Beautiful at Any Size

Michele After
Michele Before
 Patience and persistence got me to goal, not perfection. 
*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Michele lost weight with a prior Weight Watchers program

After accepting that it was her fate to be a "big and beautiful" woman, Michele realized that the extra weight was taking a physical toll on her body. So she joined Weight Watchers meetings and finally lost the weight!

I was chubby as a kid and got teased a lot. My mother struggled with her weight too. Any veggies we ate were covered in butter. I also learned to equate food with comfort.

Big and Beautiful
In college, I was lucky enough to spend a year studying in Switzerland. I was on a small budget, so I made all my own meals and walked everywhere. Not surprisingly, I started losing weight. As compliments rolled in, I pushed myself to lose more, but not in a healthy way.

Back in the United States, I began to regain the weight I'd lost. I also found friends who thought me attractive at my large size. So I accepted my weight and decided it was just "in the genes." I saw myself as a big, beautiful woman.

Wake-Up Call
Although I had a good body image, poor eating habits and lack of exercise began to take a toll on my body when I was in my late twenties. Shortly after my 30th birthday, I was walking from the train to work, and I got winded. My knees ached, and my back was killing me. I decided I needed to lose weight not for any external reasons—for others' praise or to fit in smaller clothes&151but so I could have a healthier, longer life.

Feeling Better
I talked with my doctor about a healthful way to lose weight, and she recommended Weight Watchers. I joined meetings and started following the POINTS® Weight-Loss System. Right away, I felt amazing. I could eat large portions of fruits and veggies to feel satisfied and still lose weight. I also found that drinking more water made me feel refreshed; I no longer confused dehydration with hunger. I gained more energy and felt able to take on tasks I never thought I could.

Loving My Body
My former Leader passed on words of wisdom from a friend who had said to her, "You can lose all your weight through diet alone, but are you going to like your body afterwards?" I realized, with how much weight I had to lose, exercise was the only way I wouldn't have loose folds all over my body!

I never felt sporty, so I started working with exercise DVDs at home. I found that exercising (which I never stuck with in the past) is a great tool for stress relief. I love yoga for recharging. I do strength training to maintain healthy bones and I even enjoy belly dancing for its slow, controlled movements. I'll be healthier at 40 than I was at 30!

Michele’s Tips
  • Find encouragement online at It's wonderful to compare others' experiences to your own. The positive feedback from the message boards can help you push yourself further.
  • When I dine out, I start with a tossed salad to fill myself up. Then I only eat my main course until I'm satisfied; I never clean my plate.
  • My family members have always been "food pushers," so I have the phrase, "Everything was so delicious, I can't eat another bite," when I dine with relatives.
  • At social gatherings, I've learned to only eat the foods that are "special." Chips and dip? Not special enough!
  • I try to remember that patience and persistence, not perfection, got me to goal. I'm not perfect, and it's important to remember that.
  • I put together a top 10 list of reasons why I wanted to lose weight. I looked at it when I was feeling unmotivated. When I reached goal, I made my list of top 10 reasons to maintain. These lists remind me how important it is to continue with healthy behavior.
  • Mini goals are critical to those of us with a lot to lose. Those can be scale goals, such as losing 20 or 30 pounds, or process goals, such as journaling successfully for three weeks in a row.
  • Remember to reward yourself. For my 100-pound mark, I bought a gold bracelet that serves as an anchor to remind me of how far I had come.