‘I tell everybody about it’
We’ve all had experiences where someone makes an unsolicited comment about our body. Whether it’s a direct insult or an implied one, it never feels good. Twenty years ago, when she was shopping for a wedding dress, Sarah had one of those experiences.
“The people in the wedding dress shops were like, ‘Oh you know we’re really gonna have to special order a size 12 to 14 for you.’ … It just hit me.”
“I never really thought of myself as being big, big,” she says, adding that she was around 20 to 30 pounds overweight at the time.
Upset by the experience, Sarah talked about it with her aunt, whom she was visiting at the time in Montreal. Her aunt, a WW member, suggested Sarah come to a workshop with her.
“I had always pooh-poohed it,” Sarah says of the program, but she decided to go.
“So I went with her, and of course I loved it. My whole perception of what Weight Watchers was before and after completely changed. I thought there was going to be shaming and stigma and all that, and it was just so positive and welcoming, so it really motivated me.”
When she came home that weekend, Sarah said to herself, “You know what, I’m just gonna do it.”
She signed up for WW and lost about 40 pounds in six months – and ended up wearing a size 4 wedding dress. Since then, Sarah has continued to come back to the program when she needs to, and says she’s never been without WW for more than six months in the past 20 years.
“I tell everybody about it,” Sarah says of the program. “It’s the only weight loss plan that works and is sustainable and takes into account life.”
“I know that it works when you do it.” The difficulty she says, is showing up and staying consistent with tracking and following the program. “It’s all about the mind game.”
Sarah has tried both Blue and Green, but says Green is the one for her.
“I’m so glad that WW came out with the three different plans now [Green, Blue, Purple] because what works for me, is to have clear parameters,” she says.
“One thing that I love about this program, Green, is that everything is clear. An ounce of chicken is this much. I have my kitchen scale, which I love using. It makes me feel like I’m in control of it.”
Working in the food industry while on WW
Sarah works as a recipe developer at Smucker Foods of Canada (check out some of her delicious and SmartPoints-friendly creations here!) and balancing the program with her job has provided some very unique challenges, even under normal circumstances, Sarah says, explaining that her job involves a lot of tasting and a lot of baked goods.
Since social distancing came into effect earlier this year, Sarah’s been working from home, baking every day – which has been a challenge because now she’s surrounded by all her creations. “I’m trying not to be hard on myself now,” she says, adding that she’s been driving the baked goods to her co-workers to get them out of her house.
Another strategy that works for her, is to get all her baking done in the morning, then eat a late breakfast or lunch before everything is ready. That way, when she has to do taste tests, she’s not hungry and won’t overeat the baked goods.
Sarah gave herself a reset a few weeks ago to get back on track, and attended her first virtual WW workshop, as all in-person Workshops have had to move online. “I was really, really impressed,” she says of the Workshop.
Advice for others
When choosing which WW program is right for you, Sarah says honesty is the best policy.
“I think you have to be honest about your personality,” she says. “Nothing’s gonna work unless you face the music.”
She also recommends that people remember their “why” to keep themselves motivated. “I have a lot of people that I need to be healthy for, and of course myself.”
“The other thing that keeps me sticking with it,” she adds, ‘is I always feel better when I’m eating well. It’s not a cliché when people say when you put junk in your body it affects you. It’s so true.”
One thing Sarah does to keep her meals on track is getting ahead of the game on the weekend. She roasts a whole chicken, usually on a Sunday, and uses it for meals throughout the week. She might have shredded chicken on a salad and use some to make burritos for her kids, for example.
“Whatever I’m cooking, we’re all eating, we may just be eating it in different ways.”
For recipes and meal ideas, Sarah also suggests turning to the WW app.
“There’s a lot of recipes that use interesting ingredients, and so I find it very motivating to try something new, knowing that there’s a way I can do it low Points.
“There’s a lot of resources here. Use them,” she adds.