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Author: Mary Kmak

Health Warrior Mary

Hello Readers,

For the past two years I’ve shared my journey on the TMC for Women blog, specifically topics that I felt helped me with my weight loss journey.

My weight loss journey hasn’t always been easy or straight forward. For many of us it’s difficult to lose weight and even harder when life becomes stressful.

This past year was a particularly trying year for me. I lost my younger brother.  There were days when I just had a hard time going to see him in the end because he was very sick, but I did and never missed his request.  There were times where I would hit a plateau and the scale would not budge.  Eventually, I worked through each and every plateau.  2016 was my year of colds, viruses, and even a short two night hospital stay.  I kept going and never quit, gave up or complained. In fact, I believe everything I went through made me stronger and more determined to reach goal weight.

Although I didn’t achieve my goal weight this year I’m certain I will next year. There is no hurry with your health journey, it’s more important to keep going and never give up.

I learned the healthy way of losing weight through the TMC Wellness programs which I attended and the best dietitians, Mary and Laurie.

This journey started with a promise that I made to my beloved mom on her death bed. I promised to take care of myself, to lose the extra weight and regain my health that I had neglected during the 12 years I was caring for her.

Many people have ask me today if I would take care of my mom for those 12 years if I could do it all over again knowing the impact that it would have on my health and career.  The answer will always remain the same YES! Why ? I gained a lifetime of extra special memories of a wonderful lady, my mom. The job I left wasn’t as important as the job I had caring for my mom. The money wasn’t as valuable as my time with my mom and the Steeler games were just as good on TV. In fact, I had the best seat at the game.  Most importantly the promise I made to my mom helped me lose alot of weight and regain my health back.

I put myself out there with my personal journey on this blog. Often I’d talk about topics which my family and friends couldn’t believe because I am a private quiet person. I did this in the hope I could help others struggling with being overweight and the associated health issues.  I want everyone to know if I can lose weight you can too with no excuses. I  want to thank the following who I believe helped me succeed, Laurie Ledford, Mary Atkinson, TMC Wellness and Mike Urquhart. I also want to thank Rachel Miller for allowing me to write for two years and endlessly editing my posts and giving me the best feedback.

Also, last, but not least all of you, my fabulous readers, who followed and allowed me to give one last gift to my beloved mom. My tribute of reaching one million views on Mary’s Promise.

May God bless, keep you healthy and wishing everyone the best New Year.

Good bye.

Love,
Mary

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has lost over 130 pounds using what she learned in TMC Wellness classes. She has shared her journey on TMC for Women in Mary’s Promise.  We commend Mary for all her hard work and for sharing her commitment and passion on her health journey. Well done Mary, you’re an inspiration.

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

Eating out with Mary – Mexican Food

Hello Readers,

The best 23 miles of Mexican food in the United States is the claim, and we have to agree. We are fortunate living in Tucson to be surrounded by incredible Mexican restaurants, but that tempting menu can be a bit daunting for a customer looking to make healthy choices. It isn’t impossible though.

Making a lifestyle change doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods.  In fact, by being selective with good choices and portion control you can enjoy a healthy meal at any restaurant of your choice.

How to make healthy choices when eating out.

  1. Special Order

    I know, I know, if you’ve ever been in food service this might make you raise an eyebrow, but make it easy for the restaurant staff. Check the menu in advance, identify some possible menu items and call to ask if they can adapt.

  2. Check for baked  or steamed rather than fried

    I ask for the server for my tortilla chips to be baked, rather than deep fried, fresh corn tortillas cut in 6 pieces. My party enjoy these over the deep fried chips which are normally served.

  3. Load up on the salsa, moderate the cheese and the guacamole

    Our Tucson restaurants often pride themselves on flavorful salsas. Fresh tomatoes, cilantro, onions – you can’t beat it. It’s the piling high of cheese, guacamole, creamy sauces and deep fried tacos and tortillas that will sabotage your attempts at healthy choices.

  4.  Come up with your own variations of a classic

    I enjoy a chicken tacos, so I request a corn rather than flour tortilla, heated not fried. I add shredded chicken breast, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, a slice of fresh avocado and some salsa and voila a tasty and healthy option.  If I’m hungry for a salad I will order “Mary’s ” taco salad that includes a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, fresh green chilies and a serving of approx 2 oz of shredded chicken followed by a slice of avocado slice. I skip the deep fried taco bowl. Often I order one side of fresh pinto beans that aren’t refried to top the salad and add a few thinly sliced green onions.

