Meet Robin Wahl – a truly inspiring lady who lost 70 pounds and changed her life for the better. How did she do it? Read on for her story:
“I’ve been overweight all of my life. As a night shift paramedic and mother of five; at 37 years old, I smoked over a pack of cigarettes a day; I drank more than I should and I weighed 260 pounds. I was on depression medications and my doctor said with my family history, my cholesterol and triglyceride levels, I was in a lot of trouble. I took five different medications. I was not a healthy woman.
I woke up one morning and vowed to change. I decided that it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself. I got out my Weight Watcher’s books and started the Points Plus Plan. Then, I signed up for a 5k and found a plan to train for it. Finishing that 5k was the beginning of something wonderful. I began to love exercise and slowly the weight came off.”
Today, Robin is a non-smoker and avid runner currently training for an Ironman Triathlon. And lucky for us, this supermom took the time to share some great tips for healthy living:
B.I.Y. (Bring It Yourself)
I’m a wife, busy mom of five, and a paramedic, so I’m always on the go. That’s why I never leave the house without some healthy snack options. Fruit is a HUGE part of my everyday diet. I always have a banana or apple in my purse or car. Plus, I pack everything I intend to eat and drink while I’m at work, so I don’t have to be put on the spot because I am hungry and left to make bad choices.
Morning Menu Planning
I decide what I am going to feed my family for dinner in the morning. I pack their lunches, including my husband’s, every day. I make sure they include fruit and whole grain bread; they fill you up and keep you satisfied. For snacks or sweets, I always have yogurt and fruit for the kids since it’s easy to ‘grab and go.’
Think Food as Fuel
I love that I have a lot of natural energy from a healthier lifestyle, so instead of thinking, “I can’t have this” – I think, “Why would I want to put that into my healthy body? What kind of fuel would that be? Is it going to give me energy or slow me down?”
I found that being active actually motivates me to make better food choices throughout the day. If I do make a bad choice, being active makes it more forgivable. Plus, exercise gives you more energy throughout the day than you could possibly imagine. When you are finished exercising, you feel good about yourself.
Dining Out Do’s & Don’ts
Weight Watchers taught me how to read a menu and make better choices when I eat out. I don’t deprive myself but I typically avoid menu choices that include the words “fried” or “creamy” in there descriptions. I still plan for indulgent dishes, but do so in moderation. I share something that might be higher in calories, and I ask for lighter or smaller portions of my favorites.
Think Moderation Not Deprivation
I love pizza, so Fridays are pizza night at my house, and I always have two slices. It might mean I make lighter choices on Friday during the day to allow for it. I love ice cream, but I found that low-fat frozen yogurt is just as delicious and a fraction of the fat and calories. My kids love it too. I still have cake at birthday parties, but half of the size the “old” Robin would have had.
One thing I’ve learned is that with a few ingredient swaps – from low fat butter and cheese to high fiber bread – it’s easy to renovate recipes into a healthier version. For example, I love Thanksgiving stuffing – it’s so delicious! So, my first stop is checking out the renovated recipes for these favorites on www.weightwatchers.com or a Weight Watchers cookbook.
I try to buy a lot of fresh foods and limit the amount of processed food. I always ask myself, “Does the content of my cart contain mostly healthy choices?” My personal rule is, if I won’t eat it, I won’t feed it to my family.
Because of her amazing story, Robin was chosen as one of the winners of the Weight Watchers Celebrate Success Contest. She went on a shopping spree for a new wardrobe in New York, and Weight Watchers Ambassador Jennifer Hudson also surprised the winners with a special one-on-one styling session!
Check out a photo of Hudson with the winners below:
(Robin Wahl, Peter Fintak, Jennifer Hudson and Michaela Martin)