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Aspire Magazine: Changing Lifestyles - And Lives

Losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge for a lot of people. One key to success: finding the right motivation. For Angela Zalesny, the decision to buckle down and lose weight came in August 2017, when she experienced some medical issues related to diabetes that resulted in tests on her heart. The tests came back issue-free, but Zalesny was still concerned about the effect her diabetes was having on her overall health.

Part of the problem for Zalesny was that she wasn’t very active. “I became a couch potato and didn’t do anything or want to do anything,” said the 68-year-old Rhinelander resident. “Both of my parents had diabetes, and my dad actually lost a leg because of it, so I finally woke up and said ‘I have to do something.’” At the urging of her cardiologist, German Larrain, MD, Zalesny decided to try the Aspirus Ideal Weight Solution program to help her shed some extra weight.

Offered through Aspirus Cardiology, Ideal Weight Solution focuses on eating a specified amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates through food purchased at a grocery store and meal replacements purchased through the program. The approach promotes weight loss while minimizing muscle loss, and it was the perfect fit for Zalesny. Zalesny used the personal coaches who are available as part of the program, and she’s made important changes to her diet. She’s cut out carbs, become a vegetable-lover and enjoys finding substitutes for ingredients in dishes she used to eat frequently. “I’m Italian, so I grew up on pasta and bread, but I haven’t had it, and I don’t miss it,” she said. “I didn’t eat vegetables much before, but now I’ve become a ‘vegetableaholic,’ and when I go shopping, the first place I go is to the produce department.” After 12 months in the Ideal Weight Solution program, Zalesny lost 82.3 pounds, which has led to other health benefits. Due to her weight loss, her blood sugar levels dropped dramatically, allowing her to go from taking two shots of insulin every day to none. She also only tests her blood sugar every few days now—instead of multiple times a day like before.

“The program was easy to stick to because it worked and you could see that you were losing weight every week,” Zalesny said. “I never thought at my age I would feel as good as I do right now, but I don’t tell people I went on a diet. I tell people I changed my lifestyle.”

To register for a free Ideal Weight Solution informational workshop (required to start the program) and to be mailed a registration packet, call 800.847.4707, or go online to aspirus.org/ideal for more information.

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