Finding an Athlete

Runner in sunlight

After an embarrassing kayaking incident, this mom of two dug deep and discovered a warrior.

Name Jill
Age 44
Height 5'9"
Was 270.6 lbs
Lost 114 lbs*
Weight 156.6 lbs
As of 6/16/2015

“Eating right and exercising isn’t something you can ever stop doing. It’s a lifestyle—there is no finish line.”

*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

“Eating right and exercising isn’t something you can ever stop doing. It’s a lifestyle—there is no finish line.”

In Jill's words:

On a kayaking trip in October 2013, my husband and I each planned to ride with one of our sons. It turned into a nightmare since they had to search for a kayak to fit me. I was embarrassed but it spurred me to make changes. I joined Weight Watchers, and thanks to the amazing support of my family, I have become more active than I ever thought I could be. Whether I'm running a race or just making healthy choices, I know that my husband and our sons will be there to cheer me on.

All about nutrition

I've always had a bad relationship with food. Growing up in the '70s and '80s, I was raised on convenience foods. It's what I was used to eating and what I'd always go for. In the past when I had tried to lose weight, I never really took the time to learn about proper nutrition. I didn't want to make the same mistake again. I took the time to really learn how to eat—the right way.

No longer on the sidelines

I used to hate the gym, so when I started my journey I knew I needed to take baby steps. After my first meeting, I decided to start off with the small goal of always taking the stairs. Then I moved to water aerobics. I started off doing it once a week and then moved to twice a week. I had heard a lot of great things about cycling, so once I got used to water aerobics, I decided to give that a try. When I first started, I went up to the instructor during my first class and let her know that I'd probably get up and leave after a few minutes. I lasted ten minutes. Every week, I'd stay for a little longer than I did the week before. When I hit my 100-pound milestone, I told my favorite instructor. She made an announcement to the class and brought me roses. Everyone cheered for me. It was an amazing feeling.

Fit mom, fit family

My whole family has gotten healthier along with me. Whenever my husband and I go out with friends, everyone always says, "Look out, here comes the slim couple!" And my kids too—they're so much more interested in healthy eating now. When I started doing water aerobics, my husband started a couch to 5K program. Later on, I decided to join too. I ended up doing a 10K race and I couldn't believe my time. When I crossed the finish line I thought, "This is a miracle!" My husband and kids were there rooting me on. Having the family support is such a wonderful thing. Now, we're able to enjoy the outdoors all together.

Creating new habits

It takes a while to form new habits, but if you stick with them, they become second nature. I'll be honest, it took me about three or four months to really enjoy the exercise. I think it was more about mental toughness than physical toughness. But once you make that habit, just like brushing your teeth, it becomes automatic. But just because something is a habit doesn't mean you'll be perfect every time. When I've overindulged at a party or at an event—it happens—I immediately start over the next day. I love the saying, "If you have a flat tire, you don't slash the other three. You fix the flat."

Source: Weight Watchers International, Inc. ©

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