Sheetal Followed Her Own Advice

After this physician gained weight in medical school, she decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle, both for herself and as an inspiration for her patients.
Published December 1, 2015

Sheetal lost 29 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). Sheetal lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on WeightWatchers.

In Sheetal’s words:
I had always struggled with my weight to some degree — I would go up ten pounds, back down, and then up again. I was never fully satisfied with the way I looked. But it wasn’t until I started medical school and gained over 30 pounds in three years that I knew I had to make a change. Back then, I was studying more than 12 hours a day; the sedentary lifestyle, combined with making poor food choices, were the major causes of my weight gain.

Being a role model

Doctor’s orders
I was no longer happy with my body and how my clothes fit — or didn’t fit. I lost so much of my confidence and found myself hiding in pictures and shying away from social events, which wasn’t normal for me. Constantly having to buy clothing in bigger sizes was disheartening as well. I knew I wasn't living up to my fullest potential. On a deeper level, I didn't want to spend the rest of my youth fighting a battle that could only end up in health problems down the line. Also, being a doctor made me feel accountable to my patients. I didn't want to be a hypocrite; I knew I needed to implement permanent lifestyle changes that could also serve as motivation for my patients struggling with the same battle. I joined WW and, over the 15 months it took to lose the weight, my patients saw the dramatic change in me and felt encouraged that it was possible for them, too.

Rising to the challenge
This journey has not only changed the way I think about food, but also how I think about fitness. Before I started, I could barely run a mile. Now, I've run at least ten 5K races, two 10K races, a half-marathon, two sprint triathlons, and a Spartan sprint race — all in a matter of 18 months. I enjoy pushing myself to the next level and finding new challenges and races in which to participate. Another deeply fulfilling aspect of my journey? Inspiring others. Two of my girlfriends have been motivated to join WW because of my success, and several other members have run some races with me.

How Sheetal’s success with WW has improved her life

Taking it slow and steady
I can honestly say that I have a great support system. During the rough patches, my family and friends have reminded me that "slow and steady wins the race," and that has become my mantra. I know that nothing this important comes easily, but it’s the challenges that build character along the way.

Realizing her potential
It feels fantastic to have reached my goal, but this is just the beginning for me. My weight loss has been a life change that extends beyond just having more confidence. Of course, shopping and dressing up is a lot more fun now that I’ve dropped from a size 16/18 to a 4/6, but I’ve also gained a deeper sense of self. I am tapping into my fullest potential, not only on a fitness level, but also in my career and my family life. In the same way I that achieved my wellness goals, I see that I can rise to other challenges in my life and excel if I put in the effort. I will continue to channel this excitement to keep pushing myself