Saturday, May 7, 2011

Here's to 'a whole new way of eating'

Saturday, May 7, 2011

She read a profile in USA TODAY about a woman who trimmed down by using the Lose It application on her iPhone. Pearson figured she could do that, too, so she downloaded the program and got started. "I was really motivated, finally."

Since January 2010, she has lost 35 pounds. At 5-foot-3, she weighs 137 pounds, down from 172.

Pearson is one of the readers who volunteered to share her story as part of this year's annual Weight-Loss Challenge. The theme: No excuses. Stories about other readers who have slimmed down will be featured every week for the next five weeks.

Pearson had wanted to lose weight for years, but believed she couldn't succeed because of her age. "My biggest excuse was that my metabolism had slowed down because I was getting older."

She was trying to watch what she ate, but now realizes she was eating 2,000 calories or more a day, which was too many for her small frame and low level of physical activity.

To lose a pound a week, she had to cut her calories to about 1,200 a day. When she exercised, she could consume 1,500 to 1,600 calories a day and still trim down.

She made several smart trade-offs, switching from yogurt loaded with sugar to a non-fat Greek yogurt that she topped with raspberries and blueberries. She started eating whole-wheat bread instead of white and limited herself to no more than two slices a day.

Everything she ate, she recorded in her iPhone. "I made sure I never went over my calories."

"My cooking has changed," she says. "We used to have steaks and hamburgers. Now we eat very little beef. We have fresh fish two or three times a week. We love fresh salmon. I have discovered a whole new way of eating."

Last winter, Pearson signed up to work out with a personal trainer two times a week at a senior rate offered at the Older Persons' Commission in Rochester Hills. The trainer worked with her on exercises to increase her balance, flexibility and strength. Pearson also walked on the treadmill two to three times a week at home.

She says she got a lot of support from her husband, Bob, friends and family who tell her that she looks younger, especially through the face.

She has had to buy new clothes twice as she has moved down in sizes. And now, she's determined to maintain her weight so she can continue to wear a size 8 petite. "I want to keep my new clothes. I like being younger-looking. I have more energy and I feel better."

Her weight-loss advice to others: "Give it a try. Don't give up."

Her typical meal plan

during the weight loss:

Breakfast: A poached egg on one-half of a whole-wheat English muffin, cantaloupe or other fresh fruit.

Lunch: A lettuce wrap made with turkey breast, red pepper slices (or other fresh veggies) and creamy horseradish; cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes or fresh strawberries.

Dinner: Fish such as salmon, fresh vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus, and a large dark-green salad with lots of vegetables and some walnuts, dressing on the side.

Evening snack: Microwave popcorn or a 60-calorie miniature ice cream treat.

Milam, at the Older Persons' Commission in Rochester Hills.

"I have more energy and feel better," she says.

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