“In creating a healthier lifestyle, I learned to live my truth”
*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Kate lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on myWW+™.
As told to Katerina Gkionis
Improving my relationship with food was a major focus in my early 20s. I spent two years working closely with a therapist to address an eating disorder I had been coping with since I was 13. Taking those steps toward recovery was a huge personal milestone in prioritizing my mental health and wellbeing.
Honestly, I was processing a lot during that time. Though I had come out as bisexual at 16, I’ve always understood that I am a lesbian. At the time, I guess I felt that identifying as bi would be more palatable to the world. I spent years hiding parts of myself that made me feel scared and vulnerable, and I was ready to move beyond that.
I knew that showing myself love and care would be critical to my continued healing. Part of that would be learning to eat in a way that nourished me. My mom had been a WW member when I was in college, so I knew that the program empowered people to set their own goals, without restrictive rules. I felt WW could support me, too, as I learned to eat more healthfully.
My biggest challenge going in: An erratic meal schedule meant I was often eating late at night or on the fly—and not always going for the most nutritious options. I was eager to find balance but wanted to make sure the WW program was safe for me to try, given my history. I had a conversation with my therapist, who supported WW’s approach. It meant a lot to have that encouragement. I joined as a Digital member in November 2018, excited to enter a program that didn’t treat food as good or bad, but as nourishment for your body.
How WW set me up for success: I eased into my first week. Before I even thought about the SmartPoints® value of anything I was eating, I focused on building the habit of tracking, which I knew was key. I started by tracking my normal foods just to get into the rhythm. I also arranged to check in with my therapist each week about how I was doing.
A few days into the program, I took another step and tried using the tools in the WW app to plan meals. I looked up recipes for my favorite foods and was happy to find delicious ideas like baked buffalo chicken and two-ingredient dough pizza. While grocery shopping, I used the barcode scanner to find snacks that worked for my Budget. I felt good to be armed with knowledge and eating in a way that kept me feeling satisfied throughout the day.
What Kate ate then vs. now
|Breakfast||Large iced caramel coffee drink||Oatmeal with berries and peanut butter; coffee with almond milk|
|Lunch||Cheese pizza with blue cheese and diet soda||Pita pocket with air-fried falafel, hummus, and roasted peppers and onions; side of baby carrots and dill dip|
|Dinner||Pasta with meatballs and extra Parmesan cheese||Air-fried chicken cutlets with baked barbecue potato wedges and roasted green beans|
|Snacks||Barbecue potato chips||WW Barbecue Potato Crisps, pretzels, protein bars, apples, yogurt|
My most joyful non-scale victory: Throughout my WW journey, I noticed an uptick in my energy and strength—no doubt because I was moving more and eating more healthfully. My favorite example is from when I went apple picking with my family: At one point, my siblings were about to grab a ladder so we could reach an apple high in a tree. I stopped them and said, “Wait—I’ll get that apple.” And that’s when I climbed a tree for the first time in my life. It was so freeing and fun!
How the WW community empowered me: As a femme-presenting lesbian, I have to decide whether to come out any time I enter a new community. I ask myself, “How am I going to navigate this? Can I trust people with this information? Am I in a safe-enough space here?” These questions often come with anxiety and a little bit of fear.
When I decided to open up about my identity and my journey with other WW members on Instagram, I was moved to be met with acceptance. Since then I’ve built meaningful connections with a number of fellow members. Showing up in that space as my authentic self boosted my confidence and allowed me to feel seen. It even helped me meet my girlfriend on another social platform—I needed that courage to DM her!How WW fired me up for the long haul: When I joined WW, I was searching for tools that could help me live a healthier life. Along the way, I expanded my circle of support and learned a lot about how I interact with the world as my authentic self.
Having reached my goal of losing 81 pounds* over a year and a half, I’m now thinking even more broadly about what I want out of life. I’m stripping away the fear and embracing new adventures and chances to connect with people—like the time last summer when my friends and I went to the beach and ended up spontaneously cliff jumping. More of that, please. Let’s go!
Note: Addressing eating disorder symptoms with a qualified care professional is critical for improving one’s wellbeing and overall relationship to food. For more information on finding support for disordered eating, visit the WW mental health resources page.
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