Elena lost 40 lbs*
*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Elena lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on myWW™. In the video below, watch Elena tell her story of how she thanks her body for what it can do today.
In Elena’s words:
I have vivid childhood memories of being bigger than everyone else: In second grade, my thighs jiggled more than other girls’; in third, we had to calculate the median mode of our weights in class and I was at the top end; in fifth, I asked my mom to shop for me in the boys’ section because I wanted my pants to be less fitted around my thighs. I had joined WW during college, but it didn’t stick. After I graduated, I decided to try it again.
How Elena started appreciating what her body can do
My first goal
When I went to my first WW Workshop, I felt embarrassed. My presence at that Workshop meant that I was admitting I had a problem. I was shy, but I kept attending each week. I was thinking about the first goal I wanted to reach and a 5K came to mind. It was September 2014 when I joined, and earlier that spring, I’d said I wanted to run a 5K by the end of the year. So I downloaded the Couch to 5K app, and that December, I ran a Santa Hustle 5K. After I completed the 5K, something clicked: If I can do this, I can do anything.
Making food changes
My problem wasn’t so much the foods I was consuming, but that I couldn’t stop eating. In college, I became accustomed to the all-you-can-eat dining hall. Learning the correct portions through weighing and measuring my food helped me understand what a normal portion size is. And my body thanked me for that.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I had been eating food my body couldn’t digest, so I had to give my daily diet an overhaul. In terms of the program, it helped me in some ways — I couldn’t eat doughnuts anymore — but I also had to adjust to new bread options. Gluten-free bread products tend to be a little higher in SmartPoints. For instance, I miss my sliced bread that was 1 SmartPoints value. There was a learning curve, but now my heart — and my stomach — are both satisfied.
Though sometimes I miss the sweets I used to consume, I found delicious snacks that work for me. I love topping a plain rice cake with Better’n Peanut Butter, a sliced banana, and shredded coconut. I’ll enjoy a Babybel cheese with veggies, or Trader Joe’s black bean dip with carrots. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables that are all ZeroPoint™ foods.
How Elena’s success with WW has improved her life
Putting on some pants
I never wore pants in college. I felt like my thighs were too big. It was my “thing” that I always wore skirts. My friends thought I was trying to be fabulous or fancy, but really, I just didn’t like how I looked or felt in pants. But today, my confidence has skyrocketed. Now I wear jumpsuits, rompers, and jeans. It feels great to wear what I want without the worry.
Appreciating my body
I’ve became proud of my body. After my first 5K, I continued running. I started doing more 5Ks and eventually I completed a half-marathon. Now, I’m training for the Chicago marathon. Every Saturday, my team and I train on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail. Everyone is at a different level, but we’re all training for the same purpose, and I love that. I gave myself the gift of health and activity; in turn, my body showed me how strong, fast, and flexible it can be.
Believing in myself
Today, my confidence has roots because I’ve accomplished what I thought was impossible. I say to myself, “You weren’t able to run half a block without being winded, and now you’re training for the Chicago marathon.” Some things that I thought were unattainable are now within reach. I want to keep tracking, even when it’s hard. I want to keep running, even if I don’t feel like it one day. I want to keep living this healthy lifestyle. It’s worth it.
Explore more WW member transformations here.