success story

“I Do It My Way…Freestyle Rocks!”

As I think back to my childhood, I can see now how much I took care of myself with food. My neighbors joked with my parents about my “secret eating” because they would see me hiding by the side of my house eating chips when I was young. As a teenager, I would “relax” by going to my local 7-11 and buy a large Slurpee and a package of donut gems, and eat them by myself at a local park.

As I grew up, I began to realize how out of balance my thinking was as it related to how much food I “needed” to feel satisfied. I ate until stuffed. Every meal. Every snack. Enough food to make me feel stuffed and uncomfortable.

”I ate until stuffed. Every meal. Every snack.”

The decision to join Weight Watchers may have started with that stuffed feeling and looking at several pictures of myself that in my mind’s eye- just did not resemble the ME I knew.

However, I remember the final straw. I was in a mall 17 years ago to do one of my favorite things…. shop. I remember I was wearing baggy overalls, one of the few things that felt good on me, and I figured, “hey- I look small inside these baggy overalls.” As I looked around to see which store to head toward, that’s when it hit me. My choices had been taken away from me and I didn’t have many options since most stores didn’t carry a lot of my current size.

I remember feeling defeated, crying, and jealous of other moms in the mall who looked so trim and active as they pushed their child in a stroller. I wanted to be THAT mom. And yet, I could see how my happiness in being a mom and doing all the fun things with my kids involved food and I wanted that too. I was at a crossroad. But, my desire to be the happy HEALTHY mom prevailed.

“My desire to be the happy, HEALTHY mom prevailed.”

I walked through the doors of Weight Watchers on Thursday, January 2nd, 2001. I remember it clearly. I was ready. I’m not going to say it was an easy start because it wasn’t. When my leader said, “you can have everything you want. You just have to limit your portions,” I thought “WHOA! I don’t want to limit my portions!” (Enough food to me meant that I had to feel stuffed.) I questioned my ability to eat less and feel satisfied. In fact, the first two weeks into Weight Watchers I felt pretty hungry. But my sense of pride in writing everything down and being mindful of my choices kept me going. I soon realized that I was eating so many things out of habit!

My milestones were many and not all related to what happened on the scale. I gained such an education as I realized my salads were loaded with as many calories as a large burger and fries! I cheered the day I walked in to McDonalds and ordered a Happy Meal and felt absolutely satisfied with the portion size.

The day I hit my 10% goal, I recall shouting, “I love Weight Watchers!”. I knew I could do it! I knew I could do it forever! And then I added more exercise. I joke that I used to be a person who would generally only run after the ice cream man, but the day I ran 20 minutes in a row on a treadmill was one of the proudest moments for me. Now, I can’t miss a day of activity. It makes me feel so good. I am proud of the strength of my body, but mostly, the strength of my mind.

“The day I hit my 10% goal, I recall shouting, I love Weight Watchers!”

I became a Lifetime Member about six months after I joined WW and then I got pregnant and had to take the weight off all over again. But, the second time, I had the confidence and experience behind me. The confidence in WW and my abilities which I gained with every choice I made and every meeting I attended. I’ve followed about eight food plans/programs with Weight Watchers at this point and to list what I’ve learned and how I’ve evolved with each plan would take pages.

The Gina who walked through that door 17 years ago is not the Gina I am today. I look forward to the Gina I’ll become while following Freestyle and remembering my current “Why.” I turned 50 this year and actually had no issue wearing a two-piece bathing suit during my girl’s trip. I love being active with my kids and in the gym and can’t thank Weight Watchers enough for helping me to become and continue to be THAT mom, but more importantly, a confident, healthy ME!

“The Gina who walked through that door 17 years ago is not the Gina I am today.”
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