THE HAPPY BODY  THE SIMPLE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION, EXERCISE, AND RELAXATION

The Best Healthy Thing

Susan & Dennis Matzkin, 43 & 54, (43-year-old school principal, 54-year-old eye surgeon)

We live in Atlanta and were on spring break in Florida, in early April 2011. At dinner on the second night of our beach trip, my husband proclaimed that he would not be eating because he was tired of always feeling bloated. I was upset because, after all, we were on vacation and eating is part of vacation. I was tired of my "muffin top" tummy but not quite ready to figure out what to do about it. In the end, Dennis agreed we could share our entrees that week. That's how it all started.

Sitting on the beach, I began reading weight loss and health magazines. I searched my Kindle, somewhat reluctantly, for the latest diets. I had read my share of them and had been on and off different plans over the years, with little success. I had recently recovered from a back injury caused by running on a treadmill. It had become clear to me that high intensity cardio was not what I was looking for. My husband was not exercising at all, so I knew I needed to find a more low-key type of plan. I pretty much stumbled across The Happy Body book our last day at the beach. I was totally intrigued. After downloading it, I read it on our five-hour drive back home. I was amazed at the simplicity and loved the testimonials.

When we got home, I threw away all of the "junk" food in our house and shopped for the suggested items in the book. My husband humored me on the drive and then saw that I was serious, so he read the book, too. We took our photos and started the exercises. I also ordered the paper version of the book, which is helpful, to be able to thumb through for refreshers and recipes.

In April, at age 43, I weighed 144 pounds and was a snug size 8 in my favorite brand of clothes. After three months of being on the plan, I was down to 127 pounds. I went to the store yesterday for some new pants, as my old ones were falling off me. I tried a size 6, which was way too big. Then a 4. Too big again. I left with size 2 pants! I have never felt skinny in my entire life but I feel skinny now. I take an occasional liberty, with a glass of wine or popcorn at a movie and I know that I still have a ways to go to get to my recommended weight but I also know it is doable. I love being on the Program, which has led us to a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.

My husband is 54 and has lost 18 pounds. He is now only 5 pounds away from his ideal weight of 155. He loves the plan and finds it surprisingly easy. His latest goal is a perfect "six-pack."

We enjoy our meals. After eating lots and lots of grilled chicken, fish and steak, we have discovered that the beef pizza recipe in the book is delicious. Our nine-year-old daughter has said that it is "the best healthy thing" she has ever eaten.

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