It’s true, those who work together to achieve a healthy lifestyle, often see more success. It’s a fact that people who’ve participated in a weight-loss program with a group (friends or family) and incorporated social support lost greater amounts of weight than those who did it alone.1 The support from a friend is an invaluable part of making and sticking with healthy changes, and it’s even better if that buddy is you mom or daughter. WW ambassador Morgan joined with her mom Heather in summer of 2016, and share how their strong bond has helped them both to achieve their health goals.
|Heather (left) and Morgan (right) joined WW together in the summer of 2016.|
WW: What encouraged you to join WW together?
Heather: After a very hot trip to New York City together my hip bursitis flared up and ruined one day of our trip. I felt so guilty I knew I had to do so something. When we got back from that trip I signed up at the WW closest to my work and started my journey. Morgan signed up the same day online. As a mother I knew she wasn't happy with her weight but I was also sensitive to bringing it up to her as I was certainly not someone who could pass judgement when I myself needed to lose weight and be healthier. I was certainly not a role model she could look up to.
Morgan: My mom may not know this, but it was a long time coming! Throughout university, my mom asked me twice if I wanted to join WW with her, but I was in denial that I had gained weight. Once I had graduated, started my career, and was working downtown surrounded by lots of temptations, I knew I needed to put my health first and needed the support of my mom and to have her on board too. I originally joined Digital and loved it, but after a few months, I felt as though I was missing something and decided to join Workshops.
WW: Tell us a bit about yourself and your relationship.
Heather: I am married, have a full-time career, and two grown children; Michael and Morgan. Morgan and I have a very close relationship. When she was younger she was in competitive dance and we traveled all over Ontario for competitions. We had a lot of fun times. After she went off to university I missed her dearly and looked forward to when she visited. As she has grown and started her own career she is now my travel, shopping, cooking, and of course WW buddy. Friends tell me that they are envious of my solid loving relationship I have with her.
Morgan: I'm a graduate from the University of Guelph, have a full-time job and a career that I love, I love to run, dance, travel, and read. My relationship with my mom is very special. When I was younger, I was a competitive dancer which meant we would spend endless weekends together travelling, working through chaos, stress and glittery hairspray together. Once I went to University, our relationship became much stronger - we had less time together, but I knew that her and my dad were always only a phone call away. She is my travel partner and we are always looking for new places to go. She is my best friend!
WW: How has working the program together helped along your journey?
Heather: Having Morgan on this journey with me has helped me immensely! I am sure without her support, recipe ideas, and keeping me inline I would not have been so successful. She is a whiz as using the app when we are grocery shopping and makes sure we have such a variety in our meal planning. She has turned into a great cook!
Morgan: Having someone who entirely understands, supports you, and wants to see you succeed on this journey has been so, so, SO helpful! We take turns coming up with ideas for dinner, and do the majority of our grocery shopping together to make sure we stay on track and know what is available to us throughout the week. When I fall off track, I know she is always there to pick me up and help me get my head back in the game. I attribute a lot of my success to her support.
WW: How do you inspire each other?
Heather: Morgan’s dedication to the program and being a WW Ambassador inspires me daily. She is focused, sets goals and achieves them. She walks the walk so to speak and continues to build exercise into her journey, something that I am lacking but she inspires me to get off the couch; especially when I see her go out for a run in lousy cold weather.
Morgan: My mom inspires me every day! As we were growing up, she always put us first. Made sure that we were happy, taken care of, having fun, knew we were loved all while having a full-time career, and being a loving wife. But what inspires me, even more, was that she realized she was also worth the love and energy that she so consistently put towards our family, and took the time to make sure that she was happy, she was taken care of, she was having fun, and that she exuded self-love.
WW: How have you supported each other during tough times in the journey?
Heather: She tells me when I am slipping, and is my cheerleader when things go great on the scale. She encourages me to keep going when there are days when the scale isn't moving. She motivates me by sending pictures of when I started my journey to show just how well I have done. I don't think she realizes how much she has helped me.
Morgan: She is always there to pick me up. If I'm down about having a gain for example, she usually says, "That's okay, you ran that 5k which is pretty awesome." She's always there to put things into perspective for me.
WW: What do you think is key to your success on the program?
Heather: My key is that I was in the right head space; I needed and wanted to do it. I am not getting any younger and the weight was piling on. I want to make sure I am healthy for future grandchildren and I want to look and feel good. I know how much pain I was in with my hip bursitis and I never want to go through that again. I have to constantly remind myself of that.
Morgan: Besides having my mom beside me every step of the way, I think one of the keys to my success is feeling like I haven't given up any of my favourite foods and finding a solid balance. I still eat ice cream all the time, I can still enjoy my Starbucks but with a twist, and I can still go out for drinks or a night out with friends and know that even if I use all of my weeklies, I haven't blown all of my progress. It's taken some time to find the balance, but it is what makes me feel like I can do this for life.
WW: What is your favourite WW tool?
Heather: Connect! The inspiring stories, progress pics, and raw honesty of others during their journeys keeps me so motivated. The ability to scan food from the app is a brilliant tool too.
Morgan: Definitely my bar code scanner! It's so easy when we're out grocery shopping, if we see something new to just scan it for the points and decide whether it is worth it!
WW: What’s your favourite indulgence food?
Heather: Chocolate. I will never ever give up chocolate, it’s my thing. If that was not allowed on WW I would have given up a long time ago.
Morgan: CHOCOLATE! Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! And prosecco, I'll never say no to a glass after work with my friends.
WW: How do you celebrate each other?
Heather: I celebrate being Morgan’s mom. The fact that I was blessed with such a great daughter is a celebration for me. I am proud of the young woman she has become.
Morgan: How do I not celebrate my mom? Every day I'm grateful that she's mine! If we had mountains here in Ontario, I'd yell from the tops of them saying, "Hey that's my mom! Isn't she great?!" People would look at me like I'm nuts, but they would agree.
WW: What advice would you give someone considering joining WW?
Heather: Stop considering it and just take the plunge. They are so worth it! It’s been such a fun and amazing journey, and I feel and look so much better because of it. Personally, I should have done it years ago.
Morgan: Just do it! I know it can be scary, I was scared; but jump in, head first! Seek out help, try new things, and be proud of yourself. They say, "If you change nothing, then nothing will change". Enough with hoping and wishing, let's do this!
1 Wing RR, Jeffrey RW. Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999;67(1):132-138.