Success Stories

How this member beat her weight loss plateau and lost 35 pounds*

The secret: Support.

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


As told to Katerina Gkionis

I remember sitting in my elementary school cafeteria and realizing I was different: While I typically finished every morsel of my lunch—and I was always thinking about my next meal—my friends stopped eating when they were full.

Weight had long been a huge issue for both me and my family: My parents weren’t just dieters—they often talked about their weight, which made me feel self-conscious about mine from a young age. Slightly overweight, I joined WW many times over the years. Whenever I’d reach my goal, though, I’d kid myself into thinking that I could maintain my weight loss on my own. And then I ended up regaining it.

In the summer of 2011, a few months after I had my second child, I considered joining WW again for the fifth or sixth time. My sister had joined around the same time, and so we decided to start going to WW Workshops together.
 

RELATED: Join, invite a friend, and get a free month of WW

 

A slow start

 

Excited to join, I slowly started experimenting with healthy habits, like tracking and measuring my portions. Except that I wasn’t consistent. I’d follow the program for a few months and then a vacation would derail me. Or I’d stick to my healthy eating habits during the week, but go off track during the weekend. While I felt like I had one foot in the program, and one foot out, I couldn’t let myself quit again and continued going to Workshops on and off with my sister over the next four years.

 

What Misty ate then vs. now

 

  Then Now

Breakfast

A granola bar and fruit

Scrambled eggs with spinach with a side of cottage cheese and whole wheat toast, and sometimes turkey bacon

Lunch

Frozen entree or a huge turkey sandwich with cheese, mayo, bacon, on a roll 

Beef stew with lean ground beef, vegetables, red potatoes, and green chilies; chicken tortilla soup or chicken and vegetable soup with rotisserie chicken; homemade turkey sandwich with turkey, light Swiss cheese, onion, tomato, lettuce, and mustard on whole wheat bread

Dinner

Pasta with cheese, pizza, or hamburgers

White bean chicken chili; bean burrito with fat-free refried beans, light cheese, and a hot sauce in a low-carb tortilla wrap

Snacks

-

Nonfat Greek yogurt with fruit; string cheese and an apple; turkey jerky with fruit

 

By late summer 2015, I’d lost 20 pounds* but continued to hover around that number for months. Weight loss had become harder, I realized, due to my alcohol intake. If I were at a party or a wedding, I’d use a glass of wine or a cocktail to cope with social situations and end up eating more than my Budget allowed throughout the event. Or, if I were at home watching TV with my husband, I’d have a glass of wine or two to unwind, which would lead to late-night snacking.

While I knew the behaviors I’d developed were only holding me back, I didn’t make a change until I discovered Connect, WW’s members-only social network. It couldn’t have come at a better time: The stories, tips, and photos I saw in my feed inspired me. When I scrolled through, I said to myself, “That’s what I want to look like! That’s how I want to feel!” So that fall, I decided to cut out alcohol completely for two months.

During that period, I retrained my brain to unwind in new ways: Instead of drinking, I’d lay in bed and read a book or take a bubble bath. In social settings, I learned to listen to my body and set boundaries. If I felt uncomfortable, I’d politely end my conversation.

Resetting my relationship with alcohol during those two months of sobriety gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself. I envisioned myself losing those last 15 pounds.

Above all, like I had done with alcohol over the past two months, I started to focus on my portions and tracking once again. I listened to my hunger signals and gauged whether I was full instead of finishing every bite like I used to do in grade school. By August 2017, I reached my goal!​

 

Life in maintenance

 

Over the past two years, I’ve maintained my 35-pound* weight loss. While it’s a challenge to stay motivated without a greater goal in sight, I’ve made up little milestones for myself. For instance, while I used to walk my kids around the block in a wagon or stroller four days a week, I’ve amped it up to daily. I’ll even use my activity tracker, do fitness challenges, and practice 30- to 60-second planks a few times a week.

While I appreciate a solid routine, I realize that change can be great, too. So after eight years on the program, when myWW came around, I switched things up by choosing Green. Its ZeroPoint™ foods list, which includes non-starchy veggies and fruit, encourages me to eat more produce. I’ve also started tracking more often and paying more attention to portions. The change of pace has been fun!
 

RELATED: All about myWW

 

Sending the right messages​

 

Now that I’m the parent of a 12-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter, who are both picky eaters, I’m doing my best to share the healthy eating habits I’ve learned on WW. I never want my children to feel the way I did as a child, when my weight was top of mind. From time to time, when I’ve brought them to my WW Workshops, I reinforce that the number on the scale is only one way to gauge your health and wellness.​I know I need to set a good example if I want each of my kids to grow up with a healthy body image. Rather than focus on their appearances, I stress to them how important it is to live a balanced life; to be a good person; and to do well in school. I’m raising a healthy family, and that is my greatest victory.

Explore more WW member transformations here.