Laurie Rappa was afraid that a family history of obesity would soon affect her. "I was concerned that I would eventually have to lose a large amount of weight. So I wanted to pre-emptively get a hold of food," she said. Sweets were her weakness, and she recognized that she was an emotional eater. Whether she was happy, sad, bored or celebratory, she said, food was the answer. "Culturally we seem to reward ourselves with food," she said. When she turned 30, Rappa, wanting to get healthy, joined Weight Watchers and lost 10 pounds. Less than a year later, Rappa got sick and had to go on medication. She gained back twice her lost weight. Rappa was too embarrassed to go back to Weight Watchers and instead tried other options, none of which worked. She returned to Weight Watchers, knowing that the discipline of going to weekly meetings worked for her. Rappa lost the weight and eventually went to work for the company.
Breakfast can include a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries or an egg-white omelet loaded with vegetables, some chicken sausage and mozzarella cheese. Options for lunch are yogurt, fruit and a cheese stick or a peanut butter sandwich. For dinner, Rappa loves a large serving of spaghetti squash with turkey breast, chicken sausage or fish and a salad. Snack items can be fruit, barbecued Popchips or portion-controlled snacks.
Rappa loves Jazzercise and is also an instructor. "It's a fun intense workout that combines kickboxing, cardio Pilates and dance," she says. She also uses weights, an exercise ball, and resistance bands for strength training.
"You're worth it. Put forth the effort. You'll love yourself for it."