Sam's journey to better heath and wellness with WW
For more than six years, Sam Armytage has been kicking career goals as host on breakfast show Sunrise. But with her hectic work and travel schedule, and daily 3am starts, the busy TV presenter found that her wellness goals had often fallen by the wayside.
After struggling with other programs, Sam decided to try WW. She was surprised to find that it fit perfectly into her active lifestyle, and she lost 5kg in the first five weeks. Now, after losing a total of 10kg, Sam is feeling better than ever before.
What motivated you to begin your WW journey?
It was the realisation that shift work for me was not a passing phase—it was my life. I used the fact that I have to get up for work at 3am to say, ‘Oh, it’s hard to keep up with my health goals, to maintain a certain weight’. Then it suddenly hit me one day that this is my life for at least a few more years. I had made a shift mentally, realising I had to really look after myself. It’s not only about losing a few kilos, but about feeling more energetic and stronger—both mentally and physically.
Why did WW appeal to you?
The number one thing that appealed to me is that WW fits into your lifestyle—it doesn’t require you to eat meals that are sent to you or stick to a strict menu. I’m not throwing out food at the end of the week like I have on other programs. Nothing goes to waste because I can just choose the foods I love. I was also surprised by how simple and low-stress it is. The SmartPoints® system makes you very mindful of what you’re eating. It’s incredibly simple and the WW app is so helpful. Once I got it on my phone, I was amazed at how easy it was to find the motivation to make healthier choices. You can scan food with the WW app in the supermarket, so you know what you’re putting into your body. I’ve never considered myself to be a terribly disciplined person, but all of a sudden, I was responding to it. The focus on mindfulness is truly the number one thing I’ve found to be a game-changer.
What held you back in the past?
Doing shift work has meant that I’ve struggled to find a routine throughout my career. I’d be on the road and trying to make healthier choices, but it was really hard to find a balance. Then I think I was doing it for the wrong reasons—when you get a lot of attention in your job and people know who you are, you kind of go, ‘Why is everybody looking at me? What’s everyone on about here?’ So maybe it’s a self-protection thing. My weight has gone up and down over the years and I decided that it’s time that stopped.
What healthy habits has WW helped you create?
I’ve been incorporating more ZeroPoint™ foods, like veggies, salmon, and chicken, into my meals. Learning mindfulness on the program has also been invaluable when the stress and tiredness start to take over and influence my food choices. Rather than making certain foods off-limits, WW puts the power back into your hands and lets you choose what’s right for you. Now, when I’m going to have a glass of wine, I know that it’s 5 SmartPoints, so I’ll reach for more ZeroPoint foods that day in order to enjoy my wine. It would be an absolute disaster if I was told, ‘You’re not allowed to have wine and you’re not allowed to have cheese and biscuits’. I would be sneaking it and end up overeating. So, it’s just a way of giving you the power to go, ‘Okay, I’m going to have this, but I’m only going to have it this often’. When I’m on the road now, I still fill in my WW app so I’m making healthier choices. Whereas I used to think, ‘Oh, I can’t find anything, so I’ll just have a burger’ because that’s what the crew were eating. When you make good choices it’s very empowering.
How do you meal prep and plan ahead?
When I’m working, I get my breakfast from a local café. So, it’s just about knowing what’s a healthier choice and what’s going to fill me up. My greatest prep goes into my lunches and dinners. Having healthier foods and ingredients on-hand to cook with makes a huge difference, so I make sure I’m organised when getting my groceries. I also make sure that I always have a low-SmartPoints snack in my handbag, so if I get hungry when I’m out and about, I have something to fuel me until my next meal.
How has WW influenced get-togethers?
I love having people over for a barbecue. We’ll always have a protein, like fish. I just make sure I have a reasonable portion and then I always make a salad on the side. A platter that includes some cut up veggies and dip is also a must. WW has so many low-SmartPoints dip options, which I love. A good ZeroPoint one is the spinach and dill dip or the roasted beetroot dip.
Has WW changed your relationship with food?
It’s definitely made me more mindful about my food choices. Because no food is off-limits, I don’t feel constrained. Once you start eating within your SmartPoints Budget, you do naturally start losing weight and then you feel so good that you want to keep going.
What are your favourite ways to stay active?
I walk my dog Banjo every day, which is my meditation and my dose of sunshine and fresh air. I spend four hours in a studio on work days and that’s a very unnatural environment, so in the afternoons I try to get out with Banjo as much as I can. Since I began to eat well and fuel my body better, I started wanting to look after myself more and incorporate more movement. So now I also do two personal training sessions a week. We’ll do boxing and a lot of strength exercises.
What are you loving about the WW app?
The barcode scanner is the best thing ever! I cannot stop showing people and I have friends now saying to me across the lunch table, ‘Can you scan this?’ Or when we go for coffee, they’re like, ‘How many SmartPoints is this coffee? Can you put it in your WW app?’ It’s just incredible.
How do you feel within yourself now?
I’ve become more active and have more energy, which has made a lot of things easier. When my alarm goes off at 3am it’s just torture, but it’s easier now that I feel stronger. I feel like I’m more in control of my body, too. Even when I have a bad day, I think, ‘You’ve got this. It’s not the end of the world and tomorrow’s a new day’.
How have people around you responded to you partnering with WW?
People are really lovely and sweet. I’ve run into many people who say, ‘You look fantastic! What are you doing?’ It’s a good feeling. A few of my friends are fascinated by the SmartPoints system and the WW app, and have said that they will try WW.
What is your best advice to others starting their weight-loss or wellness journey?
I would say if you’re thinking about it and feel like it’s what you want to do, then absolutely do it! Don’t waste another day, because you’ve only got one life and you deserve to be the best you can be. It’s not always easy, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. It makes you a better person when you feel good about yourself.