transformation tuesday: molly lost with weight watchers.

by Janetha on August 14, 2012

in guest posts

hey, guys! you all said you have loved reading about others’ transformations when i have posted them in the past, so i have recruited another fabulous blogger to share her transformation with you today. i am so excited for you to read her inspiring journey of losing over 50 lbs in the past year!

if you have gone through your own transformation (it does not have to be weight loss/weight gain! it can be any kind of personal transformation) that you would like to share here on meals & moves, please let me know so we can arrange something.

today’s transformation comes from molly. enjoy!

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Hello everyone, I’m Molly! I hail from the province of New Brunswick, on the East Coast of Canada. By day, I work as a corporate writer and editor. By night, I spend time writing and editing over on my personal blog at www.afreshstartformolly.com.  Please come over and say hi – everyone has a story and I’d love to read yours! Thank you, Janetha, for having me!

My history:
I grew up at a healthy weight by staying active.

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During High School

In university, I began putting on the pounds from the typical student love of alcohol, Kraft Dinner (known as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the U.S.) and nachos. Still, my doctor’s appointment the summer before I went into senior year revealed that I wasn’t clinically overweight.

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During University

In my senior year of university, I was hospitalized for depression and anxiety that had been brewing for a long time. I don’t blame my weight gain on my illness, but the combination of staying in bed, fearing exercise, and taking a medication that made me crave ALL OF THE CARBS (seriously, I contemplated eating raw potatoes) didn’t help. I started ballooning and didn’t stop after graduation.

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At my University Graduation

My tipping point:
Last summer, a year after graduating university, I had it in the back of my mind that I would like to try Weight Watchers. I was finishing up therapy and was slowly learning that concrete goals and programs were the best for me. I had joined a Learn To Run club in March, but it hadn’t caused me to lose any weight. I was still in plus size clothing.

Let it be known: exercise helped me get back to a healthy mental state, but I didn’t lose weight until I paired it with healthy eating.

My 23rd birthday party was held at the end of July at the lake my family goes to every summer. It was an amazing time spent with my sister and cousins. But, as usual, I was in tears over the photos. I worried about all the special photos to come – family photos, my wedding, portraits with my future children. I also worried I’d be too physically unhealthy to enjoy those milestones. When I got back from the lake, it was finally time to commit to healthy eating. I wasn’t going to wait around any longer.

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My “Before” Photo on my 23rd Birthday

How I took the weight off:
On August 6, my boyfriend took me out for a “last supper.” I got a giant poutine – a French-Canadian dish of fries, cheese and gravy. Next stop was Walmart to buy a scale.When my weight popped up on the screen, I freaked. I was so mad at myself. So I whipped out my credit card, wiped my tears, and in the morning I began my first day following Weight Watchers Online.

I had always found nutrition confusing, so I was worried I’d get overwhelmed. The Weight Watchers Points Plus Program was a great way to introduce myself to the science of healthy eating. The points made the decisions for me and before I knew it I was naturally gravitating to the right options. Slowly but surely, I started researching more about nutrition.

I was always highly concerned with other people’s conceptions of me. I played many sports and got my first gym membership at 15, but I still wasn’t thought of as an athlete. Instead, I was Molly – the gangly, awkward bookworm. I finally realized only I had the power to decide who I was. I joined the YMCA a month after starting Weight Watchers. I started becoming really interested in setting fitness goals. I ran three 5K races in 2011, and after a back injury this winter, I have returned to training. I did my first triathlon in July.

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My First Triathlon!

On August 7, the first anniversary of the day I started Weight Watchers, I started training for a 10K race in October. I now think of myself as an athlete, and I know that identity was always a part of me. I no longer care if others agree.

In April, eight months after I started my journey, I was down 50 pounds. My boyfriend and I went to Florida to celebrate and came home with a set of photos that I am not ashamed to hold on to as memories.

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Celebrating 50 pounds down in 8 months!

Where I am now:
In June, I settled on my goal weight.

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Goal!

I’m still there and holding steady with a 54 pound weight loss.

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Maintaining my goal weight!

Maintenance is as much of a journey as weight loss was, but I don’t live in constant fear of gaining the weight back. I know that the way I have educated myself on nutrition, combined with my fitness goals, is enough to help me stay successful. I am ever-learning and ever-evolving. I also focus every day on the “happy” part of my life – I speak positively to myself, push beyond my comfort zone, and don’t stay shackled to the scale. Sometimes I even eat my beloved poutine!

Final pieces of advice:
Although Weight Watchers was a great way for me to stay organized with my food choices, there are three simple ways I lost weight that didn’t require paying for a program. I’m no expert, but I know these steps absolutely work and I stand behind them 150 percent:

  1. Eat less
  2. Move more
  3. Drink water

I also believe you have to be ready to lose weight. When you are ready – make the full on commitment. Don’t tell yourself you’ll “try to eat better,” or “maybe go the gym here and there,” because before you know it, another year will have gone by and you’ll still be beating yourself up.

