Success Stories

Elena Faced Her Challenges

And she conquered them, whether it’s running a 5K, adjusting to a gluten-free lifestyle, or creating a whole new sense of fashion.

Elena lost 43 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 WW Freestyle™. 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.

Going gluten-free
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.

Smart snacking
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 ZeroPointTM 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.

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