I Walk With Pride

See how Sarah was able to rebuild her body, self-esteem and health
Published March 23, 2017

Sarah, 33, Lost 45 lb*

*People following the WeightWatchers weight-loss program can expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Sarah lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on WeightWatchers.

“It took me a year of rehab to learn how to walk again. My walking may not be ‘normal,’ but it’s a gift to be healthy and active.”

One day four years ago, I woke up in the hospital with a buzz cut. I looked in the mirror and all I saw was Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. Then my family pieced together the past year for me: I had been in a severe car accident; I was in a coma for a little more than two months; the doctors had given me a 2 percent chance of living; I’d had approximately 15 surgeries. And I would have to learn how to walk all over again. 

I felt like a toddler, and my doctors even questioned whether I’d be able to do it at all. When I was going from the wheelchair to the walker, I was terrified. It seemed like an insurmountable task to go from sitting to standing. 

When I went out, any time that people actually looked my way—when I didn’t feel invisible—the expression on their faces said it all: “What’s wrong with her? Why is she in a wheelchair, why is she using a walker?” I didn’t feel that I could compare with my gorgeous friends anymore. I was on an island on my own. 

As I slowly began walking, I found that my knees were still in so much pain. That’s because I had gained 60 pounds through this ordeal. I started to look within. I used to be so hard on myself in high school: Why? Why did I hate my thighs? Why did I hate my abdomen? Why didn’t I appreciate my body and what it could do before? 

I wanted to change. I wanted to get back to feeling like myself. So I joined WW (formerly Weight Watchers). I was able to rebuild my body and my self-esteem. I started to appreciate having my legs—period. I started appreciating simply being able to walk. Today I have no pain in my knees. 

Now I put in an average 12-hour shift as a floor nurse, and I have no issues. Some days, when I come home after a long day and I look in the mirror, I say to myself, “I look pretty good.” And those are the moments when I feel most beautiful, when I don’t have makeup on, when I’m tired, when I’m worn out. Yesterday, I survived. Today, I am thriving.

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