  5. Can’t do without the guacamole? Be careful about portion size!

    If it just isn’t eating out at a Mexican restaurant without sampling the guacamole or some other favorite dish, make sure modify the portion size. What is presented in the restaurants as a portion is often several. Savor the taste, don’t over do the amount.

I have always found our local Mexican restaurants to be very accommodating. You can enjoy a healthy  meal with portion control and by special ordering your choices. You don’t have to feel limited, and you may find, like I did, that your options actually taste better than the menu higher calories choices.

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and thirty-one pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she shares how she manages to fully enjoy eating at the fabulous Mexican restaurants here in Tucson 

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

Stopping prediabetes in its tracks – Mary’s Promise

Hello Readers,

Last month was National Diabetes Awareness month and we’re coming up on almost two years ago I was diagnosed as being prediabetic. I thought it was about time for a little update on my battle to prevent falling victim to diabetes.

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to considered Type 2 Diabetes. However, if you don’t make lifestyle changes your prediabetes is likely to develop into Type 2 Diabetes. Unfortunately, the long-term impact on your heart, blood vessels and kidneys may already be underway if you’re prediabetic. You can’t wait to take action to stem the impact of diabetes and prediabetes.

I thought of my prediabetes diagnosis as a warning sign.  It scared me to think that not only did I have a number of other health issues that needed immediate attention, but that those might be complicated by diabetes. Once again the TMC Wellness programs came to my rescue. Talking with Mary and Laurie about my prediabetes diagnosis and adjusting my diet and my exercise level to help my body heal worked.

Today my A1C  (the A1C test reveals how much glucose is attaching to the hemoglobin in your blood and is a good indicator of how effectively your body is processing sugar) is now 5.3 where once it was 6.4. My doctor explained to the A1C guidelines as the following:

DIABETES 6.5 or higher

PRE DIABETES 5.7 to 6.4

NORMAL  Below 5.7

As you can see with my 6.4 A1C I was teetering on the edge of full blown diabetes. I was given three months to lower that number or I would be put on medication.  Most people aren’t aware of any symptoms of diabetes until you get your physical and blood tests which include an A1C test. There are some side effects which I had, but never paid any attention to them. The top 3 are:

1. Thirstier than normal .

2. You have to go to the bathroom more often.

3. You’re more tired than usual .

There are also risks factors which I had all of them as well. Here are the main ones:

1. Overweight

If you are overweight you are at high risk.

2. Lack of physical activity

If you aren’t physically active you are more likely to develop prediabetes .

3. Family History

Prediabetes has a heredity component. If someone in your close family has or had Type 2 Diabetes, you are more likely to develop it.

I did my research and learned through the WELLNESS PROGRAMS how to bring my A1C down to normal level.  With my doctors approval and monitoring I did the following:

Lost weight

I joined the TMC Wellness programs and learned everything to make a lifestyle change .

Added exercise to my day

Including cardio (walking, jogging, dancing and yard work), weight training (light weight curls, push ups and pull ups), and worked on balance and stretching with yoga.

By making a healthy lifestyle change which included losing weight and exercising I moved into the normal range though I still get monitored every 3 months.

If your A1C is in the dangerous range make an appointment to talk with the TMC Wellness team or with the TMC Diabetes Educators.

Get help

For patients that have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, TMC offers an eight-hour class, Journey for Control, Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. To learn more or to register, please call (520) 324-1960.

Additionally, TMC offers free education sessions and support that cover a wide variety of helpful topics. Discussion is facilitated by a certified diabetes educator. Classes are held on the second Wednesday of each month from 5-6 p.m. at the El Dorado Health Campus Cafeteria. No registration is necessary. To look at the full schedule of classes, click here.

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and thirty-one pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she shares her journey to battle one of the nations largest health risks, diabetes.

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

 

 

 

Healthy Holiday Choices – Mary’s Promise

Hello Readers ,

For years during the holidays I used the excuse that it was okay to eat this or that knowing it wasn’t very good for me, because it was the holiday season. In my mind ‘the holidays’ was a free pass to eat whatever I wanted.

Year after year I gained that seven pound holiday weight you hear about.  And yet I carried on with the same habits for years without changes.  Two years ago I got a wake up call when I joined the TMC Wellness program and Laurie and Mary brought me a new awareness about my eating habits. Today I am much more selective with healthy alternatives and portion control even at holidays.  Before I eat anything I stop (use mindful eating ) and ask myself two questions .

1) Do I really want to eat this?

2) Is it worth the calories ?

For me, I will figure out much exercise  I have to do to burn off those particular calories  and then make the decision whether I will eat it or not.

I have some examples for you to think about  the next time you have the urge to grab any of these or take extra portions.

