50 Years of Success Contest Grand Prize Winners: Team Calzada

Married ministers Ruth and Buddy spend a lot of time in their car traveling from city to city to preach to inner-city communities. In 2011, being active and eating well wasn't top of mind. But since joining Weight Watchers meetings, "Team Calzada" is happier, healthier and 131 pounds* lighter. Voted on by our Facebook community, they’re also the grand prize winners in the Friends and Family category of our 50 Years of Success Contest!
*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

You Only Live Once Adventure (YOLO) Prize: An active family vacation in Florida to visit theme parks, scuba dive and swim with dolphins.

What made you decide to start losing weight?

Ruth: I’d struggled with my weight my entire life and constantly made excuses for myself. But the breaking point for me was when I took my 13-year-old daughter shopping and we couldn’t find many things that fit her. She cried when it was over because there was only a small area of the store she could shop in. I realized I wasn’t teaching her healthy habits. That was it for me. I said “enough is enough!”

What were the biggest changes you made to your lives?

Buddy: We started exercising as a family. Now we run, walk, bike, swim, hike, do boot camp classes, CrossFit — just about anything that doesn’t involve sitting on the couch and snacking. We love doing mud runs and 5Ks, just for fun. We’re able to be silly and sweat and laugh together as a family, which has definitely brought us closer together.

Ruth: We made changes to our household, too. We gutted our kitchen of junk food and processed stuff! Our snack cabinet was replaced by a fruit and veggie bowl. Once the weight started coming off, we developed a completely new way of thinking. We realized we weren’t just eating well to lose weight, we were doing it to become a healthier family. Now, instead of sitting on the couch and watching a movie together, we’ll go out for a run. Earlier this year, we completed a 10-mile run together!

How do you stay on Plan on the road?

Ruth: We used to eat a ton of fast food. It’s so easy to just hit the drive-thru when you’re traveling. Now, as a family, we pack a cooler with snacks and meals that we need to keep us from being caught off guard. When we travel and speak at different churches, often times other people treat us to dinner or prepare meals for us. We have to plan ahead and be very disciplined when food is placed before us.

Buddy: We don’t want to seem rude or ungrateful! But planning and preparation has become our number one key to success. Lately, people are noticing our weight loss and realizing that we are just trying to make healthy choices.

What are other successes are you seeing?

Ruth: My knees, back, neck and feet no longer hurt! I used to sleep horribly and wake up in such pain because my lower back hurt so badly. My feet would be swollen at the end of every day. I had major heel spurs. It was just miserable. I would have shortness of breath when I played with my kids, but now all of that has changed. I feel alive!

Buddy: The coolest thing of all is that we feel like we’ve broken the vicious cycle for our kids. They won’t have to struggle with their weight like we did. They eat healthy and workout every day with us. It’s a daily choice we make together and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why did you choose a trip to Florida as your YOLO prize?

Ruth: When we travel, it’s always for work, never for fun. And because of the expense, we always drive as opposed to flying. Road trips are horribly uncomfortable when you’re overweight. Florida was just too far away to drive. On top of that, before Weight Watchers we were never really comfortable frolicking around in bathing suits. But now the thought of sunshine and building sandcastles with my kids without worrying about aches, pains or embarrassment sounds like heaven!

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