Lynne Pieroni
Busy mom wants to turn a corner healthwise

Daily Herald Health Writer

Lynne Pieroni is approaching the danger zone.

Her cholesterol is high. Her blood pressure is up. Her blood sugar is 11 points shy of diabetes. Arthritis has hit her knees.

The 48-year-old divorced mother of two has never been slender, but she always considered herself active and healthy until now. In January, for the first time in Pieroni’s life, the scale read 200 pounds.

“If I don’t make some changes soon, I’ll be diabetic and I’ll have to go on medication,” she said. “I don’t want to take medication unless I have to.”

Since her divorce six years ago, Pieroni says, she’s focused on raising her daughters, maintaining her home in Hanover Park and holding her full-time job as a corporate secretary. But her health has slipped a bit, and she gained about 20 pounds in the last two years.

Since she wrote the Daily Herald about her New Year’s resolution, Pieroni has shed four pounds, and she hopes to get down to about 160 through diet and exercise.

“When I was pregnant with my first child, I was about 160, and I remember feeling comfortable with myself,” she said.

“Fifty pounds would be great, but I’d be thrilled if I could take off 40 pounds.”

Fast food is Pieroni’s downfall. Dance classes, water polo, after-school jobs, homework and other activities with her daughters, ages 11 and 17, leave little time for home-cooked meals. Roughly three nights a week, the family gets McDonald’s, Taco Bell, pizza or Chinese food for dinner.

Pieroni wants to learn to prepare well-balanced meals for her family that she can have on the table in half an hour. She also wants help avoiding the salty snacks like potato chips that she craves. She has lost weight on other diets in the past, but always gained it back. “My problem is portion control, Pieroni said. “I don’t know when I’m full.”

Pieroni already works out at her park district gym once or twice a week. But she’s done the same routine for years — 20 minutes each on the elliptical, stair and weight machines. When she improves her fitness level, Pieroni would love to take up tennis again, or maybe racquetball.

“I think I need to challenge my body a little more,” Pieroni said. “I think my body is too used tomy routine.”