Don’t Overthink the Plan
WW Coach Leslie Beglin has very simple advice for new members.
“I tell them not to overthink the plan,” she said. “I tell them that ‘we’ve done all the work for you.”
Makes sense, particularly for new, or new-ish, members. Like Cindy Padilla, who joined Jan. 2 last year. “I joined because I had retired in July 2017 and, at 318 pounds, I wasn’t enjoying my life very much and I was eating like crazy because I could. I was tired of having a difficult time getting around, carrying so much weight. Just going out with friends was an ordeal if I had to walk more than 20 or 30 feet a time.”
“I was skeptical about my own ability to lose weight.”
Cindy’s coach, Candice Sterusky, knows that each member’s motivation is different, “be it curiosity or a driving force that brings them in,” she said. “I listen and try to pick up small hints that allow me to personalize their welcome in some way.” That connection eases trepidations that keep some members from walking in the door. “Before I joined, I was skeptical and that kept me as a spectator for some months,” Cindy said. “I wasn’t skeptical about WW, but I was skeptical about my own ability to lose weight and feel healthier. I had forgotten what that felt like.”
Cindy knew the WW experience having been a member 40 years ago when “I had been successful in my weight loss. I wanted to give it a shot once again, especially after seeing the Freestyle ads on TV.”
Today, a year later, she’s close to her personal milestone and her life reflects the changes.
“I can fly in planes without getting a seatbelt extender.”
“I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to lose weight due to my age and metabolism changes. MYTH!,” she said. “Most of the changes have been subtle, but for someone who has been fat almost all of my adult life, they are significant for me.
“I seldom worry about sitting in chairs with arms anymore, after the humiliation of getting stuck in a chair at my peak weight. I can sit in booths again. I can fly in planes without getting a seatbelt extender. I love when people I have known for years comment about my weight loss and how good I look. The person whose support I have loved the most has been my adult son, who has seen all my weight ups and downs and was very concerned about me.”
Seeing and feeling the effect of the weight loss keeps her moving forward.
“Knowing that I can eat whatever I want and feel very satisfied has really been significant. Being able to move better keeps me going. I know it’s working and I want to do something I’ve never done before: reach my goal weight.”
“The meetings are life-changing.”
For members who struggle to stay on track, Candice encourages them to be “clear about their ‘why,’” she said. “I like them to break it down to specifics and look at segments or steps. One small change in habits takes us a long way in the direction of our goals.”
Leslie agrees. “I usually talk about setting short-term goals. I also explain that this is two phases: weight loss and maintenance that require separate sets of skills,” she explained. “Don’t think it’s over and done when you’re at maintenance.”
Lifetime member Jill Rumsey became a member in February 2018 and dove right in. “I absolutely love it,” she said. “I was desperately looking for something because I hit my highest weight ever over the holidays.” Despite a regular workout schedule and healthy eating habits (“my husband’s a health nut”), the combination of menopause and thyroid issues affected her ability to lose extra pounds she put on. “I’ve tried different things and this is the best,” she said. “I was blown away. It’s not a weight loss center or a gimmick, it’s a lifestyle change and I can’t tell you how easy it was. I feel better and I enjoy eating because I know what’s going to be good for me.”
Key to it all? “There are two keys: tracking and my group,” Jill said. “I really believe those meetings are my therapy group. The meetings are life-changing. We’re friends, hold each other accountable and give each other ideas. I know I don’t want to put on weight, which I could, but the group reminds me and encourages me.”
And there are lessons, not just learned, but shared. “One of the biggest tips I would share with newcomers is to speak up and ask for help, support and guidance from their peers in the WW program and from those especially who have made it to Lifetime,” Cindy said. “There are lots of people who are in different stages of their own journeys who will take you by the hand and guide you past any obstacle. It really does work.”
Jill shares her unbridled enthusiasm for WW at every meeting. “She still comes to every meeting,” Leslie said. “She is very diligent about her activity, making sure she follows points, participates in the meetings and helps other members. It didn’t come so hard for her. A lot of people come in and it’s a chore and don’t want to be there. Jill came in with a different attitude. I want to do this and have a little fun with it.”
Jill sees it a bit differently. “I’m a junior high school teacher and if you look at life too seriously, you’re in trouble.”