HER STORY Stolzenburg says it was pregnancy that turned her from an athletic person to someone struggling with her weight.
"I was slender before I became pregnant," says Stolzenburg, who says her weight hovered around 125 pounds most of her adult years before pregnancy. "I was always slim, but once the children came, I focused on raising children and not on my own health. I just didn't pay attention to what I was eating, how often or the types of foods I was eating."
She says her weakness was pasta. "Every family gathering was focused on the meal. We always came together around the dining table," she says.
It was deteriorating health that finally motivated her to make a permanent commitment to getting better.
"I started to see changes for the worse," she says of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and concerns about diabetes in the family. "I could no longer walk for 3 miles without my hip hurting. I had to monitor my sodium and caffeine."
She tried Weight Watchers, The South Beach Diet and others with marginal success, always gaining the weight back. Take Shape for Life with its Medifast replacement meals was the program that finally worked for her.
"Having the packaged food made it easier," says Stolzenburg, who eats six small meals a day. "It made changing my eating habits easier. It taught me to eat small meals and make better choices."
DIET Five meals a day are Medifast replacement meals. Her final meal of the day is one she prepares and eats with the family. This "lean and green" meal includes 5 to 7 ounces of lean protein and vegetables. Following successful weight loss, Take Shape for Life clients wean off Medifast replacement meals over an eight-week period and return to preparing their own meals.
EXERCISE A member of Gold's Gym, she works out three days a week for 45 minutes. "I spent a lot more time at the gym before, but it just prevented me from gaining weight," says Stolzenburg.
ADVICE "By learning how to eat through Take Shape for Life, I feel that finally I have control over food instead of food having control over me," Stolzenburg says. She says the important thing for her was to learn to eliminate the wrong foods and lose the cravings.
55, East Northport
Occupation: Works in distributor sales in the aerospace industry