These are approximate calories and will be different with portion sizes, your exact weight  and speed of exercising .  These are based on an individual who weighs 160 pounds.

1) Slice of pumpkin pie (One eighth of pie)  325 calories per slice

I would have to ride my exercycle for 45 minutes

2) Slice of pecan pie (one eighth of pie)  525 calories per slice

This one is very deceiving because some think it’s a healthy dessert because of the pecan nuts, but pecan pie is heavy on the butter, sugar, corn, eggs and pecans which are loaded with fats and calories. I would have to jog for 1 hour to use the energy consumed in one small slice of pecan pie.

3) Stuffing 1/2 cup 150 calories

Often the main ingredients in stuffing is white bread and melted butter .   You would have to do 15 minutes  of jumping jacks non stop.

4) Gingerbread cookie  170 calories

You would have to dance vigorously for 30 minutes .

5) Glazed ham – 3 oz 125 calories

You would have to go hiking for 15 minutes .

If you eat choices that aren’t the best please remember portion control and limit your selections. When you use awareness you can have control with your choices. Instead of eating a full slice of pie take one or two spoonfuls to satisfy your craving. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and not worry about having to lose those unwanted pounds you gained throughout the holidays so you can be thankful for your improved health.

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and thirty-one pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she shares her thoughts on making healthy choices through the holidays. 

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

 

 

Mary’s October Results

Hello Readers,

October was an interesting month for me.  I planned to cut back 200 calories per day and work out for one hour daily by doing two half hour increments on my Exercycle and continue my 12,000 daily steps.   I was able to keep up with this plan for two weeks. My work schedule took me away from the Exercycle to one 30 minute work out daily for the additional  two weeks,  but I stayed with my 12,000 steps walking in our beautiful fall weather and was able to stick with the decreasing 200 calories in my daily food caloric count.  I expected with the food decrease and exercise increase to pull off a monthly weight loss, but I hit a plateau and maintained my weight .

It’s easy to get disheartened and fall off the healthy lifestyle wagon when you hit a plateau. Revisit your goals, remind yourself of your why and then shake things up. Hitting this plateau doesn’t disappoint or discourage me because I know plateaus happen.  I will work harder in November and I’m encouraged and  looking forward to a better month with a loss.

Here are my plans for November:

1.  Maintain my daily calorie quota from October, but make sure more of the calories are from fruit and vegetables. With high water content and plenty of fiber, a diet with lots of fruit and veg will help me feel full throughout the day.

2. Continue my 30 minutes daily on my Exercycle AND walk 12,000 steps a day.

3. If time allows I want to add more minutes on my Exercycle, and if I can’t I plan to cut an additional 50 calories out of my food quota.

By making these changes I hope to break my plateau and move forward with my journey.  I understand that plateaus will come and by working through them with changes and patience we will overcome them. Never give up on yourself  and your journey, make the proper changes and go on. I will!

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and thirty one pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she updates us on her progress. 

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

 

 

 

6 Benefits of Walking that Changed My Life – Mary’s Promise

Hello Readers,

We often hear from our doctors about the benefits of walking. After all, walking is a low impact exercise easily accessible and free! You can walk in your neighborhood, at the grocery stores, parks, malls, in a stair well, even on the spot!  For me, along with changes in what I eat, walking has changed my life.

Every morning before work I walk my neighborhood until I get 6,000 steps and get the other 6,000 steps throughout the day. Yes, I aim for a total of 12,000 steps every day. 12,000 steps might seem monumental to you right now, but it is manageable.  Here are the health benefits I received by walking:

1. Walking helped me lose weight

One hundred and thirty one pounds to date! By making good healthy food choices and adding walking in my daily schedule this helped me lose weight. You burn up calories by walking which helps you lose weight.

2. Walking has strengthened my heart

Walking is a great cardio exercise which helped me lower my cholesterol and triglycerides.  With a family history of heart disease walking has helped me lower my risk of a heart attack and stroke.

3. Walking has helped lower my A1C level

Being diagnosed as pre diabetic I needed to add exercise along with my healthy food choices to lower my A1C. Walking was my first exercise that I started that helped me get out of out of the pre diabetic range in 90 days.

4. Walking helped lower my high blood pressure

I had high blood pressure and was on three medications a day to try and control it, but by walking daily with increased weekly increments of minutes has changed that. My blood pressure is now stable and normal and I have cut back to half of one pill a day.

5. Walking helps boost my energy

My energy level increased with walking. If I felt tired and didn’t want to walk I pushed myself and found after walking I had this increase of energy. It seems counter intuitive, but it works! Feeling a bit sluggish in the middle of the day, get out for a quick walk outside.

