August > UT System Success Story

UT System Success Story

Name: Terry Weber
Institution: The University of Texas at El Paso
Email Address: tweber@utep.edu

"For those of you who want to lose weight remember you didn't gain it overnight, you are not going to lose it overnight. There is no magic pill. Check with your wellness program on your home campus, you will be impressed at how they want to help you."

Terry Weber
The University of Texas at El Paso

Resources available to you and your dependents to help you incorporate exercise into your busy schedule

Learn more about Terry Health & Wellness Success Story.

1. What health behavior did you change?
I changed the choices I made in the foods I ate. Before I lost 65 pounds I thought I was making wise/healthy choices. I would buy chips made with brown rice and were baked. I purchased dark chocolate because it is better for you. I ate salads. I drank fat free milk. I exercised. My husband and I were doing a 2 mile power walking the local mall, 3-4 times/week. Before I started my weight loss program I'd use the excuse that I exercised so I could overeat. Now I don't want to ruin my exercise results with splurging on the wrong food. At Weight Watchers I learned portion control and to choose foods that were filling and satisfying, like whole grains, fresh fruits, low-fat yogurt, and lean protein. When I eat these I'm satisfied and don't have the urge to binge eat. And do you know what? These foods are delicious. At my house we are always making a fruit and yogurt run to the grocery store. It use to be an ice cream run.

2. Why did you decide to make this change?
There are a number of reasons. One was obviously for health reasons. Diabetes and heart problems run in my family. Another reason was restaurant booths and airline seats, it was embarrassing trying to squeeze into them. I didn't like to try on clothes because I didn't like my reflection in the mirror. I'm only 4'10", at 192 pounds I was wearing a woman's size 18! I didn't like looking at myself in photographs. Some I would justify that I didn't look that bad, but I was just fooling myself. I hated seeing my reflection in a window as I walked by. I learned to avoid looking.

3. How did you accomplish your success?
In 2009 a friend asked someone to be her diet partner. I volunteered and told her to chose the weight loss program and I'll do it with her. Well she chose Weight Watchers. Because of my previous experience with Weight Watchers, I really thought I'd drop out in a few weeks. The Weight Watchers program has changed since it first started in 1963. I first joined Weight Watchers in 1978. At that time you were really limited in what you could eat. I dropped out and rejoined several times between 1978 and 1996. Today's program allows you to eat the 1978 'off limit' foods. It's about making healthy choices and also being allowed to treat yourself. I can have my cake and eat it too! It is all about planning and portion control. I find the current program fun!

4. How did the University of Texas System Living Well: Make it a Priority or your Institutions resources and tools help you?
I've just become familiar with that program. What great resources we have available!

5. What goals and obstacles did you have?
When I started attending Weight Watchers I found out they had an "At Work" program. I called our HRS and asked if it would be possible to have a program on campus. The person I talked to said she'd get back to me and before I knew it, my Weight Watcher's office called me and said a UTEP representative was asking Weight Watchers if they'd be able to do a program on campus and if I'd be interested in leading the program. I said yes. I'm also the wellness ambassador for my department. I am so impressed with the information these meetings give, exercise tips, diet tips, health advice, as well as support.

6. Who supported you during this experience?
Everyone! My family is now on the program with me. My co-workers. Definitely the UTEP Wellness Program. Allowing Weight Watchers on campus and having me lead it has been a wonderful support. And, I have to mention my fellow Weight Watcher members at the meetings. The members know what you are going through with plateaus, certain foods, cravings, and they'll tell you what works for them. You realize you are not the only one who feels this way or the only one who has done 'that.'

7. What advice do you have for others who want to make this change?
It's one step at a time. For those of you who want to lose weight remember you didn't gain it overnight, you are not going to lose it overnight. There is no magic pill. Check with your wellness program on your home campus, you will be impressed at how they want to help you.