0-50 Pounds, Female, Weight Watchers

How I Lost 22 Pounds With WW

Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?

Hello! My name is Kara. I am a mom of two amazing young kids, have been married to my husband for 14 years and I work full time in learning and development. Needless to say, I am pretty busy but have made living a healthy lifestyle a priority for the last year and a half!

My weight has always been something that has been a struggle for me starting in my teen years.  Most recently in the summer of 2019, a good friend snapped a picture of me at the lake with our kids.  When I saw the picture I realized how much weight I had gained. Instead of seeing a picture of a beautiful beach and my kids playing in the water all I saw was myself looking uncomfortable in a bathing suit. At that moment I decided to re-start WW and started on my current journey.  I re-joined WW as an online member because I had a difficult time attending meetings due to my kid’s busy schedules.  

It took me a couple of months to get back into the swing of things.  It had been a while since I was last following WW so I read a lot about the new program updates and get used to the new tools, such as the App, that were available to me.  I started to use the tools and jumped in trying to using the program and trusting that if I followed the program and gave myself the time that it would work.  I still follow the WW program and love it!  It was important for me to find a program that allowed me to be flexible, allowed me to eat foods that I enjoy, and was easy to use. I am now down -21 pounds from when I started.  I am still working towards my goal weight and am hoping to hit that goal in the next 4 months with 15 more pounds to go! The fact that I was able to lose weight during a pandemic was something that I am very proud of. It was one thing that I was able to control in a time of chaos!

As for accountability to myself, I created an Instagram accountability page (@wwkara) to document my journey, create an online network and felt that if I put it out into the world it would help me to stay motivated and keep me accountable.  I use this for my personal motivation and this accountability has helped to keep me moving forward every day.

What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?

My workout routine includes a variety of different exercises.  I am a dancer and grew up spending most of my life in competitive dance.  In fact, I still to this day am a part of an adult competitive tap dance group!  This is one way that I get in regular exercise.  I have a 45-minute class once a week and then practice 2 times for around 20-25 minutes in preparation for upcoming dance competitions. I also recently purchased Beachbody on Demand so I can use some of their dance workouts like Barre or Country Dance to switch up the types of dance that I am doing. 

A couple of months ago I started back on a learn to run 5km program and aim to get in a minimum of 3 runs a week.  I run inside on a treadmill because I find that if I am distracted by watching a tv show or listening to music that it works the best for me.  I also have two young kids and it makes it easier often for me to run in the evening when they are in bed.  I find it is a great way to clear my head and my current goal is to run 5km in the next 4 months!

My advice is to find something that you love and to change it up so that you do not get bored! It sounds cliche but if it is fun and motivating then it will be a lot easier to build into a routine.  I also try to find simple ways to move my body like parking at a spot that is farther away from a door to get more steps in and putting on some music and dancing in my living room with my kids. 

What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?

I follow the WW Blue Program which allots a point value based on your current weight and goals.  Food is assigned a point value from WW and the goal is to stick within your points each day.  You also are assigned weekly points to use as you would like.  The plan encourages eating fruit, veggies, and lean proteins but also allows the flexibility to build in foods that you love including pizza and cookies.

 

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For me, that means I aim to eat 23 smart points a day.  I try to balance my points throughout the day as I have learned that my body likes to eat every 2-3 hours.  I eat breakfast, have a morning snack, eat lunch, have an afternoon snack, eat dinner and then have a snack in the evening.  I track the food that I eat in the app every day.  I on occasion take a break from tracking if I am on holidays but as soon as I am back home I start back up again.  Consistency has been key for me to losing weight. 

A typical day would look like this:

  • Breakfast: Crustless Quiche with eggs, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and bacon bits (1 point) with 2 strips of turkey bacon  (2 points) and grapes (0 points)
  • Snack: Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough Built Bar (5 points)
  • Lunch: Taco Salad with extra lean ground beef (3 points) with light cheese (1 point for 10g) and lettuce, green onion, and plain greek yogurt (0 points) with a side of oranges (0 points)
  • Snack: Apple (0 points) and a homemade Blueberry Muffin (3 points)
  • Dinner: Pulled BBQ Chicken (3 points) with one bun (4 points) 
  • Snack: Sugar-Free Jello (0 points) with light whip cream (1 point)

23/23 points for the day 

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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?

Losing weight is a journey full of times when you lose and are feeling great as well as times when you feel frustrated, stay on a plateau, or gain! I have experienced all of this many times.  What worked for me is when I started to shift my mindset to realize that this is a lifestyle and not a diet.  Starting in my teens I struggled with weight gain and have been on many different diets over the course of sixteen years.  When I started to shift my mindset to living a healthy lifestyle including not being perfect every day and knowing I will have good days and hard days I really started to notice a difference  I am lucky in that I have a great support system including my family and some good friends but I also have developed an online network through Instagram of people who are on their own journey but we can motivate and encourage each other. 

