How a Teacher Learned New Habits
Cassie Lost 148 lbs
“ Now I feel like a role model to my students. ”
In Cassie’s words:
I teach health sciences and nutrition. I would tell my students what’s good for the body and that they should be active, but I wasn’t doing any of those things. I felt like a hypocrite. Why would they follow my advice to stay healthy if I wasn’t practicing what I preached? I was always uncomfortable doing even the simplest movements. I never thought I could do anything about it. My whole family is obese and I just thought that’s how it was. Some families are just heavy. But I got to a point where I had to try something. That’s why I joined Weight Watchers meetings.
I was nervous going into my first meeting because I thought they might call my weight out to the group. But that didn’t happen. The receptionist welcomed me with open arms and was discreet about my weight. All of a sudden I had this great feeling — like I wasn’t alone. All these people had bad habits they were there to work on. My Leader, Marni, made me feel included right away and is one of my dear friends to this day.
A normal day for me before started with either a huge muffin and a sugary latte, or by skipping breakfast altogether. Lunch from the cafeteria was never the healthy option. It was the beef taco salad with ranch dressing, a giant hoagie or a burrito. Dinner would be fast food and ice cream. I’d also drink soda throughout the day.
What I quickly realized was that I lacked awareness of what I was eating. I never drank water and I was a mindless eater. Planning my meals was so new to me. As a teacher I’m used to planning for my students, but I’d never planned for myself. Writing down what I eat and mapping out my day has made all the difference. I also realized that I could actually like foods that are good for me. What a concept!
My husband and I love to try new types of ethnic foods, so having the Weight Watchers app on my phone is a huge help. If I need to know the PointsPlus® value of a curry dish, there’s going to be something close or comparable in the database. I love being able to look foods up on the go.
The fitness factor
I had no fitness routine before, but I joined a gym a week after I started Weight Watchers. I get to eat more if I earn activity PointsPlus values! I thought that was so cool. I started out slowly by just watching TV while I did the elliptical machine, but then got more into weight machines. Over time that got a little monotonous, so I also joined the YMCA so I could take classes. I’m now a Zumba addict and take two or three classes a week!
Bonding with mom
After I was down about 70 pounds, my mother decided to join Weight Watchers as well. She saw great success with the program before being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Over the course of nine months of caring for her, I put some weight back on. When she eventually passed away I felt I owed it to her to get healthy again. I knew that she’d be so upset if I’d gotten this far and then gained all of the weight back. I got to goal this past summer.
School’s back in session
When the seniors came back from summer break they all said, “You’re so thin!” I tell all of them that I lost the weight with Weight Watchers and show them my before picture and they can’t believe I’m the same person. I also try to help others that might be down on themselves. I tell them if you’re not happy with yourself, you can do something about it. You can change your life. Find something that makes you happy and get active. I feel like a role model to them now.
Slow and steady
Take it one pound at a time. It took me eight years to get to goal. That might make some people say, “that’s way too long to wait.” But for me, eight years isn’t much compared to how long I was miserable. I gained some weight back here and there throughout the years, but I didn’t give up.
Now moving is easy for me! Just the simplest movements are no big deal. I used to think about every breath I took. I’d whine about not wanting to climb up the stairs at my school and at home. Now I can bend over and squat and play with my dogs. It’s such a freeing feeling.