Staying Healthy with Trisomy 21: Lauren’s Story

Published on in Trisomy 21 Update

laurenWith encouragement from her doctor and support from her parents, Lauren White began a journey to become healthier.

Over the past year, she has worked hard to change her eating habits and make regular exercise a part of her life. As a result, she’s lost 48 pounds!

Helen Milligan, MPT, PT, a physical therapist with the Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP, sat down with Lauren to ask her a few questions and find out how she achieved her goals.

What was your motivation to lose weight and start exercising?

“My doctor and parents wanted me to lose weight and be healthier. Now I feel good and think other people should also eat healthier.”

What’s your current workout routine?

Lauren prefers working out at home over going to the gym.

“I have been doing a walking program at home with some videos I enjoy. It is a walking plan and I walk up to 5 miles during each exercise session. The workouts last between 45 minutes to 1 hour and I do them every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I swim at the Ridley YMCA from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.”

What tips do you have for other people who are trying to work out more frequently?

“I like listening to music — especially Taylor Swift, Shania Twain and Katie Perry. There is a lot of music in my exercise videos. I also exercise with my Mom and it is helpful to have a partner when you exercise!”

Did you make any changes to your diet?

“My mom started Weight Watchers and I follow the same plan. I drink three water bottles a day and each water bottle is 16 ounces. I eat a hardboiled egg for breakfast and for lunch I eat a lot of carrots, mushrooms, grapes and tangerines. I like a lot of different foods.

I make a grocery list each week. I look in the fridge and look for eggs, yogurt, veggies and skim milk. My treat drink is diet green tea. 

Also, when my mom and I go out to dinner, we split our meal. She eats half and I eat half.”

Life lessons

Lauren has done more than lose weight and become more active. She’s become a better advocate for herself, and had a positive impact on those around her! Seeing the healthy changes she made inspired her friend Stephanie to start an exercise program and watch what she eats.

An important lesson to learn from Lauren’s journey: Don’t feel like you need to do it alone! Lauren’s mom has supported her by helping her follow a healthy eating program and exercising together.

Lauren is an inspiration to all of us who want to lose weight, be active and eat healthy. Way to go Lauren and keep up the good work!

Lauren’s tips for a healthy life:

  • Have a regular, consistent exercise schedule.
  • Exercise with a friend.
  • Have healthy food in the house and help with meal planning.