Practice tough love.

Set it in stone.

I call it “flipping the switch.”

Tell yourself that there is no other option – this is your life now. Because, guess what? Only then will you be giving yourself the care, commitment and attention you deserve.

-Molly

Qs~

Have you tried Weight Watchers?

Do you have any questions for Molly?

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance August 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Molly–you are such an inspiration! Way to figure out what would work for you, and sticking with it!

Molly @ A Fresh Start For Molly August 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Thank you for having me, Janetha! This is actually my first time posting a full length “before” photo, so I was a little nervous, but I appreciate having your support as always!

corrie anne August 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm

So cool! Thanks for sharing!!!

Stephanie @ Wellness Reclamation August 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Way to go, Molly! What a great transformation. So proud of you!

Janetha, can I be featured on your blog in 12 weeks when I finish my first Body for Life challenge?

Janetha August 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

Yes, yes, yes! Plan on it!

Emily @ www.main-eats.com August 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Wonderful story-you truly have transformed!!! Congratulations! Thanks for an inspiring story!

Momma b August 14, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Wow Molly what an awesome post and transformation! Love your simple approach to being healthy!! No I haven’t tried Weight Watchers but have a couple of friends who have had success.

I’m impressed with the triathlon!! Hooray!

xo

purelylori August 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

beautiful story! you look amazing Molly!

Liz @ iheartvegetables August 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Molly you are SUCH an inspiration and I love your blog!! It’s awesome to see you guest posting over here :)

Erin @ erinberries August 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Wow! What a story. Such an inspiration for someone like me who is currently on their weight loss journey. Congrats!

Denise G August 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Congratulations from a fellow Canadian. I love that you worked Kraft Dinner and Poutine into your post. It got me thinking to what my last supper would be. I’d have to go with pizza followed by cheesecake and a double double to top it all off :-D

You look awesome and I’m willing to bet you feel just as good as you look.

corrie anne August 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Congratulations! That is so awesome. I love that hot pink dress. Those three tips are so perfect.

Cecilia August 15, 2012 at 4:23 am

Thank you for sharing! You’ve done a wonderful transformation. Very inspiring!

Allie August 15, 2012 at 6:23 am

I’m actually on Weight Watchers right now, and personally it’s more so for me to become aware of how much and what I’m actually eating. At the beginning I lost several pounds, but since then haven’t really noticed anything major. I’m trying to eat mostly Paleo right now, so even though I am still on Weight Watchers, I’m trying both out at the same time. Paleo is reminding me to eat my veggies, and oddly enough I’m now craving them for breakfast.

Girl, you have an amazing transformation and I’m so happy for you. It just goes to show you that with hard work, you can get what you want! Way to go.

Lindsey August 15, 2012 at 6:41 am

Great post, Molly, and congrats again! Your transformation never ceases to amaze me — mind, body and spirit. Very proud of you! xo

Jessica Y August 15, 2012 at 6:53 am

What an amazing transformation Molly! I also have been a WW member and have lost 39 pounds that I’ve kept off for about a year and a half now! I also am currently working part time as a receptionist for them – you’d be a perfect fit for the job! :)

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning August 15, 2012 at 7:38 am

What a great and inspirational story! You should be so proud of yourself, Molly!
I’ve tried WW before, and it hasn’t worked for me- but I know it does for many others. So happy that you found what works for you! You look amazing!

Wendy August 15, 2012 at 8:03 am

What a great post. Do you think weight watchers would work for someone who only has 10 pounds to lose as opposed to a larger number? Counting calories individually makes me want to forget about it!

Molly @ A Fresh Start For Molly August 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Absolutely! If I ever feel like losing a few more pounds (maybe for a special occasion, like a wedding) I know I can use Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers has online forums for people who have different amounts to lose to discuss their goals. Ten pounds would be filed under the forum called “Less to Lose”.

Calee (@chimes) August 15, 2012 at 9:58 am

Great post! I’ve seen some great successes with WW but it’s not for everybody (namely for those who only have a bit to lose). The points plus system, like Molly said, is a great way for newbies to figure out what’s healthy vs. what’s not, but when it comes to losing those last few pounds, or when you’re plateauing, it just doesn’t work because having the 49 “splurge points” equates to a LOT of calories … scientifically, it just doesn’t work out.

Free fruit? A banana = 0 points, but in real life, a banana is between 150-200 calories, which is comparable to something that’s 2-3 points. It annoys me that corn and peas and starchy vegetables are worth points but sugary fruit is free. I get that the point is to try to get people thinking about making healthier choices, but when you’re already making these choices and trying to lose, it just doesn’t work.

I had zero success with the program. The one thing it did help me with was getting rid of the calories in / calories out thinking. Obviously, it wasn’t a great program for me to do to lose the 5-10 vanity lbs, but I thought I’d try it to support the BF in his weight loss because it’s easier to use the system with a friend.

