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Mary Ann and Charles Angelone: 'We try not to deprive ourselves'

Mary Ann and Charles Angelone of Coram, after

Mary Ann and Charles Angelone of Coram, after they lost a combined 89 pounds. Photo Credit: Handout

Who: Mary Ann, 67, and Charles Angelone, 71
Town: Coram
Occupation: Retired

Height: 5' (Mary Ann); 6' (Charles)
Weight before: 136; 265 (Dec. 2006)
Weight after: 114; 198 (Jan. 2010)

Their story: Since their wedding 50 years ago this summer, Mary Ann and Charles Angelone have always eaten big Italian dinners, from pork chops to lasagna to macaroni and sauce. A desire to lose weight didn't alter this routine.

>>Click here to see photos of Long Islanders who have lost weight

Years ago, Mary Ann was put on a steroid drug for an immune deficiency disorder that caused her weight to creep up. But despite an extra 20 pounds on her petite frame, the real change didn't come until Charles' blood pressure started rising. His medication - and his weight - kept increasing. At an annual physical in 2006, he had reached 265 pounds. Additionally, he was told he was borderline diabetic.

"That day I went home and I said, 'This is it. We're done,'" said Mary Ann.

Charles was also eager to make a change. "I couldn't bend down to tie my shoes and I as out of breath all the time," he said. "I was ready."

Their diet: The couple made small changes to their daytime meals to keep their dinners intact.

Breakfast is now a bowl of cereal with skim milk and coffee. Neither has a snack before lunch. At noon, Charles eats cream cheese and jelly on rye with water or a diet soda. Mary Ann sticks to water during the early afternoon. At 3 p.m., both eat a salad with lettuce, celery, tomatoes and fat-free ranch or Italian dressing. They eat dinner around 5 p.m. and have whatever Mary Ann decides to make. Dessert is always eaten before 8 p.m. and is a low-calorie snack, such as sugar-free Jell-O pudding.

On weekends, "we try not to deprive ourselves," said Mary Ann. They have bagels with butter for breakfast and go out to dinner and see a movie every Saturday night, where they sometimes share a box of M&Ms or another treat.

Their exercise: The biggest change to their lifestyle has been the addition of morning walks Monday through Friday. In their complex of town houses, there's a 11/8-mile loop, said Mary Ann. Starting in late 2006, they walked 11/2 miles a day, and then upgraded to two full laps, or 21/4 miles a day. They head out around 8:30, regardless of the weather.

"You can't say, 'Oh, it's snowing today, or it's raining today, or it's too cold.' You have to be regimented," said Mary Ann.

Two years after the Angelones changed their diets and exercise routines, Charles was taken completely off blood pressure pills and was told at his annual physical that he had the health of a young man.

>>Click here to see photos of Long Islanders who have lost weight

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