My Weight Watchers Success Story

The before picture shows what I looked liked 3 months postpartum with my 3rd baby. I had 3 kids within 4.5 years and with each pregnancy the weight kept adding on. I watched my weight creep to a number I had never seen before. But I was exclusively breastfeeding and everyone kept telling me that when you breastfeed the weight just falls off (I now know that this is a LIE! This is not the case for everyone!). So I didn’t worry about what I ate and expected to get skinny. Well, between the Halloween candy, fast food drive thru’s, and frozen pizza dinners, my stretchy yoga pants weren’t fitting so well anymore. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I noticed I wasn’t squeezing into my pants, I was SHOVING myself into them. Nothing fit. I felt uncomfortable in my own body. I was now a busy mom of a 4-year-old, 2-year-old and a 3 month old and knew that if I was going to focus on losing weight, I was going to need help.

A couple of my mommy friends had joined Weight Watchers in the past so I knew their program had an option for breastfeeding moms. I looked online for the closest location to my house and went to my first meeting just days after Thanksgiving.

I was 162.8 pounds at my first weigh-in (for reference, I am just under 5’3 in height). That was 6lbs MORE than what I weighed at my 6-week postpardum appt. Yep, I had GAINED weight while exclusively breastfeeding. I knew my eating habits were out of control. But just by stepping into my first meeting, I knew I was headed in the right direction and there was no turning back. I was determined and my mind was set on losing weight. Those who know me well know that I have a lot of will power and when I truly set my mind to something, there is no stopping me. Just knowing I had to step on a scale in front of someone each week made me accountable and after sitting through the first meeting I had all the motivation I needed to start my weight loss journey!

My Weight Watchers leader Jeannine is amazing. She is always welcoming, personable and well spoken. She consistently has great answers to our questions, tons of tips, advice, encouragement and more. I go the “mommy and me” (kid friendly) meetings and feel really connected to the other moms who have kids the same age and who are going through the exact same struggles and temptations. Find yourself snacking on your kids goldfish crackers or eating the leftovers on their plate, or licking your plate clean just because you don’t want to waste food? Don’t feel guilty about throwing it away. Think of how much money you might need to spend down the road on doctors bills or hospital bills due to complications from being overweight. I know that may sound extreme, but it’s true! Especially since heart disease and diabetes runs in my family. Little bits of advice like this stuck with me and changed my way of thinking.

How I did it:

I was consistent and went to my meeting every single week. No slacking! At the meetings we weigh-in and then our leader asks about how our week went and we swap food/recipe ideas, talk about our struggles, and celebrate our successes. Then our leader talks about the weekly topic. Weight Watchers uses a points system. Every food is assigned points based on its calories/protein/carb/fat. There is a really cool Weight Watchers app that lets me scan bar codes on packaged foods right from my iPhone so I can easily keep track of my daily points. The app also has point values for almost every chain restaurant you can think of so I was also able to eat out and keep on track. My first week was a real shock and I quickly realized how much I had been over-eating. I religiously tracked my points for the first 3 weeks until I was able to get comfortable knowing which foods I could eat. I cut out a lot of high fat snacks, juice, and cut down on carbs. After week two I gave up diet soda and started drinking only tea and water (and coffee from time to time). Fortunately most fruits and veggies are 0 points so you always have that option during the day. You will not go hungry on this program! Weight Watchers also has a new Simple Start program that helps you ease into weight loss. Armed with a list of simple start foods, you can eat as much of them as you want during the day without having to track your points. We purchased an elliptical machine off Craigslist after I had my second son. It was mostly being used as a coat rack until recently :) I made an effort to do about 10-15 minutes of cardio on the elliptical (set to level 3) about 5 times a week. I also tried to eat a lot of high fiber foods, never skipped breakfast, and never ate past 7pm (this means getting as far away from the kitchen as possible at night to avoid temptations).

What kept me motivated:

  • I took a before picture. And I looked at it often. Not only was this a visual reminder of the weight I wanted to lose, but it made me excited to get that “after” shot!
  • Knowing I had to step on a scale in front of someone every week at my meeting was a huge motivator. This is why the online version of Weight Watchers wouldn’t have worked for me.
  • I went through my closet and purged all of my maternity clothes. Now I was forced to start fitting into my regular clothes.
  • I pre-cut fruits and veggies and pre-portioned snacks. If I was having a hard day at least I still knew the points/calories of what I was eating/binging on instead of mindlessly plowing through an entire bag of chips.
  • I “liked” Weight Watchers on Facebook and frequently read others success stories on weight watchers.com when I am feeling discouraged.
  • I had the support of my weight watchers group and a close friend who is also trying to lose weight.
  • I made workout mix of my favorite songs. Nothing like upbeat music to get you moving and motivated!
  • I set mini goals, celebrate my successes, and rewarded myself with new clothes and pedicures instead of food.
  • Don’t give up! Today is a new day. Forget about what you did or ate yesterday and start fresh right now. Baby steps!

