Originally created 10/03/00

Inspiration helps keep dieter on track



A new trainer has given LaSaundria Walker a new outlook on exercise.

Lori Kelley, a former weight-loss counselor, is now working with Ms. Walker at Powerhouse Gym West. Her approach to weight loss stems from her own challenges while losing weight.

"She is great," Ms. Walker said. "She is real helpful and attentive."

Ms. Kelley has helped Ms. Walker plan meals, one of Ms. Walker's biggest challenges with her busy schedule.

Before she leaves the gym, Ms. Walker's meals are planned for the next few days, and she has specific recipes. "It helps me out a lot. It lets me know exactly what I can and can't eat," Ms. Walker said. "And I found out that I can have a lot of things I thought I couldn't."

Ms. Kelley has shared recipes with Ms. Walker and spent time with her at each gym visit, encouraging and supporting her.

Some of the recipes included fat-free taco salad and fat-free chicken salad. Ms. Kelley also told Ms. Walker to enjoy a treat once a week.

Another new trick Ms. Walker has learned is to tape a recent picture of herself to the refrigerator door. Ms. Walker put a second picture, from her prom when she was a few pounds lighter, in her purse for inspiration.

"Any time I feel tempted, I pull it out and look at it," Ms. Walker said. "It really does help the temptation go away."

It was something Ms. Kelley did when she was trying to lose 10 pounds, she said. "It will force her to think about her goal. Sometimes people forget what they are working for."

Ms. Kelley said her best advice to Ms. Walker is to be patient.

"She didn't gain the weight overnight, and she's not going to be able to lose it overnight," she said. "It's more than a diet, she has to change her habits."

About the 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 one participant's progress each Tuesday.

Today is our seventh follow-up with LaSaundria Walker, 22, a mother with two jobs.

As we follow our participant's progress each week, we'll provide information that you can use in your own battle to lose weight.

Health tips

Dr. Joanne Lichten offers the following tips for cutting pizza's fat and calories in her book Dining Lean - How to Eat Healthy in Your Favorite Restaurants:

Order thin crust rather than thick.

Avoid meat toppings and extra cheese. Low-fat toppings include onion, green peppers, mushroom, tomato, broccoli and pineapple.

Order pizza that's light on cheese.

Buy pizza from restaurants that have low-fat crust. Check the fat content by placing your slice of pie on cardboard or paper towels for 30 seconds. Then check the oil ring left behind. The lighter the ring, the lower the fat.

Dr. Lichten says a slice of thick-crust, pepperoni, sausage or combination pizza can have as many as 450 calories and 21 grams of fat. A slice of thin crust with low-fat vegetables or ham has 260 calories and 8 grams of fat.

To order her book, log on to Lisa M. Lohr at (706) 823-3351 or newsroom@augustachronicle.com.