Written by Erin
At the age of 31, Diana’s life was in a rut. Wife and mother of two children (ages 13 and 5), she was working full-time, financially strained and enveloped in a comfortable yet toxic relationship–a relationship with food. Her affair with food began in her teens and persisted over the years. When life was chaotic, food offered solace and familiarity. It was a constant in a world of uncertainty.
Yet, in spite of its comforts, the relationship was not without dysfunction. The more Diana turned to food, the more her waist size expanded. She found herself weighing 282.4 lbs and torn between her need for security and her desire to feel good about herself. She made multiple attempts to sever the unhealthy relationship with food but it always seemed to creep back into her life. Diana was on the verge of giving up and surrendering to a life of obesity .
It was at the prodding of her mother that she reluctantly joined Weight Watchers in April of 2009, during a weight loss competition that the organization sponsors called “Battle of the Badges.” A discounted registration is given to Philadelphia police, firefighters, and their families as a way to encourage fitness and healthy lifestyles in the emergency professions. Since Diana’s mother works for the Philadelphia police department, she was eligible to join and compete.
“I said ‘I’ll go, but I’m going to do it. I’m not going to start until Monday’ [though I joined on a Saturday].” She recounts eating several fattening meals that first weekend but then “I begrudgingly dragged myself to the [grocery store] to fill my cart with all of the things I needed to survive.” Diana did more than ‘survive’ that week and though she described that first week as “hard” the work paid off. She lost a total of 10.6 lbs initially and so began her weight loss journey.
Since starting, Diana remains faithful to the Weight Watcher’s program. She stays within her points, exercises for 45 minutes daily,and drinks 120 ounces of water per day. As a result of her hard work, she was named a top individual loser for the Battle of the Badges competition in the state of Pennsylvania and has lost 86.4 lbs so far. Her determination has spread to those around her. Family members have watched her succeed and have become motivated to lose weight and become healthy. Fellow Weight Watchers members are inspired and Diana is beginning to find solace in something other than food–being true to herself and helping other people. When she reaches her goal weight, she would like to become a Weight Watchers leader. She sees this not only as a way to give back but to keep herself accountable to continue the hard work, even after the weight is lost.
Diana’s advice to others looking to lose weight is “Don’t give up.” She recommends eating 30 grams of fiber a day, suggests choosing filling foods and always journal what you eat. “If you bite, you write” Diana says. She says that you have to “make a conscious decision to move.” Don’t allow yourself to be sedentary and find people who will support you. Breaking up with food is hard to do, but Diana’s story proves that you, too, can do it!