In December of 2001, my sister Joan went to her first Weight Watchers meeting. On New Year's Day 2002, I was sitting in my mother's living room and looking at family pictures on the wall. My oldest son, Tom, was engaged. I realized that in a few years a family wedding picture would be on my mom's wall for everyone to see. I was thinking about how much weight I had put on since I had started commuting and was working in a sedentary job. Before that, I had maintained my weight most of my adult life by keeping active, cooking from scratch and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. But since I had started commuting I had found myself buying prepared or fast food meals. Most of my family had been slowly putting on weight over those ten years.
I vowed that day to join Weight Watchers just like my sister Joan. On January 7th 2002 I went with my husband to his at work meeting at Kaiser Oakland. I met Barbara Luke the leader and was introduced to the program.
That night I went to the grocery store and bought lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, non-stick spray, and other low fat versions of foods I had been eating. I took a garbage bag and cleared out my cabinets of all the junk food that had accumulated. I gathered up all of the left over Christmas candy to take to work the next day. I was determined to lose the weight and keep it off.
I quickly bought low fat cookbooks at the meeting, subscribed to the Weight Watchers magazine and checked out the web site to read inspirational stories of people that had made it to their goal. I listened intently at the meetings to people who were successful and tried to follow their suggestions.
The weight started coming off. I remember feeling so excited when I hit my 10% goal. One of the Lifetime members (Thanks Trisih!) told me that she knew that I would hit Lifetime myself. At that point I knew that I could make it. I bought a food scale and started experimenting with some of my own favorite recipes to change them into low fat versions. I looked up recipes on the Weight Watchers website and tried to convert my whole family to eating healthy. Weight Watchers always seemed relatively easy since I so love fruits and vegetables.
My sister Michelle and my sister Magi both joined Weight Watchers and we had some fun competition each week as we all lost weight at the scales. I did struggle with keeping to my points over summer vacation and a few business trips that I attended but each time I got right back on the program committed to getting to a healthy weight. I lost another 10 % and then another 10 %. It was now December and I had lost 70 #. My son Tom (age 26) had moved home to save money for his wedding. He was so inspired by success with the program and was so happy with all the healthy meals that I was cooking that he asked me to explain he program to him. He also felt motivated to look good and feel healthy for his upcoming wedding. He was busy finishing school, working and planning for his wedding. He didn't think that he would fit meetings into his schedule but joined the on line Weight Watchers. He loved to calculate his points and figure out what he had to spend each day. Each morning we shared support over breakfast and encouraged each other each evening. He began working out the gym and the pounds just peeled off of him. His younger brother Patrick (22) saw how successful we both were and at the end of February 2003 asked if I could sign him up on Weight Watchers online also. Patrick is a creature of habit and doesn't like a lot of variety in his diet. So while Tom and I were experimenting with low fat recipes Patrick quickly figured out how to make his favorite foods low fat and realized that bacon double cheeseburgers with a large fries and a large coke were a thing of the past. He switched to diet soda, which was probably a big change. He had been drinking 4-5 large sodas a day. He also started working out a gym.
My two sons were encouraging each other and I was encouraging both of them. I hit a Weight Watchers healthy weight for the first time a year after joining the program. I reached my goal of 150 pounds in February 2003. Tom and Patrick continued to use the points system even when they didn't have time to log their points. We always figured out the points per serving of dinner meals to make it easy. By his wedding Tom had lost 65 pounds and lost another 5 pounds to reach his goal weight. Patrick has lost 77 pounds and is still losing a 1-2 pounds per week. He has about 20 pounds to go.
My husband Bill joined with me and has had a different experience than me. He has lost and gained and lost and gained but has kept off 30 pounds since we started. Since he doesn't really like the zero point foods and prefers high fat versions of most foods he has really had to learn portion control. I realized after some time that the program can work for anyone as long as you learn to make modifications to fit your eating style. I really believe that Weight Watchers is not a diet but a way to eat healthy.
Last week, Bill's two daughter's Jenny and Kasey decided that they also would try Weight Watchers and plan to start this week.
Two of my five sisters reached their goal weight and my fifth sister joined two weeks ago.
This program has really worked for our family and I know that I feel great and eat healthy now thanks to this program.