Success Stories

John Finds His Freedom

This dean's spontaneous decision to join WW changed his life completely.
Published December 6, 2017

John lost 136 lbs*

*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. John lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on WeightWatchers. Listen to John tell his story of how he's now half his size.

In John’s words:
I didn’t have a miserable life before I lost weight. I married my wife; we had a healthy, energetic son; and I was working as a middle school dean, a profession I love. Then, one Saturday in January, my wife asked me to stay home with our kid so she could attend her first WW Workshop at a WW Studio. After she returned, I decided to sign up, too. There was no “aha” moment. I made a quick decision, and it has opened up so many other options for me.

Making small changes

The road ahead
When I walked into my first Workshop, I felt reluctant. I signed up because my wife was joining, not because I had this urge to do this myself. When I went to my Wellness Check-in, immediately I thought, “I can’t do this, I can’t possibly lose the weight,” but once I sat in the Workshop, the WW Coach and the members brought me back into focus. They helped me realize that I didn’t have over 100 pounds to lose. I had 5 pounds to lose, then 10, then five percent of my body weight, then 10 percent, and so on. The group was so welcoming and so inspiring, and I wanted to continue to come back to my 9:30 am Saturday morning Workshop each week.

My first tweaks
When I first joined, I revamped everything that I was eating. Since my wife and I were both on the program, we were on the same page about our lifestyles. We always have vegetables — romaine hearts, peppers, cucumbers — to make a salad. I always try to have at least a couple of cooked chicken cutlets in the fridge as well. This way, if I get home late, I can add protein to my salad and have a healthy meal. I used to snack often, but now I found that if I have three balanced meals throughout my day, I don’t feel the need to snack.

Getting active
When I joined WW in the 90s, I stayed active by cycling. Once I stopped following the program back then, I stopped riding. After I lost about 100 pounds on WW this time around, I decided that I’d reward myself with a new bike. We were heading to Long Beach Island in New Jersey for a week over the summer, and I brought the bike with us. I rode it every morning. Now, I like to come home from work and hop on the bike and ride around the park for half hour or an hour to burn off some energy.

How John’s success with WW has improved his life

A growing bond
My relationship with my seven-year-old son Aidan has changed quite a bit. He was very active from a young age. When I was heavier, it was a challenge to keep up. I’d get tired so quickly that I’d make an excuse to go sit down and let him play on his own. Now, I’m an active participant. He loves to play tag and get chased around, and I can run after him. I’ll ride my bike, and he’ll ride his scooter by my side. It’s quality time that we can spend together, and it’s a nice feeling.

My “why”
When I joined, I didn’t have my “why” laid out for me. I didn’t know what it could be because I didn’t realize how much my life would change. I decided my “why” would be taking off my shirt at the beach, and let everything else happen on its own. I joined in January 2015, and by July 2016, I was ready to go to the beach and take off my shirt. I thought people would be staring, but no one was looking. I had to quiet the inner critic inside and enjoy the freedom I felt.

Standing taller
As a dean at a middle school, I wore a button-down shirt on a daily basis, but I never tucked it in. Almost a year into the program, my wife bought me new clothes to wear to school, and she suggested I tuck in my shirt, and I followed her advice. To my surprise, I looked and felt great — so great that I even asked a colleague to take a photo of me before the day started. Now, I’m more confident than ever. I finally feel as if I’m living, not just observing. I feel very content, and I feel like this is what life is supposed to be like. I’m loving every moment. 

Explore more WW member transformations here.