For as long as I can remember, I was overweight.

One of my earliest (and most damaging) memories related to my weight happened during a doctor appointment. The doctor came in the room after the nurse took my vitals, and he asked my mom, “What are you feeding this girl?” I was so hurt. Shortly after that, my mom took me to my first Weight Watchers meeting. I was just 10 years old.

Of course, at 10, Weight Watchers (now rebranded as WW) didn’t stick, and so dealing with my weight didn’t get easier. In high school, I continued to struggle, especially after the death of my grandmother. I started relying on food to give me comfort after that—mainly greasy, carb-y foods—and by my freshman year of college, I weighed more than 250 pounds.

My turning point came at 22 years old, when my primary care doctor told me I was morbidly obese.

I had recently had labs done, and my doctor walked into the room with my results. She had tears in her eyes and began listing all of my health issues: high blood pressure, borderline diabetes, morbid obesity, anxiety, and depression.

She was clearly concerned for me and asked what she could do to help me finally lose weight. “You have your whole life ahead of you and I want you to be happy,” I remember her saying. But she was right: I was basically immobile.

That was all it took. After feeling so hopeless for so long, I had an advocate that wasn’t a family member tell me I was worth it, and that losing the weight would be worth it.

The next day I signed up for WW for my second time.

#transformationtuesday What do I see when I look at these two pictures? I see the girl on the left fidgeting with her rings, wishing her hair was down so she could hide behind it, extremely uncomfortable and trying to fake a smile. The girl on the right is confident, self-aware, independent and so damn strong! If you would have told me 10 years ago that one day I would be able to lose over 80 pounds, workout daily, have a great job and be living my best life I would have told you you were nuts! But that girl on the left was resilient and fought for every pound and inch and had to work harder than others in college and in her career because of her issues with her weight and self-esteem. Life hasn’t been easy these past 10 years but I wouldn’t change them for the world. I have been sad, mad, loved and lost but I have always picked myself up pushed forward. If you have fallen down, get back up. Push forward. Fight for yourself. You are worth it. The life you want is so worth it! —————————— **People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2lbs per week. I lost weight on prior WW program and WW Freestyle.** —————————— #WWAmbassador #ww #weareww #wwreimagined #wellnessthatworks #weightwatchers #freestyle #weightlosstransformation #notadiet #healthylifestyle #weightlossjourney #wwig #beyondthescale #wwchicago #wwfamily #wwigfamily #wwinstafam #wwinspiration #wwcommunity #wwfreestyle #teamturtle #teamnevergiveup #wwsisterhood #wwinstagram #bettertogether #foreverybody #wwtransformationtuesday

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I chose to go back on WW because I knew the program and it felt comfortable and familiar. I also liked that I didn’t have to cut any certain foods out of my diet (it works on a points-based system, which doesn’t exclude any foods).

At first, I followed the WW plan exactly. I weighed, measured, and tracked all of my food on the points system. It made me realize my struggles with eating were mainly with portion sizing and the types of foods I was eating (mainly highly-processed refined carbs, not the whole grains, veggies, and lean proteins I switched to).

Eight years later, my eating has evolved. I’m less focused on counting every single point now, and am instead focusing on whole foods that fuel my body. I also meal prep now, and when I do not have time to meal prep I get pre-packed, pre-cooked, healthy meals from a company called Fittingly Delicious. All their meals include nutrition labels so I can still track with my WW app, and they’re super convenient for my busy schedule!

Here’s what I eat in a typical day:

  • Breakfast: egg whites with spinach and Bulletproof coffee
  • Lunch: ground turkey and asparagus with avocado
  • Snacks: rice cake with peanut butter
  • Dinner: chicken and broccoli with avocado
  • Dessert: half-cup frozen berries

When I first started my weight-loss journey, I could barely walk because of my health issues.

#transformationtuesday In the words of @themuchomama when your waist is looking snatched and you’re feeling yourself, take the picture! Document that feeling and keep pushing forward! 🙌🏽 —————————— **People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2lbs per week. I lost weight on prior WW program and WW Freestyle.** —————————— #WWAmbassador #ww #weareww #wwreimagined #wellnessthatworks #weightwatchers #freestyle #wwsmartpoints #notadiet #healthylifestyle #weightlossjourney #wwig #beyondthescale #wwchicago #wwfamily #wwigfamily #wwinstafam #wwinspiration #wwcommunity #wwfreestyle #teamturtle #teamnevergiveup #wwsisterhood #wwinstagram #bettertogether #foreverybody #wwtransformationtuesday

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But, after I had lost some weight, I decided to get up and out. When a Pure Barre studio opened in my neighborhood four years ago, I began going every day. I loved the group workout setting and also the low-impact workouts.

Two years later, once I felt like I wanted to take my workouts up a notch, I signed up for Orange Theory Fitness. I loved the intensity and also the fast pace. In January 2019, I hired a personal trainer who is also my life coach and accountability coach. I train with him three days a week and walk twice a day.

Working out now isn’t just about the physical, although I am stronger and more fit than I have been in my entire life; it is also so much about the mental piece of it for me. Although the new set of abs I have now are definitely added bonuses!

Over the past eight years, I’ve lost 80 pounds on WW.

#gettingtoknowyoutuesday About me! Hi everyone! My name is Sam and I live in Chicago with my dog, Molly 🐶. I have been on my @ww journey for 8 years and have lost over 80 pounds. I’m in sales so I’m in my car every day and constantly on the go! I have a big extended family and we are always together (always with so much food 😋) but these get togethers no longer give me anxiety about what I can or can’t eat since WW #freestyle launched at the end of 2017. My family is one of my “whys” and I want to be healthy for them! Last year I was asked to be a #wwambassador and I’m honored to get the privilege to represent this incredible company. I recently was in the 2019 campaign in my Power Suit (if you haven’t seen it it’s on my page and I’m the one in the commercial with the bikini 😱). At my highest weight I remember telling my doctor, “I just want to wear a bikini.” Well, be careful what you wish for! 👙 WW changed my life. I’m more confident, I have self respect and self love. I also do things I never wanted to do before (like go out and meet new people confidently)! I love this community because I’ve never felt so understood in my entire life! To anyone just starting their journey, my advice is to connect with as many people as you can on here and try new things! You never know what might work for you. Happy Tuesday! —————————— **People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2lbs per week. I lost weight on prior WW program and WW Freestyle.** —————————— #WWAmbassador #ww #weareww #wellnessthatworks #weightwatchers #freestyle #wwsmartpoints #notadiet #healthylifestyle #weightlossjourney #livefully #wwig #beyondthescale #wwchicago #wwfamily #wwigfamily #wwinstafam #wwinspiration #wwcommunity #wwfreestyle #wwfreestyleeffect #keeponkeepingon #teamturtle #teamnevergiveup #wwsisterhood #wwinstagram #bettertogether

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The flexibility of the program is what has kept me on track all these years. I have never felt deprived or restricted. I can go out with friends and not be worried that I can’t have a certain food or have a glass of wine.

WW Freestyle is a lifestyle, not a diet. Before losing the weight, I was sedentary. I never wanted to go out or try on new clothes or meet new people. Now, I love to do all of those things. I honestly feel like I have an entirely new life and I try to live my best life everyday and be the best version of myself.

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