Sunday, March 13, 2011

I wanted my kids to be proud of me...

So here is my submission of my success story to Weight Watchers magazine.

Good Evening-
I wanted to submit my weight loss story to your magazine. I became a lifetime member in 2006. I am now currently in training to be a WW leader in the Rochester, NY area and am thrilled! I hope to be a good role model for others and seem to be motivating my friends!

I just wanted to make my kids proud...

The weight gain had started my senior year in college in 1994. I wasn't playing volleyball anymore. I was living off campus, which meant that I was driving to and from campus, no walking.
After graduation, it took awhile to find a job so that meant more time to look for a job, sitting on the couch and slowly gaining weight. That will happen when you eat a large sub for lunch every other day. The weight slowly continued to pile on and I was in denial at that point. I was beginning to believe that this was my lot in life and that I had to accept it. My highest weight was 239. When I started WW, I weighed in at 234.

This picture is from my sister's wedding, 7 weeks after I had my son, July 2002. This is one of the lowest points in my life. The smile on my face doesn't show the pain that was inside. I remember when we had to order our dresses the previous fall. The woman in the bridal salon told me that I should order a size 22. I remember walking down the aisle at my sister's wedding and I all I could think of was what the people were saying. "Wow, did she get big!" or "She is huge, she looks disgusting." It was supposed to be a happy day but in reality, I just wanted to hide from everyone.

In February 2003, my mother dragged me to first Weight Watchers meeting. Talk about feeling humiliated, but it was time to do something about it. Having a child changed everything. I was very aware of the issues that kids deal with these days, as far as being bullied or teased. The last thing I wanted was for my kids to be made fun of because their mother was fat. I had tried every infomercial at that point, but WW worked. It worked because it was a lifestyle change and fit in with my lifestyle. It was paying attention to portion sizes, making better choices when I went out to eat, passing on the dessert, cutting back on the alcohol, cutting out sugar soda. Slowly the weight came off.

In the Fall of 2004, five pounds from my goal weight, I got pregnant with my daughter. Thrilled to be pregnant, I was not at all worried about the weight gain that I would experience during this pregnancy. I knew that once I had my baby, I would be able to get right back on the WW program. I got back to goal weight within 6 months, in fact 5 pounds less than that! I became lifetime in 2006 and lost 89 pounds on the program. At that time, I spoke to my leader about becomiing a WW leader myself. But I knew the time was not right with my kids being so young, so I decided to pass on the opportunity.

Did very well maintaining for 2 years and then I decided to begin training for a half-marathon. Because I was doing a lot of running, I figured I didn't need to be too concerned about my calorie intake. I stopped going to WW and the meetings. After all, I was a runner now. I didn't need to worry about gaining weight. But, I did gain about 10 pounds. Some of it could have been muscle, but I knew it was also because I had let myself get sloppy.

After I ran my third half-marathon in 7 months, I got side-lined with an injury that forced me to stop running for awhile. I was terrified. How was I going to make sure that I didn't gain any more weight? I knew what the answer was. It was time for me to pull out the WW material again and get refocused. I began to follow the program again, attended meetings, weighed and portioned out my food, use the tracker and make better choices. What happened? I lost 18 pounds (yes, I am now thinner than before!). In total, I have lost 97 pounds (5 lbs being before WW started) It was during this time that the program changed and I was introduced to PointsPlus. It was also during this time that I was getting excited about losing again and was talking about my success with my friends and began to wonder if now was the time to take the plunge to be a leader.

I have fully recovered from my injuries and continue to run. I also continue to follow PointsPlus and know that that is a program that I can do as an athlete that will keep my satisfied and able to get through my workouts! I definitely try to find foods that are high in protein and fiber that will help me with sustaining a good metabolism, muscle tone and full throughout the day! I use the food as fuel and now that I get enough fuel on this program to get me through 20-30 miles during the week. This picture is from a 5-mile run I did over the weekend.

I also am in training to be a WW leader. After motivating my friends with my advice and workouts, I figured that it was time to pay it forward even more. I love being on the other side of the fence and cannot wait to help people achieve their goals. My own experiences and first-hand knowledge will hopefully help me reach my audience to motivate them to succeed. During my training on the receptionist window, a woman recently walked up to me and said, "I know this is going to be a bad week." I said to her, "You know what? It's a victory for you that you walked in the door." My trainer looked at me with wide-eyed amazement, gave me a high five and said, "Wow, that was good! I can't wait to come to your meetings!" I hope others will feel the same way.