Success Stories

A simple snacking plan helped this woman lose 9 pounds*

The biggest changes happened off the scale.

*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Tara lost weight on a prior program and is continuing on myWW™.

As told to Lucy Shanker

It wasn’t until cancer struck my family two years ago that I realized: It could have been me. If I got sick, my 19-year-old daughter would be stuck taking care of me. And my vitals weren’t looking great.

My cholesterol and blood pressure levels were elevated, and I constantly felt sluggish, had trouble sleeping, and battled chronic pain in my knees and feet. Every day felt like a struggle to drag myself around, particularly during work. As a commercial field representative for a utility company, my role was super active; often, I felt like I just didn’t have the energy to do it.

I can’t say that my poor health was a shock: I ate whatever I wanted without giving it a second thought. If I felt stressed or emotional, I’d sometimes eat a full-sized cake. I rarely went grocery shopping to stock my kitchen with fresh food, instead opting to eat out at restaurants where I’d often order a sugary cocktail along with my meal. I thought I was having fun, but really, I just didn’t care about what was going into my body.

Months later, as I was getting ready for a night out with friends, I put on a dress that always made me feel beautiful. This time though, it felt too tight to wear.

Disappointed but determined, I hung it back up in my closet and made a promise to myself: I’d wear it again—and I’d feel amazing when I did. A few days later, in November 2018, I joined WW.
 

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Finding community

 

I’d been a WW Digital member on and off for about 13 years, but had never been to a WW Studio. Determined to lose weight for good this time around, I decided to start going to WW Workshops for accountability. The community definitely helped: When I realized I could save SmartPoint by going to the grocery store and cooking instead of eating out all the time, members in my Workshops and on Connect provided loads of recipe inspiration. Before long, I began stocking up on staples like frozen shrimp, grilled chicken breasts, and fresh fruit and vegetables every week. 

During one Workshop, I told my WW Coach that I struggled to manage my appetite between meals: I was prone to heading straight to the drive-thru whenever hunger struck. When she suggested a snacking plan, or a blueprint for what I’d eat when I got hungry, I started packing lunches and snacks to bring to work. And it totally worked.

 

What Tara ate then vs. now

 

  Then Now

Breakfast

Doughnuts, sugary cereal with whole milk, or a breakfast burrito, plus coffee with flavored creamer and sugar

An egg-white veggie breakfast burrito made with fat-free cheese on a high-fiber wrap plus fresh fruit and coffee with sweetener substitute and sugar-free cream

Lunch

Fast-food hamburgers with extra bacon or a large slice of pepperoni pizza

A chopped kale salad with sliced chicken breast or plain tuna, or a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with mustard, onions, and tomatoes and fresh fruit plus WW Barbecue Potato Crisps

Dinner

A beef burrito with rice, beans, creamy salsa, and extra sour cream and cheese plus dessert like key lime cheesecake

Shrimp with zucchini noodles and stir-fried vegetables or a taco salad with black beans, corn, lettuce, tomato, green onions, avocado, salsa, and nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream

Snacks

Cookies and candy bars

Plain nonfat Greek yogurt with berries, sliced cucumber and pepper strips, almonds, or WW Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Mini Bar

 

Building endurance

 

I didn’t get into exercise until my early thirties, when I began to rely on working out for stress relief. By the time I joined WW, though, my workouts had fallen by the wayside: My weight made it difficult to move without pain in my knees and feet.

After about three months on the program, I felt lighter and more energetic. I went from working out once a week for thirty minutes to completing vigorous workouts four times a week. Now, I run, lift weights, spin, and do Zumba. And I’m not afraid to take a spot at the front of the class.

As my endurance improved, active days at work began to feel more manageable. Now, when I see a huge flight of stairs that I have to climb on the job, I see it as earning my FitPoints for the day. At age 46, I’ve been performing better and feeling stronger than I have in years.

 

More than a number

 

Before joining WW, every time I tried to get healthier I’d look for results on the scale or in the mirror. My WW Coach helped me realize that those aren’t the best ways to gauge progress. During some weeks, when I’d stay within my SmartPoints® Budget and feel great but see no weight loss, she’d set me straight. “You said you feel healthy,” she told me, “and the scale isn’t going to say that. Your frame of mind is so important, too.”

The exchange helped me realize that it’s no use to strive toward a number. Ultimately, I stopped putting so much pressure on the scale and started to appreciate my body for all it could do.
 

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A bright future

 

Six months into my journey, when I went back to my doctor for a check-up, I couldn’t have received better news. “You’re doing everything right,” she said when my blood pressure and cholesterol levels results showed great progress. I couldn’t stop smiling.

When I set out to get healthier, my goal was to avoid burdening my daughter—I didn’t want her to miss out anything to take care of me. Now that I’m taking care of myself, I know she won’t have to. And another bonus: I’m back to wearing my favorite dress. 
 

Explore more WW member transformations here.