appointment with Doreen Berard, RD, at Edward Hospital.
"I just wanted a diet program to follow," says Jodi. "Doreen told me this wasn't something you do for eight weeks and then it's over. It's a lifestyle change. I started seeing Doreen regularly and she taught me how to make good choices about eating -without following any diet."
Becoming active was another lifestyle change for Jodi. She began with short walks, and graduated to community exercise programs. About a year after starting exercise, Jodi had knee replacement surgery. Her fitness routine was put on hold, while she completed physical therapy at EHFC in Woodridge.
This led to joining the fitness center and signing up for Boxing Fitness classes with ACE Personal Trainer Carol Teteak, of Naperville, as well as personal training with Carol Dreiss.
"The trainers helped me find the right balance between cardio and strength training, and I was pleased about my weight loss and how I felt," says Jodi.
Says Carol Teteak, who's also Fitness Coordinator at EHFC, "Whether you're trying to lose weight or maintain your health, it's important to work on both cardiovascular conditioning and strength, as well as healthy eating. Everyone is different, so you have to experiment to find the right combination for you. If you've tried tweaking your approach and you're still not getting results, consider getting help from a dietitian or fitness professional, even if it's only a couple of sessions."
Here's a sample of Carol's "fit-wise" tips:
When possible, work on eliminating roadblocks to meeting your goals. Culprits may include insomnia, depression or a physical condition. In Jodi's case, she had a joint replacement for the arthritic knee that had made it difficult for her to exercise.
Gradually modify Frequency, Intensity, Time (duration) or Type of exercise (the FITT formula) to make your exercise more challenging and fun. Don't accept serious pain and throwing up as a routine part of workouts, contrary to what you might see on TV weight loss shows.
Eat frequently enough to stay fueled for what you need to do.
"There are a lot of classes and information out there for people wanting to get fit on their own," says Jodi. "In my case, I really benefited from being surrounded by wellness professionals. I couldn't have gotten to where I am without them."