Putting Herself on the Schedule

Tammy after
Tammy before
 For the first time, I was able to connect with people who also had more than 100 pounds to lose — and those people were doing it! They weren’t quitting. 
*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Tammy lost weight with a prior Weight Watchers program

Tammy, a 2009 Inspiring Stories of the Year winner, knew she didn’t want her family history to repeat itself. She turned to Weight Watchers to interrupt the cycle and turn her life around.

Weight has always been as issue for me. I was a chubby child who grew up to be a morbidly obese adult, and my weight had finally become an unbearable burden. My mother passed away from cancer, dying in a nursing home because she had so many obesity-related problems that we couldn’t bring her home to die. That was my past, but it was also my future — and it was a scary thing.

The first step: Committing to a change
I stepped on the scale one day to see that I weighed almost 300 pounds. After a long cry, I knew I had to take action. I had been a Weight Watchers member before, and knew I had to go back. But this time I needed to follow the plan — I needed an eating plan for life.

Before I changed my mind, I drove to a meeting and prayed that I would have the courage to get out of the car and go in. I knew it was going to be very hard to face the Leader who had watched me fail so many times before. I shouldn’t have worried, because when I opened the door she smiled and told me she was happy that I was back.

I signed up for Monthly Pass that night and began following the POINTS® Weight-Loss System. The meetings, eTools and message boards have been essential to my progress. For the first time, I was able to connect with people who also had more than 100 pounds to lose — and those people were doing it! They weren’t quitting.

The second step: Getting fit
I used to think I was too tired to exercise, and now even if I’m tired I still exercise because I know I’ll have more energy afterwards. I do some form of exercise at least once a day, even if it’s just taking a walk. I think of it as “me time” — finally, I’ve put myself on the schedule.

At the Inspiring Stories Makeover in New York City, I met with fitness trainer Ken Szekretar, who came up with a custom workout plan for me. It took a lot of rethinking to realize now I can do the things that were challenging before, like use a fitness ball. He gave me picture directions so I could do the moves at home with confidence. And I hadn’t thought about doing simple things like jumping rope!

Finally: Inspiring others
An unexpected gift for has been when people tell me that that I am their inspiration for joining Weight Watchers and meeting their personal weight-loss goals. I’ve even had people ask me when I was going to start my own Weight Watchers meeting! I have to gently remind them that I’m not quite at my goal, but I’m getting really, really close. Hopefully someday I will able to use my weight-loss experience to help others reach their goals. But for right now, I am just enjoying the journey.

The Trainer’s Tip
Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality. “A lot of people seem to think that you have to do 60-minute workouts every day of the week to get fit,” says fitness trainer Ken Szekretar. “And then they’ll attempt a long workout, and won’t be able to do it, which adds a layer of failure to overcome. But really, every little bit helps. Take 10-minute breaks during the day to do sit-ups or jump rope — that way you’ve at least burned some calories you otherwise might not have.”