Success Stories

Ron's new energy

After this scientist’s “Eureka!” weight-loss realization, he discovered a love for running and a zest for life that have helped him stay fit and have fun.

Ron, Digital, Lost 8 lb*

*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Ron lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on WW FreestyleTM. Watch Ron's journey of moving towards a healthy life in the video below.

In Ron’s words:
My mom is from Panama and my dad is a down-South grill master, and as a kid I was able to eat all that good food they made, no problem. I was pretty average for my size, and I chalk that up to having a fast metabolism as a growing boy. When I was studying for my PhD in grad school in my 20s, the pizza and beer did not mesh with my figure. I did my postdoc in Washington, developing even more of those troublesome eating habits — and when I returned to Atlanta, I tried on an old pair of pants and they were pretty tight. I still wore them that day, paired with a large shirt on top. I remember feeling so uncomfortable. That night, I was watching a weight-loss show on TV, still wearing those pants, and I had my “Come to Jesus” moment: “I shouldn’t have to be dealing with my weight at my age. I need to take care of this before I get older.” So I joined WW.

Ron’s first steps to change

Just give it two weeks
I joined WW Digital because I didn’t think I’d be able to attend Wellness Workshops regularly. The first week of the program was tough for me — I only lost half a pound! But I saw my friends who had tried the program in the past have amazing success, so I decided to put faith in it. I’d joined a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and I read articles on about staying on plan around the holidays. I also read success stories of men and women who were able to lose weight and keep it off. When I stepped on the scale after the second week, I’d lost seven pounds! I don’t think my body was used to portion control. My weight loss leveled to one to two pounds per week, but that big loss was what I needed to keep going. That’s why I always say: Just give it two weeks.

Take control of takeout
Instead of ordering out, I started cooking more often. I can’t get enough of Asian cuisine. I used to love breaded, fried takeout like sweet-and-sour chicken; now I make my own healthy stir-fries at home, using significantly less oil. I’ll make chicken or beef with broccoli and lots of veggies. Plus, I started swapping in brown rice for white. (And I know I can still have a reasonable portion of my old favorites if I really want them.)

The power of a resolution
In 2004, a friend and I were at a New Year’s Eve party, and everyone was dancing. So we vowed to take salsa classes in the New Year. Fast forward 11 years, and I’m still dancing. But now, I find that I can move more swiftly across the dance floor. Another benefit: I sweat less, which is a plus for your dance partner! Salsa keeps you young, helps you stay fit, and is just so much fun. While all of us are dancing with our partners, we’re not eating or drinking since we’re obsessed with nailing the moves. But afterward, we like to go out to eat or grab a few cocktails. I make sure to save up my points if I know I’m going out that evening: I’ll load up on veggies during the day or squeeze in a run so that I can enjoy my night out.

How Ron’s success with WW has improved his life

Only settle for the best
Yes, I live in the South, but it’s not like we eat fried chicken and collard greens with pork every day. I’ve become desensitized to those foods since I’ve lived here most of my life. If I’m going for something decadent, I prefer fusion cuisine or dishes like Korean fried chicken or lobster mac ’n’ cheese. My mantra: If you’re going to indulge, have a small amount of the tastiest there is. Honestly, I do miss those foods sometimes, but I just love how I feel after I eat my meals now. I no longer feel sluggish — I have this wonderful energy, and I know it’s because I’m eating better.

Get a running start
When I joined WW, exercise became part of my weekly routine. It was normal for me to run 4 to 5 miles each time I worked out. But when a colleague suggested we run a half marathon, I thought, “Oh no, I’ve never wanted to run 13.1 miles.” But it was a challenge, so I signed up, paid the money, and started training. It was raining during the race, but we made it through, and I caught the running bug. Soon after, a friend who was a part of a running team asked me if I wanted to join his group. I was hesitant because I didn’t know if I could keep up with them, but he told me I could do it, and I started to believe him. The truth is, I couldn’t keep up during the first couple of runs. But they never leave a member behind. Because I was with this group, I became faster, shaving off quite a few seconds from my time, and I gained a brand-new group of friends who encourage me to do my best. Now I’ve run three half marathons in total — one in Atlanta, one in Long, Beach, CA, and another in Washington. I keep all my bibs and medals hanging on my wall to remind me of what I can do!

Take a chance
I’ve learned that throughout different stages in your life, you have to step outside your comfort zone — that’s the only way you grow. That’s how I got my PhD, how I ran three half marathons — and how I attended a salsa dance congress in Croatia. Losing weight helped me change my outlook on life. It was more than just a number. When you start taking care of yourself, start enjoying outside activities, start realizing that you’re good enough and that you’re perfect the way you are — then you realize that life is pretty awesome.