“My weight-loss journey helped me recognize my strength”
*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Krista lost weight on prior program and myWW and is continuing on myWW+.
As told to Katerina Gkionis
My reason for joining WW: Along with my boyfriend, I relocated from Austin, Texas, to Portland, Oregon, in September 2019. I wasn’t weighing myself regularly at the time, but the move made me realize something was up: The physical demands of packing and unpacking were harder than I expected, and I could feel the exhaustion more each day as we set up our life here.
Simply put, I’m an active person who loves food. For my new life in the Pacific Northwest, being able to hike and explore and run outdoors was really important to me. In the past, I had tried managing my weight with diets like Whole30, but I’d quickly lose patience with the food restrictions and go back to my usual eating habits. In signing up for WW, I was hoping to develop a more balanced way of eating that actually made sense for my life.
My biggest challenge going in: I love experiencing cities through their cuisine. I’m also very social—meeting up with friends for a meal is my idea of a great night. In Portland, I couldn’t wait to take it all in. There were so many restaurants to discover! Yes, I’ll have the cheeseburger and fries. Yes, I’ll have the doughnuts. The problem was that I’d often feel stuffed and miserable afterward. I had to figure out some way to keep the excitement in my life and enjoy what I was eating without feeling regretful later on.
What I eat in a day:
Sugary breakfast bar
Cheeseburger, fries, root beer
Two-egg omelette with deli turkey, sauteed veggies, and goat cheese, with a glass of water
Chicken with creamy artichoke sauce and roasted broccoli
Baked halibut with roasted Brussels sprouts
Banana with almond butter
How WW set me up for success: I was nervous about taking those first steps into a WW Studio. As I stepped onto the scale, my WW Coach immediately reassured me by saying, “This is the easy part because you’re never going to see that number again.” I found that really invigorating. From there, I jumped right into the program. When I got home that night, I gave myself a crash course in the WW app. Of course, the first thing I searched was the Restaurants page. I loved that you could filter meals by SmartPoints® or restaurant name. That helped me begin to understand how to use my Budget throughout the week. I also used the Recipe Builder tool to plug in a few of my family favorites—like cinnamon rolls—so I’d have the SmartPoints values saved and ready. I really liked that I could add these foods to the mix and not have to take them away. All I had to do was make a plan for enjoying them.
The shift that renewed my spirit: As spring of 2020 approached, I was about 35 pounds* down, going on regular runs with my boyfriend, and taking group classes at my workplace’s fitness center. Getting stronger and healthier felt amazing.
Then, of course, the pandemic hit. On top of that, my boyfriend broke his leg in an accident, and I became his caretaker as he recovered. With all the other social and cultural stressors in the mix, I just lost my momentum. For several months, I didn’t have the energy to do much of anything.
It was summer when I finally resolved to change gears and try focusing on small victories. Life wasn’t all butterflies and rainbows, but I was determined to find some positives. I celebrated things like, “I went for a walk today,” or “I am fortunate to be creating a beautiful home right now.” Recognizing the good around me helped bring positivity to my life and move me forward.
My new approach to dining out: My boyfriend and I continued supporting restaurants during the pandemic, both by ordering takeout and dining outdoors when the weather allowed. I used this as an opportunity to become more mindful when eating. For instance, when we’d order pizza, I’d check in with myself to make a clear decision about having another slice. Many times I’d pause between bites and realize, “OK, I’m starting to feel full. I’m good with this amount.” In the past, I might have plowed ahead and told myself, “Oh, but this pie is so good. I’m going to finish the whole thing.” Now I stop and assess. This helps me stay within my SmartPoints Budget and feel comfortable in my body overall.
How I’m thriving today: Having reached my goal of losing 39 pounds*, I’ve been reflecting on why I started the program: to feel better physically. I didn’t realize how much I’d improve my mindset, as well. So while I can run faster and farther—and have gotten a lot better at planning my meals—I’m also more confident in myself and my ability to manage challenges. I started this journey seeking physical change, and I came away with so much more than that.
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