This is what my Weight Watchers record book looks like! I am so proud of it and loved seeing the steady weight loss each week :)

I lost 41 pounds in only 16 weeks with a final weigh-in of 121.8 lbs!!!











Other benefits of losing weight:

  • My family is eating healthier. My 2-year-old can be found eating carrot sticks for a snack and broccoli for dinner (he wants to eat what mommy is eating)! I’ve also been making more home cooked meals using lean meats and reduced sodium and low fat ingredients. And condiments like regular mayo has been swapped out for light mayo and 2% milk for fat free milk. My husband has lost weight without even trying!
  • I have more energy. Kicking the soccer ball around with my oldest doesn’t seem like a chore anymore. And I can easily carry my baby up and down the stairs without huffing and puffing.
  • My wedding ring isn’t cutting off my circulation. In fact, it’s loose! Same goes for my bra. It isn’t digging into my back anymore. No more back rolls! Yay!
  • I feel better about myself. I used to hate getting dressed in the morning because nothing ever fit and I had low self esteem. Now I can’t wait to slip into my size 5 jeans! 
  • I got a great rate on my life insurance policy because I am healthy and at a healthy weight.
  • I haven’t been sick since I started losing weight and eating healthier.
  • My skin is clearer and I’m not a sweaty mess. I remember trying to help in my sons preschool classroom at the beginning of the year and I was so uncomfortable and sweaty the whole time. 
Weight Watchers did not pay me nor did they ask me to write my story. I just wanted to share my journey and I hope that if you are also on the track to a healthier lifestyle, that I have given you a little inspiration! My work is not over. I will keep going to my meetings and learn how to maintain my weight. I would also like to continue to work on toning my body and then hopefully I will be ready for swimsuit season!
I’ve been posting some Weight Watchers friendly crock pot recipes. It’s an easy way to cook a healthy meal for everyone with little prep! Here are my favorites:

Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

Crock Pot Ranch Chicken Tacos

UPDATE 9-18-2014
It’s now been about 6 months since I hit my goal weight. I am happy to say that I have successfully maintained my weight and even lost a couple more pounds!! This gives me a little wiggle room :) I’m not as strict with my meals and am able to indulge once in awhile :) I stay on track by continuing to go to my weekly meetings and weigh in. I never missing a meeting! I am not exaggerating. I make it a priority each week. I also continue to use the points plus program and try to always stock the fridge and pantry with healthy choices like fruits, veggies, and lean protein. I’ve now lost a total of 50.4 pounds and I have never felt better!

UPDATE 12-28-2014
It’s now been one year since I started my weight loss journey! A lot has happened over the past two months. We were relocated from Portland, OR to Orange County, CA for my husbands job. The move happened VERY quickly and came with a lot of stresses (staging and selling our old house, purchasing a new house in a city where cost of living is MUCH more expensive, getting the kids in new schools with new tuition payments, packing and unpacking, electricians, handymen, cable/phone/internet installation, DMV, trying to make new friends, being much farther from family, keeping up with my blog, and the list goes on!) A couple weeks ago I weaned my 15 month old daughter which wasn’t an easy task for either of us. My hormones are changing again… my period returned (TMI, sorry), my hair is starting to shed again, and my skin is a mess! At the same time we were finally able to potty train our 3 year old (also a difficult task). Unfortunately I haven’t found a new Weight Watchers meeting location. From what I can tell, WW here in Orange County doesn’t have a “Mommy and Me” option :( So I will have to find a meeting that will be ok with my rambunctious toddler. A couple pounds have crept back on during the holiday season. I went from 112 back up to 120. But that’s ok! I am still happy with my body! But I know that if I’m not careful the numbers will continue to go in the wrong direction. It’s time to get my head back in the game! Who’s with me?! Let’s keep each other accountable and motivated! My New Years resolution is to continue to maintain what I have worked so hard to accomplish this past year. We can do this! I will post updates here but let’s also keep in touch on my FB page and on Instagram. Here is to a happy and healthy New Year! I created a sample list of what I ate while on Weight Watchers. You can find it HERE. I will be the first to admit I need to start following my own meal plan again!

