“Being on Weight Watchers' Beyond the Scale program is above and beyond! It starts with honouring the authentic me, listening to myself, and finding out what I really want in my life right now and for my future.”
Hi everyone! My name is Karen. A little bit about myself: I’m married with two girls (ages 9 and 5) and a one-year-old husky-mix puppy, so my house is full of energy! I work as an Administrative Assistant at a university that also is full of energy from students on campus.
The reason why I joined Weight Watchers was to improve my health so that I could be fully present for my family, my friends, my work, and my passions. After returning from a trip to Mexico to celebrate my 10th anniversary, I was unhappy with how I looked in my pictures, even though I had a great time. I went to a doctor’s appointment shortly after to find out that I was the heaviest in my life, and so I knew I had to make changes. My doctor encouraged me to go and do an activity that could get my heart pumping at least once a week for heart health, and to keep track of what I was eating.
Coincidentally, a friend invited me to join a Weight Watchers meeting and I knew this was the plan for me. I joined October 2015 and I have lost 46 lbs on the program. I reached my goal in the summer of 2016 and am so happy to call myself a Lifetime Member! I never thought that this step in the right direction would allow me to gain so much balance and presence in my life, and I feel more fit now than I did in my 20s!
I love to take pictures of food that I have made while on this program and enjoy cooking during the seasons. I’m an avid believer that food presentation entices us to enjoy healthy foods, so I like to take an extra step to prepare food on a bowl or a plate that I would proudly share on Instagram.
I love to eat a rainbow of food, so here's a simple summery salad that's perfect for 6 #SmartPoints value lunch or dinner:
- 4 oz grilled shrimp (2SPV)
- 1/2 cup diced peaches (0SPV)
- 1/2 medium corn cob (with kernels sliced off) (2SPV)
- 1 cup of leafy greens (0SPV)
- 2 tsp olive oil (2SPV)
- 1 tsp cider vinegar (0SPV)
I also prep my fridge space to hold a "home salad bar" and have different containers of diced vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, eggs, and cheeses so that I can switch up the variety of salads for lunch or add them to a soup base for variety. I keep tetra packs of organic low-sodium chicken broth that provide a base for a soup (0 SPV for a cup) so I can build easy vegetable, meat, or bean soups when our schedule of activities is tight.
I will forever be grateful to my sister who encouraged me to enter my first 5K run. I had never participated in team sports or anything athletic, so when I started the program, it used to take me 45 minutes to walk one kilometre. But I kept going, extending myself each time by 10 per cent, like walking past last week's end point, or brisk walking. To train for the 5K, I knew that I couldn't just run off the bat. So I downloaded a 5K training app and gave myself five months to develop with the run/walk interval training.
There was a point when I ran for five minutes straight and I almost cried in the gym. I never did that before even when I was a teenager! I started to enjoy how my body felt after running and succeeded to finish my first 5K in less than 40 minutes!
I continue to run three times a week and incorporating light weights in order to build my core strength. My exercise is so important to me that I bring my running shoes when I travel out of town so I don't have an excuse to not exercise. It is truly a habit I don't want to break.
My family is my main reason why I continue my healthy habits. I want us to be able to participate in activities together all-year round. For example, instead of watching our girls learn to skate, I signed my husband and I up for skating lessons so we have an outdoor activity to do as a family.
One thing that I longed for, and finally had the opportunity to do, was taking up the cello. It's an instrument that produces a beautiful sound, but requires pure focus on the body, mind, and breath. Just like my other daily habits, I practice playing every day and it has been so joyful to take 20 minutes each day to work on something I never learned as a kid and feel accomplished. I had my first recital with my girls and it is so wonderful to hear music being played in the house.
Being on Weight Watchers' Beyond the Scale program is above and beyond! It starts with honouring the authentic me, listening to myself, and finding out what I really want in my life right now and for my future. It was very emotional at times, especially when I think back to the times when I was afraid to fail so I never started at all.
What's great about reaching my goal is that I take credit for everything that happened in my journey. I take credit when I lost two pounds, but I also take credit when I craved that dark chocolate, tracked it, and moved on.
I felt proud when my older daughter joined her Healthy School Committee and when my younger daughter picked her favourite vegetable because she really wanted to eat it. I love that my husband is my partner in this journey and overcame his own fears by learning to skate with me. I felt astonished when I was awarded Employee of the Quarter for Wellness at my work for the promotion of healthy living.
I really look forward to continuing this active lifestyle and meeting new members on my journey because it's a great group of people, both in meetings and on Connect. I feel so much joy and I'm just getting started!