More Than Just Heart-Healthy
Ashley Lost 73.4 lbs
“ If you accept that there will be ups and downs, you’ll be successful. It’s all about baby steps. They really add up! ”
Ashley had been overweight and frustrated with her appearance her entire life. Born with a heart condition, she couldn’t do strenuous workouts to burn calories like other women her age. When her doctor urged her to get healthy, she turned to Weight Watchers Online. Now she’s lighter, happier and no longer dreading the dressing room.
In Ashley's words:
I’ve always struggled with my weight. I’ve had four open-heart surgeries for a condition I have, so rigorous cardio has always been out of the question for me. What finally got me started two years ago was an upcoming wedding. I was a bridesmaid and wanted to look great. That’s when I subscribed to Weight Watchers Online and started following the Plan.
I chose Weight Watchers for a couple reasons. First, I love that I can still eat normal food without feeling deprived. If I want to go to a steakhouse, I can do that as long as I watch my portions and track everything I eat.
Another great aspect of the Plan is that it’s always accessible with my iPhone. It’s not always convenient to run to the computer. That was really a lifesaver because I have my phone with me everywhere I go. I can look up foods in real time and track no matter where I am.
Weight Watchers Online is great for young women because it’s flexible, convenient and discreet. When I go to a restaurant and track my food, no one knows what I’m doing; they just think I’m texting. I love that. I map out my whole meal as soon as I sit down.
Before Weight Watchers
There were days a couple years ago where I would literally eat fast food for every meal and not think twice about it. My cardiologist said I had to change my habits, but I could never get into a rhythm. I used to eat a lot of heavy pastas and bread; it was one of my favourite meals. But since subscribing to Weight Watchers Online, I just don’t crave it as much as I used to. My portions are in control now: I’ll have just a cup of pasta instead of a heaping bowl. And I eat so many more fruits and vegetables.
The fitness factor
I didn’t really exercise because of my heart condition, which is something I’ll deal with for the rest of my life. I've had to watch my food a little more closely than others. But as long as you’re eating healthy and staying within your daily allowance, not exercising doesn’t have to hold you back.
That said, losing the weight has made a huge difference in the amount of activity I can do. I don’t feel as exhausted. For a while I couldn’t even walk around the block. It would make my calves tight and I'd be out of breath. Now I walk about 2.5 miles three or four times a week. I do 100 crunches and 50 leg lifts per day. I also do some low-impact yoga and pilates. My cardiologist is thrilled.
Patience is key
It’s true that you lose one to two pounds a week. When I was really sticking to the Plan, that’s how much I lost. You might feel like it’s taking forever, but for me it’s only been a year and a half and look what I’ve accomplished. Now I have my whole life ahead of me to do whatever I want. And I’m doing things I never thought I could, because I was always overweight. The difference between losing weight this time versus every other time is that this time I decided to be happy with any progress at all. If you accept that there will be ups and downs, you’ll be successful. It’s all about baby steps. They really add up!
The best part
I love how confident I am now. I’m just so proud of myself for reaching a goal that I never thought I could reach! It’s so true that how you feel about yourself affects every relationship you have. When I was overweight I really didn’t like myself, so I didn’t like being around other people. That’s all changed now. I’m much more social. And now I can go to a store and try out any fashion trend and know that I’m not going to be sitting in the dressing room crying like I used to. That’s huge for me.