Latoya, 29

Lost 43 lb* with Weight Watchers
Published June 6, 2016

“I’ve become this touchy-feely person that I never was before. If I hug you the right way, we’ll be friends forever.”

"I used to be afraid, very afraid, all the time. I’d be afraid that when someone hugged me, they’d feel the fat on my body. I’d be afraid when I heard someone call me Miss Piggy because I realized that that nickname was a way to call me chubby without saying it. I’d be afraid to wear jeans because of the way they felt around my waist. I was afraid of gaining weight, and that’s why I took diet pills—which put me in the hospital twice. And then my boyfriend helped me leave the fear behind. I talked to him about joining Weight Watchers, and he encouraged me to take the first step. He’d come to every meeting with me, and he helped me realize that I can make lasting changes, that I can be healthier."

"Now, whenever I fear that I’m going to fail, I talk myself out of it. I say, “Toya, stop being a baby, stop giving up. You never gave up before—why start now?” I still fear that I’ll gain the weight back, because in my family, it seems like you can sneeze and gain a hundred pounds. But I won’t do that. I have so much to give—I have this positive energy, and I know other people notice it, too. Now I hug people before they even have a chance to say my name. And as for being called Miss Piggy, I’ve put a positive spin on that: Miss Piggy is confident, sassy, and fabulous. Go ahead, call me by that name: that’s, finally, a compliment."