ALEISK, Russia-When Nadia Khalina was born on September 17, 2007, she weighed in at 17.1 pounds with a BMI of well over the 95 percentile. Now, nearly two months later, the morbidly obese former neonate has, with the help of a nutrition expert, pediatric health specialist, and fitness trainer, all sponsored by Quiznos, managed to drop almost 10% of her birth weight.
"When we started working with Nadia, I really didn't think we'd have this much success so early in the program," trainer Tawny Kincaid explains. "She didn't seem to want it bad enough, you know. If you are going to drop those pounds, you've got to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize and, well, she acted like this was all a big joke at first."
Team nutritionist Nancy Cadwallader, a veteran in the business of weight loss who has helped celebrities such as Nicole Richie and Lara Flynn Boyle win their fight against obesity, knew that the first obstacle for Nadia was cutting back on carbs, and that meant breast milk. "That stuff is like liquid cheese danish. Sure its got some protein in it, and some immunoglobulins, but it also has about 7% carbs."
This aspect of the program was the most difficult according to the team. Cadwallader reveals that "There is big emotional component to eating when it comes to newborns, who often turn to the bottle or breast for comfort when they experience negative emotions, such as stress, anger, or lonliness. Some newborns want to feed simply because they are awake and bored. It's not a good pattern for them to fall into."
Next for Nadia was the focus on physical activity. Kincaid, a trainer for a number of celebrity infants, says that being unable to perform purposeful movements or to see for more than a few inches in front of their faces is not an excuse to be lazy and inactive. "If they won't move then you have to move them!" Kincaid is a proponent of core training techniques such as Infant Pilates but admits that sometimes its okay to "blast the babies biceps every now and then, especially with male infants who do appreciate a more chiseled physique."
With Nadia's dramatic weight loss comes a wide array of health benefits. Pediatric endocriniatrist Niles Drakesly, a graduate of the Correspondence College of Tampa's Upstairs Medical College, couldn't be more pleased with her progress. "Morbidly obese infants face a number of health hurdles such as lipid plugged meridians, stagnant chi, angry liver, and phlegmatism. Nadia has none of these."
Nadia, now wearing a size 2 diaper, will soon be moving to New York to begin working as the spokesbaby for Quiznos' new Slimwich line of diet subs.