Merial Moves Forward

This member has stayed committed to her goals for six years, and she’s not turning back now.
Published March 19, 2018

Merial lost 95 lbs*

*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). Merial lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on WeightWatchers. Watch Merial's journey of getting healthy and experiencing life like never before in the video below.

In Merial’s words:
My father always loved me unconditionally. In 2011, before he died, he told me that he was so happy that I had someone in my life — my husband — who loved me as much as he did. That was the turning point for me. I realized how lucky I was that both of them loved the real me — who I am inside and out. But I also realized I wasn’t showing myself the same love. I was so heavy that just trying to walk more ended up damaging my knees. I was uncomfortable in my body, and I needed to learn how to love all of me. That led me to WW.

Merial’s steps to success

Step one
When I started the journey, it was overwhelming. When I looked at the scale, I said to myself, “Wow, this is me.” First, I had to get over that feeling of looking in the mirror and saying, “I want this off right now.” I knew that quick fixes didn’t work for me; I tried them over the years, and I could never keep the weight off. So I vowed to do it slowly. I started saving paper clips and every time I’d lose a pound, I’d put them together and make a chain, and the chain got longer and longer. I took my journey one step at a time, one pound at a time.

Beginning to walk again
Before I joined WW, I started to work out but that wreaked havoc on my body; I damaged the ligaments in my knees because I was too heavy. So I started my journey in a wheelchair. After losing about 20 pounds, I slowly started to walk again. As I began to move more, I realized how freeing it was. Now, I love riding my bike with my husband. To be able to do that comfortably, without breaking a sweat sometimes, while enjoying the view around me, is an amazing feeling.

Change is good
Because I’ve been on WW for so long, I’ve experienced the different programs over the years. Though change is hard, I know these changes are for the best. We are in charge of the program; it isn’t in control of us.

How Merial’s success with WW has improved her life

An extra lesson
I’m a third grade teacher, and every year, I have a theme in my classroom. This year’s theme is “Food for Thought.” My classroom is decorated like a big picnic table, and we have nutritional plates in the classroom. We focus on healthy eating; not weight. We started writing in food journals together. In the beginning, the kids were vague about what they were writing. They’d say, “My mom made soup, but I don’t know what kind.” As the year progressed, they’d write down things like, “I had French fries, but I only ate half of them.” Or, “My mom made chicken with brown rice instead of white rice.” Each week, we talk about my success as well. Their support and honesty is so helpful to me. When I turned 50, I told them that I celebrated for a week. Their response: “Mrs. L., don’t you get one birthday just like we do?” And a light turned on in my mind. They were right — I don’t have to celebrate for five days straight!

My little victories
Along the way, I’ve learned to celebrate everything. Finally, I can cross my legs — something I’ve wanted to do since grade school. When I turned 50, I hit my driver’s license weight. I’d been lying about it for 34 years! I’m patient, honest, and real. I feel like I’m a different person, but I know I’m me, and I love myself.