“My Confidence Came Back Before the Scale Even Budged!”
*At 6 months, participants in a clinical trial of the WW weight-loss program lost an average of 9.7 lbs (5% of body weight). And, people who track their food more often lose more weight. When actual WW members track their food at least two times a week for 6 months they lose on average 16.6 lbs. (7.9% body weight). Claire lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on WeightWatchers.
As told to Katerina Gkionis
As a hairstylist, I love to make my clients feel beautiful—both on the outside and the inside. But at the end of 2020, having recently had my second child, I wasn’t feeling that way myself. My pre-pregnancy clothes didn’t fit, and when I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t happy with the person I saw.
Pregnancy weight wasn’t even the issue. I had gained only about 30 pounds during those nine months, which was within the range my doctor recommended. My issue was a pattern of nonstop snacking I developed after the fact. Suddenly, I had very little time to myself, and I struggled to set a schedule. I’d stick my hand in a bag of cheesy crackers and end up eating multiple servings. There was a general lack of control happening in my life—and being in the middle of a pandemic with two young kids didn’t help. I knew from a past membership experience that WW could help provide structure, so in January 2021, I signed back into the WW app and decided to start fresh.
My biggest challenge going in: My days were different and much busier than they had been prior to 2020. I had wanted to grow my family for so long—I experienced a miscarriage after my first child—so while I was overjoyed to be a mom of two, I now had a lot more to manage. I found it hard to prioritize my wellbeing. Living in sweats, not nurturing myself … My confidence was at a low point, which fed into a cycle of not feeling motivated.
How WW set me up for success: I’ve never been driven by the number on the scale, so I focused more on my habits when I joined—I definitely needed strategies to manage the nonstop snacking. I didn’t enjoy that out-of-control feeling, and I knew that tracking what I was eating could help with that.
I also realized I was snacking all the time because I never had a plan for my meals, so I started making a grocery list with recipe ideas for the week ahead. As soon as I rejoined, I was pretty much glued to the WW app! Having tools like the barcode scanner and Recipe Builder helped bring consistency back into my life.
What Claire ate then vs. now
|Breakfast||Bagel with cream cheese and a caramel latte||Low-carb wrap with scrambled eggs, veggies, and cheddar cheese; coffee with frothed almond milk and cinnamon|
|Lunch||Chicken salad hoagie with a side of chips||Homemade chicken salad with fat-free Greek yogurt, soy sauce, lemon, mustard, and sliced almonds, plus a side of chips|
|Dinner||Cheesy pasta and bread||Baked pizza casserole with turkey pepperoni, ham, onions, yellow peppers, cheese, zucchini, and yellow squash|
|Happy hour||Piña colada made with a sweetened mixer||Lightened piña colada made with coconut water, rum, grenadine, and whipped cream|
The change I noticed right away: No, I didn’t instantly lose 10 pounds or fit into all of my pre-baby clothes immediately. But in the first few days, I felt my confidence starting to come back. Strategies like tracking my snacks helped me feel more on top of my choices—and my life in general! This inspired me to open up about my journey on my Instagram page, @thinkingclairezy. I reintroduced myself to my followers and told them about the changes I was making. I also thought it was important to represent a body type that I wasn’t seeing too often on the platform.
How I began seeing myself differently: Even before WW, I’d do “try-ons” of clothing on Instagram—boutiques would send me outfits, and I’d give my reviews live. It’s always been fun! And though I’ve never been one to weigh myself frequently, I do know that I started around a size 14. As I progressed in my WW journey, I noticed that I was having to request smaller and smaller sizes. I felt great, but I was surprised by why I felt great: I didn’t feel better because I was in a smaller size; I felt better because I was loving the feeling of taking care of myself. This was an a-ha moment. I switched my lens from staring at my ‘imperfections’ in the mirror to appreciating my overall success. This meant wearing the tank top, the cheeky swimsuit, and the shorts!
The setback strategy that keeps me going: WW has really taught me the value of bouncing back. I still have times when I get my hand in a bag of cheesy crackers, or when I finish my kid’s food and don’t track any of it. It tends to happen when I’m stressed, or exhausted, or just not in the mood to track.
I’ve learned that sharing those moments with my Instagram community is really helpful. People remind me that it’s only one slip-up; how maybe I need a break; how one weekend of indulgence isn’t going to throw me off completely. And this nudges me to think about what I really need to get back on track: Maybe it’s a fun night out reconnecting with friends; maybe it’s an early bedtime; maybe it’s some healthy snack prep.
What I discovered about myself: I've never played a team sport, but my WW family makes me feel like I’m part of something. And it's awesome because there's no opposing team. I reached my goal of losing 53 pounds* in June 2021, and I’m still using all the WW tools to maintain my healthy habits. I believe in myself now—and nothing is more powerful than that.