We are honored to bring you another incredible Weight Watchers Weight Loss Success Story. This one is from Shirley H, who lost more than 100 pounds in 19 months and is now just 3 weeks away from becoming a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member!
I loved it when she said, "It was time to focus on ME and NOT feel guilty about it!" So many of us who struggle with weight and health issues, tend to put everyone and everything else ahead of ourselves, at our own peril. But, my motto has become, "It's not selfish, it's self love." We need to learn to treat ourselves the way we would treat our best friend - with love, care and respect. When you do, anything is possible, as Shirley, so powerfully demonstrates.
Please take a moment to read this amazing story and congratulate Shirley!
Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Weight Struggle
I have always had weight issues but not excessive until I had my two kids at 23 and 25. I have been morbidly obese since my mid 20's and I felt I was doomed to live my life like that forever. My focus was my family not ME. No one ever thought my kids favored me in looks at all and I feel that was mostly because I was so heavy and they weren't (thank goodness)!
I wasn't a large meal eater, I was a snack and junk food eater, and soda drinker, big time! It wasn't the quantity of food I ate, but more of the quality of food. No exercise regimen at all because there was literally no time!
To be as heavy as I was, I was pretty active, and I didn't really have any major health issues, but I didn't feel good physically or mentally. I was on 2 blood pressure medicines which I didn't think was too bad, all things considered. Diabetes runs in my family so I was concerned in the back of my mind about that.
My daughter, Jessica, moved out, my son, Josh, graduated college, my Dad was placed in an Assisted Living Facility due to advanced dementia and my first grand baby, Emmy, was born…I was 46 and I felt that losing weight was not going to get any easier the older I got.
I spoke to my medical doctor about weight loss surgery (we talked about it frequently) my insurance would cover it, but I really wanted to do it myself, with lifestyle changes. I was scared of surgery, I was scared of not doing surgery, I was scared of my life ahead of me or lack there of, I was scared of dying young because of my weight.
A lot of people were depending on me, but for once in my adult life, I decided it was time for ME. It was time to focus on ME and NOT feel guilty about it!
I was going to do something for me, my last ditch effort, I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting on Sept 20, 2013 scared of failing to the point, I only told a couple of people (literally) because I didn't need or want everyone's watchful, judging eye and have them say here she goes, another diet and if I failed I just didn't know how I would handle it.
It was my personal journey, I didn't need to notify everyone.
I was greeted by the sweetest lady, Stephanie, at that first meeting who hugged me and assured me I was going to be fine. I sat there waiting for the meeting to start and I looked at the success wall and just bowed my head and prayed to God to take this and walk me through it. I knew I was weak and would fail on my own, but with God by my side and guiding me through this journey was the only way I would have any success at all. I turned it over to Him.
As I began my journey, there were bumps in the road, but I was as determined as I had ever been in my life. I began walking… ½ mile at first, as many times a week as I could, all on flat ground. My back would be hurting so bad but I kept going. I increased my distance little by little, I didn't worry about my pace time, my motto was, "It doesn't matter how far or how fast I was going, I was lapping the person on the couch."
I was having success at the scale finally!! I was so afraid to get too excited, still afraid of failure, but I kept plugging along. I kept walking and eventually my back didn't hurt anymore!! I was so excited! It took a good 8 weeks for the back pain to go away.
I have not broadcasted my starting weight, I have only told a handful of people who have asked me and I felt that it might encourage them in their journey. I lost 100 pounds in 54 weeks and then it slowed way down, but I stuck to plan and kept exercising.
I have lost as of last week, 19 months in, I have lost 109.8 pounds.
I am in maintenance currently, I have 3 more weeks in that before I become a lifetime member. I can walk distances up to 6 miles at a time, but typically do 3 or 4 miles now just because of time restraints, and I search for routes with lots of challenging hills now!
I have participated in several 5K races, one 10K, and a 4-miler. I don't run, I primarily walk for my exercise.
I love the Weight Watchers food plan, it is very realistic and their tools - such as the mobile app and active link - have been such a blessing to me in my journey! The support system with Weight Watchers is incredible. The support from my family and friends, especially Karla, Michelle, & Vickie has been amazing!
I have a walking friend, Michelle, and we call our "walking" time our "therapy sessions", we both feel so much better physically and mentally when we get a walk in! My adult kids Josh (25) and Jessica (23), have never known me this size/weight, and to hear them say how proud they are of me, means more to me than anything!
My husband, David, of almost 29 years never said anything about my weight before and really still doesn't now, but he is happy for me, I do know that. My journey has been physical, mental and spiritual. I am not done and will probably never feel "done". This is something I will deal with every day of my life. My goal now is maintaining what I have lost in pounds, and what I have gained in my quality of life!
