HER STORY

“The funny thing is that I was the last one to find out I was overweight. I knew I wasn’t thin but never saw myself as overweight,” says Haass. When a doctor told her she weighed 250 pounds, she thought to herself, “Okay, I want to do something about this but I don’t know the first thing about diet or exercise.”

Shopping at Target, she spotted “Leslie Sansone: Walk At Home 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk,” a DVD set. Curious, she bought it and started walking and educating herself on health, wellness, calories, portion sizes, steps in a mile, etc. “I became obsessed with learning as much as possible, and then I put it into action. I was shocked at how many calories are in food and what good portion sizes really are,” said Haass.

She feels strongly about not using a scale because muscle weight and water weight from sodium can be misleading. Instead she relies on how her pants fit and her image in the mirror. “I feel great. I enjoy how I look and it’s so much easier to shop for clothes,” said Haass.

She believes in moderation. “If I have pizza, I know that I’m going to exercise the next day and get back on track. I don’t beat myself up.” Haass is so motivated to help others, she has become a certified health and wellness coach (healthyhabitsmadesimple.com).

HER DIET

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Haass has two scrambled eggs with sautéed red peppers, onions and mushrooms every morning. She also has either a slice of whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter and fresh strawberries or a cup of whole wheat cereal with strawberries. Lunch could be a 6-inch Subway sandwich with turkey, Swiss cheese and vegetables with mustard. Dinner is often a piece of grilled chicken with a sweet potato, vegetables and a salad or a Lean Cuisine entree with a side salad. She snacks on an apple and string cheese or a banana dipped in a tablespoon of peanut butter. “I save eating sweets for special occasions and don’t keep them in the house,” said Haass.

HER EXERCISE

Haass walks every day and moves her body as much as possible. She pedals an exercise bike in the living room while watching TV, uses hand weights or just dances. “It’s great cardio and fun, too,” she adds.

HER ADVICE

“Start off slow. It won’t happen overnight. Take a few extra steps each day. Incorporate healthier foods into your meals. The most important thing is that you do something. I wanted to push myself beyond just wanting it in my mind. Keep going. Get excited.”