Small changes lead to better health
When Maggie started gaining weight, she lost ground in her outdoor activities. She got more and more out of shape.
"I'm an old backpacker," she says. "I like to cross-country ski. I like to hike. And quite frankly, it was getting harder and harder. It was getting to the point where I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. I'd go out snow-shoeing on the side of a mountain, and I'd be out of breath and way far behind the people I went with."
She had other worries too. Her blood pressure and blood sugar levels were higher than she and her doctor wanted. The extra weight also didn't help her asthma. "The more weight I had on, the more difficult breathing was. It definitely impacted my activity level."
Her desire to enjoy her outdoors-Idaho lifestyle and concerns about her health gave her the motivation she needed to lose weight and keep it off.
As the pounds started to come off, she gained energy and felt stronger. "After I lost about 35 pounds, 40 pounds ... I was, like, sprinting up that mountain and not even feeling it. It was just an unbelievable change in my ability to exercise and to enjoy being outside and doing things."
The biggest bonus? Her asthma symptoms went away.
"I noticed that I wasn't having problems when I went hiking or exercising," Maggie says. "I wasn't wheezing. I wasn't having any trouble breathing. It's just gotten progressively better. I haven't had any symptoms. I don't need those inhalers anymore."
Making room for "worth-it" foods
Changing the way you eat doesn't always mean you have to give up your favorite foods.
Maggie includes her beloved pizza and the occasional hamburger or filet mignon in her food plan. But she has them only about every 3 months. And she has small portions. "I have what I call my worth-it foods," says Maggie.
She often changes those foods to make them more healthy. No more bacon cheeseburgers at the fast food restaurant. "I eat hamburgers, with lean meat, and I make them at home on the grill."