Adrian "Penny" Curtis is determined not to become a statistic. Diabetes runs in her family, so she focuses on staying fit and eating a healthy diet not just to keep her weight down, but also to keep her numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar levels, etc.) in check.
The lifetime Stamford resident put a renewed focus on her lifestyle following some serious foot surgery that kept her from any activity for months. During that time, her weight crept up and her numbers started to worry her. Once she got the doctor's OK, she started a major exercise push that she admits went overboard. She walked 10 miles or more a day and worked out to P90X or Billy Blanks DVDs. She also focused on her diet, taking nutritional shakes, eating lots of vegetables, cutting out soda and drinking more than a gallon of water every day. She also cut down on sweets and although she still needs her daily snacks, she relies on apples or on the small snack bags she creates at home to keep herself from over-indulging.
"At first it was hard, but then I'd just tell myself `Adrian, eat the apple,' and after a while I got used to it," says the 49-year-old wife and mom to two grown children and two grown step-children.
What's your favorite exercise?
The treadmill, with my music on 20, very high! I can do that all day. ¦ And I have to listen to reggae. Upbeat reggae. When I'm running outside I switch between my gospel and reggae, but the music has to be upbeat. No slow jams or sad songs -- that's for weight-lifting!
Describe your exercise regimen today?
I rotate the P90X, now that I don't have to follow the program but can just do it when I want. So one day I might do P90X and then I'll do Insanity and another day Body Gospel. And if I don't do one of those I'll just lift dead weights.
How careful are you about what you eat?
I'm not one of those people who makes all my food for the week on Sunday and then packs everything in the refrigerator. I'll mix the tuna for lunch and bring it into work and make my sandwiches each day. I've cut out beef ¦ and I've cut out pork. I'm not a vegetarian but I'm not really a chicken and fish person. So I've increased the vegetables and taken out a lot of the candy.
What are your fitness goals?
I want to become the runner that I was in high school. And once my church (Community Temple in Norwalk) gets more organized, I want to bring fitness into our ministry. I want to be a motivational speaker and help out by doing fitness classes. I believe it can happen. We can come together with one goal in mind: Use the gym, put some music on and get moving!
You turn 50 this summer. Are you planning anything special to celebrate?
I'm hoping (my family) is planning my surprise 50th birthday party. I put that out there and they'd better not play with me!
Clothing and accessories provided by Saks Fifth Avenue, Stamford Town Center. Above: blazer by Vince, v-neck by Dutch LLC, Lafayette 148 Inc jean, silver jewelry by John Hardy. On Page 76: Eileen Fisher ballet top with voiled wool jacket, skinny jean by Lafayette 148 Inc, and silver chain necklace and teardrop earrings by Ippolita. On cover: suede dress by KAUFMANFRANCO, blouse by Lafayette 148 Inc, leggings by Vince, crystal necklace by Nest Jewelry. Hair and makeup by the Christopher Noland Salon & Beauty Spa, 124 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich; Quinn Carroll, stylist; Elena Hristu, makeup artist. All cover and inside model photographs taken at The Avon Theatre, 272 Bedford St., Stamford.