How Alyssa Lost Over 100 Pounds On Weight Watchers (Interview)
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
My name is Alyssa and I started my weight loss journey in March 2019. I have been overweight most of my life that I can remember. I was pretty active growing up but always struggled with food. Growing up, my family didn’t always have access to “healthy” foods as it is costly. When I transitioned into adulthood and could make my own food choices I often chose things that were fast, easy, and what I was used to eating. As a result of these things, I wasn’t sure how to incorporate more healthy foods into my life.
I never had that” a-ha” moment or wake up call where I knew I needed to lose the weight. For me, it was more of a lot of little things that added up altogether. I was prediabetic, I felt physically sick to my stomach almost every day, I felt generally uncomfortable in my own skin. I had finished graduate school, found a job I loved, and I finally felt like it was time to invest in myself, my health, and well-being. I never really put a timeline on weight loss but I did have some events, vacations, weddings, that helped me to stay focused and do my best.
To be honest, investing money into my weight loss definitely helped with my motivation, especially in the beginning. I was paying money every month to have an app where I track my food and progress. I thought, well if I’m paying money for this I have to use it, right?
What did you do for exercise when you started? Did you change it up throughout your journey?
When I first started exercising I started with at-home yoga videos and walking. SarahBethYoga from Youtube is my favorite yoga instructor. She has so many free videos for all levels of yoga. I also enjoyed walking around my apartment complex. My apartment complex was just over a mile long and that was perfect for me starting. I did either yoga or a walk almost every day.
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When I was about 7 months into my journey and 50lbs down I decided I wanted to start going to the gym. I really wanted to try running and preferred to do it on a treadmill where I could control my pace and learn how to run. I started with C25K and made it nearly all the way through the program but ultimately quit it. I was having a hard time running for 20-25 minutes straight and decided I wanted to focus on trusting my body and running as fast or slow, for as long as I wanted to. I also incorporated strength training and utilizing various strength machines at the gym. I’ve never had a specific strength training workout program.
When gyms closed in March 2020 I tried some at-home workouts, Zumba, HIIT, and walked outside some when the weather wasn’t so bad. I ultimately went back to C25K in May 2020 because I missed running and the gyms were still closed. I started running outside but was able to resume going to the gyms in June. I finished C25K in August 2020. Since the cases have most recently been on the rise again I have been working out at home again. I’ve started running outside which is harder and different than running on a treadmill. I’m also doing strength workouts using my own body weight which is challenging but is just as effective.
What did you do for nutrition when you started? Did you change it up throughout your journey?
I use WW (weight watchers) for my “diet.” I don’t like to call it a diet because it’s a “live it.” It’s cliche to say but it’s so true. I can’t say enough great things about the WW program. I still eat everything I have always eaten and love to eat. I have been able to learn how to lighten up my favorite meals as well as, learn portion control. I love that with WW no food is off-limits, even Doritos, my favorite!
I also love that WW has 3 different plans to choose from depending on what you like to eat, how much you like to track your food, there’s really a plan for everyone! WW is also based on a point system. Every food has a point based on calories, saturated fat, protein, and sugar. WW also now has a digital member feature if you don’t want to attend meetings or don’t have access to meetings or a studio near you. I have been a digital member for my whole journey.
How did you stay mentally strong when it was tough? Did you ever give up? How did you recover?
When times get tough I really rely on my friends that are more like family to me that I have built through my Instagram community. Having that sense of community and knowing there are people in my corner cheering me on and always willing to have a listening ear or send some motivation and wisdom my way when times get tough is incredible. My husband also started his weight loss journey at the beginning of this year and has lost over 100lbs himself. He’s a huge motivator for me as well!
I am happy and proud to say that I’ve never given up. I began this journey nearly 2 years ago and haven’t looked back. There are some days and seasons of life when it has been harder than others to stay the course and be as motivated as I once was. Every day is a new day, a chance to choose yourself, your journey, and just do the very best you can for that day.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
I use the WW app for tracking my food and I use my apple watch to track workouts. I also track my weekly weight in the WW app.
I do have the Renpho scale for tracking my body weight. At the beginning of my journey, I used a regular scale and tracked it all manually. I bought my reno scale after about a year in and it tracks weight, BMI, body fat, and so many other metrics. I really love it!
When did you start to notice progress?
I started to notice both mental and physical progress almost immediately. When I started I knew my mental and physical had to work hand in hand for this to work. I had to believe in my mind that I could do this. I had to be confident in myself to know that I can do anything I set my mind to. When I believed these things about myself I began to see progress physically as well.
I think for me the progress was more gradual. As the weight came off I remembered myself when I was X amount weight, or when this article of clothing fit, or how I felt or looked around this time of year so many years ago.
Some big “moments” that happen now and again that remind me of my weight loss progress are when I can just walk into my closet and pick out anything I want to wear. I know that whatever I pick out will fit and I know that I will be confident and feel amazing in it.
Do you have any fitness “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
There are no hacks or secrets, really. Lots of hard work and determination!
Some tips I have are, learn to lighten up your favorite meals or food! There are so many alternative recipes, tips, and tricks out there. You don’t have to give up anything!
Take it one day at a time. If I had started immediately with my mindset of the thought that I needed to lose over 100lbs. I can assure you I would’ve quit long ago. I told myself, let’s try it for 1 month, if you don’t like the program, if it’s not sustainable, you can quit…and I’ve never looked back.
What advice would you give to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Don’t do anything in weight loss mode that you won’t do on the maintenance side.
Take it slow, the slower it goes the more sustainable it will be.
Find a program that works for you and your lifestyle.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
I love Jordan Syatt’s Instagram and podcast. He has such amazing insight into fitness and weight loss.
Where can we find more about you?
My Instagram @loseitlyssie is where you will always find me.
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