Erika Lost 35.5 lbs
“If I have to get old, I might as well be buff!”
When she hit her 50s, Erika figured she was doomed to be middle-aged and matronly. Until she discovered Weight Watchers Online and found the buried treasure of her own health and fitness!
I yo-yo dieted for years, but after I turned 40 I had trouble losing weight with my old tricks. For my 52nd birthday, some friends gave me a black velvet jacket. They told me it looked great on me, but when I looked in the mirror, I saw myself in a big black sack—middle aged, frumpy and matronly. I immediately searched the Internet using the keywords "weight loss" and "menopause." Guess what popped up?
Weight Watchers Online.
A New First Impression
I'd always thought of Weight Watchers as something for my mom—I didn't know anything about the modern plan. I was really impressed by what I read on the website—it didn't sound like a diet. It felt like a way to figure out how to have a relationship with food and activity that would allow me to be slender and healthy, which was just what I was looking for, so I subscribed.
Sticking With It
Once I decide to do something, I'm there 150 percent. The first week I followed the plan, I gained a pound and a half. That was a real turning point for me—I could easily have given up. But I believed the plan would work eventually, and I lost weight the following week.
In those first two weeks, I was hungry as I readjusted my portions, but I quickly learned ways to increase food volume without increasing values by making smart choices. I travel a lot for work, and I was apprehensive about how Weight Watchers would work when I dined with clients. My second week on plan, I was in a fancy restaurant while I was on the road. I made it a game to find the tastiest, most filling meal—for the least values—on every menu. I had a lovely meal that night—salad with dressing on the side, a small filet mignon and vegetables. I never felt deprived.
"If I have to get old, I might as well be buff!"
When I started to go to the gym, I could barely do five minutes on the elliptical trainer—even at the lowest setting I was uncomfortable and breathing hard. That made me mad! I am very competitive with myself, so I became a gym rat. I go three to four times a week to do 30 minutes of cardio and 50 minutes of weight lifting.
I set up my exercise routine so that I have no excuse to slack. I belong to gyms in both the towns where I live and where I work. When I travel on business, I check out gyms in the area and plan where to go ahead of time. I also have a growing collection of DVDs to take on the road with me.
I love finding healthier alternatives for foods I really enjoy, like fat-free sour cream or fat-free ice cream.
I used to hate the gym but I found a routine I really like! There's something very meditative about weight lifting, and I enjoy the self-competition. I tell myself, "I lifted 10 pounds; can I do 12? 15?"
As soon as you grow out of a set of clothing, get rid of it. Give it away to a bigger friend or to a thrift store. Keeping the clothes is a signal to yourself that you could go back to that weight, so affirm that you never will.
I became a big salad fan because of the high satiation factor—beans and veggies keep me feeling full.
Appreciate the changes you see in yourself. When I started losing weight it was like uncovering buried treasure. I had developed muscles from working out, and as the weight came off, there they were!
I found amazing inspiration and encouragement on the Weight Watchers Message Boards—I'm on the Nifty 50s board every day. Surrounding yourself with like-minded, positive people is critical!