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Denise Before and After

Denise- Her Dedication Led to Her Becoming a Lifetime Member

I originally joined Weight Watchers because I was unhappy with my weight and wanted to live a healthier lifestyle after my cancer diagnosis and treatments. In October of 2008, I was facing a difficult medical situation.

The diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes. The discussions and decisions for treatments of my cancer were difficult and frightening to me; they included a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and 10 years of a steroidal aromatase inhibitor. Needless to say the pounds seemed to have a way of adding up after my diagnosis.

“I should take better care of my health.”

During and immediately after my treatments, I gave myself a pass to eat whatever I wanted to help ease the terrible anxiety my situation had put me in. After my treatments and a few months of clean bill of health reports from my physicians, I noticed I had put on over fifteen pounds. Then my thoughts turned to “It looks like maybe I’ll live.” Therefore, maybe I should take better care of my health and lose the extra weight I had gained. I formulated a new plan for my life to be as healthy as possible by getting a lot of exercise and losing weight. I wanted to do everything I could to stay as healthy as possible. My plan incorporated some form of physical exercise every day and joining a weight loss program.

“Weight Watchers is a lifestyle change and not a diet.”

I had heard about Weight Watchers from social media and thought this might be a good program for me. What caught my attention was Jennifer Hudson. I was a big American Idol fan and seeing Jennifer Hudson’s Weight Watchers commercials and ads stating that Weight Watchers “is a lifestyle change and not a diet” won me over. This was just the program I was looking for. So, I saved up enough money and looked up the closest meeting location and best time for my schedule. Then I headed out for my first meeting on a Thursday at noon.

As I walked nervously into Weight Watchers for the first time, I was greeted with a smile by a wonderful woman who would become my leader and a friend. As I explained my circumstances and why I wanted to join Weight Watchers, she confided in me that she was a breast cancer survivor as well, and I felt instantly at ease and knew I was where I needed to be. I was all set-up for the program and excited about getting the ball rolling.

“I was where I needed to be.”

I attended every Thursday morning meeting when I could and even started speaking up about certain topics. Attending these weekly meetings helped me to form close relationships with my leader and the other members. Listening to other members and Lifetime Members speak about how they had gone through the program to make it to their goal became invaluable to me. It led me to believe that I could also attain my goals.

At my meetings, I also learned to choose healthy, fresh vegetables and fruits and lean meats. Weight Watchers slowly nudged me toward nutritious foods that fueled me and gave me a sense of control over my eating. This helped to keep my health on track and to lose the fifteen pounds I had gained after my cancer diagnosis.

“I try to stay as active as possible.”

After I achieved Lifetime status, I continued to attend the Thursday noontime meetings weighing in every time. After about a year of continued attendance, I was asked by the leader if I would be interested in becoming a leader myself. After some time soul searching, I decided that I would like to become a leader and try my best to help others like the way I had been helped. Today, I have been cancer free for nine years, remained at goal for six years, and led Weight Watchers meetings for five years.

I try to stay as active as possible and follow the eighty – twenty rule my healthcare provider recommends. This method suggests eighty percent healthy nutrition and twenty percent indulgences in food choices. I continue to track and strive to stay within my recommended Daily and Weekly SmartPoint® allowances. I tribute Weight Watchers with helping me to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, and I know that I will be a member for the rest of my life. I know this because I need the support and motivation this program and its members provide.