6. Walking helps my sleeping

I use to have problems sleeping, but now as long as I get my walking in I sleep like a baby!

Walking is a great way to help you with your health issues.  Talk to your doctors and discuss how walking can help you. Or contact the wellness specialists at TMC to talk about how walking, exercise and diet can turn your health around.  I did, and I’m so glad I did. Your turn, let’s step out!

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and thirty one pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she shares how the simple act of walking has changed her life. 

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

 

Mary’s healthy holiday eating tips

Hello Readers,

Today marks the beginning of the holiday season. Tis the season for office work parties, family and friends gatherings and they’re all filled with unwanted extra calories, fats and sugars.

The holidays provide many less than healthy temptations that even the most disciplined of us have a hard time saying  “No, thank you”.

For many of us the holiday season starts now and ends in January.  What can you do to prevent the average seven to twelve pound weight gain? It is possible to eat healthy and enjoy this time of year with proper good nutrition knowledge.

Here are some tips I’ve used over the past nearly two years to prevent weight gain:

1.  Don’t go hungry

Never go to a party or dinner hungry by skipping any meals.  Eat a low fat snack before you go with plenty of water to fill you up.

2. Use smaller plates with portion control.

Fill up on vegetables and fruits including a big salad with healthy veggie toppings and just sample a small portion of the traditional fare.

3. Stay far away from the food and dessert tables

Spend more time with your family and friends at your social events. Distance yourself from bad choices.

4. Chose the lean cut

Know your meat cuts, and make sure you choose leaner meats like skinless chicken breast, turkey breast and lean beef when you’re at the table.  Not sure what a lean cut of beef is? Check out the sirloin tip, top round roast and steak, and top sirloin steak. Pick the cut with least amount of marbling, and not that labelled ‘Prime’ which often has more fat.

6. Plan ahead, be adaptable, but get that exercise in.

Make that time to continue exercising even if you must make a change in times or types of exercise. It’s important to make a plan that takes account of changes in your schedule. If your schedule is more cramped, perhaps make your work out more intense, or rise earlier to get your work out in.

Remember to pay attention to the true meaning of the season and spend time with your family and friends while you practice portion control.  If you overdo it at a party or dinner gathering don’t be hard on yourself and start feeling guilty.  Just pick yourself up the next day and go back to eating healthy. Enjoy a happy healthy holiday.

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and thirty one pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she shares the choices she makes when faced with the challenges of eating healthy during the holidays. 

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

 

Mary shares her progress and her latest weight loss number!

Hello Readers,

In September I wanted to try and change my exercise program by adding different exercise machines to my daily routine of riding the Exercycle.  I hoped by adding additional exercises with a variety of changes that this would help supplement my weight loss.

Please consult your primary care physician before embarking on an exercise regime. Mary’s Promise reflects her experience and does not constitute medical advice.

I tried the treadmill a few times a week and although I got a good workout it was more like walking for me. My preference is to walk outdoors this time of year and enjoy the Fall’s fresh air.  I tried the stair stepper and elliptical too, both provided a good workout as well, but I preferred my Exercycle over all three.

In the last couple of weeks of September, cool temperatures allowed me to do some additional walking throughout the day boosting me beyond my 12,000 daily steps. With the above changes along with some different food choices in meals I was able to lose four pounds which makes my grand total weight loss 131 pounds to date!

When you lose so much weight you must makes changes monthly to continue your weight loss goals.  Sometimes these changes very challenging, but those challenges keep my attention, and help move me forward. If you’re struggling in your weight loss journey toward health get support. The wellness professionals at Tucson Medical Center offer individual support as well as a comprehensive Weight Management Support Group.

Here are my plans for October:

1) I will cut back 200 calories each day out of my allotted total. I will take 40 calories off breakfast, lunch and dinner then 15 calories off my two daily snacks.

2) Keep my one hour a day exercises in two 30 minute incumbents and plan on riding my Exercycle before and after work.

3) Continue my daily 12,000 steps of walking and when time allows do additional walking. With the cooler weather this time a year makes it easier to sneak out for a 15 minute walk here or there throughout the day.

For me it seems critical to make both food and exercise changes to continue losing weight.  Remember, as you lose weight you may need to cut back on calories. Less mass to move requires .  I plan to do different changes to enable me to reach my goal weight.  It’s exciting and challenging which I enjoy.

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and thirty one pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she shares her current progress and plans for October. 

