Oh my, do we have an incredible weight loss story to share with you today! I love how reading the book, Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food, gave Janell the inspiration and motivation she needed to join Weight Watchers, follow the program, lose 149 pounds and change her life forever! She demonstrates that anything is possible once you get your heart, mind and soul in the right place.
Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Weight Struggle
I started REALLY gaining weight with each pregnancy while in my 30’s. I think I was 37 when I fractured my talus bone very badly. That eventually led to a triple fusion of my right ankle in 2010, after many years of increasing pain, immobility and more weight gain. I also had to have my left knee partially replaced in 2010 because of damage done over the years of not being able to walk normally because of my right ankle.
By early 2013, at age 52 I topped the scales at 298 pounds! I saw a wheel chair in my near future!
That winter I read the book Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food by Lysa TerKeurst and it totally changed my outlook on a lot of things and got my heart and mind ready to take control of my eating. After seeing a friend’s success at Weight Watchers, I joined. Weighing in for the first time on June 10, 2013 at 293.2 pounds. The rest, as they say, is history!
I have stayed on plan, tracking every single bite for almost 2 years now. I actually crave more Jesus and more fruit and veggies! So I eat LOTS of fruit and veggies, lean protein from meat, beans and veggies, lots of Greek yogurt that I make myself and a little whole grain. I am rarely ever hungry.
My favorite snacks are sugar snap peas and baby carrots! And I drink a LOT of water.
Yes, I still have a few cookies every now and then. I’ve gone on lots of trips, celebrated birthdays, graduations and all kinds of things over the last 2 years. Tracked every bite and adjusted accordingly to a little splurge every now and then.
At times when my weight loss slowed I would change things up by eating a little more for a day or two to shake up my metabolism. My hubby has been extremely supportive of me during this entire time, and I could not have done this without him!
For exercise I ride a recumbent exercise bike inside and Trek Pure Low Step to make it easier for me to get on and off, outside. I try to ride at least 30 minutes most days with longer rides outside of up to 20-25 miles once in a while! I also do a little weight lifting for my arms and shoulders.
The top of my healthy weight range for Weight Watchers is 137 pounds, but my doctor set my healthy weight goal at 147 pounds to allow for the excess skin that I carry. I have to say that I feel very blessed to not have more excess skin than I do, especially in places where it would show more! My official Weight Watchers loss is now -149 pounds! I still seem to be slowly losing a little more, and I am now a free Lifetime Weight Watchers member!
The moral of this story is: NEVER GIVE UP! If a disabled 54 year old woman can lose over 150 pounds, you can do it also!!!
What Was Your Wake-Up Call Or “A-Ha Moment” That Caused You To Sign Up With Weight Watchers?
Realizing that was probably only a few years from being wheel chair bound. Also, knowing that future surgeries to my knees and ankles were going to have to happen sooner rather than later and would be much harder to recover from if I didn’t get the weight off.
How Have Your Eating Habits Changed Since Weight Watchers? What Did You Eat Before And What Are You Eating Now?
Before I ate way too much of everything! I knew how to eat healthy, I just didn’t want to. And I really thought I would never be able to lose that much weight! That it would take too long, be too hard, etc. Now I eat TONS of fruit and veggies, lean protein from chicken, fish, beans and yogurt and a small amount of whole grains. I especially love to snack on sugar snap peas, baby carrots, apples and mandarin oranges. I almost NEVER hungry! Oh I also drink lots of water.
What Is The Difference In Your Fitness Before Weight Watchers And Now?
I ride my recumbent exercise bike inside or my bike outside most days and can easily ride 20-30 miles! I LOVE it! I also, do a little weight lifting for my arms and shoulders once in a while, but not as often as I should.
What Has Been The Biggest Change/Payoff For You So Far?
I have so much less pain now than I did before, it is astounding! Of course with my knee and ankle I do still have some pain, especially if I overdo, but it is so much better! My head is clearer, my skin is clearer. I feel more confident. I know that future surgeries are further away than they would be if I still weighed 300 pounds! YAY!!!
How Much Weight Have You Lost? How Long Did It Take You To Lose It?
I have lost a total of around -154 pounds. My official Weight Watchers loss is -149 pounds so far in about 22 months.
Some Advice and/or Words of Wisdom You’d Like To Share
NEVER GIVE UP!!! And track every bite!
5/21/18 Update from Janell:
I should update this to say that I’ve now hovered around 138 pounds since August of 2015. I still go to all of my Weight Watchers meetings and track everything I eat (even the 0 SP foods). Food-wise I’m going a little more whole food plant based no oil and am very satisfied and happy with that.
I struggled mightily when Freestyle (WW latest program) first started. It took awhile to accept that with eating mostly WW Zero (0) SP foods most of the day I must leave up to 10 unused Smart Points each day. (I’m barely 5’2? tall.)
That’s OK, it forces me to stop and think about whether I’m actually hungry or just eating because I have points left for the day. Almost every day I find that I’m not actually hungry and can easily leave 10 SP’s unused!
I’m still riding my exercise bike in the winter and outside bike all spring, summer and fall. I now have a Specialized mountain bike that I love! So…keep tracking everyone and never give up!
More Inspiring Weight Loss Success Stories Before & After:
Originally published July 2015, Updated with additional comments from Janell May 2018.