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#How to lose 100 pounds

Challenges to Weight Loss – Mary’s Promise

Mary Kmak has turned her life around 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.

Hello Readers,
December and the holidays presented some challenges to my exercise and healthy living routine. I have a family member not doing well in the hospital and I go every day to visit them. This takes time away from my daily exercises though I still managed to walk my 30 minutes every day and sometimes twice a day, but I’ve  maintained my weight; no loss no gain.

Even though I didn’t lose any weight,  I am happy with no gain, given that I’ve not been able to exercise to the same degree.

I started the New Year out right and am back to 30 minutes on the exercycle along with my 30 minute walk daily and I feel great!  In the past I would have gained the typical seven to ten pounds during the holidays, but, after making a lifestyle change I stand proud with a 102 pound loss and I’m moving forward. If this was a fad diet I would have gained weight!

The Weight loss resolution involves a lot of changes for those serious to achieving their goal. As you prepare your action plans each week try including the following in your plan:

  1. Allot time to plan and prepare your meals.

    Know ahead of time what you are going to eat and make it happen. If you don’t and you get hungry you will eat any and everything. I do my weekly menu on Sunday. I make sure for every meal I plan that I have all the correct food so I eat properly.

  2. Prioritize movement

    I stress walks because it’s easy and a good start. Even the addition of a 10 minute walk every day can help. You must start out with baby steps and work you way up from there.  Check out this information on how to start a walking program using an activity device like a Fitbit from Mayo Clinic. 

A challenging December makes me more motivated to keep going after maintaining my weight. We will always have stresses in life, but it is how we bounce back that determines the outcome. I have bounced back and made additions to my program and will be posting my first loss of the New Year next month. I hope this motivates you to never quit. Whether you maintain or gain weight just pick yourself up and get going! It’s a new year a new YOU! 🙂

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Find out more about the Life Enhancement Program, Wellness Classes and TMC’s very own non-surgical individualized weight loss program New Me with TMC . Find out more about Mary Kmak’s journey to health here and don’t miss another of Mary’s installment’s on her journey to health or any of our health blog posts by signing up to receive posts via email.  

Want to get a sneak insight to a Nutritional or Fitness assessment or even win a Fitbit Charge HR wristband? Check out our New Year New You Giveaway. 

giveaway, tucson, new year, new you



Baked Apples and Pears – A sweet healthy treat inspired by Mary Kmak

Baked Apple and PearsFor many of us, our sweet tooth is our downfall when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Who better to turn to for advice on beating the sugar cravings than Mary Kmak (Mary recently achieved a 100 pound weight loss goal, and has lowered her blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol in the process with our Live Well programs) and our very own TMC Nutritionista, Laurie Ledford RD?

Mary tells us that one of her favorite go-to desserts at this time of year is baked apples and pears. Baked apples and pears include a whole lot of natural sweetness without much, if any, added sugar. Combine that with some chopped raw nuts (make sure the nuts you use aren’t roasted or salted) and you have a sweet treat with a protein and fiber punch (make sure to eat the skin of the fruit too!)  While Mary adds a little brown sugar still, with the raisins and cinnamon added it really isn’t necessary.

Added bonus: If you live in Southern Arizona you have easy access to fresh local apples right now from Willcox. Yummy, local, cheap, fresh AND tasty!

Mary and Laurie’s Baked Apples and Pears

Serves four

2 Apples (Granny Smith or Fuji work well)
2 Pears
Chopped walnuts or almonds or pecans
Ground cinnamon
Optional: 1 tablespoon quick oats, raisins, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar

Preparation Time

8 minutes


Core the apples and pears.
Place on a microwave-safe plate or dish in shallow water.
Combine one to two tablespoons brown sugar, one teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or almonds or pecans in a small bowl. When dry ingredients mixed, spoon into cored apples and pears.
Cover filled apples and pears with cling film.
Microwave on high for 4-6 minutes or until fruit is tender.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Note:  This recipe can be just as yummy without the brown sugar. We also like to add raisins and quick oats too. Try it!


Mary’s Promise – Chicken Salad Wrap with a Nutritional Punch

ChickenSaladWrapMary Kmak is edging towards 100 pounds lost – No small feat!

At the beginning of Mary’s journey she was pre-diabetic, preparing for back surgery and could not walk to help with mass at her church. She is the first to tell you that her newfound health is in huge part thanks to the support of the Live Well program, and her guides Mary Atkinson and Nutritionista – Laurie Ledford.

But just what do the lessons Mary learned in the Live Well program look like in day-to-day life? We asked Mary to share some of her tips. Today, one of her go-to bag lunches

Mary tells us that prior to Live Well she used to just grab a quick something at a local restaurant. Now she plans her lunches at the beginning of the week, prepping lunches and planning evening meals so that she will bring leftovers for lunch.

Mary’s Tip

Mary emphasizes keeping it easy and simple. Don’t get deterred by lots of prep!

Chicken Salad Wrap – 2 servings


4oz chicken breast (we used chicken substitute) chopped into cubes
3 celery stalks washed and chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Black pepper
1 tablespoon of light olive oil mayo

1 cup Arugula


2 Whole-wheat tortillas

Chop chicken breast, into ½ inch cubes and place in bowl. Add chopped celery to bowl and chopped cilantro. Add measure of light olive oil mayo and stir to cover. Add black pepper to taste. This will create two portions.

At lunchtime place ½ cup of arugula on tortilla, add filling and wrap in tortilla!

The nutritional low down on this sack lunch from Nutritionista Laurie Ledford

Registered Dietitian by day

The Nutrionista!

There are several reasons this is a great bag lunch. Take your pick:

  1. You’ve made it yourself, so you know exactly what’s going into it. (Not true with prepared foods.)
  2. The celery, arugula and whole wheat tortillas make it high in fiber.
  3. It gives you one serving of vegetables and two servings of whole grains, both of which are things most Americans do not get enough of.

Here are a couple of suggestions for variations and for keeping it healthy.

  1. Read the ingredients on your tortillas! If you see “hydrogenated” oil in there, do not buy it. That stuff is very bad for your heart. Lard and palm oil (both sources of saturated fat) are not good for your heart either, so avoid them if possible.
  2. If you would like to make it a little more colorful and sneak in more vegetables, consider adding chopped bell peppers, shredded carrot or chopped onion.

What is Live Well Tucson?

Live Well Comm Logo OrgBluLive Well is a wellness program that meets once a week for 2 hours. During the 2-hour sessions participants hear from an expert the topic of the week (exercise physiologist, dietitian, physician, etc.) The topics covered are preventative care, nutrition, exercise, stress management, happiness, social networks, and sleep. Participants work with experts to set goals, and how to maintain change. In addition to the lectures, participants also have the opportunity to participate in a weekly exercise class. Email for more information about Live Well.