Why Coach Vicki Got Real About Her “Roommate”
When I first started my WW journey, I hesitated about whether I should say “my girlfriend” or fall back to “my roommate” when talking about my now wife, Staci. That’s how I used to identify her. When we weren’t sure if we’d be accepted as we were, there was a whole different language we’d use.
In 2009, I became a WW Coach and wanted to relate to as many members as possible. So again, I called my wife my roommate or friend. But here’s the thing: She has been my biggest supporter on this journey. So I wouldn’t be doing my members justice if I left that part out.
“Now members ask how my wife is, and one even made us a quilt when we got married. I still think about that—they made a wedding gift for their lesbian WW Coach.”
I started referring to her as my wife, and, yes, I would get a few stares. Then I saw a shift, maybe around the time when same-sex marriage was legalized. Now members ask how my wife is, and one even made us a beautiful king-size quilt when we got married. I still think about that—they made a wedding gift for their lesbian WW Coach.
Reclaiming my identity—and my health
It took my wife and me a long time to come out. But our families have been supportive and comfortable with it. I have LGBTQIA+ relatives, so it wasn’t totally unfamiliar. My relationship with my dad actually changed for the better. Once I stopped hiding and started being who I truly was, with the person I love, he saw how happy I was and opened up to everything.
My dad was a big part of the reason why I started my weight-loss journey. I had been overweight my entire life. Then he was diagnosed with cancer, and I knew I needed to make my health a priority. I joined WW not long after and was sold after my first Workshop: I set my first goal of losing 5% of my weight, and I learned I could still have pizza, Chinese food, and chocolate. No other diets ever worked for me because I would deprive myself of so much.
From then on, I was dedicated: I found a Coach I loved, I changed my work schedule so I was off every Wednesday, and I would find Studios to weigh in at while on vacation. During that time, my dad passed away due to complications from cancer. What I remember so vividly about that time is that I woke up on Wednesday and drove to the nearest WW. I didn't do it for any other reason than that was my habit and I was still making my best choice. In that moment, I think my dad knew that I was going to have this great success with my health.
Creating a safe space
I’m so honored to be a WW Coach and run the LGBTQIA+ Virtual Workshops. People speak from the heart and speak their truth, and you can't get more powerful than that. When we first started these Workshops, members’ reactions were overwhelmingly positive, and that hasn’t changed. There’s such an excitement with having partners on the same screen, talking about their families, and supporting one another. I’m always blown away by the engagement.
“We don’t have to worry about any negative comments that we may hear out in the world, so we talk about everything.”
Things tend to get a little more serious compared to other Workshops—the conversations are deeper and more personal. We don’t have to worry about any negative comments that we may hear out in the world, so we talk about everything: how our relationships impact our food choices, and how many of us didn’t feel comfortable growing up so we’re just now coming into our own.
It’s an incredible place for members to connect with others on the same journey. In fact, I met my best friend through WW, and so did my wife. I really believe Workshops are pure magic—it’s unexplainable unless you witness it.
Finding and sharing support
From the first day I joined WW, my wife has been there with whatever I need. We’ve been together for 24 years, and I wouldn’t be here today without her encouragement and support. (Now I’m supporting her on her own weight-loss journey with WW!) She never tells me that I can't do something—she always says “when you do this.”
“We’re judged so much based on who we are and the way we live our lives. In my house, there is absolutely no judgment ever.”
In our world, we’re judged so much based on our appearance and the way that we live our lives. In my house, there’s absolutely no judgment ever. But I know not everyone has that. I’m so lucky to be able to share that support and love as a Coach, and to create a space with the LGBTQIA+ Workshops where members can truly be themselves.