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WebMD Fitness Rx Challenge: 3 Months to Go

Our two challengers get customized diet and exercise plans to amp up their weight loss.

Battling Skyrocketing Stress Levels

Stefanee Williams

Age: 31

Weight: 168 lbs.

Goal: 160 lbs.

In contrast to Jeff's "supersets," Stefanee's workout is a "pyramid" setup -- working first the bigger muscles and then the smaller ones. For each muscle group, she starts with lighter weights and more repetitions; for the second set, she adds weight and decreases repetitions.

By the final set, Stefanee hoists the heaviest weight she can stand, for eight to 10 reps. "This workout helps her concentrate on muscle strength and endurance," Lin explains.

As for her diet, Stefanee has discovered something about herself -- she's a stress eater. Between planning her son's first birthday party and juggling her job, workouts, and motherhood, the last few months have sent her stress levels skyrocketing. "I've lost weight, but I've had a really bad sweet tooth," she says. "I went into the Godiva store and got three chocolate balls and ate them right away. They tasted so good, but after that I felt so guilty!"

Between chocolate therapy and the decision to cut out the oatmeal she was downing daily for breakfast -- she'd eaten so much it was making her gag -- Stefanee wasn't surprised to see her "bad" (LDL) cholesterol number start to creep back up (up from 108 last month). "I kind of expected that, but it was still disappointing," she says.

Oatmeal has reappeared at her breakfast table -- with a new kick. "I was eating a specific cholesterol-lowering oatmeal, but now I'm spicing it up with one that has apples and cinnamon and some granola. It has a few more calories, but I like it."

Smart move, says Zelman. "There are many oatmeal products -- you don't have to eat the same one every day. It helps her feel full, and it will help her get her cholesterol back on track."

Stefanee also feels guilty about missing workouts as a result of her endless to-do list. "She needs to take a deep breath and give herself permission to take a little time off here and there and not worry about it," Zelman says. "If a week is rough, then watch your portion sizes and try to get some exercise, even if you're not getting to the gym. If you only go twice -- that's two times more than none."

See Stefanee's current vital stats -- weight loss, inches lost, cholesterol levels, and more.

Published March 1, 2007.

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Reviewed on February 09, 2007

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