On the brink of weight-loss surgery, this mom found the key to losing 140 pounds

Anne Mandler
·7 min read

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Felicia, a mom and military wife, safely reacher her goal of losing 140 pounds with WW (formerly Weight Watchers). (Photo: WW)
Felicia, a mom and military wife, safely reacher her goal of losing 140 pounds with WW (formerly Weight Watchers). (Photo: WW)

Well, 2020 is finally done, and not a moment too soon. Three cheers for the New Year. We’re greeting January with hope and excitement—and new motivation to get in shape and stay healthy. If you’re like us, you’ve been enjoying plenty of comfort food over the past 10 months, and cracking jokes about gaining “the COVID 19.”

Now’s the perfect time to get back to where you want to be: WW (formerly Weight Watchers) has a special offer just for Yahoo readers: two free months of Weight Watchers Digital, featuring the new myWW+. It’s a personalized, holistic weight-loss program you can access on your phone or laptop, and the best way we know to lose weight—and keep it off.

Shop it: WW Digital Membership, starting at $3.15 per week (2 months free), weightwatchers.com

Weight is personal. And that’s exactly why the new myWW+ is so special—it gets to know you, then offers tailored tips that fit your real life. Speaking of personal, we’re super-inspired by individual success stories when it comes to weight loss. Here’s the experience of a mom and military wife who lost 140 pounds on WW, in her own words.

Weight-loss win: Felicia’s true story

“My husband and I got married right after high school, at which point he joined the Marine Corps and was assigned to a base in California. Just like that, we packed up and moved from our home state of Indiana. Soon after, at age 19, I became pregnant and gave birth to our first son.

New home, new baby, new life—with so much change happening in such a short period of time, my eating habits weren’t the healthiest. I’d grab fast food four or five times each week and guzzle soda throughout the day. Adding to that, I was using food to suppress the pain of a sexual assault I had experienced four years prior. Though I was working closely with a therapist, changing my eating patterns was a struggle. My weight kept going up.

About a year after having my son, I traveled back to Indiana to attend my sister’s high school graduation. I was self-conscious about seeing friends and family after having gained so much weight. Sure enough, when I saw photos of myself from that day, I was mortified and panicked a little. I tried calorie counting obsessively; I tried fad diets consisting of hard-boiled eggs and bananas; I tried diet pills. Not the wisest choices, I know.

When none of that worked, I decided weight-loss surgery was my best option. My health insurer told me they’d cover the procedure if I provided proof of a ‘failed weight-loss program.’ My mom, though, was a WW member and refused to believe that failure was a foregone conclusion. She suggested I sign up and keep an open mind. If WW didn’t work, she pointed out, then I could always get the surgery. I enrolled in May 2017, figuring I’d last a week.”

Felicia, mom of two boys, has fun in the kitchen with her older son. (Photo: WW)
Felicia, mom of two boys, has fun in the kitchen with her older son. (Photo: WW)

“About six months into my journey, I was down 50 pounds* and decided to celebrate the milestone. I posted a fun photo of myself holding up a 50-pound bag of potatoes. I was really moved by the outpouring of encouragement I received in response. Not only did I have the support of my real-life family, friends, and Workshop group; I also had an entire online community cheering me on.

I stayed consistent in the months that followed and reached my goal of losing 140 pounds* in October 2018. By then, my healthy habits were fully ingrained. So when I became pregnant with my second child, in May 2019, I felt prepared. I made sure to eat enough for me and my baby-to-be to support a healthy pregnancy.”

The new personalized WW app, with myWW+

Like Felicia, we can all evolve our habits to achieve our goal weight, with the right support. The WW app, with the new myWW+ is a holistic approach that begins with a free personal assessment—a few questions that help tailor the program to your needs; it starts by learning about your day-to-day life (Are you an empty nester? A multigenerational caregiver? Someone with a high-pressure job and very little downtime?) The app also prompts you with questions about your overall well-being in this moment (Do you feel generally well, not so great, or pretty crummy?).

This info helps the app make personalized suggestions for small, doable changes. The recommendations are not just limited to diet. Exercise, sleep, and even emotions play a big part in weight loss; myWW+ offers support on all counts, ramping you up with small successes that build momentum—like a super-encouraging friend or the kind of personal coach only celebrities can afford. That’s why this special offer for Yahoo readers is so ideal. It’s the perfect new year/new you move you deserve right now.

Shop it: WW Digital Membership, starting at $3.15 per week (2 months free), weightwatchers.com

Real-life in-app tools

MyWW+ has new in-app tools to support every aspect of your wellness life. For food, there are easy tools that can help you build healthy meals based on what’s in your fridge. Shopping is simpler than ever, with the app’s barcode scanner—a tool you can use in the grocery store to check a product’s SmartPoints® value. There are in-app workouts to keep you moving, and in-app meditations to bring some calm. A sleep tracker helps you learn if you’re getting the kind of high-quality rest that’s essential to overall health and also important to weight loss.

WW's in-app tools, including a recipe builder and sleep tracker, make it easy to improve your whole life. (Photo: WW)
WW's in-app tools, including a recipe builder and sleep tracker, make it easy to improve your whole life. (Photo: WW)

Support and encouragement

It’s not like these tools are overwhelming—the point is not to track everything you’re doing every minute of the day. Quite the opposite, in fact. The plan is to focus on different aspects of your wellness life as needed, with the help of the personalized recommendations. These tools are at your disposal, but they’re not the boss of you. Basically the WW app takes the pressure, stress, and mystery out of the equation, and makes it easy—and natural—to lose weight.

Back to Felicia, our inspiration: Her journey continued, after her second son was born. And while she squeezes in time to work out when she can—which not only helps her body, but also clears her mind—it's not always easy. But her perspective has changed: “Before I joined WW, I’d look at others who had lost weight and assume they had easy or perfect lives. Going through this journey, I’ve realized that it’s possible to take care of yourself even as you work through challenges, self-doubt, and hardship. My life will never be perfect—whose is? I’m just proud to be where I am today.”

That’s what we want for you too. Circumstances are always going to be complicated, life will always be full of demands, there will always be a reason to put other priorities ahead of your own wellness. But let’s use this moment to make a promise to ourselves. Let’s put health first this year. And get all the help we need to stick with that resolution. Cheers to looking—and feeling—better than ever, starting Right. This. Second.

Shop it: WW Digital Membership, starting at $3.15 per week (2 months free), weightwatchers.com

*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Felicia lost weight on a prior WW program and myWW and is continuing on myWW+™.

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