Bullied No More

 When I think about trading my size 8 jeans for the size 24 that I used to wear, it’s all the motivation I need. 
*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Insecure and unhappy, Lauren had been bullied for her weight her entire life. She’d given up on ever slimming down. When she went to a Weight Watchers meeting to keep a friend company, all that changed. The meetings and the online community helped her lose more than 100 pounds*. Now she has the confidence to try things she never thought possible — like joining a roller derby league!

In Lauren’s words

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Growing up, I was bullied a lot for being overweight. I hated dieting and I’d gotten to a point of complacency. I just accepted that I would always be heavy and that was the end of the story. When a friend asked me to go to a Weight Watchers meeting with her, I reluctantly agreed. I had no intentions of actually losing weight. In fact, I’d just spent $300 on clothing so I’d convinced myself if I lost weight, they wouldn’t fit and I would have wasted the money. But something about that meeting just clicked for me. I loved the Leader and when she explained the basics of the program I said to myself, “Wow, I think I can really do this.”

Baby steps

I used to eat fast food every day. When I first started the Plan, I didn’t cut it out completely, but I would treat myself to it once a week. I didn’t expect perfection right off the bat. I wasn’t about to say, “OK, now I’m training for a 5K and never eating French fries again!” It was a gradual process.

The same went for my fitness level. I started doing water aerobics, then riding my bike, and then I moved on to Jazzercise, which I really love. When a friend asked me to join her roller derby league, I thought she was insane. But at the time I really wanted to make more friends. That first practice was terrifying because I was so far outside my comfort zone. But it was also so much fun. Now roller derby practice is something I look forward to—and this is coming from someone who would make excuses not to dress for gym class. Now all of my teammates have become great friends of mine.

A community effort

Pretty early on, I became active on the WeightWatchers.com message boards. I found my home on the 100 Pounds to Lose board. That was my most valuable resource. To know that there were people just like me going through the exact same struggles was amazing. There are some things that other people just don’t understand about our weight-loss journey. I’ve met really great friends on that board and turn to them often for advice and motivation to stay on track.

The meetings also really helped me stay accountable. Knowing I had to weigh in kept me honest. And when I lost weight, it was great getting the little stickers and charms and pats on the back. I know it sounds crazy to say, but I knew early on that I was going to get to my goal. Some people will say, “I never thought I’d get there.” But I knew I was going to do it. It’s wasn’t easy losing the weight and it’s not easy to keep it off. But when I think about trading my size 8 jeans for the size 24 that I used to wear, it’s all the motivation I need.

Gaining confidence

When I first started Weight Watchers, I was in a really toxic relationship with someone who treated me terribly. When people asked why I stayed with him, my logic was simple: If you’re bullied and berated and made fun of your entire life, when the person you’re dating does those things, it’s nothing new. As sad as it was, that was my reality. Losing the weight gave me the courage to end that relationship. Leaving him was the best and scariest thing I ever did. Now I’m engaged to someone who loves me and is my true partner in life. He supports me in everything I do. It’s the most amazing relationship and now I know I deserve it.

Small victories

People look at being obese as a character flaw. I used to dread flying because people would cringe as I walked up the aisle, hoping I wasn’t going to sit next to them. Things just aren’t designed for people who are more than 100 pounds overweight. I used to have to either shop for clothing online or in the old lady sections of department stores. Now that’s all in the past. It sounds silly, but it’s just mindboggling to me that I can now walk into any store and try something on!

A positive outlook

My confidence before Weight Watchers was nil. I didn’t like meeting new people. I didn’t even like seeing my extended family. I also hated having my picture taken because I hated the way I looked. I was full of shame. Now I feel comfortable in social situations and I love that feeling of confidence I’ve found with Weight Watchers. I feel in control of my own life.