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Comments

  1. says

    You look amazing! Fabulous job! Thanks for the inspiration! I know exactly how you feel! I waited too long to get my baby weight off. My baby is almost 5! I finally got off the couch put down my hooks in late January. Started eating right and exercising and I'm now down 25 pounds! I still have a long way to go but It's going great!

  2. says

    Congrats to you! You look fabulous, but most importantly, you FEEL fabulous! Being comfortable in our own skin is what's key! Three kids..that is NO easy feat! Good for you for being good TO you! Motherhood can be such a trial and the convenience of easy foods is such a slippery slope! Planning any prep…key actions! You are clearly glowing…so happy for you! Hugs, Annette

  3. says

    This is so inspiring – you can tell just looking at your picture not only how amazing you look but how amazing you must feel now. Thanks for sharing your story :)

  4. says

    This is me! I breastfed and thought it would be some kind of magic weight loss program and I ate whatever I wanted. I gained 10 pounds by the time Ellie was 3 months old. I joined WW for the first 20 pounds! It was the boost I needed to get serious about my weight loss. I am now down 85 pounds total.
    Keep up the great work!!! You look amazing and I bet you feel even better!

    • Angela says

      I love your stories. I just had my second child at 40, nursing and trying to lose weight. My friend lost 50 on WW and I am trying to research if this is a good option for me to jump start the weight loss. You all are giving my great advice.

  5. says

    I LOVE this!! I admire you for catching it BEFORE you got to almost 100lbs to lose (like me). I also do WW and I LOVE IT!!!!

    And I too, gained while breastfeeding. I may have taken it above and beyond when they said to still eat like you are for two…

    Congrats, that is so wonderful, for you and your family!!!!

  6. says

    Great inspiration… I am in a similar boat as you with regards to postpartum weight… I went & signed up for WeightWatchers just now! Off I go to take the *horrid* before pic!

  7. says

    Just wanted to say WELL DONE!!! I have lost a lot of weight too! I used My Fitness pal as I don't like feeling silly when I have stayed the same some weeks but either way how ever you lose it its weight gone!! yay!! well done you! x

  8. says

    WOW, Sarah! You look AMAZING! We have SO much in common. I've lost weigh on WW four times. Lost 70lbs after baby number two. On my way there again after baby #3. About 15 pounds left to go. SO proud of you. Know how hard it can be at times. Like I always say, diets don't work… weight watchers does. Keep up the good work!

  9. says

    I'm so motivated reading this! My baby is 7 months and I've lost some of the weight, but like you he is my 3rd and breastfeeding did drop the weight off on the first two, but not this one! I'm still nursing and I'm not loosing anymore weight! I'm so ready for the warmer weather because I really want to start running and eating right. I'll have to look into weight watchers because I need something to hold me accountable or I'll give in.. I love food too much! Thanks for sharing : )

  10. says

    Congratulations! I have always wanted to try weight watchers, I really want to lose weight. I have the desire, sometimes, but you have given me the push to try to find a weight watchers here where I live. Thank you.
    Merry

  11. says

    Thanks for sharing. I guess this is proof that we need more than crochet hooks in our hands to stay away from snacking on unhealthy foods. Here's to spring and healthy eating!
    allsquaredup.blogspot.com
    Jessica

  12. says

    Big congratulations Sarah! To live healthfully in our society is difficult; I applaud your efforts to model a positive way of eating for your family! (And your friends.) :) You look very happy – which makes you all the more beautiful.

  13. says

    You look great! I have been thinking about weight watchers for awhile but you have convince me to try. After 5 kids, I have 10lbs left over from each of them. OUCH! I feel like a blimp and want to get rid of it but I have 0 will power. Pop and dessert are my greatest weaknesses. Plus as a fellow crochet lover/business owner, I spend a lot of time sitting down. You know what I mean. I need to get moving. I am so happy you reached your first goal. Congrats!

  14. says

    You look great! I have been thinking about weight watchers for awhile but you have convince me to try. After 5 kids, I have 10lbs left over from each of them. OUCH! I feel like a blimp and want to get rid of it but I have 0 will power. Pop and dessert are my greatest weaknesses. Plus as a fellow crochet lover/business owner, I spend a lot of time sitting down. You know what I mean. I need to get moving. I am so happy you reached your first goal. Congrats!

