Never Too Late

As a school principal, ZoeLinda had a busy and stressful lifestyle, which left little time for proper eating and exercise.
Published November 11, 2015

ZoeLinda Lost 89.6 lbs

“ It really is never too late to be healthy. ” 

A few years ago I was totally consumed with my profession, as all good teachers are. It meant I ate irregularly and snacked a lot, grabbing food when I could. This made me gain weight. I’d been bigger than all the other girls around me my whole life, but was always told by my family that I was healthy. When I retired and my kids grew up, I realized I had choices about how to spend the rest of my time. After starting the plan, I saw that it really is never too late to be healthy.

Making daily changes
My husband and I eat out a lot. I thought, “If I’m going to do this, I have to figure out how to do it and be able to eat out.” I didn’t want to stop doing what I like to do just because I decided to lose weight. I also saw how important it is to be active. One challenge for me was that I had no plan for exercise other than walking my dog. I had to figure out how to be more active.

Being accountable
I joined Weight Watchers Meetings and started following the PointsPlus® Weight-Loss System because I’m an organized person and need accountability. I knew that if I paid money and was expected to attend meetings, I would do it. I also started doing circuit training three times a week for 30 minutes.

Support at home
My husband is my number one cheerleader. When eating at a restaurant, he might remind me that I could take leftovers home instead of trying to finish everything on my plate. We would also walk together and, with his support, I walked a 5K! I also love getting the rewards — the Bravo stickers and milestone trinkets — in the Weight Watchers meetings. I save all the charms. Another concrete result was that my doctor took me off my blood pressure medication. But the best part, I have to admit, is the clothes sizes I can wear now.

The importance of meetings
Weighing in, getting rewards and seeing others’ progress really kept me motivated. I also have a fantastic leader, which has a lot to do with it. I became a lifetime member in January. I believe I was successful because with previous diets, when I did poorly, I’d quit and say “this doesn’t work.” But Weight Watchers taught me to learn from failures and start again tomorrow.   

ZoeLinda’s Tips

Analyze why you’re eating. I learned in Weight Watchers meetings to ask myself, “am I really hungry, or just emotionally eating or bored?”

It’s difficult but necessary to get in habit of tracking; not only portion sizes and the PointsPlus values, but also to track when I’m eating and when I feel hungry.

One of my favorite snacks is chips and salsa. I used to eat entirely too much. Now I count out 12 chips — and make sure they’re whole chips! To leave out something completely would a be punishment and not realistic for lifelong living. Weight Watchers taught me how to enjoy what I eat in moderation.