I've got something really special for you today. It's an interview I did with Melissa Herb who has lost 90 pounds on Weight Watchers. Melissa's awesome before and after photo's showed up in my Facebook feed. I was so inspired, I shared them on my page. Several people commented asking for her "secrets" so I contacted her and she agreed to share them with us here. How great is that?
As it turns out, Melissa and I share a lot more than just Weight Watchers in common. She too has herniate discs and loves yoga and slow cooker recipes 🙂 I can't tell you how excited her story makes me. I hope it does you too....
Weight Watchers Success Story #1: Melissa Herb
Tell us a little bit about your weight struggle, Melissa.
Weight has been a struggle for me all of my life. I would lose, gain, and fluctuate. When I was in high school, I had lost over 100 lbs and after my mom passing away and losing course in life, I kept eating. When I decided to lose weight, I would try everything. For instance, cutting back on portions, eating, fruits and veggies, etc. but I would lose 5 lbs and then I would gain plus more. The issue was, I was not happy with myself. Eating way too much junk food, eating fast food, not knowing what to eat, and that was killing me.
I also got injured in 2012 due to an accident and ended up with a bulging disc in my neck, three disc herniation’s in my lower back, and nerve spasms, chronic pain, and physical limitations.
When I talked to my friend who is a Weight Watchers member and lost over 60 pounds with the program, she told me what she was doing, so I decided to sign up for the online program. I started working on baby steps and cutting out bad habits drastically such as soda. I swapped it out with fruit flavored seltzer water or regular seltzer water in a fruit Infuser Water Bottle with fruits in the center.
What was your wake-up call or aha moment that caused you to sign up with Weight Watchers?
When I was talking to my friend about my weight, I broke down and cried because I felt hopeless, negative, and depressed. She told me she did it with Weight Watchers and that prompted me to sign up with the online program because of my busy schedule being a full time student. My chronic pain on my joints and physical limitations due to my injury woke me up also later on when I talked to my friend and just woke up and realized, it is time to do something about this.
Tell us a little bit about how your food/eating habits have changed since Weight Watchers. What did you eat before? What are you eating now?
Before I started Weight Watchers, I would eat fast food, a lot of processed boxed foods, hamburgers, French fries, 3-4 sodas a day.
After I started Weight Watchers, I took baby steps. I added more fruit, more vegetables, found recipes and created recipes for substitutions for my favorite foods, eating more whole grains, cut down on gluten foods drastically in addition to dairy.
I’ll make kale chips for a snack, more squash, fruits, vegetables, and leaner meats such as fish and chicken. I do not eat fried foods; I just eat baked and grilled. In addition, I purchased a spiralizer for vegetables such as the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer. I use zucchini, carrots, and many other fruits to make noodles and substitute that for regular flour and rice noodles.
Tell us a little bit about your fitness before Weight Watchers and now?
Before Weight Watchers, I was very lazy. I would sit on the couch, stay in and watch television. I would not go anywhere and avoided hanging out with friends a lot. In high school, I was very active, I played tennis and in addition to the piano. After life situations happening and my injuries, I fell more into a depression and very negative towards life and people. I did not want to be around anyone.
I started doing DDPYOGA because it is low impact, mixes rehab exercises with yoga poses, and using dynamic resistance with no weights at all. It has helped me drastically with my flexibility, pain, and losing weight in addition to Weight Watchers. It opened me to other genres of yoga I am currently doing at the moment in addition to DDPYOGA. I also go to the gym to use the pool to swim laps and the machines.
What has been the biggest change/payoff for you so far?
A healthy lifestyle, more time with the ones I love, more energy, and seeing how my body is changing through yoga. My attitude has changed being from negative to positive.
Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with my readers?
I love Hungry Girl's BLT Wonton Cup Taco recipe, which I use when guests come over. I like taking the extra and putting it on GF bread and having a BLT sandwich with it.
How much weight have you lost? How long did it take you to lose it?
I have lost around 90 lbs and it took me over a year to lose it. I still have 40 more lbs to go until my goal weight but I have been losing more body fat percentage, inches, and staying the same weight. I have not gained or lost pounds but I am not going to let it stop me because it is a lifestyle change, not a diet. It bugs me when people say "diet." According to the article in Wrestling Inc. Diamond Dallas Page says,” I'll never use the word diet because you know what the first three letters in the word diet are. They don’t work, lifestyles do” (Middleton, 2013).
Where do you live?
Anything else you would like to say or share? Any tips for others who are struggling with their weight?
This is not a DIET! It is lifestyle change that will be with you for the rest of your life. As Diamond Dallas Page says, “ DIE are the first letters of a diet.”
When you first start out, take your before pictures and as you keep going during this healthy lifestyle change, make collages. I am a collage addict and love posting them on Facebook to share with others and seeing how my body is changing in addition to my outlook on life to remind myself to never go back to the way I was.
I downloaded a free collage app (PhotoGrid) onto my smartphone and bought a tripod to take multiple pictures during this transition. Especially working out, it is great to do a few poses and take before pictures to look at your flexibility changes. It is baby steps and finding what works for you. Before starting any nutrition and workout program, check with you primary doctor. If I can do it with my disc herniation’s and physical limitations, you can also.
There is no excuse not to be healthy and want to be around for your family or love yourself. Most importantly, surround yourself with a good solid positive support system. Surround yourself with people going through the same struggles and you can help each other out.
Products That Melissa Is Using to Assist Her Weight Loss
More Weight Watchers Success Stories on Simple Nourished Living:
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