*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Cassie, who's WW Guide, lost weight on a prior program and continued on myWW™.
As told to Katerina Gkionis
I thought I looked adorable in the Halloween costume I wore to school in November 2017. But when I saw a picture of myself wearing an XL men’s Jersey Devils jersey posing next to one of my students, I was mortified. It wasn’t the first time I was shocked by my appearance: A photo of my back conducting a student concert had the same effect. I didn’t recognize the person I’d become. I knew I needed to do something—that I couldn’t live this way anymore.
Ever the athlete without the “typical” athlete’s body, I’d already tried every fad diet in the book. Instead of finding a solution that worked for me, every attempt just chipped away at my relationship with food until the mental wear became more exhausting than the physical wear of carrying around extra weight.
That fall, I walked past a WW Studio on my way home from church and peeked inside. I recognized the WW Guide—she was a woman who worked at my school district. Convinced the coincidence was a sign, I joined on the spot.
A new approach
After my first WW Workshop, the WW Coach who’d led the session asked about my motivation to join WW, or my “why.” When I told her I wanted to build a healthier relationship with food, she urged me to go deeper until I realized that I’d been eating to mask feelings of loneliness and fear that stemmed from my new teaching job and living alone in a new city. I left feeling motivated to make changes right away and stay accountable.
Over the past few years, I’ve found incredible success on WW by making smart substitutions like fruits and vegetables instead of potato chips, lightening up favorites with fat-free cheese instead of full-fat alternatives, and using Greek yogurt in everything. I reached my goal weight in March 2019, two-and-a-half years after joining the program. But after I broke up with my boyfriend during the summer of 2019, my loneliness crept back in, I started gaining weight again.
To keep my ex off my mind, I’d go out with my coworkers for trivia night or taco Tuesdays. I thought I was making healthy choices like choosing chicken tacos over beef, but the drink specials were so cheap that I’d down four drinks in one outing. Meanwhile, my shorts got so tight that I had to buy a new pair.
A change of pace
Every Monday, I’d tried to hop back on the program without success. It wasn’t until I found out about myWW that I began losing again. A change of pace was just what I needed.
When considering which color to choose, I gravitated towards Purple because of all the additional ZeroPoint™ foods. Since 2018, I’ve run at least one 5K each month, and I’ve worked up to 4-mile runs, a 10K, a half-marathon, and obstacle course races, too. To fuel up for my workouts, I was blowing through my daily SmartPoints® Budget and using all my Weeklies to eat carbs like whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and potatoes.
So I was so excited when I found that I could start incorporating carbs back into my meals as ZeroPoint foods on Purple! I still eat most of my staples like Greek yogurt and eggs, but I’ve added in oats or brown rice and farro to bulk up my meals, and I feel so much more satisfied now.
What Cassie ate then vs. now
|Breakfast||Fast food breakfast sandwiches like turkey sausage on a croissant and coffee with lots of creamer and sweetener||Protein pancakes or cheesy eggs and a banana|
|Lunch||Sicilian pizza with pepperoni or sausage and chips, or leftovers like homemade chili||
Spinach salad with roasted butternut squash and red peppers, sunflower seeds, black beans, corn, fat-free feta, quinoa—or barley or farro—and grapes, with a homemade sriracha and Greek yogurt dressing
Mexican fast food like tacos, fast food like two cheeseburgers and French fries, or pasta covered in cheese
A loaded baked potato with fat-free cheddar, salsa, and Greek yogurt; homemade gumbo with brown rice sprinkled with fat-free mozzarella
Chips, gummy candy, any sweets from the drugstore
Barbecue protein chips, strawberries, blackberries, and bananas, or a WW Fudge Brownie Mug Cake prepared with a egg and topped with pudding, banana, and chocolate chips
Because my myWW meals are so filling, I don’t snack as often as I used to. Instead of eating for emotional support or comfort, I eat to fuel my body to reach my goals.
Sticking with it
Right now, I’m directing two different musicals at my school, conducting a choir, and running every day. Often, I’ll grab ZeroPoint foods on the go because I don’t have to track or measure them. That said, I still like to track foods with SmartPoints values using the WW app, which racks up WellnessWins rewards. I’ve lost 11 pounds* on myWW, which brings me back to my goal weight. Now I know I’ll be able to maintain it.
RELATED: All about myWW
Setting new goals
Eating more whole, nutritious foods makes me feel stronger—I have more muscle than ever before.
But now that I have the confidence to get back on stage without cringing at my photos, I’ve joined an orchestra as a pianist. When my back faces the audience, I know I won’t be nervous about what they see.
Explore more WW member transformations here.