Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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



49 comments:

  1. you are a beautiful person, in and out!

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  2. Amazing transformation -- congrats on your weight loss!!!

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  3. 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!

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  4. 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

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  5. 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 :)

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  6. 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!

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  7. Congrats on your weight loss success.

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  8. Wow! Way to go! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

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  9. 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!!!!

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  10. 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!

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  11. 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

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  12. 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!

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  13. 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 : )

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  14. Oh, and you loo FANTASTIC by the way ; )

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  15. Wow, well done. Thanks for sharing your story. It gives hope and inspiration to others.

    Love, Margaret

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  16. 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

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  17. 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

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  18. I have really been thinking about WW lately,and your post has me convinced

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  19. 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.

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  20. 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!

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  21. 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!

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  22. 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!

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  23. You Look great! Did you consistently eat ALL of your WW points?

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  24. 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!!

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  25. WW worked for me too! Congrats, you look wonderful!

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  26. Yay for you, Sarah. You look wonderful. Congrats on the weight loss :)

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  27. 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

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  28. 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!

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  29. 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.

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  30. 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!!!

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  31. 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

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  32. 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.

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  33. 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!

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  34. 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!

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  35. Congratulations!!!! Great job. You look amazing. Thank you for this inspirational story!

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  36. Congratulations ! Or Félicitations :)

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  37. 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!

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    1. Sorry...this posted with my husband's name and he is NOT nursing our baby. I'm Amy.

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  38. I tried all 4 of your fave crockpot recipes this past week and they were all fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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  39. 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!

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  40. 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

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  41. Congrats!

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

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  42. You inspired me!!! Thank you.... I want to do it, too!!! And, I can!!! thank you

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  43. 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. :-)

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  44. 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!

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  45. 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!

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