In February, Tara Simmons started preparing for her son’s June wedding by joining WW (formerly Weight Watchers). She hoped to lose about 18 kilos to help her fit into her dress.
“I wanted to look good in the pictures,” Simmons, 46, a primary care nurse in Washburn, Tennessee, told TODAY.
She told her co-worker, Lindsay Claxton, 37, who now works in immunotherapy, about her plan and Claxton decided to join WW in camaraderie.
The two worked together closely as nurses and having that support during the day seemed like it would make their weight loss more successful.
Meanwhile, their other colleagues, Kelly Fear, 31, and Julie Sands, 29, waited to see how Claxton and Simmons fared. After only a few weeks Sands and Fear saw their co-workers succeeding and they joined, too.
“We thought we’re not going to cut calories or stop eating good food if it’s not going to work,” Sands, an internal medicine nurse, told TODAY. “So, we watched them for a couple of weeks and then I think in the beginning of March I signed up.”
Simmons said WW appealed to her because it didn’t seem like a quick fix.
“I have tried other diets before and a diet is good for the short-term,” she said. “I feel like WW is more of just learning how to eat properly, healthy … It was more of a lifestyle change.”
“I’m not cutting out any food group,” she explained. “What I want is just learning control and it is more than just looking at calories. It weighs in other parts of nutritional information as well.”
Claxton said that the program helped her think differently about eating. Consider going out to eat, she never thought about how having a salad instead of a side like French fries could make a huge difference in her calorie intake.
“It’s shocking how many (calories) you would have just from going to a restaurant,” she said. “It’s also good for the long-term, even if you are not doing it anymore, just to have that knowledge. And now you can make healthier choices.”
Having one another really helped the quartet as they focused on healthy eating habits — and helped when the pandemic caused shortages. Once Fear couldn’t find chicken so the other three looked at their stores to see if they could buy some for her.
“If it had not been for these other three girls, I don’t know if I would have stayed with it as long as I had,” Claxton said.
All four have had success with Simmons reaching her goal weight prior to her son’s wedding.
She started at 86 kilos and lost 18 kilos. Claxton started at 90 kilos and lost 10. Fear started at 104 kilos and shed 25. And Sands started at 112 kilos and dropped 10.