Success Stories

Amy Gives Back

This dog lover’s weight loss helped her pursue her greatest passion.
Published January 23, 2018

Amy lost 50 lbs*

*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Amy, WW Coach, lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on PersonalPoints™. Watch her journey of getting fit and keeping up with her brood in the video below.

In Amy’s words:
I became passionate about animal rescue after adopting my first dog when I was 20. I volunteered at local animal shelters, but my injured knee — I’d dislo­cated a knee cap when I was 15 — limited my mobility and required multiple surgeries. My knee prob­lems, combined with a sedentary job and a struggle with depression, had made me gain weight; I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to work with animals in a bigger way.

Passion and purpose

Reclaiming my strength
I experienced my “a-ha moment” when I saw a photo of myself posted on social media. To be honest, I didn’t recognize myself, and when I asked a friend who that was and realized it was me, I knew I had to make a change. Another friend had built this happy, active, wonderful life through WW, so I decided to give it a try. Luckily, my employer at the time, the University of Minnesota, offered Wellness Workshops as part of the wellness program at the university. So each Thursday at noon, I’d head to my Workshop in the office. It felt great having the support from my employer.

Caring for Fido
As I was losing weight, my knees started feeling better and I began moving more. My increased energy spurred me to start fostering animals and become more active in animal rescue. First, I’d help out with adoption days for a local rescue. Then, I became involved with Pause 4 Paws, a nonprofit that supports rescues — now I’m the VP! And through this process, my husband, Andrew, and I grew our brood at home: now, we own seven dogs, three cats, and one pig. That’s a lot of animal care. Before I lost weight, Andrew did the bulk of the work. Now, we can take care of the animals together because I have the energy, positivity, and ability to help him with it all.

Pursuing my passion
Last year, I learned about a program called the Rescue Bank, which helps distribute pet food to rescues. I became the affiliate for Minnesota. In the eight months since it opened, I’ve handed out more than 230,000 pounds of dog and cat food. While we own 10 animals, we also foster another pig and five more cats. It’s so rewarding to work with broken, battered animals and help them find their forever homes. It takes a lot of work and patience to rebuild their trust in humans. Sometimes we “foster fail” — we adopt the dog or cat ourselves!

How Amy’s success with WW has improved her life

Taking a turn
After I found success with WW at the university, I quit my job to become a WW Coach. I love watching members’ transformations — it’s like seeing caterpillars become butterflies. Through my members, I’ve also learned to move more. One member introduced me to Kangoo, which is a cardio workout using rebound boots. The boots take pressure off my joints, while the high-energy music keeps me moving. Now, we hold classes in our WW Studio, too! I also started taking PiYo classes, which is a combination of Pilates and yoga. It involves doing yoga poses at a faster-moving pace. The moves strengthen and stretch my body.

Making time for us
Our home life can get a little crazy with all of the animals. But our pets are like our children, and we wouldn’t trade them for the world. Andrew and I carve time out of our day to spend with one another. We used to live in Minneapolis, but we’ve found peace on our country property. There are no sirens, just silence. Most nights, we make a fire in our fire pit and decompress outdoors. Or, we’ll cozy up on the couch with a glass of wine and a movie. We’re so busy with work and the animals that it’s nice to sit down and relax together.

Caring for me=caring for the world
I’ve realized a valuable lesson through my journey: The better I take care of myself, the more I’m able to give to Andrew, to my members, to our animals, to Pause 4 Paws, and to the Rescue Bank. Is my body perfect? Of course not. But I love it, and I love that with it, I can take care of my animals. This is me, there’s no one else like me, and I love me. That’s an invaluable feeling.