  15. says

    You look great! Congratulations!!! WW is the best! I've done WW online after both of my last 2 pregnancies. Worked awesome! Funny story, I had gained weight after last tax season, so I signed up for WW online this past fall. The first few weeks I only lost a pound a week and I wasn't hungry at all! I was puzzled because I've never lost such few pounds the first few weeks. I checked my online settings. I was still set as 'nursing' so they were giving me an extra 10 points a day! I've never gone to meetings. Online works for me!

  16. says

    Thanks so much for sharing! You are so beautiful and I love seeing the results from start to finish for you! I am about twice your size and have found myself struggling now after starting a stay-at-home job. I told myself just today that this is it! I have to get on track and get this weight off! My biggest struggle is that I love food. But I know that I need to have a different relationship with it now. I have done Weight Watchers before and had very good luck with it, as long as I stay motivated. I may have to look into it again. Thanks so much for sharing your journey! You are an inspiration!!

  17. says

    Absolutely amazing! You are a real inspiration! I cant really afford to join weight watcher, but ive done it before and its amazing! – I stopped going and of course the weight went back on! I really need to do something about my weight, and you have given me a bit of a push – thank you! x

  18. says

    wow, great story, i"ve tried weight watchers last year but had it difficult to keep doing it… i also have to do it on my own because i can't afford the weekly meetings… but now i see you i'm going to try it again, thank you for the inspiration!

  19. says

    Congrats. You look sooooo great. Loosing weight can be soooo hard. I still have 8lbs to loose after my last pregnancy ( the worst ones :-)))) and that was 12 years ago lol.
    I'm so proud of you.

  20. says

    Wow, fantastic! You look great! I am in awe by reading this post. I personally do not know you, but I know it takes a lot of courage for someone to talk about their personal weight loss journey with the world. Bravo! 😉 Keep it up!!!

  21. says

    wow ik ben zo jaloers je hebt een zeer sterk karakter, daar ben ik jaloers op.
    ik ben van 1kindje 25kilo bijgekomen. niet leuk.
    ik zal deze post van jou houden om mezelf te motiveren, dat het toch nog mogelijk is
    dank je om dit te delen x

  22. says

    This is a great story. I had my second baby 8 months ago and have about 7 lbs of baby weight left. With my first, I was very motivated to lose all of the baby weight and I did it plus 5 lbs within/under a year! It's been harder with two kiddos, especially since my 8 month old isn't sleeping through the night. I exercised today, though, and reading your story, plus other reasons, has "re"-kickstarted my motivation to lose those last 7 lbs+. Thanks for sharing.

  23. says

    Amazing – good for you! I, too, fell victim to the "if you're breastfeeding, the weight falls off" lie. Now, 15 weeks pregnant with #2, I'm determined to be healthy. I never quite lost it all after #1, even though I ran I half marathon when she was a year and a half!

  24. says

    Congrats! This is a very inspirational story and kind of the kick in the butt I needed. I also shared your story with my cousin. Hopefully it gets both of us in gear. Thanks for sharing! And congrats, again! You look great!

  25. says

    Congratulations on your weight loss! Your story is amazing! I was wondering, though; did you use nursing points or exercise swapping when you were still working towards losing the weight? I am using Weight Watchers currently and want to be as successful as you. Your help is appreciated!

  26. says

    I just wanted to say congratulations! Also, thank you for sharing your story. I lost weight with weight watchers before I had children, but really struggled to do the program after children. I am 4 months post partum with my third and your story inspired me a lot! I wish we had mommy and me meetings! Anyway, thanks again and way to go!

  27. says

    Sarah, I just happened upon your Weight Watchers story and I think you just gave me the push I needed. My niece who has been overweight her entire life has lost over 100 pounds with Weight Watchers and she's so pretty now and has her first boyfriend (she's in her mid 20s). I have fibromyalgia and some arthritis in my left hip so find it very difficult to exercise. I'm 61, 5'3" (used to be 5'4") and have been carrying around about 50 extra pounds for about 5 years. I hate the way I look, but just can't get motivated. I don't know how to diet because I've always been able to walk it off. I've been this heavy twice before due to medications for the FM. I always said I had to get old, but I didn't have to be fat, but here I am, with no clothes that fit, hot in the summertime because I'm so vain that I try to hide my fat under clothes. I haven't felt like I had the energy to even try Weight Watchers even though there's a chapter less than a mile from me. I'm very petite and cute when I'm not fat (if my picture shows up on this, it's from high school) and I don't have much more going for me at this point. I've had FM since I was a teenager although I was only diagnosed 21 years ago because doctors thought it was "all in my head." Anyway, you've inspired me to finally do something about this. My health is at stake at this age (which will sneak up on you before you know it). I wrote to you today and thanked you for your patterns. Thanks for sharing your story too.
    Barbara

