A successful way to lose weight!

 Prior Fat Girl’s Story

Jennifer Monteiro calls herself a “prior fat girl”. Her journey to earn that title began in earnest in 2007. “I was always heavy growing up,” she says. “I spent my teenage years and early twenties yo­yo dieting. You name it; I tried it. I would stay on them for a couple of days, sometimes weeks, even months. But they were never something I could make into a life habit. In August of 2007, my father (who is also overweight) asked if I wanted to attend a weight loss seminar with him. We went, and as I sat there, I looked around the room and got the biggest wake­up call I ever had and the one I needed. There I was: twenty­six, fat, and unhappy. I was in a room surrounded; they were me and I was them. I left the seminar and decided that if I were going to be healthy, I wanted it to be a result of my hard work.”

Jennifer went to a local gym and signed up. She also got a calorie journal and began to really watch her eating habits. Still unsure that it would work, Jennifer was adamant that if she were going to lose weight, it had to be “because I busted my butt in the gym.” It was hard at first, very hard. “On the treadmill, I couldn’t walk very fast. Running was out of the question,” she says. She began walking on the treadmill for twenty minutes. Within a week, she could do thirty minutes. At the same time, she was really evaluating her food choices. “I didn’t really follow a specific plan. I just ate healthy,” she recalls. “I ate what I was taught in elementary school: a lot of fruits and vegetables with lean meats (food pyramid anyone?). When I craved ‘junk food’ I relied on 100 calorie snack packs. I wrote everything down in a calorie journal. I never deprived myself of anything but eventually found myself choosing not to eat certain foods because of how long it would take me to work them off in the gym.” And she did another thing: she began to blog about her weight loss experience.

“I attribute a lot of my success to blogging,” she says. “Blogging for me was therapeutic. I could go online and whine and cry about how hard it was to lose weight and eat healthy which helped to release all the frustrations. By doing so, I felt a sense of relief and could move on with my next healthy decision. I also found an amazing online community who supported and encouraged me when I was down but was right there to cheer me on with every “milestone” I hit. I needed to connect with people who knew what I was going through and could empathize with my journey. Also, my blog is important in my journey because it lets others know they aren’t alone.”

A year and a half later, Jen had lost ninety pounds and was well within reach of her one- hundred pound goal. She had managed to stay on­track while balancing a job and graduate school, and she began to plan a celebration for August 1, 2009. Then, she says, “On July 31st, just twelve hours prior to my two year anniversary/100 pounds lost party, I got a call from my dad who told me my mom ­ my best friend, my cheerleader ­ had been hit by a car while she was on a walk with my nephew. A car had backed out of a driveway and didn’t see her. She died on the way to the hospital. My world came crashing to a halt. No one would have blamed me had I just stopped blogging and spent my time with family instead of going to the gym. No one would have blamed me if I had gained weight.”
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How to Survive the Loss of your Husband

Love passed on!

Kent Habeger loved his family and raising show cattle. Growing up on a farm outside of Burt, Iowa, he had a deep love for agriculture and the values that went with it. Kent met Marti through showing cattle at the Iowa Beef Expo in Des Moines and they were married on November 26, 1983. They raised two sons, Ryan and Mitchell, who also took interest in different aspects of the family farm. Ryan developed a love for animals and showing cattle while Mitchell became interested in agronomy and restoring tractors. “Kent and I were always on the same page raising our sons,” Marti says. “We had the same goals and dreams and were very family­ oriented.”

In addition to farming, Kent established Habeger Show Cattle where he raised crossbred cattle and judged at events throughout the country. “My husband loved the cattle business and wanted to do it 24­hours a day – he was very passionate about it,” Marti says. “One of our favorite memories as a family was during Ryan’s last year in 4­H when he had the champion steer at Ak­Sar­Ben, a large livestock show in Nebraska. It really meant a lot to us and especially to Kent. He was very proud.”

As a farm wife and mother of two sons, Marti admits she was a worrier. With farming listed in the top five most dangerous professions in America, she and Kent were always concerned about safety and aware of potential hazards. Despite all precautions, no one could have predicted what happened on December 8, 2008. That day, Kent was using a tractor without a cab to unload large, square, cornstalk bales from a trailer when one fell and landed on him. The heavy bale killed Kent instantly. “I still can’t believe it happened,” Marti says. “He would always unload those, and he knew it was dangerous, he was so safety ­oriented.”

Family and friends surrounded the Habeger family in the days, weeks and months following Kent’s death. “Faith, family and friends get you through. And, definitely my kids – I really appreciate my kids.” In addition to mourning their husband and father, Marti, Ryan and Mitchell had the reality of a family farm to deal with. Knowing that Kent wouldn’t want them to give up the farm or cattle, they worked as a team to continue on. “We kept busy,” Marti remembers. “It was just our way of coping.”

“Kent taught us that everybody has a part to play,” she says. “And I had done everything with Kent. He was the star of the show and I was the background person.” After 25 years of being Kent’s wife and helper, she knew the ins and outs of the family business and she credits her sons for taking on their father’s roles. Ryan, a full time pharmacist, stepped up to take care of the show cattle and Mitchell took over the farming operation to help Marti continue the family tradition. “It just fell into place and I think Kent would love and be proud of what we’re doing and continuing. He would especially be proud to see how his grandson, Corbin, whom he never met, plays in the very areas he, as a child, played.”

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Recently Marti was offered the opportunity to become the co­owner of a new business in Algona, IA, called Thistle Do. This new business venture focuses on unique gifts as well as rustic and refurbished home décor and gifts item which seems appropriate as the building housing the store is the old Algona post office. The community has embraced the unique atmosphere of Thistle Do and Marti is excited to have this new adventure in her life.

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How to Have Healthier Skin?

Womeninc Magazine

Who wants to look old? None of us – men or women – want to look in the mirror and see skin that looks tired or unhealthy. It’s clear from the amount of creams, face washes and cosmetics on the market that we all want to have attractive, healthy skin. Everyone wants to sell you a miracle product to keep your skin young and glowing. However, healthy skin is about more than just looking good. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and serves to protect you against temperature extremes, chemicals and damaging sunlight. It helps you prevent infection and is a huge sensor full of the nerves that allow you to feel your outside world. There are a few things we can all do every day, including what we eat and drink, that can help keep our skin healthy and strong.

Drink water

Drinking plenty of water will keep both your body and skin hydrated, which is necessary for healthy skin. While the amount of water you need to drink can vary from person to person, a good rule of thumb is eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day.

Opt for green tea

Drinking green tea can bring protection to the membranes of your skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties which can help your skin’s health and may even reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Eat right

Your diet has a major impact on your skin’s health. The following foods will help improve your skin:
• Fatty acids improve your cells’ membranes, letting waste products in and out. They also help hold in water, meaning your cells can retain moisture. You’ll find them in salmon, walnuts, canola oil and flax seed.
• Vitamin A is great for your skin cells, helping them to regenerate faster, bringing new fresh skin cells to the surface. The best place to get Vitamin D? Low-fat dairy products.
• Selenium is a mineral responsible for tissue elasticity and seems to protect the skin from damage from excessive ultraviolet light. It can be found in whole wheat bread, cereals, as well as turkey and tuna.
• Antioxidants help protect the skin cells from damage and disintegration. Find them in blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums.

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