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Fat to Fit Winner Ann Maniscaclo

This Fat to Fit winner uses a full box of tools in her approach to weight loss and fitness. Find out why it works.

Name: Ann Maniscalco

Home: Ocean Springs, Mo.

Occupation: Freelance photo journalist

I discovered Fat to Fit, read Carole Carson's book, From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself Into a Weapon of Mass Reduction, and was galvanized by her story and success. I have used — and continue to use — other weight-loss programs and strategies. I started last year by joining a weight-loss program through my church. Then I did a 12-week workshop sponsored by a local health care organization.

The Fat to Fit summer weight-loss challenge was a logical next step for me. I lost six pounds during the program, which might not sound like a lot but — combined with the weight I'd lost in other programs — it put me on the doorstep of my weight-loss goal.

Following Carole's example, I held a community meltdown in the spring of 2010, with around 20 people from my community. I enjoyed meeting new like-minded friends in this group. I plan to continue helping others in my community succeed with their weight-loss/healthy lifestyle goals.

Overall, I have lost 25 pounds so far. My significantly elevated triglyceride level was cut in half, my cholesterol dropped from borderline high to normal, and my A1C [three-month blood sugar average], which had classified me as borderline diabetic for over a year, dipped back into the normal range.

This has convinced my doctor to take me off one cholesterol drug and two blood pressure medications, and to cut the dosages on my other medications. I am more energetic and clear-headed than before I started losing weight.

My regimen is simple: a well-balanced diet of around 1,400 healthy calories a day (based on the food pyramid guidelines) and engage in at least five hours of aerobic activity weekly. I'm excited about my progress and plan to keep fine-tuning my health-and-fitness approach in the months and years to come!

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