Exercise helps her maintain
Exercise plays a big role in helping Maggie stay in good shape. She got
more active along with making healthier food choices.
routine includes 45 minutes of exercise 3 or 4 days a week. She usually uses a
recumbent bike or a NordicTrack, which mimics the cross-country skiing that she
loves. And she hits the cross-country ski trails in the winter and the hiking
trails at other times of year.
She increased her exercise slowly.
She started on the bike for 10 minutes at a time. Then she worked up to 15 and
then 30 minutes.
She also tried something new: yoga.
"I find it's very calming," Maggie says. She also likes the stretching
involved in yoga.
Support from others helps
Maggie did the hard work of losing weight on her own.
But pats on the back from other people gave her support and a sense of
community during her journey to get healthier. She hired a life coach who works
with people who are trying to lose weight. She also joined a weight-loss
The life coach helped her look at why she overate, such as
when she was under stress. And Maggie learned to watch out for times when she
was at risk of eating too much. "We explored my attitudes about eating, how I
felt about my body," Maggie says. "We looked at psychological factors—when did
I tend to eat more, what kind of feeling states led me to eat."
The weight-loss group gave her the support of others who are trying to
change their lifestyles.
"When you go to a group setting and
there's that kind of recognition from other people and enthusiasm from other
people when you've been successful, it becomes very important. You get lots of
tips from other people. You get lots of encouragement to continue working on
it. It's just amazingly helpful. Everybody there is in the same boat. Everybody
there at least is motivated to lose weight. There are people that have had 100
pounds or 50 pounds off for 10 years. There are people who have lost no weight
at all, and there are people there that have lost and gained.
someone in the room had a bad week and ate something they maybe shouldn't have,
everybody in that room can relate to that issue. I didn't think those meetings
would affect me as much as they do. I'm finding that I learn more even now than
I did earlier from other people."
Maggie says she's thrilled when
friends, coworkers, or her students notice she has lost weight.
"One of the (motivators) for me was all the praise and comments people
have made to me. My students will comment, 'Gee, you really eat healthy.' They
notice that I get the salads and the fruits and the vegetables. I don't eat
junk. That feels good. Other people will say, 'How did you do that, Maggie?'