How losing 40 pounds* helped this member move forward after a miscarriage

A devastating loss threw Gladys for a loop until a friend’s invitation changed everything.

*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Gladys lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on myWW™.

As told to Katerina Savvides

I was about 13 weeks pregnant when my husband and I found out that our baby had a chromosomal defect. Over the next few weeks, we got second and third opinions. But in August 2017, our worst fears were realized; I was five months pregnant when we lost the baby.

I couldn't have been more devastated. At 39 years old, I saw my pregnancy as my last shot at having a second child.

Though I had gained about 10 pounds during my pregnancy, I couldn't even think about how I looked; I was too busy mourning and stressing about trying to get pregnant again. During the day, my usual schedule distracted me: I worked as a physical therapist, took care of my 4-year-old daughter, and cooked dinner for my family. It was only at night that I let myself get emotional. After I'd break out a bag of chips, a can of nuts, or a pint of ice cream, I'd cry myself to sleep.

In the year that followed, I gained about 10 more pounds. Feeling incredibly off, I began talking to friends about my loss in an effort to heal. When I told a friend who'd lost weight on WW that I was stressed about my recent weight gain, she sent me an Invite a Friend offer code for a free first month on the program.
 

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From digital to IRL


After I signed up as a Digital member, I bought a set of measuring cups to help me track accurate portions. And boy, was that eye-opening! I hadn't realized that I'd been eating two to three servings of breakfast—whether it was oatmeal, sugary cereal, or grits—every morning. I adjusted my serving sizes right away, and I lost four pounds* that first week. A few weeks later, I started going to WW Workshops. I had been a Workshop + Digital member in the past, and I knew the added accountability would help me on my journey.
 

What Gladys ate then vs. now

 

  Then Now
Breakfast Two packs of instant oatmeal or sugary cereal; or eggs, bacon, and two servings of grits Scrambled eggs with turkey bacon and light wheat toast or ½ cup of grits with eggs
Lunch A fast-food hamburger and French fries or fried chicken with sweetened tea A turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, light mayo on light wheat bread; ¼ cup of nuts and light cheese with fruit; or fast-food chili with a pack of crackers
Dinner Spaghetti with meatballs and canned tomato sauce; or hard-shell tacos stuffed with ground beef and topped with cheese and ranch or sour cream Taco salads with ground turkey breast or black beans and corn with lettuce, tomato, onions, salsa, fat-free cheese, and a light ranch dressing
Snacks Chips, ice cream, or handfuls of mixed nuts Grapes, cherries, baby carrots with light ranch; or spreadable cheese wedges


A new approach to lunch


Before I joined WW, I wasn't very mindful of what I'd eat during the day. I found myself going to the drive-thru or snacking all day long instead of eating substantial meals. Once I started tracking my snacks, I could see how all those "BLT" (bite, licks, and tastes) added up.

Now I pack my lunch to bring to work every day. I swap my salty favorites like chips and nuts for fruits and vegetables. And when I want chips? I bag a single serving and leave the larger package at home.

While I didn't have to give up fast food to stay within my SmartPoints budget, I've learned the smartest choices for when I'm on the go, like a small chili from the drive-thru.
 

Managing setbacks


About two months after I joined WW, I started walking 30 minutes three times a week. Although my routine was elementary, it felt good to move more and keep my mind busy.

Eventually, I worked up to four gym sessions a week: I'd hop on the elliptical, treadmill, or step climber and mix in some strength training, too. After my workouts, I felt calmer and more motivated.

While exercise has helped me tackle emotional setbacks, it's not my only coping mechanism when the scale doesn't cooperate: After four months of steady weight loss, Thanksgiving derailed my efforts when the holiday turned into a long weekend of over-indulging. Although I gained a few pounds, when I woke up on Monday morning, I knew exactly what to do: I practiced the habits I'd learned on WW, like measuring my portions, and got right back on track.
 

A changing “why”


Now that I've been on WW for over a year with no natural pregnancy to report, I'm working with a fertility specialist and considering IVF. At the same time, I've shifted my focus toward being healthy and happy—and setting the best possible example for my daughter by say, cooking healthier versions of traditional meals. Instead of classic spaghetti and meatballs with white pasta and ground beef, I make low-carb noodles with ground turkey meatballs and low-sugar canned tomato sauce. The whole family benefits!
 

RELATED: Invite a Friend to WW! You'll Both Get a Free Month
 

My life today


Though I'd only set out to lose the 20 pounds I'd gained, a year into the program, I'm already down 40 pounds*.What's more, I went from large and extra-large work scrubs to a size medium. And I have so much more energy—my self-esteem is soaring!

Emotionally, sharing my story with WW members on Connect, WW's members-only network, has helped me heal. As part of a Connect group for mothers over 40 years old, I know I'm not alone.

If there's one thing I've learned in the course of my journey, it's to share more. You never know how your story—or invitation!—can help someone.

Explore more WW member transformations here.