Transformation of the Day: Charlotte lost more than 100 pounds. This Zeta Phi Beta soror knew that Weight Watchers works. She rejoined the program in an effort to not only lose weight, but to help alleviate her knee issues as well. With determination and focus, she created a new, healthy lifestyle. She’s kept the weight off for more than a year. Now, she is a motivational speaker and Weight Watchers Leader.
What was your motivation? What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
I was at my highest weight of 277 pounds after moving to a suburban area where I did NO walking. I was also experiencing knee problems. After trying medication, physical therapy and even cortisone shots, my doctor suggested surgery and I knew I needed to lose some weight. I’d lost weight before with Weight Watchers, so I knew it worked, but this time I was able to stay committed.
In addition, my niece was six years old at the time. I wanted to be able to run around and play with her without getting tired or being in pain. Thinking of her and thinking about getting healthy kept me focused on my goal.
How did you change your eating habits?
I followed the Weight Watchers plan where every food is assigned a Smart Point value. You have a certain number of points each day and additional points for the week. Technically, I could eat anything, but I had to make choices about what I wanted to eat and if it was worth it. I did cut out a lot of sugars, sweets and processed foods. I didn’t drink pop or soda. I eliminated some carbs, like white bread and pasta. I ate what I considered good carbs, like baked potatoes (as opposed to french fries).
I also did more grocery shopping. I shopped at least twice a week, to keep fresh fruits and vegetables in my house, and I did meal prep once a week. I worked long hours during the week, sometimes a 10-12-hour day. I spent about two hours on Sundays cooking and prepping for the week, and that allowed me to have healthy foods and snacks in the house and stay within my plan.
What did your workout routine look like?
I started with walking. I would walk a half mile or one mile, two to three times per week. I walked slow, but it didn’t matter, I was walking. Next, I added Zumba. Eventually, I added the elliptical to my routine as well. I exercised with my co-workers or alone. I didn’t wait for an exercise partner, but sometimes friends or co-workers asked to join me.
About halfway through my two-year journey, I was walking up to four miles. I started running 5Ks soon after that. My current workout routine is to walk or do the elliptical 3-4 times per week, and run a 5K about once a month. I take other exercise classes, like strength training, yoga, Zumba and dance periodically to mix up my routine.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
277 pounds was my highest weight and I walked into Weight Watchers at 266 pounds. My current weight is 165 pounds and my height is 5’3”. My doctor has taken me off yet another blood pressure medication. I was on three meds and now I’m down to one.
How long did your transformation take?
I lost 100 pounds by June of 2016, two years and two months after I started. I tell everyone, “Slow and steady wins the race.” I fell off the wagon many times during that two years, but I kept getting back on track. During that time, I learned to change long standing habits and made a lifestyle change that I plan to maintain. Since losing the weight, I have successfully kept it off for more than a year.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
That it is my responsibility to keep myself motivated. If I binge or eat something I regret, I must motivate myself to get back on track with the next meal or on the next day and keep going. I try to find exercises and physical activities that I enjoy so that I want to do them. I now give motivational speeches and lead vision board workshops to help others find and keep their motivation to lose weight. I also work for Weight Watchers as a Leader and a Receptionist. I continue to track Smart Points for my food choices.
What advice do you have for other people who want to lose weight?
Find your motivation. Find your why. Why is this important to you? Why do you want to do this? Then, keep reminding yourself of this reason. Your why will help you make good food choices (like avoiding the cookies at work), and it can help you stay motivated to exercise or workout.
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