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically-based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

How to make SMART goals – Mary’s Promise

Hello Readers,

I always mention SMART goals in my blog posts because they are the #1 reason why I’m succeeding with my weight loss journey.  I first heard about SMART goals in the TMC Wellness programs and they have changed the way I approach healthy living.

I used to pick fad diets to lose weight quickly never reaching any goals and only gaining what I lost back and more and failed with each fad diet I tried.  By practicing  SMART goals I don’t put pressure on myself and stress out.

What does SMART stand for? Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

SPECIFIC

Make a specific goal rather than a general goal.
‘I want to get healthy’ is a general goal. ‘I want to reduce my total cholesterol to normal levels by X amount by X date.’ or ‘I want to fit into my size 14 jeans again by X date.’ or ‘I want to be able to run a 5K by X date.’ are specific goals.

MEASURABLE

Whether you’re measuring your progress toward your goals by pounds, dress sizes, or blood sugar levels, make sure you can measure your progress. Don’t forget to keep track.  I would write my weekly weight loss total in my journal which helped keep me motivated.

ATTAINABLE

Be realistic, identify baby steps and you are more likely to attain them. The success of attaining those small goals helps drive me forward.

REALISTIC

You must be honest with yourself, make sure you identify actions and goals that you can attain, that are realistic. Choosing a high goal, ex I’m going to lose 50 pounds, or I’m going to run 5 miles everyday, or workout everyday for at least an hour, you set yourself up for failure. Set a goal to get active for 30 minutes a day for five days a week, if you don’t walk/run/workout one day or even two that week it’s not a problem, you still have five days that you can work out.

TIMELY

Give yourself a timeframe to achieve your SMART goals in. EXAMPLE I will be able to run 5 kilometers, using the coach to 5K program, in time for the Be Tucson Women’s 5K on February 19th, 2017.

The best thing I ever did was making SMART goals and I was able to stick with them. I’m happy with my progress and excited about reaching goal weight. What are your SMART goals going to be?

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and twenty-five pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she talks specifically about SMART goals. 

Please consult your primary care physician before embarking on an exercise regime. Mary’s Promise reflects her experience and does not constitute medical advice.

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically-based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary’s cholesterol report card – Mary’s Promise

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and twenty-five pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she updates us on her progress and talks cholesterol. Mary’s Promise reflects her experience and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your primary care physician before embarking on an exercise regime.

Hello Readers,

When I was 125 pounds heavier I had my blood work taken with my yearly physical. At that time my total cholesterol was 208mg/dL which is considered high. My doctor explained to me the following levels:

GOOD:  170 mg/dL or lower

BORDERLINE: 170 to 199 mg/dL

HIGH: 200mg/dL or higher

As you can see, my 208 cholesterol levels was above the suggested, and with these high cholesterol levels I was at increased risk for heart disease, heart attack or a stroke. My doctor gave me an ultimatium, I had to get my cholesterol in three months or I would be put on medication to bring it down. Some people need medications and others can bring it down by making a lifestyle change.

Two weeks after that wake up call from my physician, I got a message from TMC’s Laurie Ledford RD. TMC was offering wellness classes to the public. Prior to this call I went to a TMC nutritionist and inquired about their wellness programs because I saw some information on the television one evening about their employee programs. At that time I was told by the dietitian that it was only for the TMC employees. Laurie’s call was the beginning to my journey.

This week I had my three-month blood work test and my count is the lowest ever at 127 mg/DL. For the past year I ran in the 130s and 140s within good levels.  What I learned though the TMC help me succeed with lowering my cholesterol to a good safe level. Here’s what I do:

1. EAT HEALTHY FOODS

I choose healthier fats by leaner cuts of meats whenever I eat red meat, more vegetables, low fat dairy products and monounsaturated fats found in olive and canola oils. I eliminated the trans fats found in fried foods, cookies, crackers and baked goods. I added foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids by adding walnuts, almonds and ground flaxseed over salads and smoothies.

2. START A EXERCISE PROGRAM

Do what exercise you like and will continue to do daily.  I started out with a five minute daily walk and rode my Exercycle twelve minutes 3 times a week. Today I walk 12,000 steps daily and ride my Exercycle 30 minutes. What helped me was TMC offered a one hour weekly exercise class with their profession personal trainer. Get into an exercise program with others as your support group or buddy up with a friend and exercise together. This will help keep you motivated.

3. LOSE WEIGHT

Even if you are just a few pounds overweight that contributes to high cholesterol. Even losing 10 pounds can help improve your cholesterol levels.

By making small changes you can help yourself and your health. Know your numbers and make the changes you need.

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically-based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.