Dutchess, 39

Lost 19 lb* with Weight Watchers
Published June 6, 2016

“I may not be model material, but I feel awesome in my new body. I’m not worried about holding my tummy in when someone’s taking my photo or how I look when I sit down.”

"One morning in 2012, I woke up and said, “I can’t do this anymore. I have to change.” I had gained weight through two pregnancies, and when I looked in the mirror, I hated seeing my double chin and the three rolls on my back, and not being able to see the sides of my panties because my midsection was running over. I could feel how uncomfortable I was in my own body: If I sat down, I’d try to sit a certain way to hide my stomach. But when I got out of bed that morning, I was on a mission to change my life."

"Though my fiancé constantly reminded me how beautiful I was, I had to start believing it myself. I decided that I could no longer endure the embarrassment of my weight, the sleepless nights, heartburn, back pain, and plantar fasciitis. My mind was set, and I joined Weight Watchers a few hours later. That same day, I also started a weight-loss group on social media called Thirsty2B Healthy. I was the only member, but I needed to create the space to talk about my journey and to help others find a healthy body image and healthy lifestyle, too."

"I’m still in the process of completely seeing the new me. Now, when I look in the mirror, sometimes I see my old self because I was a certain size for such a long time. But eventually, I know I’ll only see the new me. Through the process, I’ve learned that there’s no blueprint to life or to weight loss. I’m on this journey with both feet, and I’m moving only forward; I’m ready to stand in front instead of sit in the back."