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My Story
Do you have a story?
Are you in the process of getting healthier? Share your success story in with your co-workers.

Are you walking more, eating better or getting a handle on stress? Send a note about what’s working for you to mystory.pebb@state.or.us.

If you don’t want to share your name, that’s fine. Your story could still spur a co-worker toward a life-improving change.

Success with Weight Management

I just wanted to say thank you for providing Weight Watchers as a benefit to state employees. I joined Weight Watchers almost two years ago because I was ready to make a change in my lifestyle. Well, it took me almost two years but I’m finally at my goal weight having lost almost 100 lbs. I’ve never liked the term ‘diet’ so I really appreciate the WW outlook on changing your lifestyle so that weight loss is maintainable. I’m just beginning my new journey of maintaining my weight loss and that’s a little scary as well, although I know that WW, my meeting leader and meeting attendees are there to support me through any rough spots. I am so thankful for WW, my only regret is not joining sooner.
The WW plan works, the new plan works and has more flexibility than ever before. I feel great, I have more energy to play with my kids and do activities that I didn’t when I was heavier. I’m exercising now on a regular basis and I love it. Of course the other added benefit is shopping for new clothes.
If anyone out there is reading this and ready to make a change in their life and is not sure about WW, I encourage you to join or at least go to a meeting to see what it’s all about. I was skeptical at first too but if you follow the plan you won’t be disappointed.
I lost weight when I tried Weight Watchers years ago and knew I could do it again.  I joined and was pleased that I lost 10 pounds but then I gained it all back.  It wasn’t the plan.  The plan works.  The single best tool they use is counting and recording what you eat.  Unfortunately the books they give out are more than tiny and trying to keep track of stuff became a real chore especially when I couldn’t find my glasses.  I would go back to a page and try to decipher the secret code of the food I was eating ( because the words wouldn’t’ fit on the lines). Eventually, I thought, “Oh I don’t have to record it anymore I’ll keep track in my head.”  Well, not only are my eyes poor because I’m older my memory is about as good.  Too often I forgot what number I was at for the day and the week. I decided to try their online tool but found that its slow and tiny too and not well laid out.  This is still the best plan.  I just may have to resort to making my own tracking book of a size that is more reasonable for those of us over 30!
Thanks to PEBB making Weight Watchers part of our benefits,  I have successfully lost 88lbs!  I have tried everything before, Atkins, fasting, liquid diets and nothing worked.  I am halfway to my goal weight now because of Weight Watchers!  Thank you so much!!
Using my PEBB benefit, I started Weight Watcher’s in August of 2009. I have lost 57 pounds to-date with only 43 more pounds to go. I have never been successful at any diet I’ve tried----so believe when I say, this isn’t a diet.
My A1C level has come from 6.4 (6.5 is the beginning of diabetes treatment) to 5.7 and I have normal blood pressure.
At 61 years old, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my life. My doctor is so pleased, he just can’t believe it. My Kids and Grandkids are amazed at the success I’ve had and are seeing the benefit of making healthy food choices and increasing their exercise.
That’s why I say, thank you from the bottom of my “much healthier” heart!
– PEBB Member
I’ve lost 180 lbs and reduced the number of medications I take through a program focused on getting me to optimal health. Take Shape For Life uses portioned control meal replacements along with a free health coach to take the first step – weight loss.  I am no longer taking Humalog or Lantus insulin, no longer taking Actos for diabetes, and moved from Vytorin to simvistatin for cholesterol. 
– PEBB Member
  One of the surprising effects of the program is the change in office behavior.  In the past we frequently had fattening snacks people would bring to work.  Fund raisers often featured fattening food.  As people have focused on weight management, we now have items like fresh fruit, low fat items, and on the rare days a cake is brought in, the slices are much smaller.  I think it has been a year since someone has brought in donuts, for example.  The whole atmosphere of the office has changed.  Our group has lost over a 1,000 pounds. Many more people are taking walks during breaks and lunch hour. When a concern is shared, the whole office benefits even if not every one is in the WW program.
– PEBB Member
As is true for most women, as I got older, I gradually put on a few pounds each year.  And like most others, I tried various diets touted in magazines and found on the shelves in local bookstores..  I lost the same three pounds probably 50 times.  However, when Weight Watchers was added to our benefits, I started attending the very convenient lunch hour meetings at our work site.  There I learned ways to eat more healthy, to make better food choices for snack as well as for meals, to increase activity and a plan I could actually live with for the long term.  I lost 26 pounds.  I look and feel so much better.  I have less trouble with acid reflux and my level of HDL (healthy cholesterol)  increased.   Of all the benefits we have, I have probably benefitted the most from this.  It was a stroke of genius on someone's part to think to include this.  Thanks for doing so and making a difference in my life.  
