The Fitness Formula
TINA ON... FAMILY FITNESS "My 3-year-old daughter and I love to do a children's yoga video together. I get a kick out of hearing my daughter say 'namaste.'" RECIPE MAKEOVERS "Almost every recipe can be prepared more healthfully. I've trimmed the fat from my favorite zucchini bread recipe, and no one knows it's lowfat because it's so delicious." TRYING SOMETHING NEW "I've taken classes like figure skating, water aerobics and martial arts. I learn something new to get out of a fitness rut."
TINA'S CHALLENGE Before leaving home to attend college, Tina Beauvais carried a healthy 135 pounds on her 5-foot-8-inch frame. "I ate properly since my mom cooked healthful meals every night," Tina remembers. "But when I went to college, unhealthy dorm food and my active social life caused me to gain weight." Then during Tina's sophomore year of college, her mother died suddenly. That sent Tina into a deep depression, and she turned to food for comfort. Soon, Tina's weight rose to 165 pounds. "I figured life was too short to diet and ate to my heart's content," she says.
Her Turning Point A year and a half after her mother's death, Tina saw herself in a photograph and did a double take. "I thought, 'Is that really what I look like?'" she recalls. "I was huge and out of shape. I didn't look like myself."
Her Weight-Loss & Exercise Plan Tina went to a Weight Watchers meeting the very next day. "My mom had lost weight on their program, so I decided to check it out," she says. At the meeting, Tina learned that she needed to stick to1,800 calories a day to lose weight. Tina also committed herself to exercising 2-3 times a week, doing 30 minutes of cardio on the bike or walking on the treadmill, and 20 minutes of weight training at the campus fitness center.
Making Success Happen Tina was out of the dorm and living on her own, so it was easier for her to bring home nutritious foods. "I added lowfat, high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables to my diet so I could fill up on fewer calories," she says. Tina occasionally treated herself to her favorite foods, such as chocolate, so she wouldn't feel deprived.
With these improvements to her eating habits, Tina lost about 2 pounds a week. "It was exciting to see the changes in my body, and my depression slowly started to lift," she says. Tina was 30 pounds lighter when she married her fiance a year later.
Tina maintained her weight loss for three years, until her first pregnancy. After her daughter was born, Tina wanted to lose 20 pounds to return to her pre-pregnancy weight. "I only lost 5 of them by the time my daughter turned 3 months old," she says. "The last 15 pounds were the hardest to lose -- I was exercising and watching what I ate, yet the needle on the scale didn't budge." Concerned, she went to her doctor and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Tina was prescribed medication to regulate her thyroid and improve her metabolism. "I lost the last 15 pounds in six months," she says.
Tina has since had another baby, and four months postpartum she was back at 135 pounds, thanks to her exercise and healthy eating habits. These days, eating right and working out have a new purpose, Tina says. "I have the energy I need to keep up with my kids, which is the best reward of all."
WORKOUT SCHEDULE Weight training: 30 minutes/3 times a week Walking, yoga videos or kickboxing: 45 minutes/4-5 times a week