Claudia Makes a Difference

Claudia smiling
Claudia smiling
 Refusing calorie-laden dishes, like chile rellenos, isn't just rejecting food, it's rejecting your culture. I had to learn to manage difficult situations. 
*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Claudia lost weight with a prior Weight Watchers program

This dynamic Leader has single-handedly started Spanish-speaking meetings across the country. She's on a mission to have Weight Watchers touch the lives of all who need it.

I grew up in Mexico. As a child I was overweight and tormented. The kids had 20 nicknames for me, and they all translated as "chubby." I immigrated to the United States at age 27 and settled in California, where the weight gain continued. Only in 2000, after my doctor told me I was obese and I saw particularly unflattering photos of myself, did I get serious about losing weight.

My husband helped me research different weight-loss options. After lots of legwork, he presented me with the Weight Watchers program. He told me he knew I wasn't happy and that Weight Watchers was the healthiest option he could find to help me lose weight.

Early bird
I decided to attend my first meeting early on a Saturday morning, thinking it would be empty and no one would see this fat girl walk in. I was completely wrong; it was packed! I gathered my strength and started following the POINTS® Weight-Loss System. From the very first meeting, I loved the plan; it felt wonderful to finally learn about healthy eating.

Once I had lost the weight, I became a Leader. And as soon as I started leading meetings, members, seeing a Latin face at the front of the room, began to approach me about conducting meetings in Spanish. That started an endless stream of requests for meetings that were not only in a language the community could understand, but that also addressed the concerns of that community.

Taking a chance
I started collecting their names, and when I had compiled a list that seemed substantial I presented it to my manager. She supported me in launching my first meeting led completely in Spanish. We started with just 15 members that first day. The following week we were already up to 23, and now I lead five overflowing meetings per week in Spanish.

Many of my members share my Mexican heritage. We recognize that family gatherings in our culture can be tricky. Refusing calorie-laden dishes, like chile rellenos, isn't just rejecting food, it's rejecting your culture. I had to learn to manage difficult situations. I learned that portion control can go a long way in weight management. I know now that I don't ever want to turn down my favorite foods, but I need to make sure not to let mom pile 10 tacos on my plate when just two will do.

The greatest challenge I face in the Hispanic community is the widespread misconception that members have to buy Weight Watchers food in order to follow the plan. I am personally trying my best to educate and explain the true essence of "healthy lifestyle" and behavior change to the Hispanic people.

I feel more attractive and have more energy than ever! I love everything about the new me. I am healthier and happier and aware of the choices I make regarding my background. Being overweight overshadowed many great accomplishments in my life. With the weight off, I'm living life to my fullest potential. I love being a Leader for those people who want to see and live that transformation and find a "new me."

Claudia's Tips
  • I always recommend getting exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, before the day's duties derail you. If you aren't a morning person, change into workout clothes as soon as you get home. Hit the street for a walk or throw in a DVD immediately, no matter what. Do not sit down! The minute you do, you will find something else that needs your attention.
  • I urge my members to be patient. Take advantage of the support offered at the meetings and stay focused on your weight-loss goals. Enjoy the positive changes you experience, and don't worry about the time it will take to get to your goal.
  • I make lists of the reasons that I want to maintain a healthy weight. I force myself to recognize that it is worth it.
  • Understand you must get involved with your weight loss. You need to read every bit of material available to you. Learn everything you can. The more you learn, the more successful you will be.

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