Originally created 09/26/00

Planning can help with diet



Weight Loss 2000 participant Sabrina Sanchez has lost six pounds since last month.

"I am 165 pounds right now," she said. "I was so happy when I came out of that 70 mark."

Mrs. Sanchez has lost 36 pounds since February.

The list of obstacles she must overcome now includes school lunches.

After two years at home, the mother of two is working as a substitute teacher at Willis Foreman Elementary School a couple of days a week.

"It was interesting to get back into the work force," she said after spending a day running around with third-graders.

"I didn't realize how fast-paced the day is," she said. "I was just constantly moving. I've worked with children for the past 10-plus years, but this is the first time I'm getting paid for it."

With sloppy-Joes, riblett sandwiches and Rice Krispy treats on the menu, Mrs. Sanchez said she was glad she packed a lunch.

The school lunch smelled delicious, she said. "But I took a sandwich, two small packages of raisins, a graham cracker and water."

Mrs. Sanchez also volunteers in her son's class once a week. With all the time she spends at school, planning ahead for meals is a must. Otherwise, it would be too easy to resort to Kentucky Fried Chicken or Domino's Pizza, she said.

On Wednesdays there is just enough time to eat dinner before the family heads out the door to church. On those days, Mrs. Sanchez prepares extra food for dinner the night before so they'll have leftovers for a quick and easy meal.

For Mrs. Sanchez, planning ahead for healthful meals has become automatic - even on special occasions. She and her husband celebrated their birthdays recently with a quiet day at home and a low-fat fish entree for dinner.

"What a great birthday present to give ourselves - a healthier attitude," she said.

About this series

The Augusta Chronicle is following four people who volunteered to go public with their battle of the bulge by participating in a weight-loss program. We offer an update on a participant's progress every Tuesday.

Today is our eighth follow-up with Sabrina Sanchez, 40, a mother of two. Her beginning weight was 201 pounds. Her current weight is 165. She is working with University Healthy Care System Nutrition Center. As we follow our participants' progress each week, we'll provide information that you can use in your own battle to lose weight.

Reach Lisa M. Lohr at (706) 823-3332 or lisalohr@augustachronicle.com.