Several months ago a nice woman who said she was from Woman's World Magazine, called me. She had seen the article about me on the Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
and thought perhaps her magazine might like to feature me in a future edition. We talked for a long time, she assured me I had a great story and was sure the magazine would want to feature me, and then I never heard from her again. "Oh well," I thought, "There's one that will never materialize."
Today I got an e-mail from Rachel at the magazine who said my story had been approved for the March 4 edition of Woman's Day, which is on the stand starting Feb. 21. She asked me to call her or e-mail her and answer a few questions she had posted. I didn't read the e-mail in time to contact her by phone before she left her office today, and I prefer e-mailing anyway. That way I can edit what I write, and get it JUST RIGHT!
Here's what I sent to Rachel tonight:
I'm very excited to be featured in your magazine. I'll try to answer your questions with some new, interesting tips, although weight control is such a huge problem and there as so many people fighting to lose weight and doctors and nutritionists and psychologist trying to help, that I doubt if I can add too much that is unique.
I think the biggest help for me in my weight loss journey was Sparkpeople.com. It is a free on-line weight loss community, with thousands of members. You can blog yourself there, read other blogs, as well as so many inspirational, motivational and informational articles about weight loss, and exercise, and you can join teams with like interests and goals, make friends with others who can help keep you motivated. An important feature at Spark, is being able to track your weight, exercise and food/calories. Tracking my calories on Sparkpeople.com was a great help. It kept me accountable each and every day, for everything I put in my mouth. Even though I have been at, and now below my goal weight of 160 lbs. (currently weighing in at 149.6 lbs.) since April 15, 2011, I use Sparkpeople.com now as a way to stay motivated to maintain my 178 pound weight loss. I still log in at the website daily!
I am 62 years old (or I will be on Jan. 1, which is after the magazine's publication date), and have arthritis, probably somewhat brought on by my 30 years of morbid obesity. With the weight loss, movement is much easier now, but there's still much I cannot do. I have found that walking a few miles a day burns a few calories and also keeps me active and able to move. I started out slowly in March of 2010, back when I still weighed 280 lbs. (from a high of 328 lbs. in July of 2009). The first night I simply walked to the end of my long country driveway and back up again, which is about two-tenths of a mile. Each night I would try to go a little further, and today I can easily walk a 5K and more. Recently my husband and I traveled to New York City, where I was inducted into Joy Bauer's Joy Fit Club on the NBC's Today Show. We spent a few extra days in the City, sight-seeing, and I was able to walk for miles and miles. It was a wonderful sense of freedom to be able to move, completely unlimited in what we could do, as we had been by my obesity for so many years.
As for what I eat in a day, that varies a great deal. However, almost every morning I have a serving of a high-fiber cereal, with 1/3 cup of skim milk and a banana. This comes in at 300 calories. For lunch, I try to eat quite lightly, usually a salad with some chicken breast cut up in it, and a low-fat dressing. I eat a lot of grapes and will have one cup of grapes for dessert many days at lunch. I like all fruit and eat an orange, an apple. a peach, or a pear as an afternoon snack. Dinner, which I make for my husband and family is more calorie-heavy, but we have cut way back on that, compared to how I used to cook. Today I use low-fat ingredients wherever possible. I made a low-fat ranch-style dressing, using low-fat mayo (which is 35 calories per tablespoon, compared to regular mayo's 90 calories per tablespoon), and low-fat buttermilk. The dressing,dip is only 20 calories per tablespoon, which means I can have fresh veggies and 1/4 cup of the ranch-style dip for around 100 calories. I try to keep my snacks at the 100-calorie level. Sometimes I will take a serving of dip with my ranch dressing to eat with my lunch, as well as eating my veggies as a snack.
I have found that I enjoy fish. It is good on the grill, in the winter I broil it in the oven. Tilapia is my favorite kind of fish. I found a recipe that I revised somewhat. You combine one tablespoon of low fat mayo, one tablespoon of low-fat margarine (melted), 4 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. You broil the one pound of fish filets for 5 minutes, turning each filet over for another 5 minutes, then spread approximately one tablespoon of the topping on each fish filet, returning it to the broiler for a few minutes, until it is bubbling and golden. It is delicious. I have used this topping on chicken and potatoes as well. We eat a lot of salads with our dinners, and also a lot of low-fat vegetables, like green beans, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. There are so many ways to fix these vegetables that are delicious without adding calories, I have really found a new love for most all vegetables during my journey, especially Brussels sprouts, which I had written off as "yucky" when I was a child.
Another recipe which is good is made with ground beef, of all things. I combine 1 lb. of 93% lean ground beef (you could also use ground turkey), with one egg, some seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder), and form miniature meatballs. I brown the meatballs in a non-stick aerosol (Pam) sprayed skillet for a few minutes, turning the meatballs to get them brown on all sides. Since they are small, it doesn't take long to cook them thoroughly. Then I add 2 cans of Consomme soup (my favorite is Campbell's), which I have mixed thoroughly with 2 tablespoons of flour. I stir it constantly until it boils and gets thick. I serve it over brown rice (this recipe should serve five people) and it is my version of beef stroganoff, for easily half the calories.
Perhaps one of the most important parts about my weight loss is that I started my journey when I was already in my late 50's, just hoping to get below 200 lbs. by my 60th birthday on Jan. 1, 2011. I made it with a few weeks to spare and proceeded to lose an additional 50 lbs. hitting my goal weight on April 5, 2011. I think perhaps I can be an inspiration for other older women who think it is too late to change, who mistakenly believe that they are too old to exercise and lose weight. All I do is WALK and count my calories, and I DID IT! I think I prove that you are never to old to change your life!"
I'll try to post a link to the article when it is published. I don't know whether they will want pictures or not, but it is fun once again to get some notice for my accomplishment. I have to say, it never gets old. And the constant accolades, publicity and attention gives me added motivation to keep the weight off, so that is always good! I know I have lots of built-in motivation: my grandchildren, my health, my appearance, my mobility. And believe me these are all very very important to me. BUT...there's nothing like some outside notice to keep you motivated to keep those pounds OFF! I need and will take all the motivation I can get, from anywhere and everywhere! It's two months until the magazine is on the stands. That's two months of GOOD motivation for me and I plan on using it!!!