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How one woman lost 45 pounds and kept it off: 'Don't focus on weight loss'

Miranda Patterson understands it isn’t easy getting older.

In her younger days, she found little need to change daily habits that often included skipping breakfast, snacking on chips and cookies, enjoying pasta and fried foods for dinner, and a pre-bedtime ice cream treat.

Things changed when Patterson, who grew up in Italy and Canada, turned 50. She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, went through menopause and struggled with her right knee until she has surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

“Until then, I never suffered with my weight,” said Patterson, 60, a married mother of two who lives in Olcott and helps her husband, Darren, run DP Interiors.

She weighed 182 pounds by the time she turned 58. She tried diets, pills and weight programs.

Nothing worked until NutriSystems taught her “positive” eating habits and the value of portion control – and the Lockport Family YMCA underlined the importance of regular exercise. She lost 45 pounds – and has kept it off the last eight months.

“Don't focus on weight loss, only on life improvement,” Patterson recommended, “and the weight will fall off!”

Q: What are the staples of your new way of eating?

Higher protein for breakfast – eggs, fruit, oatmeal – then a snack of unsalted nuts and fresh fruit. Lunch is a sandwich or soup with veggies, and an afternoon snack is similar to the morning snack. For dinner, it’s usually chicken or fish, veggies and a salad. I have another healthy snack in the evening. I don’t even count calories. The key to my success is eating every two to three hours and making portions about the size of your fist, eating lots of veggies and drinking lots of water.

Q: How has your exercise changed?

Previously, if I worked out, it was at home on the treadmill or with videos, but I was inconsistent, and it became painful because of my knee and back. I started in the pool at the YMCA to reduce the impact on them and build a consistent and total program. After getting to know the staff and discuss my goals, we developed a program and schedule. That has progressed into a five-day-a-week routine of different YMCA classes. If you do yoga three, four times a week, you’re golden. It heals, your mind, your body, everything.

Q: What big benefits have come with your weight loss?

My knee and back pain have greatly reduced. My energy levels and mental health have improved, not only from the physical activities, but also from the YMCA "family."

Printable checklist for how to choose a gym


Twitter: @BNrefresh, @ScottBScanlon

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