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Health assessment follow-up: Kelly

Kelly Sagar was the winner of our 'Win a session with a dietitian' competition. We caught up with Kelly six months later to see how she's going with putting into practice what she has learnt from her sessions with dietitian Shana Copland from the Nutrition Therapy Clinic.

  • Age: 39 years
  • Height: 163cm
  • BMI: 38 (ideal range: 18.5-25)
  • Waist circumference: 123cm (ideal measurement: <80cm)

Kelly generally has good health with normal cholesterol and blood pressure readings. However, she has a family history of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To reduce her chances of developing these nutrition-related diseases later in life, Kelly needed to improve her nutrition and lose weight.

Kelly has not only changed her own eating and exercise habits but is aiming to improve the nutrition of Kane and Mikayla (8 years), Logan (12 years) and her husband Steve. She has used 4 key steps.

Be prepared

Kelly now has her cupboards full of all the ingredients needed for the pre-planned weekly meals, lunches and snacks. Her label-reading skills are put into practice so that she can choose the best products. This has helped her reduce the purchase of high-calorie foods and snacks – saving the family money on high-cost items like chips, sweet drinks, muesli bars and biscuits.

Break habits

This has been the main area of difficulty for Kelly as fruit and vegetables are low on the priority list of her kids, making meal times a struggle.

Kelly says, "We had steak and vegetable bake one night with steamed silver beet and Kane wanted to know what the 'seaweed' stuff was on his plate!"

Determined not to give up, Kelly sat down with her family and explained that they would eventually get used to the changes. The kids have now gotten into the good habit of taking fruit and carrot sticks to school as snacks.

Kelly has dramatically reduced the quantities of sweet fizzy drinks the family consumes, simply by not having them in the house. She used to buy two 2-litre bottles of Coke and lemonade and three 3-litre bottles of Just Juice or Fresh Up each week. Husband Steve has gone from being a 'major Coke drinker' to replacing much of that with water. Sugary drinks are now reserved for a weekend treat.

Push play

With winter sport about to kick off, Kelly plans to get involved in Mikayla's netball. "Kane and Logan both play soccer so I can go for a walk around Huapai domain on practice days and also Saturday if time permits. We are fortunate to be on a lifestyle block (5 acres) so we can create a 'practice pitch' for soccer practice at home as well with friends. Housework can be use for a good workout as well!"

Food diary

Kelly's food diary shows that she is low on her milk and milk products. She needs to make sure she is having at least two servings every day for strong bones and extra protein.

Kelly says, "My weight has stayed the same since my last visit to Shana and this is mainly due to my calf muscle injury, which has since come right, and having to concentrate on family issues (Kelly's son Kane was recently diagnosed with several food allergies), work commitments and the holiday season.

"But excuses aside, I do feel more positive about making healthy changes, not just for myself but for the whole family. Yes, we do still have the occasional treat but nothing excessive. If it's fish and chip night, we may buy the fish, and make oven wedges at home and have a salad with it. We have salsa or avocado dips in lieu of cream-based dips. If I can plan ahead I can work in treats with my weekly menu Shana gave me. Watching meal sizes has been my biggest challenge but it's getting easier. I am also trying to 'visualise' myself at my ideal weight to keep a positive train of thought happening!"

Kelly is determined that the new eating plan will become a way of life for her and her family and that over time they will reap the benefits! These changes may also reduce the risk of developing the type 2 diabetes and heart disease that run in her family. We have no doubt that with her positive attitude she will continue to succeed.

First published: May 2007



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