  28. says

    Thanks so much for sharing!! I have three children ages 4, 3 and 3 months and I've been stuck at my current weight and it stinks! Your post is definitely motivating. :-)

  29. says

    Congrats!!!! I've been doing WW too and so far have lost 70 lbs. After finding your blog I now NEED a crockpot The recipes look so yummy. Love all your craft ideas too. I know I'll be using some with my grandkids! Keep up the good work and keep blogging!!! Love it!

  30. says

    Congratulations!! I was so glad to find this post via pinterest! I am also 5 ft 2 and doing WW. My last weigh in yesterday was 124.5 lbs so I am getting close to goal which is 118- weird number, I know :) Anyway, I noticed looking at your tracker that you lost like 2-3 lbs consistently each week. Did you eat all 26 points? I sometimes feel like that is to many for how short I am . I am losing .5 to 1 lb a week and I'd like to go just a smidge faster! Just curious… thanks soooo much!!! Have a great day!

  31. says

    Sarah – you are amazing. I love this story and how honest you are. I won't lie, this Xmas season has been one of indulgence for me. I am so inspired by you.

    You are gorgeous, lady – inside and out!

  32. Bailey says

    Love this!!! I love WW! How are you doing?? Still staying on track? I have a WW instagram and the community is AMAZING!

  33. amber says

    What an inspiring story! I just started WW again today after gaining 20 pounds during a stint with birth control. I am trying to get back on the wagon and you are the same height as me which gives me hope, so here I go! I want to feel healthy again. Fit into my cute clothes. I live in OC and also am an avid crochet fiend. If you ever want to talk or send patterns back and forth let me know!

  34. Katie Hicks says

    I read you weight watche blog! I need to hear it! I a mommy of 2 boys, I hard like you said eat what they eat! I been on w.w. sine July 2015 & lost 22lb I still have a long way to go! We r in the holidays now what you best tip for me? Katie from Al.

  35. L says

    Great story! WW is such a good program. Really too bad that false info is swirling around regarding weight loss. In reality, a nursing mon only needs an additional 500 calories per day. 500 calories adds up quickly! 500 calories is a far cry from “I can eat whatever because I’m breastfeeding!” As some people think,

  36. Rebecca Alldredge says

    Wow, you have really motivated me. I just read your story and we are very similar! We just went through a huge cross country move (from washington to texas) too. I have three boys (ages 6, 3 and almost a year old) I’m still breastfeeding and the weight is not “melting off” like so many people say. My littlest one is just starting to wean himself off of me which means my hormones are all over the place (tmi I know but my cycle has just returned). I’m just over 5 ft 3 inches and I’m starting my weightloss journey at 159lbs. I want to get down to 135lbs (smaller if at all possible but my body has a mind of its own) but I’m struggling, I always seem to platueau around 150lbs. I really don’t have a lot of time to excercise and since we moved to the country part of texas we have to drive to get to my sons school, so my daily walks are obsolete. Since reading your post I think I will make excercising and following the WW program a priority! Even if I have to put up reminders every where. I’m not alone in this journey my husband wants to lose 30lbs too. So hopefully by July we’ll be a lot healthier together.

  37. Jen says

    What a great story and I appreciate all the recipes, I’m definitely going to try some. I was looking for some inspiration to get me motivated and you have provided it…you look awesome! Wishing you and your family all the best in 2016!

  38. Rebecca says

    I want to get your results!! I am 5’4 and 145. I really want to be 125. This is so inspiring.

  39. Angelique says

    Wow!!! First of, you look amazing!!! Thank you for sharing your story. I am also a mother of small children 3 & 5 and you hit it dead on when you said that we eat their snacks and finish their meals. Lol, not so funny I gained almost 20lBS and lack the motivation to lose it. But your story inspired me and I am going to give WW a try. Thank you for being so real and thank you for sharing your sample meal options. I just don’t know what to eat anymore. I’ll give it a try and keep you posted. Thanks Again :-)

  40. Laura says

    Thank you so much for sharing this & including the updates! I just recently stumbled upon your blog and it’s amazing! You are such an inspiration! I hope that you were able to find a group that fit your needs in OC, and that you’re still going on strong!

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