How I Lost 100 Pounds In 10 Months With Weight Watchers (Interview)
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I didn’t grow up overweight, but I always had bad eating habits. I was active and played sports, so that helped create some balance – though I always had poor self-confidence and thought that I wasn’t good enough. But when I hit my late 20s, I stopped being as active and I started to put on weight. My bad eating habits were catching up with me, and I found myself eating whatever I could whenever I wanted. I put on about 100 pounds over a 4-5 year period. Some health issues run in my family and I was starting to experience some of those, mainly due to my weight and overall lack of healthy habits. I was also in a really bad place mentally. I had actual hate and loathing for myself and assumed that everyone else saw what I saw and felt what I felt. I found out later that I was much more judgemental of myself than others were.
I tried a bunch of quick fixes, fad diets, things that were supposed to be “fast and easy” ways to lose weight. But I never stuck to any of them. I even joined WW a few times but was never consistent. I was struggling with light exercise and feeling much older than I actually was. I went on a cruise with my mom in the fall of 2015 and I remember feeling so embarrassed, so exhausted, so overwhelmed with it all – spending so much time in a bathing suit, worrying about weight limits on excursions, etc. That year, I set a New Years’ resolution to finally do something about it. I joined WW on January 30th, 2016 with a 3-month pre-paid membership plan. I didn’t tell anyone because I assumed I would fail again, like the times before. I also started an anonymous Instagram account to track my weight, food, and activity.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
When I first started this weight loss journey, I didn’t have any sort of workout routine. I was mainly focused on food. I did buy myself a FitBit and started tracking my steps. I work on the 3rd floor of a building and made sure to always take the stairs. When I had lost about 50 pounds, I started the Couch25K app. I ran my first full 5K in September 2016. Since that point, I’ve run in 10+ 5K races, two 10K races, as well as completing a full Tough Mudder and a Rugged Maniac race. I’ve had some setbacks in the last few months, but intend to train back up and hopefully run my first half marathon this fall.
In July 2018, I started attending OrangeTheory classes. This kicked my exercise routine into full gear – an hour of high-intensity interval training 3-4 times a week. I also gained confidence in my athletic ability which helped me to try out other types of workouts – CrossFit, spin classes, yoga, Zumba, or anything that sounded fun at all. When the covid quarantine closed my gym, I did a virtual 10K training program, running in my neighborhood 3 times a week. I also had some personal health challenges in 2020 and tested positive for Covid-19 in October, so my exercise routine is a bit out of whack right now. I did set a goal of 200 intentional workouts in 2020, and I finished with 213. I’ve set the same goal for 2021.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I’ve always had horrible eating habits. I don’t like vegetables or most fruit. I prefer most of my food covered in cheese. I’m also an emotional/bored/night-time snacker, so these presented challenges for any weight loss goals I might have. When I joined WW, I decided to go all in. I used the tracker to track every bite that went into my mouth. Because I didn’t (and still don’t) eat most vegetables, the key for me has been portion control. I started cooking my food at home – WW friendly recipes where I could be in full control of the ingredients and portion sizes. I found new snack ideas and made sure everything was individually portioned.
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Because WW is based on a points system (you get a points allotment to spend how you please) and the foods I preferred to eat were usually on the higher side, I made sure to load my meals with lean proteins, so I would stay fuller longer. Some of the foods that are a consistent part of my eating plan are chicken breast, turkey pepperoni, center-cut bacon, and turkey breast. I love to have unsweetened applesauce, popcorn, snacks from the WW online store, and I still find ways to include cheese in most of what I eat. I’m also a big craft beer drinker, so I find ways to incorporate that into my plans.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
2020 has presented the toughest challenges for me. I’ve been working from home since March (and will continue to do so for several months), so the loss of my routine has been very hard for me. I’ve been a WW lifetime member since January 2017, and have been pretty consistent with my weight since that point – maintaining a 100-110 pound weight loss. But currently, I’m sitting about 90 pounds down from my starting weight. Losing 10+ pounds and getting back to my goal weight is one of my goals for 2021.
During my actual weight loss, it was overwhelming to think that I needed to lose 100 pounds. I couldn’t focus on that – I broke it down into 5-pound increments. I celebrated each 5-pound loss by putting money aside. When I hit my goal weight, I went on a shopping spree and purchased an entirely new wardrobe. I also tried my best not to compare my progress to others – everyone has their own journey. My Instagram account has also provided so much support, inspiration, and encouragement – I’ve made so many friends through my account and have found so much motivation. It created a safe space for me to document my journey, my struggles, and my triumphs.
When did you start to notice progress?
In my first week on WW, I lost 11.5 pounds. That was a shock and definitely sparked my motivation to keep going. My clothes slowly started to get baggy. People around me started noticing my weight loss after approximately 20 pounds lost. It wasn’t long before my clothes were practically falling off – I bought belts and used safety pins to keep my pants up. I started feeling it in my energy levels, in the way my body felt after a long day. And when I hit my goal weight and went to purchase an entirely new wardrobe, it was an amazing feeling to shop in “normal” sized stores. When I bought the size 6 jeans, I almost cried!
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
When I first started, I used the Weight Watchers Smart Points plan. The plan and the company have been updated/changes over the years, and I’m currently following the WW MyWW+ plan. The membership includes access to an app that allows you to calculate and track how many points you eat in a day. Other helpful tools I’ve used are my home scale to keep an eye on my weight, as well as a food scale to get accurate measurements for ingredients. For workouts, I’ve used the Couch25K and Couch210K apps, as well as my AppleWatch for steps and activity tracking. Throughout my weight loss, I’ve participated and hosted several DietBets (weight loss challenge app) and StepBets (step challenge app).
Do you have any fitness “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
For me, drinking water has been a HUGE part of my weight journey. I keep a cup with ice water in it next to me at all times. When I’m full of water, I’m not feeling hungry all of the time. Getting my steps in was also a big help. I found any excuse I could to get moving. Walking to the bathroom on the 1st floor, instead of the 3rd floor at work, taking afternoon walks with my co-workers.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
My advice would be to find a plan that works for you. WW worked for me because I”m a picky eater and was in complete control of what I could eat – nothing was off-limits. I’d also say – take ALL the before pics. It’s so much easier to note your progress when you can look back to where you started. I’d also recommend starting an Instagram to track your journey. That was one of the best tools for me during my weight loss.
Where can we find more about you?
I’m on Instagram at @thisokieslife_ww!
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