Vanessa Washington weighed 224 pounds, was wearing a size 22 and was worried about her long-term health and longevity. However, losing weight wasn’t the problem—she’d done that dozens of times before. The real problem was keeping weight off.
When she had to catch her breath after merely drying off with a towel, she knew it was time to make a change.
“I always gained it all back and then some,” the traveling account manager and trainer says of her previous weight loss efforts.
Washington lost 36 pounds in 2008, but gained it back 20 in the six months that followed. In 2012, she lost 50 pounds in eight months, but gained almost half of it back in a year.
She was traveling for work 75 percent of the time and eating healthy on the road was tough. The lingering effects of a 2010 knee injury made exercise difficult, as well, keeping her away from the aerobics and dance classes she loves so much. Vanessa says her weight loss yo-yoing was really about her mindset when it came to food.
“I used to dream of ‘cheat days’ and what I would indulge in,” she says.
She would use food as a reward for good things in life and a way to deal with hard times. It was a comfort mechanism and when other diets took away the chocolate and pasta she craved, it was tough… and the reason she relapsed at the end of the diet.
Washington turned to Nutrisystem, hoping the portion-controlled and fiber-rich pasta and dessert options would help her lose weight and keep it off.
Vanessa had one big concern, though: Would the Nutrisystem food taste good?
“To my pleasant surprise, everything I tasted was delicious,” she says. Washington stocked up on the plan’s shelf-stable foods to give her healthy, grab-and-go options for her constant work travel and the weight started coming off: Over the course of a year, Washington lost more than 40 pounds*, dropping to a size eight.* Best of all, Vanessa says, she’s had a “Mindset Makeover.”
“I view food differently than I ever have,” she says. The desserts and Italian options in her Nutrisystem plan took the place of the “cheat day” foods she used to crave. Instead of rewarding herself with food, she chooses a healthy activity or a new outfit as a reward. It’s worked for almost three years, which, for Vanessa, called for a big reward.
“I’m taking a cruise to Greece this summer! It will be my first skinny vacation,” she says. “I tell everyone who will listen that Nutrisystem has changed my life!”
With properly portioned, nutritionally balanced, filling meals that are perfect for busy lifestyles, Nutrisystem could help you get off the up-and-down of yo-yo dieting and change your life.