HER STORY Not much of a cook, Marlo Signoracci, who has had a weight problem since childhood, would eat at least two of her three meals a day at either fast-food or takeout restaurants. And the one meal at home wasn't much better.
"I'd get anything that made it easier for me to eat," Signoracci says.
The turning point for her was in 2010, when her company had a "Biggest Loser"-type contest.
"I lost 30 pounds and came in second overall and first for New York, and that was the catalyst to keep going," says Signoracci, who had never really exercised before and tended to lose a little weight, plateau and then give up and go back to her old ways of fast food and a sedentary lifestyle.
When her competitive side kicked in, she turned to a former co- worker who was a runner. He helped her craft a running and exercise routine.
"I'd never run a block," she says of her early efforts.
His help worked. The more she ran, the more weight she lost. The more weight she lost, the faster and farther she could run, helping her lose more weight.
Four months after she started, she ran her first 10k in September 2011. She was running 10 miles by January 2012. She now is a triathlete in training and has joined the Long Island Triathlon Team for inspiration, nutrition advice and workout help.
DIET Although her diet was mostly fast food before, she now sticks to lean proteins and a one-to-one, carb-to-protein ratio. Breakfast is oatmeal, fruit and coffee. Lunch is a light sandwich (low-cal bread with a lean protein) and yogurt. Dinner is eight ounces of chicken or fish with rice and vegetables. "I keep things very simple," adds Signoracci, who says she hasn't had fast food in more than three years.
EXERCISE In training for a triathlon, she exercises two hours a day, six days a week: two days swimming, two days running and two days biking.
ADVICE "I had to learn to not feel guilty about making time for myself," Signoracci says. "I need to take care of myself to be able to take care of others. If I'm not well, how can I take care of my 9-year-old son, my husband, my family?"
Occupation: General manager of the Econolodge, Hicksville
Height: 5-foot-6 1/2
275 Weight before January 2005
148 Weight after January 2014