What Was Your Wake-Up Call Or "A-Ha Moment" That Caused You To Sign Up With Weight Watchers?
I was seriously contemplating weight loss surgery because I felt that was my only way to get the weight off. I had so many people depending on me but I felt at my current weight I would not be around for them if I didn't do something to improve my health. My first grand baby had been born and I really wanted to be a healthy active grandparent!
How Have Your Eating Habits Changed Since Weight Watchers? What Did You Eat Before And What Are You Eating Now?
I ate a lot of junk food, salty, sugary things, fast food and sodas. Now I eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, I love experimenting with the fruits and veggies in season. I eat lean protein and actually prefer ground turkey over ground beef!
What Is The Difference In Your Fitness Before Weight Watchers And Now?
I didn't have a fitness routine. I was busy, but not exercising if that makes sense. Now I walk at least 3 or 4 miles several times a week. I try to get in at least 4 days of walking per week. I love the hills, I feel like I am doing something when I tackle a big hill. I make time for my walking, because I love it!
What Has Been The Biggest Change/Payoff For You So Far?
Biggest change is not viewing myself as still obese and loving the energy I have! Payoff, My adult kids telling me how proud they are of me and my over all health improving and actually feeling good in clothes now.
My Favorite Recipe Is
Baked Apples: peel and slice apples (any kind) spray dish with canola oil. Put apples in dish, spray a little spray butter on top of apples, sprinkle with stevia in the raw, cinnamon, and pour sugar free maple syrup on top. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. (0 PPV per serving)
Peanut Butter, Cool Whip Dessert: 3 Tbls of Jif Whips Chocolate Peanut Butter, mix with fat free Cool Whip, spoon into cup cake wrappers in muffin pan (6 muffin size). Freeze and you can drizzle with sugar free chocolate or caramel ice cream topping. (2 PPV per serving)
How Much Weight Have You Lost? How Long Did It Take You To Lose It?
I have lost 109.8 pounds in 19 months.
Some Advice and/or Words of Wisdom I'd Like To Share
If I can do this anyone can! I got my strength and courage to do this from God, my family and my friends!
Follow Shirley on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shirley.a.huffman
Shirley reached out through Facebook this week to update me on her Weight Watchers Success Journey! She continues to be a source of motivation and inspiration to her family and friends. Look at her shine...
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I've known Shirley for many years-taught her children when they were young-she is a lovely person inside and out.
This amazing journey she has been on and finally shared has inspired so many people to at least be aware of making better choices with their health.
She has worked so hard; Works hard every day. We are all so very proud of her accomplishment!
Hi Ginny, Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a little more about Shirley and all she has done to inspire others to make better choices with their health! She is lucky to have you as a friend 🙂
I started weight watchers in early 2010 and just like you at the verge of a breaking point, plaiged with sickness and tired of looking at myself or even avoiding mirrors period. I was so young and a mom of 2 boy n girl too. I was 176 lbs at only 5'1 can you imagine... Long story short I stuck to it and lost 46 lbs I was so excited it took me about 6-7 months, soon after I had a surgery and ate well but didn't exercise due to restrictions for 8 weeks : ( it was failure from then on here in 3/2016 I sign up again weighing 202.4 I write this with tears streaming down my face. How did I get here? Why did I let myself go? My kids are getting older and I can't play with my 9 year old son I'm always out of breath!! I know I can do it and have a tremendous faith in God and our support system at our meetings. I'm making small goals but am following everything it's just too much for me I'm only 28 years old and I'm so discusted of myself, your story encouraged me.... Please keep sharing and I made a promise to myself that I would gain that confidence I once had in within when I was 130 lbs back in 2011.... I can and will be that weight again even if it's ounce by ounce I will learn to love my body again : ) Thanks for you inspiration!!
Hi Maria, I'm so glad Shirley H's story inspired you! You can do this!! It happens because we are so busy taking care of everything and everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves. There's NO SHAME in that!! You can do whatever you set out to do, especially with God and the support of your meetings. I'll be praying for you too. The key to success is to just NEVER EVER EVER STOP TRYING!!! Take one day at a time, one meal at a time. Make time for yourself. You deserve this. God Bless You!!
Hey this is Shirley checking in for another year! I'm still hanging in there and maintaining my weight loss. I am in my 3rd year of maintenance and still very committed to WW plan! I am still thrilled and honored to have been featured in your list of so many success stories. I can share current pictures with you if lead me through the process!
Would love to have updated pictures to add to the site. Just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just include a few sentences/paragraphs about how things are going for you along with pictures and we'll add them to your story! So glad to hear that things are going well for you!!