The Impossible Becomes Possible

Tammy
After
Tammy
Before
 I feel free. Now I can simply be the person I was always meant to be. 
*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
After being overweight for 30 years, her entire adult life, Tammy never thought that she’d be able to lose weight for good. Over the years, she felt guilt, shame, and a loss of self-confidence. It wasn’t until she started experiencing type 2 diabetes symptoms that she decided to join Weight Watchers. She began to believe in herself—she started to envision herself at her goal, and that’s when she realized that she could reach it. And she did!
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In Tammy's words:
I'd tried Weight Watchers many, many years ago, and it worked for me. But after my second pregnancy, for some reason, I didn't go back to the Program. Instead, I became a human guinea pig, trying every fad diet around. Of course I'd lose weight, but as soon as I stopped following a certain food plan, I'd gain back the pounds I'd lost and more.

The Turning Point
When I turned 49, I started experiencing health issues; I'd wake up in the morning, and my eyesight would be blurry—and my glasses wouldn't help. I love water, but I was always reaching for something to drink. And I was tired and fatigued. When I realized that these symptoms all pointed to type 2 diabetes, I have to admit that I wasn't surprised.
My grandfather had type 2 diabetes, and I remember seeing him suffer through the 12-year progression of the disease, eventually losing his foot. Since I've been battling my weight for decades, I figured I was predisposed to type 2. When I told my doctor about my symptoms, she suggested that I lose weight. I had the image of my grandfather's suffering in the back of my mind, and I didn't want that happening to me.

Getting Healthy Together
I vowed to lose weight after this doctor's appointment, but I was scared. I didn't want to get my heart broken again; I didn't want to fail. My neighbor, Janice, knew about my worries, so she invited me over for lunch one day and cooked a few Weight Watchers recipes. When I tasted them, all I thought was, "OMG, these are fabulous!" She let me borrow her cookbooks, and I made several of the recipes over the next few days. When I hopped on the scale and saw a drop, I decided to become an official Member.
I made more healthy meals during my first few months on the Program, and I saw results. But in the back of my mind, I still had doubts. Could I lose weight and keep it off? Then during one of my weekly Meetings, we discussed the topic "Believe." I realized that if I wanted to get to my goal, I had to have faith that I could do it. So I wrote up my own success story. Of course, it was all fiction at that point, but I read it and looked at photos of myself from when I'd lost weight in the past. I hung up a dress that I wanted to fit into again, and I looked at it every day. And I started to believe.

Eating Out On-Plan
We live outside Atlanta, so we love our barbecue. When we'd go out to a local restaurant, we'd get barbecue spare ribs, baked beans, potato salad—and we'd even order the signature Coca-Cola cake, which, as we say in the South, was "slap-yo'-Mama good." But now, I've developed new tastes, and fresh, seasonal produce or a big salad is so much more appealing than those heavy options. And if I do want fried chicken one day, I know I can still have it—I just plan ahead.
At Mexican restaurants, I used to order tacos or fajitas plus queso with my salsa and chips. Now, I'll bring my own homemade baked tortilla chips and fat-free refried beans. At first my kids would say, "You're kidding, right, Mom?" But they're used to it by now!
When I'm going to a picnic or a barbecue, I'll always bring my own food, like my pulled "pork." I'll use turkey instead of pork and a low-sugar barbecue sauce, and I'll cook it for hours. To this day, people think I'm lying when I tell them it's turkey. And guess what? It's still "slap-yo-Mama good."

Get the Picture
I'm a photographer, and the job is pretty physically demanding. When I shoot a wedding, I'm on my feet nine to 12 hours that day. When I photograph senior portraits, I'm climbing up a ladder, getting down on my knees, lying on my belly—basically moving from one unusual position to the next just to get the right camera angle. Now, my whole job is much more manageable and enjoyable.

Fit for a Queen
I like to sew my own clothes. Years ago, I created a dress form using my own measurements so that I could make clothes that fit me perfectly. Looking at it now, I can clearly see how far I've come. It's so exciting to make a dress or blouse with less fabric! And shopping for clothes has become fun again—I usually do a little dance in the fitting room.

A Clean Bill of Health
When I went back for my yearly checkup, my doctor was so excited by the results! My blood work was all clear, and I told her how the type 2 symptoms had disappeared in a few months. As I'd started to lose weight, my feet stopped hurting, I didn't feel as thirsty, and my eyesight improved. And what's more, I learned how to eat balanced meals. I always used to skip breakfast and then be starving by lunch. Now I have high-protein oatmeal with walnuts, craisins, flaxseed, and white chia seeds. Since I'm not ravenous by lunch, I'm satisfied with turkey sliders or hummus with crudité. I don't feel deprived anymore.

Celebrating Our Success
I don't know how I would've succeeded without Janice. It was amazing to have a buddy to lean on throughout my journey. When she reached her goal weight, I threw her a tea party to celebrate her achievements. I told myself, "When I get to my goal, I'm going to throw myself a Mad Hatter tea party, complete with pretty dresses, pearls, hats, tea, and healthy cookies." And, I did it! It was a wonderful day; my friends and I talked about foods we love, new clothes we've bought, and exciting experiences we've had, and it felt so great to have this positivity around me. I realized, for the first time, I feel comfortable with who I am.

Have you found success on Weight Watchers? Has a family or a friend inspired you to join Weights? If so, we want to hear from you! E-mail your story, location and photos to wwmsuccess@weightwatchers.com
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