Weight-loss pursuit leads to motivational speaking
New Lenox resident creates a plan that works for her needs.
StoryDiscussion: Jane Ammeson – Times Correspondent | Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 12:00 am
Diagnosed with a brain tumor, Dawn Perucca was off her feet for two-and-a-half months. Add to that lack of activity, the steroids she was prescribed for swelling around her left eye made her ravenously hungry. After a biopsy showed that the tumor was noncancerous, Perucca still had to deal with weight gain and body aches. “I was desperate to learn how I could be lean and feel good again,” said Perucca, who grew up in Crown Point and now lives in New Lenox, Ill. “I didn’t want to ever feel helpless again and so I knew I needed to get into shape.”
Perucca had tried many weight loss strategies in the past but none had worked. Having majored in exercise physiology at Indiana State University, Perucca combined her education with an extensive amount of research including attending nutritional classes with her husband who is a Type 1 diabetic. “I found that every time your blood sugar goes way up and then down, you’re going to feel hungry so you have to eat things that make you feel full longer,” Perucca said. Using the information she gathered, Perucca created a meal plan she hoped would result in permanent weight loss. “I needed exercise that wasn’t too intense because intense exercising was giving me headaches,” she said.
Eating six small meals a day and alternating a hard work out one day with an easy one the next, she was able to start losing weight and keeping it off. Perucca also found that she could incorporate some of the foods she loved, particularly sweets, into her new lifestyle. “I crave chocolate all the time and I knew that I couldn’t do something that didn’t include chocolate,” she says. “I learned that you can eat a little sugar if you do it at the right time. If you eat it in the morning or before you work out, you’ll probably burn it off. If you eat at night, you probably won’t. I try not to eat anything two to three hours before I go to sleep.” Perucca liked her program so much that she now has a Web site, http://www.thesoccerlockersite.com, where people can order her e-books on weight loss as well as her audio CD. She also posts articles about weight loss on her site as well. Besides that she has a blog, http://www.dawnperucca.com “I like to hear from people about their weight loss goals and share my tips,” she said.
Do you have a weight loss story? If so, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dawn Perucca Age: 46 Height: 5’4″
Pounds Lost: 38
How long it took to lose it: 9 months
Clothes size: 14 to 9
The Workout: A hard workout one day and easy workout the next – so on easy days a stationary bike or riding a bike and hard days, tread mill and on a bike path jogging
The Diet: I just called Dawn Perucca’s Crash Course
Tip: I never realized how bad the processed foods are until I started talking to a dietician. Any time you eat a whole food, it stays in your system longer so you don’t get hungry as quickly and the process foods are low in nutrients and make your blood sugar spike.