An Incredible Journey

 I started my journey at age 52, but since I lost the weight, I feel like I’m just starting to live. 
*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
At nearly 350 pounds, Denise had high cholesterol and blood pressure — not to mention joint pain and trouble walking. Her daughter had recently become pregnant and the thought of not being able to play with her grandchild was the motivation she needed to start losing weight. Weight Watchers meetings helped her get to goal.

In Denise's words:

A few years ago, my daughter had suffered a miscarriage and our family was devastated by the loss. I prayed and told God if he would give my children a healthy baby, I would get healthy myself. I knew if I didn’t lose weight I wouldn’t be able to run around and be a fun grandma. When my daughter got pregnant for the second time, I decided to join Weight Watchers.

Getting started

I chose Weight Watchers because I wanted to be able to eat normal food that I could cook every day that my husband would eat, too. But I was nervous to get started. The first time I went to a Weight Watchers meeting I chose to pay weekly instead of monthly because I honestly didn’t think I’d stick with it. But after two weeks, I was steadily losing weight and knew it was sustainable. So then I got the Monthly Pass and haven’t looked back.

All of the people in my meeting are very close. We share recipes and talk about different tricks and strategies for staying on Plan. We discuss ways to adjust ingredients to make healthier meals so we have more PointsPlus® values left at the end of the day.

Making changes

My problem wasn’t with desserts or sweets. My problem was portion control. But soon after I joined Weight Watchers I started making adjustments. Instead of eating an entire 12-ounce steak, I made myself a 4-ounce steak, things like that. And I realized I was still satisfied. I also made swaps like using ground turkey instead of beef and lower-fat cheese for high-fat cheese. Once I started making those changes the weight started coming off.

Getting active

When I first started Weight Watchers I wasn’t able to move very much. My knees hurt. I weighed close to 350 pounds and wore a size 5x. I used to have handicapped sticker on my car so I could park as close to the grocery store as possible. I always wondered what people were thinking when they saw me do that since I’d get out of the car and have no real physical handicaps. But I had to do that because I literally couldn’t walk across the parking lot. Now I park as far away as possible.

After I lost about 75 pounds, I was able to move more, which was exciting for me. I started going to a gym and a trainer gave me an exercise regimen that I could actually do and stick to. I started out using a NuStep, which is a sit-down piece of equipment, and now I walk six to seven miles a day. My joint pain is gone and I can’t get enough exercise!

Small victories

I used to do all of my shopping through mail order because store just didn’t carry my size. Now it's so exciting to take an article of clothing off the rack and know that it’s going to fit. But my success isn’t just about fitting into smaller clothes, my success is being able to sit in a chair with arms without having to wedge myself in. When I get on an airplane I no longer have to ask for a seatbelt extender.

I also used to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so I took medications for both of those conditions. Now I don’t take any medicines. I also love all of the hugs I get now that I’m thinner. Sometimes when I’m out with my husband, people ask him what happened to his first wife! Now I enjoy life and celebrate every day.

The new Denise

It took me two years to reach my goal, which might sound like a long time to some people. But I knew that I didn’t gain the weight overnight and I wasn’t going to lose it overnight, so the two years didn’t seem so long. I knew that if I wanted to maintain my weight loss that it wasn’t going to be a fast journey.

Before Weight Watchers I was very self-conscious. I wouldn’t go very many places and when I did, I’d walk into a room and feel like everyone was looking at me. Now I feel more confident. When I walk into a room now I feel like I deserve to be there!

Losing weight gave me a purpose and made me a better person. Now I have two grandsons and I’m able play with them and get on the floor to give them horsey rides. That’s by far the best part of losing the weight.

I started my journey at age 52, but since I lost the weight, I feel like I’m just starting to live. It’s exciting and I feel so good about myself and want to experience everything I can in life. My advice to anyone would be to start that new journey. It’s so worth it.