Shannon’s experience: Weight Watchers – One Amazing Day

 


I had the immense pleasure of sharing my weight loss journey with a group of individuals at a Weight Watchers One Amazing Day event yesterday.  When I was asked to participate I admit I was scared to death and part of me wanted to back out.  I’m not the most comfortable with public speaking and being heavier practically my entire life I’ve always slid into the room (as unnoticed as possible), mingled in the back and quickly exited.  So the thought of being the center of attention panicked me just a little bit.  But the new me stepped into place and said “You’re passionate about this and a lot of people tell you you’re an inspiration to them.  Do this.  Do it for them.  Do it for yourself.  YOU deserve this!”  So I did it – I signed up and took the 1 o’clock spot.

I know I am not at my goal weight, but I have lost a significant amount of weight over the time I have been a member.  I openly participate at my home meeting and am not afraid to share my advice, my thoughts and any tips/tricks that I have found that work for myself.  If they work for me, they may very well work for someone else.  So my philosophy is why not share?
I joined Weight Watchers in February 2010 because I wanted change and for the first time in my life and most importantly: I wanted it for myself.  I’ve always been the heavier kid as early as my days in kindergarten all the way through college.  I was unhappy with my size and because I was an emotional eater, I would eat to pacify my feelings about my looks (while I would also eat to pacify any emotion I was feeling – happy, sad, angry, elated) – which only aided in me gaining more and more weight.  Family and friends would tell me I should consider losing weight because I had my whole life ahead of me – but I wasn’t in a mind frame where I wanted to take advice from anyone.  I was comfortably wearing blinders and those blinders did not allow me to SEE myself.  I knew the outside world could see me but if I didn’t see me, they couldn’t – right?
Months later, I had my “ah-ha moment” when I finally saw myself for the size that I had become (in a photograph).  I also found myself going shopping to buy clothes in a larger size and thought to myself “This is crazy… what am I doing?”  At that point, I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired I had decided that enough was enough – I needed to get healthy for myself and for myself only.  I knew Weight Watchers worked, I had joined with a family member when I was about 18 years old and lost a good amount of weight.  So, keeping my intended journey to myself (because I didn’t want anyone to tell me to join Weight Watchers because if they told me, I wouldn’t have joined – self sabotage at it’s greatest) I joined Weight Watchers on a Thursday afternoon, on my way home from work, and have never looked back.
To date, I have lost 175 pounds on the program.  I’m about 30 pounds away from my goal weight (BMI) and I plan on obtaining that goal weight this year.  It’s been a long, amazing and incredibly rewarding three years.  Weight Watchers has helped me change my life for the better  I’ve embraced this lifestyle change (including my tracking, measuring and weighing) with open arms and have praised the program and how fabulously it works (if you’re willing to work with it).  I’m a healthier, happier and utterly positive person today.  Such a night and day switch from the person I used to be.
So my advice to anyone who is considering joining or even considering giving up – BELIEVE.  Believe in yourself.  Believe in the program.  It works, but you just have to be willing to do the work and work with it.  It’s not something that’s going to eat up all your free time.  Once you get the hang of it and figure out the points for your frequently eaten foods, it becomes second nature.  And as you see results, you’re going to feel more in-tune and you’re going to want to try a little harder to reach that next goal.  My advice to anyone who’s frustrated: BREATHE.  You did not put on your weight in a week.  Think of how long you’ve been the weight you were/are currently.  Realize it takes time – but once you’re on the journey it’s the most fulfilling thing you’ll ever do.  My advice to anyone who’s struggling: RE-EVALUATE.  Dig into the problem area – what are you struggling with?  What are your goals at this current phase of your journey (because they do differ from when you first start).  If you’re bored – switch it up!  Switch up what you’re eating, add an extra 10 minutes of a different activity and remember continue to keep that positive frame of mind.
You will get there; just believe in yourself that you can and that you will … the rest of just a proverbial cake walk.

Let me take a moment to introduce myself …

<!–[if !mso]> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–>

I decided to make this blog because this is something that’s very near and dear to my heart. I enjoy blogging about health & beauty, but I’m VERY passionate about my path to a healthy lifestyle.  My name is Shannon, I’m a 27 year old young woman from New England who has struggled with her weight since as far back as I can remember.  Taking control of my own destiny I decided that I NEEDED to get healthy for myself.  My mind was in the game and my decision was made and I went full force towards that goal, no looking back.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself.  As I’ve become more comfortable (public speaking isn’t nearly as daunting as it used to be – but I still do get a little shy), I find I enjoy helping those around me work towards finding their courage and obtaining their goal.  I’m very open to speaking with anyone about their weight loss or how to help switch things up in their journeys.