My boyfriend has been on and off it. He started again on Monday and this time I suggested that he throw out the splurge points and focus on getting activity points (ie. working out and burning calories to “earn” calories for food). It makes more sense scientifically. And in the past the 49 splurge points hasn’t worked for him, even when working out. He wasn’t seeing the impact that working out was giving to his weight loss (because he wasn’t tracking it) and ultimately those 49 points ended up in a binge during 1 day a week (which is super unhealthy).

He eats healthy already and in previous experiences with WW, he would stock up on fruit and eat a ton more calories than he’d normally eat because fruit was free, and things he used to snack on (in appropriate amounts) that kept him full and were low cal (cheese sticks, chocolate milk, cereal, popcorn) were worth points. This time when he said he was going to start “pointing” again, I put my foot down and refused to buy endless amounts of healthy snacks. I pointed out that he ate WAY more on WW, and though what he ate was “free”, in reality it is a TON of calories. He was already eating really well this time around, so all he needed to do was track to make sure portions were appropriate and add back in exercise.

So yeah, obviously WW works for some people, but it’s not a perfect system and real science of calories needs to be taken into consideration when plateaus are hit and when success isn’t reached.

Calee (@chimes) August 15, 2012 at 9:58 am

and yet another novel is left for Janetha to read. Love ya girlie. :)

Janetha August 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

Hahaha.. I love you, too. Everyone is so different and I know if I ate fruit to my heart’s content, I’d be a whale. I am glad Mark has found a way to adjust WW to work well and that he’s more active/tossing the free points/etc. Good for him!

Also, make sure to check out Neil’s reply to you in the comment below!

xo

Neil August 15, 2012 at 10:26 am

Molly – This was a beautiful post. Loved your attitude and how you empowered yourself to make decisions. It takes a lot of courage to do this. Your courage inspires me.

Calee – If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that there is almost NOTHING “scientific” about weight loss. There are so many factors at play (emotional, genetic, nutritional, physical, psychological, etc.) when it comes to the process of losing weight, that science is light years behind. Certain scientific principles can help, but the individual will need to blaze their own trail to find their own specific needs for successful weight loss – as Molly did here. The thing is, where a certain scientific principle will help ONE individual achieve success, that same principle will serve to confound another. For this reason I stand against your comment that WW “is not a perfect system.” It may very well BE perfect for some. It has helped thousands and thousands. It will help more in the future.

I must say, I love your thoughts on the comparisons between free fruits and starchy veggies. I also loved your thoughts on having your friend cut the splurge points. However, I don’t think altering WW to fit someones specific needs invalidates the entire program. Fact is, I believe it’s quite the opposite. That it may not work for you is valid. That fact alone may help others.

Janetha August 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

Love your thoughts, always. And damnit.. why is fruit not a protein?! Especially this week… ;)

Calee (@chimes) August 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

Good point! I think that everybody has to find out what works for them. I actually have a post tomorrow that was sparked by my comment. I think that my biggest beef is that the demographic that tries weight watchers, and doesn’t see success, is less likely to keep trying.

And I don’t think WW is invalid. It’s just not for everybody. And I think people need to know the possible pitfalls (like with any other program) before trying it.

Gavi August 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

Congratulations to you, Molly! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I, too, lost 55 pounds with Weight Watchers and have been maintaining my loss for almost four years. I agree that maintenance is a challenging journey in and of itself, and I wish you all the best moving forward.

Christin August 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

Loved your post, Molly!! You are so absolutely right when you say only you have the power to decide who you are. You are very inspiring, and I really enjoyed reading about your journey and success. Best wishes! :)

Annette@FitnessPerks August 15, 2012 at 11:50 am

WOW! So inspiring!

Claire @ Live and Love to Eat August 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm

What a great story, with such a basic message! Thank you for sharing!

Meghan August 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I’ve had a lot of last meals… I wish I could just give up bad food forever. I just have to remind myself of the end result. Health, feelings great, and looking great! Thanks for the story!

Laura @ runningjunkie123 August 16, 2012 at 8:30 am

What an amazing story! You look fabulous and worked hard and you really deserve it!

Lisa August 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Way to go Molly! You look fantastic!

Nutrition was confusing for me too. That was why I chose to count calories to lose weight. It was something that seemed easy to me. It just “clicked.” Glad Weight Watchers worked for you!

Rachel August 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Congratulations! You look great and I love your “No B.S.” opinion on weight loss… eat less, move more & make a commitment! Have a wonderful day!

Janet August 26, 2012 at 11:23 am

Molly, you look wonderful and healthy. :)
I love Weight Watchers and lost 60 lbs on that plan a few years back. I maintained for a while, then gained some back. I’ve tried EVERYTHING to lose the weight, and finally ita dawned on me to do what worked before. I got back on the WW plan about 6 weeks ago.
I was doing well until I went on vacation, now I am in depressed/lazy/eating whatever mode.

This post was just what I needed today.

www.bit.ly/QyrE December 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm

It’s arduous to find educated individuals on this topic, but you sound like you understand what you’re talking about! Thanks

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