Meet the Avaglianos

The Avagliano Family

The Parents: Peggy, radiologist, 45; Peter, set designer, 45
The Kids: Michael, 17; Amanda, 15 (Christina, 20, and Katie, 18, aren’t participating because they’re away at college.)
Home: Egg Harbor City, New Jersey
Current Stats: Peggy, 191 lbs and 5’4″; Peter, 285 lbs and 6′
Goal for Michael: Lose the weight he’s gained since quitting football due to an injury
Goal for Amanda: Drop those extra pounds and increase her flexibility

Why They’re Ready For The Challenge: “At work, three people in one day asked when I was due,” says Peggy. “I said, ‘Fifteen years ago, I’m just fat!’” She’s also concerned about Peter, an insulin-dependent diabetic who has hypertension and sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease. “He needs to change his lifestyle before complications set in,” she says. Peter is also focused on change. “When I finally accepted the fact that I had diabetes, it hit me that I needed to control my eating and exercise so I could decrease the medications I hate taking,” he says. The Avaglianos also want to help their kids. “They don’t have poor self-image, and I want to make sure they never do,” says Peggy. “Getting in better shape is the key.”

Better-Health Hurdles:
Excuses never end. “We always find a reason—an upcoming graduation party or birthday—why now isn’t the best time to get healthy,” says Peggy.
We’re in a recipe rut. “We’re busy, so I make the dishes that I know even if they’re not the healthiest,” she says. Think tortellini Alfredo or chicken Parmesan. “I’m Italian and I like my pasta along with heavy, creamy sauces,” says Peter.
On-the-run eating leads to poor choices. “If I’m working on a show, it means several weeks of 12- to 13-hour days,” says Peter. “I end up grabbing food at the convenience store, or coworkers and I order in.” When Peggy works late or the kids have band practice, dinner consists of take-out pizza or fast frozen meals.

Their Fit Future
Discover fat-free fun. “We need family entertainment that doesn’t revolve around food,” says Peggy, who hopes to
find physical activities that they can enjoy five days a week. “Before we had kids,” adds Peter, “Peggy and I did charity
events like the MS 150 bike ride. I’d like to start doing those things again.”
Pare down Peter’s prescriptions. “I hate taking my diabetes medication,” says Peter. “I’d love to drop 50 pounds in six months to a year and reduce my insulin intake as a result.”
Find satisfying food swaps. “I want us to have the knowledge to make healthier choices on the go,” says Peter. “This includes meals we can prepare in advance and bring with us and details on the best take-out choices.”

Do you face the same health hurdles? Share in the comments below.

24 Responses to “Meet the Avaglianos”

  1. [...] be helping the Avaglianos transform their behaviors and build health [...]

  2. [...] the world, I make a New Year’s Eve resolution to lose weight and eat healthier. When I tell my four kids, they roll their eyes believing that the resolution will only last a few days to weeks, as it has [...]

  3. [...] Lehmans and Avaglianos all received FLogg Daily food and fitness journals to track their habits in their quest to lose [...]

  4. [...] the next six months, Family Circle will be giving the Lehmans and Avaglianos a number of challenges to help them lose weight and get in [...]

  5. [...] and vegetables weren’t the highlight of the Avagliano family‘s diet. But as the challenge gets rolling their servings continue to increase–and that [...]

  6. [...] of life when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables. It’s also one of the first tips I gave the Avagliano family at the start of the fruit and vegetable challenge. Sure, you can eat grapes every day. But it’s [...]

  7. [...] The Avaglianos! [...]

  8. [...] your calories, don’t drink them.” That’s the first suggestion I gave the Avagliano family this month. Challenge #2 is all about hydration. They’ve been asked to decrease their consumption [...]

  9. [...] cue is the same as a thirst cue? It’s true. And it’s another eye-opening tip I provided the Avagliano family.  Because the signal your body sends when it wants a tall glass of water can be mistaken for the [...]

  10. [...] Right: We outfitted the Lehmans and Avaglianos with Fitbit activity trackers to see how getting more exercise could make a difference in their [...]

  11. [...] of your lifestyle. It’s important to set realistic expectations and attainable goals. When the Avagliano family started their exercise regimen, the first trainer was too ambitious. Just like changing diet [...]

  12. [...] of my family’s favorite meals is fried chicken. We typically take chicken breasts, and pound them until thin. [...]

  13. [...] Lehmans and Avaglianos were both so successful in upping their water intakes–and decreasing their soda and alcohol [...]

  14. [...] back the night: We asked the Lehmans and Avaglianos to put down the remote control and go to [...]

  15. [...] nutritionist for the Avagliano family, I know their days inside and out. They’re incredibly busy and getting everything they need to [...]

  16. [...] you can purchase in an airport, bar car or a rest stop along the highway. Some ideas I gave the Avagliano family for the trip to the airport for their Italy [...]

  17. [...] is known for its fabulous food and wine and the Avaglianos spent ten days enjoying the food and culture. I was not about to tell them to skip the specialties [...]

  18. [...] diaries may seem tedious—especially after doing one for 5 months as the Avaglianos have—but they are key to keeping you accountable for what you are eating. According to a study [...]

  19. [...] GPS. There’s no guarantee you’ll reach your destination. So this month, we gave each member of the Avaglianos and Lehmans a personalized cardio, strength and weight-loss target. They worked with their [...]

  20. [...] A-team (yes that’s what I call the Avagliano family. I think they’re pretty rad) and the Lehmans did so well that we both got to choose our [...]

  21. [...] suddenly the number on the scale isn’t moving down anymore. It’s just standing still. As the Avaglianos enter their last challenge they may find they’ve hit this weight loss wall. It’s very common [...]

  22. [...] the clock. You can pull together a home-cooked meal in a snap. Here’s what I recommended to the Avaglianos because I know how pressed they are for [...]

  23. [...] two big factors that can help you stay in shape,” says Anna Erik, from Tilton Fitness, where the Avaglianos work out. “You’re more likely to succeed if you have someone rooting for you and working to [...]

  24. [...] family lost their Fitbit activity tracker in the washing machine…twice. But today the Avaglianos and the Lehmans look and feel like different people and are eager to share their insights to help [...]