I also give myself grace when I have an off day. Instead of using it as an excuse to keep eating horribly I look at each day as a new day and put the day before behind me. If I don’t follow the plan exactly I own the day and then move forward. Now, this isn’t easy to do!  It took time for me to switch my thoughts on having an off-day but with practice, it will come and now more than a year later I can say that I can do this. 

My advice is to build your network and don’t be afraid to reach out when you need support or encouragement  It was hard for me to do at first as my weight and weight loss efforts were always something I kept more private until I realized that so many others feel the same things that I have. Once got the courage to share my journey and struggles I realized that I had so much support and people cheering me along!

Each year I choose a word that I find motivating and inspiring – I write it down and remind myself of it often so that I can use it to remind myself what I am working towards. As a mom, I want to be a role model for living a healthy lifestyle and these are all things that are helping me to live this out.  This year my word is intentional as I want to be intentional about the foods that I eat, intentional about moving my body, and intentional about living a healthy lifestyle.

When did you start to notice progress?

It took a couple of months for me to really notice my weight loss.  I took pictures at the beginning of my journey to document the progress that I was making. It wasn’t easy to take pictures when I started as I didn’t want to see what I looked like in pictures until I realized that I needed to acknowledge where I was to move forward. Two months into my journey when I had lost about 12 pounds I really noticed that my face was thinning out and some of my clothes either fit better or were not tight anymore. 

Last summer I really noticed my weight loss when I put on a bathing suit and took my kids swimming at the lake.  I had my husband snap a picture so I could do side-by-side comparison from where I first began and I really saw a difference. Partially it was because of the actual weight that I lost, for me, it was especially noticed in my stomach, but also in my confidence as I was smiling and genuinely happy. That showed me both my physical and mental transformation.

Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress? 

I follow the WW program and am on blue. With WW I have access to the WW app that allows me to track my food and water intake as well as scan the point value of foods to build into my day.  It is my favorite feature of the app because it takes out the guesswork and allows me to scan nutritional information when I am out in the grocery store and impact the foods that I am buying. With the WW app, I am assigned a point value per day and I enter in the food that I eat through the day and it counts down how many points I have left in my day.  I have the ability to create my own recipes to find out how many points it will be for the food or meal and build it into a daily plan.  

I also use a FitBit to track my steps and my exercise.  It has been a great way for me to be aware of how much I am moving my body and when I need to get up and move a little bit, especially since I sit at a desk for my job.  I simply refresh my FitBit app and it links to my activity in the WW app to keep everything in alignment. 

Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?

I have a few fitness products that I have found have helped me to be very successful in my journey:

  1. WW Products – Since I am an online WW member I purchase my WW products from the online store.  My favorite products are all of the chips and the mini chocolate bars. I always keep some on hand so when I feel like a snack I can grab one that tastes great and is low in points. 
  2. Built Bars – I love Built Bars and all of the products that they have.  My favorite is the protein bars that taste like a chocolate bar but have more protein and less sugar than a regular chocolate bar. They have a marshmallow-like texture and have amazing flavors like Cookies and Cream and Peanut Butter Brownie.  The point values range between 3-5 and fit well within my daily plan
  3. Quest Nutrition Products – I love Quest Nutrition Products as they have an of protein and keep me full all while tasting great!  My favorite is the chips as they have a great crunch that can be eaten alone or used in a recipe.  I love the Cheddar and Sour Cream & Nacho Cheese flavor to crush and add t my taco’s or as a coating for chicken
  4. Premier Protein Shakes – I absolutely love Premier Protein!  I either drink a carton after a workout or for a snack.  I also love to use the Caramel and Vanilla flavor in my coffee to sweeten it!

Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?

Some quick tips and tricks that I follow are:

  1. Keep snacks on hand that tastes good to grab easily.  I keep all of my snacks in a container in my pantry for a quick grab when I am busy and on the go
  2. Spend a half-hour a week cutting up fruits and veggies to have on hand to grab quickly when you are hungry!
  3. Meal Plan and Meal Prep – I try to buy what is on my list and meal prep so that I know what I am eating and have everything that I need to make my meals instead of ordering out
  4. This is a silly one but I have a couple of sparkly water bottles that I love and having ones that enjoy helps me to reach for them to get more water in daily.
  5. Eat the foods that you love but build them into your day!  If I don’t plan for them then I tend to overindulge when I eat them 
  6. Find a friend – this has been instrumental in my weight journey.  I have a few friends I reach out to both share my successes and talk to when I am struggling.  I would be where I am without their support!

What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?

My advice would be to start!  You will have a lot to learn but you will gain knowledge as you go.  I am still very much learning about exercise and what works for my body and my interests.  I found a few people to follow on Instagram to learn from and to ask questions. I always remind myself that everyone started somewhere and we are all just on different parts of our journey.  I find that most people are excited to share their stories with you, you just have to ask!

Since starting Beachbody I also have joined a few of the communities to learn from others doing similar programs and to find out more information about what is available. Connecting with others is a great way to stay motivated to exercise, I would highly recommend it!

Where can we find more about you?

Please check out my Instagram page @wwkara to follow along with me on my journey!  I am also at the beginning of launching my Facebook page WWKARA.

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