Thursday, January 9, 2014

What I Learned from Weight Watchers...

weight watchers need to know

As you may or may not know... I'm a former fat kid. I spent my entire childhood overweight - slugging down cans of soda & eating bowls of chocolate ice cream as an after school snack. The only fruit I ate was bananas, the only veggies I ate were those covered in cheese. I pretended to be allergic to lettuce at functions, just so adults wouldn't force me to eat it. I was ridiculous... 

I played sports all throughout high school - soccer ran pretty much year round, plus I cheered in the winter. I also took dance lessons all year long, so I was an active kid. That was my saving grace. It's what kept me in the "overweight" section of the chart, even when my eating habits should've pushed me into the "obese" category. 

I headed off to college & gained 13 pounds within my first semester. I was that walking cliche... and totally unhappy with myself. That's when I turned to Weight Watchers. 

I started the Weight Watchers Points program on December 28th of 2005. I remember my mom & I signing up together online vividly. It was a low point, admitting that I was out of control & needed help. But I decided to go for it & threw myself into the program - utilizing all of the online tools available & basking in the results that eventually followed. I learned a lot in that period of time, things that have stuck with me, even nine years later. 

It Isn't a Diet, It's a Lifestyle

You need to embrace that you're embarking on a lifestyle change. Don't use the term diet. It implies that this is a short term, quick fix. That's not what you need to lose weight & keep it off. Commit to it. Own it. Defend it when others question it. 

You Can Enjoy Everything... in Moderation

When I started Weight Watchers, I was relieved to find out that I wasn't completely swearing off sweets, or carbs, or pizza. I simply had to train myself not to overindulge. While that's easier said than done, it does get easier with time. After nine years, moderation is simply a part of my daily existence. I still eat chicken fingers. I still eat pizza. But not every day, not even every week. You find a balance... 

You Have to Eat Fruits & Veggies 

As previously stated, I really disliked fruits & vegetables. I was 18 years old & my mom was basically forcing me to eat them every day. But Weight Watchers was pretty adamant that I needed to get at least 5 servings a day - and they sweetened the pot by making most of them 0 points. Thus, I ate them... or else I probably would've been pretty hungry at the end of the day. Over time, I learned to enjoy them. Today, I easily get in my daily intake - and even eat them by choice. 

Exercise - in any form - Will Make a Difference 

I did not start out running half-marathons. I started by walking. As I got more comfortable with that & shed a little weight, I added in the elliptical. I was able to lose 40 lbs & keep it off for 6 years before I ever ran a step. After I had my daughter, I knew that the weight wasn't just going to fall off. That's when I decided to step up my game & learn how to run. It didn't happen overnight. Every step matters! 

A Support System is the Greatest Tool in Achieving Your Goals

Even though I've never attended a meeting, I still felt like a part of a massive community. Reading the success stories of successful CEOs, stay at home moms, marathon runners, and celebrities was inspiring. It was a reminder that everyone needs help sometimes & that I could accomplish the goals that I was working towards. 

Even now, whenever I hear that someone is on Weight Watchers, I make sure to let them know that I was too. There are many times when people look at me & say, "There is no way you were on Weight Watchers. You just ran a half marathon! You're so skinny." I always respond by telling them, "Yes, which is proof that the program works. I've kept it off for 9 years now & have no intention of going back." I am always willing to share my tips with them & have people come to me for advice - everyone needs a support system. 

If you're on the program & are looking for encouragement, please let me know on Twitter! I'd love to encourage you in your journey, just as so many others did during mine. If you aren't using Weight Watchers, these same lessons still apply. Start small & you'll accomplish big things. 

before and after weight loss success story
Before Weight Watchers in Fall 2005 ~ After Baby #1 in Summer 2013

Disclaimer ~ I am not a doctor, nor was I compensated by Weight Watchers for this post. I am simply a believer in the program & want others to find the happiness I have found in losing weight.


  1. You have the perfect little body! And, I know it's not just about how you look but also about how you FEEL that is the important thing about weight loss. I just made my first WW recipe last night (beef, bean and zucchini chili) and I felt SO satiated! I was happy!

    Were you as thin before Ella as you are now?

  2. You look SO fabulous! I bandwagoned off of my mom's Weight Watchers info when she did it and loved it. I may be coming to you for advice once I have this baby :)

  3. Love this post! I'm a HUGE fan of Weight Watchers and just rejoined earlier this month.

  4. PointsPlus is the new name for the Weight Watchers plan, and it's a good name. Weight Watchers built a great business on teaching people to watch their food intake by associating point values to all foods and recipe components. Points Plus is remake of the points formulation that is more nutrition friendly .. Danette May DVD