• Prior to embarking on this journey, I made the decision
that I would do whatever it took to succeed. In January 2006,
I vowed that I would not start 2007 weighing 200 lbs., and I made
that my focus all year. I began the year at 272 lbs. and hit 198
on Christmas Eve.
• I rarely go grocery shopping without a written list, or
on an empty stomach. It minimizes the chance of my buying items
that are not point-friendly, regardless of how attractive they
may be priced.
• I buy single-serving portions of higher-point items. When
I must buy the larger-sized container (which is rare), I separate
into smaller servings as soon as possible.
• I generally give myself a reward after every 25 pounds
lost. I keep track by putting a photo of the reward item on my
fridge and updating after each weigh-in (see Goal Poster Gallery).
• I stop wearing items of clothing as soon as they become
too big. Given the chance between buying something that is a perfect
fit and the next size down that is a little snug, I typically
buy the smaller item.
• I only buy clothes that coordinate with what I already
own – and what I am absolutely in love with. Otherwise it
stays on the rack.
• I take photos frequently and have measurements taken monthly.
The downward shift in numbers is a boost when the scale won’t
• I keep a binder of weight loss stories, especially of
fellow Weight Watchers members. Whenever someone posted on the
board that (s)he would be featured in a magazine, I made sure
to get a copy of the article.
• Many times along this journey, I have had to remember
that it took me more than 30 years to get to my highest weight.
Taking three years to lose it has been a bargain!
• Yes, there are mornings that I would rather sleep in rather
than work out, and there are events where I’d like to have
a little more of everything. It only takes a few moments for me
to remember how I looked and felt during the many years when I
exercised no restraint – or, as my Leader often says, “Would
you rather eat what you want or wear what you want?”
• I exercise six mornings and five evenings per week, striving
for a minimum of 30 Activity Points (APs).
• Whenever weather and distance permit, I walk for local
errands – gym, drugstore, grocery store (depending on what
I need to buy).
• When I must drive, I try to park as comfortably far away
from the entrance as possible. It’s a good way to sneak
in exercise and makes leaving the area much simpler.
• I have been doing Turbo Jam since early 2006. My two favorite
routines are Cardio Party I and Punch, Kick & Jam.
• Exercise must be fun, or I won’t do it.
• If I only worked out on the days I truly felt like it,
I would still weigh over 300 lbs. Many times I have a reluctant
start but am feeling better once I’ve finished a workout.
• I lost most of my weight on the Flex Plan, starting in
April 2005 with a Daily Points Target of 32. In November 2007
I switched to the Core Plan because I found that I was no longer
losing with a Daily Points Target of 21. I have found it very
freeing to get my dairy, oil and other requirements without worrying
about whether I have Points to cover them.
• When faced with the choice between a healthy snack (e.g.,
fruit) and a not-so-healthy snack (e.g., usually something that
isn’t Core), I try to eat the better one first. I am usually
satisfied and have no desire for the other.
• I use eTools to track several days of meals in advance.
Since I attend meetings on Sundays, my highest calorie days are
typically Sunday and Thursday, but even then I am mindful of my
• I eat my Activity Points each day. When I was on Flex
I got as close as possible to my Daily Target. On either plan,
I try to stop using my Weekly Points Allowance when I am down
to 12-15, especially on Friday and Saturday.
• If I know I am attending an event where there will be
a lot of food served (wedding, cookout, holiday meal with family)
I make sure not to arrive hungry. I will have a small bowl of
veggies before I go, or carry a piece of fruit or baggie of pretzels
in my purse. If I wait until the meal is served to eat, I usually
end up eating too much, too fast.
• I have never used a No Weigh-In Pass. I face the scale
and move on.
• When I find myself "hungry" before a meal, or
at night after dinner, I have a glass of water, cup of diet soda
(Diet A&W Root Beer is my favorite) or a cup of fat-free milk.
I am usually satisfied. If not, I try to have a piece of fruit
or raw vegetables.
• I rarely seek out "fat-free" items, even if
they are Core. I will use a low-fat salad dressing over a fat-free
one, and I don’t bother with items like reduced fat peanut
butter – it has just as many points as regular when comparing
• When I go to a food event, I do not "dress to grease."
This means no sweats or stretchy bottoms. I wear jeans with a
belt or a fitted skirt. These clothes do not facilitate overeating,
and I don’t want to eat so quickly that I end up spilling
food on them.
• I rarely swear off any particular food – I rather
try to work it in in smaller doses.
• When I did Flex, I approached the use of Daily Points
like money – if I knew I had $25 for meals for an entire
day, I probably wouldn’t spend $15 on breakfast. Now that
I am on Core, I approach my Weekly Points Allowance the same way.
Fortunately, most of the items I regularly eat are Core, so this
allows me to save my Weekly/Activity Points for things I really
• Speaking of money, I don’t carry much of it. It
saves me from impulse (read: non-Core) buys at the corner or convenience
store, or joining the gang for lunch on days other than my previously
arranged higher-point days.
• I prepare most of my dinners for the week over the weekend.
