Success with At Work

Using Weight Watchers to Learn to Take Care of Herself

Written by Mandy D., Staff

Weight has been an issue for me for as long as I can recall. Growing up I was not considered overweight until about 4th grade. I remember sitting in the pediatrician’s office and hearing him tell my mom that I weighed too much and needed to be put on a diet.

After marrying my husband, I found out we were expecting twins. To say we were shocked is putting it mildly. To our dismay by the time we had adjusted to the thought of raising twin babies, I had a second trimester miscarriage that devastated me to the point that I just could not function normally. A few months later, we found ourselves pregnant again. It was a whirlwind of a pregnancy.

“I just could not function normally.”

Our son was born with a chronic disease that went undetected for 8 long months. Everyone insisted I was just a nervous first-time mom, and the baby picked up on that. Finally, at 8 months old, the doctors discovered the issue, and he had to have an 8-hour emergency surgery to remove what we were told was a cancerous tumor. We were later given a diagnosis that would mean a lifetime of dealing with medical issues in regard to our son and were told he most likely wouldn’t live past five years old. He’s 14 now and has since endured over two dozen surgeries and is currently on chemotherapy to treat the illness. Through it all, I dealt with the situation as best as I knew how, and I turned again to food for comfort.

We went on to have another child; this time a healthy baby girl. After she was born, we were informed that our son would not survive if he couldn’t get the surgeries he so desperately needed, and in order to have the surgeries, I’d have to quit my job to become a full-time caregiver for our son. My husband’s employer did not provide insurance. We applied for private health insurance but were devastated to receive three consecutive letters saying that my weight put me under the category of “morbidly obese.” Therefore, I did not qualify for private insurance and would have to be put on a risk pool plan, and these people were charged drastically more in premiums than other healthier individuals.

“I knew I had to change.”

To know that I was going to put my already financially burdened family under even more financial strain due to my weight made me feel like the worst mother and wife ever. I knew I had to change not just for them, but for me too. I logged onto Weight Watchers for the first time that very day and began the program immediately.

Within 9 months, I lost 89 pounds following the Weight Watchers plan, and I felt absolutely amazing! I met my goal weight on a Monday and weighed in the following Monday only to find out I had gained two pounds. The following Thursday, I received the news that I was expecting my third child. It was so refreshing to finally get to experience pregnancy from the point of a healthy person!

After having my baby, I was able to get within ten pounds of my goal weight but never made it back to goal officially in order to reach lifetime status. I was able to maintain my weight and keep the weight off through the years until I faced my fourth pregnancy. My fourth pregnancy was another filled with anxiety and fear as I learned that we would be facing medical hardships again with our new baby. I sought help through doctors, but her pain remained a mystery to everyone. During this time, I found comfort yet again in the one thing I always turned to…food.

“I was able to get within ten pounds of my goal weight.”

One day during my daughter’s screaming fits of pain, I told my husband that I had to find a way to help rid myself of the stress so that I could be a better mother. I set out for a walk that day, and it felt great. It gave me a chance to free my mind for the first time in months.

I realized that day that seeking comfort in food was just adding to the stresses of life. I knew I could be better, and I knew I could handle the stress if I made the choice to take care of MYSELF too. I logged on once again to Weight Watchers and have never looked back!

“Doing so makes me a better mom and wife!”

I am truly a new person this time around thanks to Weight Watchers. Not only did Weight Watchers give me guidance on how to eat to fuel my body, but it also taught me that it’s okay (and necessary) to take care of myself. Doing so makes me a better mom and wife! I recently was able to come full circle with my Weight Watchers journey by realizing my dream of becoming a Weight Watcher leader. I get nothing but joy from helping others reach their weight goals with the Weight Watchers plan!