How Being Open To New Changes Helped This WeightWatchers® Member Hit Reset

Kara amped up her tracking and expanded her food choices. And now? She’s reaping the benefits.
Published November 8, 2019

*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). Kara lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on WeightWatchers.

As told to Katerina Gkionis

Six years ago, I stood on an old-fashioned scale during my physical when the nurse slid the weighted beam from the 100-pound range to 200, then 300. I was traumatized. After that, I avoided healthcare visits at all costs. I’d been heavy my entire life, but my fast food habit didn’t help the situation; I just couldn’t hear another doctor tell me to lose weight.

In April 2014, my sister and mom decided to join WW. Wary of being left out, I thought, “Why not give it a try?”

RELATED: Invite your friends to WW—for each one who joins, you’ll both get a free month on us!

My first week

When I walked into my WW Studio for the first time and stood on the scale, I was embarrassed by the number I saw on the scale; I just couldn’t believe that I’d let myself get that heavy. After I wrapped up my Wellness Check-in and turned around to see my mom and my sister waiting for me, my shame morphed into resolution. With my family by my side, I was ready to start making changes beginning with a WW Workshop.

During that first meeting, I was surprised to hear members open up about their struggles. When one mentioned that she’d emotionally eaten a stale cookie off her car floor, I thought to myself, “I found my people!”

Making smart decisions

My sister and I live together, so we started to meal plan and cook together. When I knew we were having pizza for dinner, I’d eat a lighter lunch to stay within my WeightWatchers Budget.

Pretty quickly, I realized that it didn’t take much effort to make healthy choices—it only takes a few seconds. One tip I heard during an early WW Workshop: When you’re going out to eat, order first. This way, you’re more likely to ask for say, the turkey burger or grilled chicken with a side of broccoli instead of French fries, rather than let other diners’ delicious-sounding orders sway you.

Most importantly, I realized, I had to reset my relationship with food. Before WW, while I was eating one meal, I’d think about the next. When I shared this with my WW Coach, she said, “You can enjoy the foods you want, just not all of them all of the time.” Over the next few months, I stopped feeling so weighed down by food, and that chain that linked my mind to food was broken.

What Kara ate then vs. now  

BreakfastFast-food breakfast sandwich with sausage and baconA double egg sandwich with hash browns, an ultra-thin slice of cheese and salsa on an English muffin
LunchAs a teacher, I’d have the school lunches like chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and pizza.

Vegetarian chili, taco soup; potato soup with a side of carrots, an apple, or frozen grapes


Fast-food enchiladas and rice and beans; pizza

Air-fryer chicken with a baked potato and steamed broccoli; or Mexican lasagna with salsa, fat-free refried beans, lasagna noodles, reduced-fat cheese, and ground turkey


Crackers, chips, candy bars

An apple and light string cheese, a hard-boiled egg, or frozen edamame

Going back to the basics

Since the beginning of 2019, I went from teaching preschool to developing a new one. While working 12-hour days, I’d slip into old habits like stopping at the drive-thru to get Mexican food.

Instead of listening to my body’s hunger signals, I ate on autopilot, relying on food like chicken, beans, and corn, which I’d eat without abandon, rather than seeking out new dishes to keep things interesting.

So I went back to weighing and measuring my food, an approach that worked for me when I started WW five years ago. The ZeroPoint™ foods list includes foods you don't have to measure or track. While other foods have WeightWatchers values, weighing and measuring them helps me stick to single portions.

Exploring the app to find the foods I was eating made me feel like a new member all over again! I made a rule to track everything I ate—even bites, licks, and tastes.

A change of pace

Now that I feel like I have more flexibility, I’m reaching for a greater variety of foods. I allocate my WeightWatchers for ingredients like lean ground beef, which I like even more than my usual chicken or turkey.

Now that I’ve been on WW for five years, I’m excited about my next chapter—and way less worried about stepping on the scale. I finally feel like I’m in control.

Explore more WW member weight loss transformations.