This prevents me from snacking (a lot) while waiting for dinner
to be ready.
• Generally, the more natural (Core) foods (lean meat, dairy,
fresh fruits and vegetables) I eat, the less craving I have for
processed items like chips and candy.
• Water is crucial. I try to get in a minimum of six glasses
a day without counting items like diet soda or decaf coffee or
tea. When I do drink caloric items like orange juice, I use the
smallest cup in the house. Before starting Weight Watchers I bought
a child’s sippy cup for this very purpose.
• Prior to WW, I would buy a 3-lb. package of ground turkey.
It would last for two meals, sometimes three. Now I use my food
scale to separate the turkey into 8-oz. blocks.
• I am working on eating different meals each day. This
keeps my body guessing and I don’t get bored. It also keeps
me out of following the Program on a diet mentality.
• When there’s a conflict in Points values between
WW materials and a nutritional label, I use the information on
the label. Even though it usually costs me Points, I’m never
• I have found that Core takes much preparation, both in
cooking and in shopping. However, the investment pays itself off
quickly – the fresh fruit lasts longer than the chips or
fruit bars, for instance, would last in my house, and since I’m
eating non-processed foods, it takes less time to cook.
• Food scale (I own a Salter)
• Air popper for popcorn
• Measuring cups/spoons
• Week 1 (Eat Wisely) Booklet and PointsFinder – I
keep one of each in both of my kitchens, my everyday purse, my
car, my weekend bag, and my desk at work
• Complete Food Guide and Dining Out Companion
• Weight Watchers eTools
• Rice cooker (for brown rice)
• Popcorn (dry, prepared in air popper)
• Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bars
• Sparkling flavored water (sold in most supermarkets and
• Smart Balance Buttery Burst Spray
• Fat-free milk
• Diet A&W Root Beer
• Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning
• Fiber One Oats & Chocolate Bars
• Fiber One cereal (original)
• Stewed tomatoes (no salt added – store brand)
• Kidney beans
• Whole wheat pasta (many stores have their own brand)
• Wish-Bone Light Salad Dressings (my favorites are Italian
and Honey Dijon)
• Herb-Ox Sodium Free Instant Broth & Seasoning (Beef
• PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter (http://bellplantation.com/)
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
For my 100 and 150 lb. milestones, I created playlists to propel
me toward my rewards.
from my 100-lb soundtrack (I Know I Look Good):
• This Is My Night - Chaka Khan
• Glow - Rick James
• I'm Coming Out - Diana Ross
• She's a Bad Mama Jama - Carl Carlton
• Ladies' Night - Kool & The Gang
• U Got the Look (Long Look) - Prince
• That Lady - The Isley Brothers
• I'm Every Woman - Chaka Khan
• Brick House - The Commodores
• Watching You - Slave
• Shake It Up Tonight - Cheryl Lynn
• Vogue - Madonna
• Pride (A Deeper Love) - Civiles + Cole
from my 150-lb soundtrack (Cutting Loose):
• Bustin' Out - Rick James
• Razzamatazz - Quincy Jones
• Nobody Can Be You - Steve Arrington's Hall Of Fame
• Let's Dance - David Bowie
• Stir It Up - Patti LaBelle
• Control - Janet Jackson
• Sidewalk Talk - Jellybean Benitez feat. Madonna
• All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
• Let's Get Down - Tony! Toni! Toné!
• Go Deep - Janet Jackson
• Dancewitme - Maxwell
• Fired Up - Funky Green Dogs
• Get Involved - Q-Tip & Raphael Saadiq
• Free Again - Soul II Soul
• Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae
• Beck, Judith S. The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain
to Think Like a Thin Person. ISBN-10: 0848731735. ISBN-13: 978-0848731731.
• Fletcher, Anne M. Thin for Life: 10 Keys to Success from
People Who Have Lost Weight and Kept It Off. ISBN-10: 0618340556;
• Gould, Roger. Shrink Yourself: Break Free from Emotional
Eating Forever. ISBN-10: 0470044853; ISBN-13: 978-0470044858.
• Lederman, Judith. Joining the Thin Club: Tips for Toning
Your Mind after You've Trimmed Your Body. ISBN-10: 0307341461;
• McGraw, Dr. Phil. The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7
Keys to Weight Loss Freedom. ISBN-10: 1416513183; ISBN-13: 978-1416513186.
• Rippe, James M. and Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers -
Weight Loss That Lasts: Break Through the 10 Big Diet Myths. ISBN-10:
0471721727; ISBN-13: 978-0471736295.
• Clean Eating Magazine. Promotes eating of foods in their
most natural state. http://www.cleaneatingmag.com
• Muscle & Fitness / Muscle & Fitness Hers. Bodybuilding,
health and fitness. http://www.muscleandfitness.com
• Weight Watchers Magazine. Tips on following the Program,
exercise and health columns, success stories. http://www.weightwatchers.com/shop/mag/index.aspx
• Although publication was discontinued in 2007, I would
be remiss in failing to acknowledge American Media, Inc., the
publishers of Looking Good Now Magazine, for that magazine’s
contribution to my success.