Weight Watchers – It DOES work!

Now (July [yellow shorts] & August [blue dress] 2012): 

BEFORE:

                                                  November 2011:

I have struggled with my weight since I was a little girl. I was always the heaviest girl in my class. Sure, I was picked on, but it was something that made me stronger and made me not care what others had to say. Did it hurt at the time? Yeah it did, no one wants to be the odd man out. But if it weren’t for some of those struggles, I would not be the woman I am today. When I was 17 I joined Weight Watchers for the first time and lost around 50 pounds and ended up quitting because I was going with a family member and their schedule at this particular meeting didn’t meld any longer so we stopped. And I gained all my weight I loss back.
The middle of February 2010 I told myself that I had had enough and that I was going to do something about my weight. This was the first time in a VERY long time that I had the courage and the strength to do something to better myself. People around me had been telling me to lose weight, but if your state of mind is not into it, you are not going to do it. This time, I was ready and I was prepared. I found a Weight Watchers meeting which was in my city and I walked in on a Thursday night, shy and quiet and asked how I could sign up for Weight Watchers. I signed up and became a monthly member (which means the monthly fee is deducted from my credit card monthly and it allows me access to the Weight Watchers online E-Tools system).
I have been a withstanding member ever since. I look forward to my Thursday meetings and enjoy the comradely that comes from these sessions. I absolutely adore my leader (a leader is the individual who is a part of Weight Watchers, has lost all the weight they needed to be at goal – which is what your individual ideal healthy weight is and has maintained it), she’s incredibly helpful and she has helped me during some rough patches in my weight loss. The folks who are in my meeting are all friendly and we tend to talk before and after the meeting on Thursdays. We share recipes, tips, ideas, new products that are out in the market that are “point friendly”. It’s really a great bunch of folks and I cherish the relationships I have built with each of them.
Now I know I have been talking a lot about the program itself and I feel as though that’s very beneficial for anyone who’s new to the program, who doesn’t know about the program or just has incorrect knowledge passed on to them from others.
I just want to state this quickly, let me start this off by saying Weight Watchers is NOT Jenny Craig, it is not Nutri Systems, it is not the grape fruit diet, it is not the Subway diet, it is not the cookie diet, etc. What Weight Watchers IS is a lifestyle change for the better! With Weight Watchers you eat your own food – no we fellow Weight Watchers members are not tearing open a package of freeze dried “chili” and going to town (I mean, really?). Yes, Weight Watchers sells brand name foods in stores – but this is only as a helpful tool to members (or the general public) because there are times in your life where you’re on the fly and you need something to eat and you’re unsure. When this happens you can just snag a Weight Watcher meal and heat it up – the points are on it for you and it helps eliminate poor choices. We actually go out to restaurants, we can eat cupcakes/ice cream (and even together if the mood strikes), we can eat dips and chips, we can eat steak and cheese sandwiches, and we can eat pizza (among everything else there is food wise) – but the key is – we do so in moderation!
From the pictures, you can see I have lost a drastic amount of weight. From the last week in February 2010 to this date currently, I have lost 175+ pounds following the Weight Watchers program!
I still have a little ways to go before I am at my ideal goal weight, which would make me a Lifetime member! Incase you are unfamiliar, Lifetime members are members of Weight Watchers who have lost all the weight they need to and are considered to be at a healthy weight compared to their BMI. A bonus for Lifetime members is they do not have to pay a monthly/weekly fee, they will now have free access to Weight Watchers online system E-Tools, and they are able to go to as many meetings as they want (as they would also be able to do as a non-lifetime member). Lifetime members also weigh in once a month compared to the weekly that non-lifetimers weigh in.
Out of all the individuals who are at my meeting, I am the individual who has lost the most amount of weight. Many of the ladies and gentlemen I speak with tell me that I am their inspiration and that I inspire them to do better and to “get back on the wagon.” I never once thought I would inspire individuals to lose weight or to continue losing weight. But it’s a great feeling and I enjoy helping others with their journeys.
Incase you’re wondering, I lost the first roughly 80 pounds on my own by just eating healthy and watching what I was eating. This means weighing and measuring and tracking my food intake. After that I started to add in activity (zumba and general activities such as weight training and adding in the elliptical and treadmill into my routine). These days I hate the treadmill so I go to three zumba classes a week and find when I do that I’ve been losing roughly 2 pounds a week by eating healthy and exercising.
Once I hit my goal weight, I want to work for Weight Watchers as a receptionist and I hope to one day become a leader so I can continue to inspire individuals and share with them the wealth of knowledge I have learned during my journey.