It’s A Balancing Act 

Posted: 10:27 am Saturday, December 31st, 2016

By Ann Kelly


Charlotte Mapes

Charlotte Mapes

One month ago I sat down for my first meeting with Charlotte Mapes, RD, LDN, the Wellness Dietitian for BayCare Fitness Center- Carillon. I knew I had the power to change some things that only I could control, and that meant getting rid of the pounds I’d allowed to creep back in my life. I have tried, and obviously failed at doing that before and it never gets easier as the years go by. So I’m very happy to say I’m seven pounds lighter!

So how have I done it? I know tracking my carbs, fats and protein with the MyFitnessPal app has been very eye-opening. The app allows me to customize those based on Charlotte’s personal recommendations of keeping my carbs at 40%, fats at 30% and proteins at 30% for my daily intake.  I track daily. It keeps me honest and doesn’t let me forget a thing.
candyThere have been a few times when I was being too careful, and that turns in to not eating enough. Charlotte had actually pointed out that possibility when we first talked about my goals. And just in case you think that seven pounds is not all that much to lose over the course of a month it’s more than enough.  I set a goal of at least one pound per week and it’s worked. Remember, I started this with the holidays kicking in. My trip home to Cleveland did present a few challenges but I also remember how I handled them last year – badly. Too many “just one more” trips to the candy bowl and those way too tasty chocolate covered Oreos. Hey, I did have a couple but made sure I had at least a bottle of water or cups of tea with each one to slow it down. It worked and for the partyfirst time in a few years I felt pretty good in that dress at the company Christmas party.

The final and most important change I’ve made is in the way I plan my meals. I don’t have time to cook every day so working ahead and prepping is everything! My first breakfast prep was a great suggestion from Charlotte for Overnight Oatmeal. It’s such a delicious spin on the usual and it does not come out of a packet loaded with preservatives. I use the recipes you can find on, my new very favorite web site for  healthy ideas. I tried the Banana Cocoa recipe first and just loved it. It satisfies my well-known sweet tooth, adds protein (Greek yogurt just rules) and fiber. I knew I’d use those small Mason jars that have sat in the pantry for a while – but I did buy replacements for those metal lids right off the bat.

Banana Cocoa Overnight Oatmeal - Just shake and enjoy in the morning

Banana Cocoa Overnight Oatmeal – Just shake and enjoy in the morning

I’m also finding ways to sneak a few more veggies into the diet with making individual egg muffins loaded with roasted and chopped veggies in my cupcake pans.  It doesn’t take that much time to bake at least a dozen. I’m also trying to keep what was a daily smoothie with an organic whey protein isolate powder down to maybe every other day to avoid overdoing it with fruit and carbs. That also holds true for the protein bars – I do get 21 grams of protein with each so I keep them in my snack drawer at work. Oh, and I’m also going to make my own version of the “Kind” bar to curb those cravings. I’ll have that recipe for you next time. But I know I can’t have true, long lasting success unless I also stay active. I’m enjoying those long walks on the beach, on the trails at Brooker Creek and Honeymoon Island along with a personal trainer.

Flatwoods Trail, Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin

Flatwoods Trail, Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin

And those yoga mats that sat unused for way too long are right where I cannot avoid them every day. Now, my joints and muscles will tell me exactly what kind of day it will be from the moment I wake so some will be better than others.  Accepting that and making the necessary adjustments is what I do every day. But not carrying around all those extra pounds will help a great deal, so here’s to the next thirty days of success.

This is my individual experience. Always consult with your physician before starting any weight loss and exercise program.  For more from BayCare and the Health and Wellness Program just click here.