Amy's weight loss story
Name: Amy O'Dowd
Weight loss: 15.7kg
How long it took: 7 months
How she did it: Weight Watchers Online
Then & Now
"This Christmas I plan on being mindful and making sure I don’t over do things. I’ll continue to track – except on Christmas Day – that’s my planned day off!"
I've always had a sweet tooth
Sweets have always been my weakness – it runs in my family. You name it, we love it. My nan used to say that cake could substitute for lunch! And for as long as I can remember, my mum and my aunties have always enjoyed a tea or coffee with a sweet treat. I’ve always loved chocolate and used to have a Diet-Coke-at-5pm habit, which was very hard to break.
As a primary school teacher, I need lots of energy! But I used to press the snooze button four or five times each morning, feeling sluggish and unwilling to get up for work. Every weekend I’d look forward to sleeping in past 10am and I’d often take naps. Although I’ve always eaten healthy dinners, it’s what I ate between meals that undid all that. I was a big snacker, and thought because they were small, they didn’t count. Something had to change.
I love the WW Connect community
I joined WW Online and I love the support and family feel – especially on the Connect section of the WW app. It’s wonderful to give and receive so much encouragement each day. Connect is a safe space to share my worries, triumphs and hiccups with like-minded people. On the days when the only thing I can think about is chocolate, I can connect with others who are feeling the same way.
The fact that I’ve finally kicked my sweets habit makes me feel so proud. They say is takes 28 days to break a habit and that was definitely true for me. I went cold turkey and never have Diet Coke anymore – even though it’s 0 SmartPoints® value, I know it’s terrible for me. I’ve also learned to say a polite ‘no thank you’ to so many birthday cakes, which in the teaching world is very hard, trust me! Plus, I no longer need something sweet with every skinny latte I order. I now see the coffee as the treat.
“I’ve always loved to shop, but these days I catch myself doing sneaky twirls in the change rooms, proud of how far I’ve come!”
I have energy to burn
Last year I joined a local women-only gym and I love it. For the first time in my life I don’t hate exercising! I’ve even started using a personal trainer, who pushes me more than I’d push myself. We train together on a Monday so I can continue to practise what she’s taught me throughout the week. Gyms can be daunting and without her support I wouldn’t know a fraction of the exercises that I do now.
I'm at the gym before school
Nowadays there’s no more snooze button! I set my alarm early so I can get to the gym before school – after a day with six and seven-year-olds, the last thing I want to do is put my runners on and go to the gym. But when the alarm goes off at 5.35am I somehow manage to get dressed and point the car in the right direction. It’s a great time to clear my head and prepare for the day ahead. My big tip: pack your gym bag the night before. Having said that, I don’t go every morning – it’s all about balance and sometimes that extra hour of sleep goes a really long way. On those days, I take my dog for a walk after work to ensure I’m still moving.
"I had one jar of stones labelled ‘still to go’ and one labelled ‘gone’. Each stone represents 100g and watching them move across into the ‘gone’ jar has been really motivational."
My mum is a Lifetime Member and do step challenges together
Having supportive people around me has been really important. My mum (a WW Lifetime Member) and I often have Fitbit challenges where we try to get the most steps between Monday and Friday. It’s hilarious to see us each trying to sneak out extra steps later in the day if the other person is in front. We can be pretty competitive! Mum also suggested I use a visual aid to help me notice the changes along the way. I had one jar of stones labelled ‘still to go’ and one labelled ‘gone’. Each stone represents 100g and watching them move across into the ‘gone’ jar has been really motivational.
My partner is a great support
My boyfriend has always said he thinks I’m beautiful but he knows how important my WW journey has been to me. He regularly consults me about the SmartPoints value in particular meals he’s preparing. We eat WW recipes together; he just has a bigger portion. He walks my dog with me and he always listened to my ups and downs on ‘weigh-in Wednesdays’.
The WW app scan is great help with shopping
Being able to scan a product at the supermarket using the barcode scanner on the WW app often prevents me from putting anything unhealthy in the shopping basket. I now keep WW bars in my handbag for the odd occasion – for example with my cup of tea or at the movies. I’m so grateful to WW for what it’s taught me – honestly, it was so much easier than I expected and I feel much better about life than I did before.
My Christmas strategy
“As a teacher, I get a break over the holiday and in the past my problem has been grazing. A Lindt ball here, a piece of shortbread there, a few glasses of wine after that… it all adds up! This Christmas I plan on being mindful and making sure I don’t over do things. I’ll continue to track – except on Christmas Day – that’s my planned day off!” (We say, fair enough Amy! Good plan!)