– PEBB Member
I want to thank PEBB for offering Weight Watchers at work. Yesterday, after a year and a half attending meetings at my worksite, I met my goal weight. I lost just over 53lbs, went from a size 14 to a size 4 and dropped my body fat level from "obese" to "athletic". The only reason I was able to do this is from PEBB offering it at work; it took ALL excuses away. It was convenient and didn’t cost a thing. Thank you PEBB for helping me achieve such success. Without this program I would be in the same situation I was two years ago, complaining about all I needed to do to lose weight. I am now a healthy, active and physically fit 33 year old woman.
– PEBB Member
When I first went to WW, I was skeptical, but hopeful because I really wanted to shed the weight I'd put on over the years little by little. I was 56 years old when I realized how much weight had crept up on me – 5 lbs here and 10 lbs there.  I wasn't obese, but way over a comfortable, healthy weight for my height.  I thought, if I could just loose 10 or 20 lbs, I'd be happy.  I learned so much from the weight watcher's program about portions, eating foods that contain less fat, and great ways to cook delicious meals that don't add pounds (great cookbooks and recipes from WW).   Weight Watchers truly teaches a lifestyle rather a quick fad diet. When you learn the lifestyle, you're more likely to keep the weight off. It's been two years, and now I'm 58, but I weigh 35 lbs less than I did when I started, and that's more than I expected to loose. I went from a tight fitting size 14, to loose fitting size 10.  I have more energy, so I get more exercise in my day without feeling exhausted. I'm very happy that I joined WW when I did because its given me a new outlook on life over 50.  It is so wonderful that PEBB has included WW as a benefit!
WW for life – PEBB Member
As I sit here writing, I am five pounds from my goal weight.  I have lost 35 pounds so far with a goal of 40.  Over the years, I have developed poor eating habits.  I have always prided myself in being able to make good food choices, well that is what I have always told myself.  The reflection in the mirror was the truth of that belief.  Now that I am an active Weight Watchers member, attending meetings has been a vital part of my success. Learning tools, getting support and suggestions from fellow members has been a major factor in my journey. Utilizing the etools and blogs to post and read suggestions. Without this benefit, I do not believe I would be five pounds from my end goal.  My overall health has increased. I am walking and running and have an overall pride in myself… Thank you….
– PEBB Member
I have put off losing weight for too long.  I thank you for including weight watchers into your program.  It is much easier to lose weight when the program is incorporated into the work day and there are others at work to lose weight with.  Without having weight watchers incorporated as a benefit during the work lunch hour I never would have tried to lose weight.    
So far I have lost about half of the weight that I want to.  My knees and hips and back feel better.  My goal is to get off the cholesterol medicine.  Another woman at work has lost 30 pounds and is off two of her three medications for diabetes.  I know there are up front costs in supporting weight watchers but I think there are longer term health savings.  I want you to know how much I appreciate this benefit.  Thank you. 
-- PEBB Member 
I really appreciate being able to attend Weight Watchers meetings for free where I work.  The women who come to our office from Weight Watchers are extremely supportive and thoughtful.  To tell you the truth, I don’t actually attend the meetings anymore, I just go for the weigh-in.  I don’t need the support to lose weight anymore – I’ve met my goal – but I do need help staying honest.  They make it easy. 
Some positives I have seen result from having Weight Watchers come to DEQ:
  • I feel like we are starting to develop a healthier culture around food.  In the past I have experienced some stigma around holding out for healthy options when I eat with other staff.  That has diminished.  I believe the number of people participating in Weight Watchers and counting points has helped with this. 
  • I have so much respect for some of my coworkers who have lost large amounts of weight.  I didn’t know they had it in them.  I love seeing that they have that much determination.  I actually like working here more than I used to. 
  • I like how Weight Watchers meetings bring together staff that do not normally interact.  I know now something positive about people at DEQ that I have seen for years on the elevator, but never actually talked to. 
Something that I like about Weight Watchers is that almost no matter where you are at with food, there is something in it for you.  I only needed to lose 7 pounds (and lots of people would say I was already fine where I was) but what I really needed was to learn to not lose-and-gain-and-lose-and-gain-and-lose-and-gain the same 5 to 10 pounds, and to tell the truth, that is why I joined.  I already know how to lose 7 pounds, I have done it many times.  But the yo-yo thing was getting nerve-wracking (especially now that I am in my fifties.  The cycle was speeding up, just as my tolerance for such things is going down) and I’m sure it wasn’t doing me any good.  It was like being addicted to alcohol but no one noticing because you never actually appear to be drunk.  I wouldn’t say I’m completely “cured”, but I have come a long way in noticing how I eat in response to stress, or because a food is available that usually isn’t (there are ways to handle this situation besides eating too much!), or how I sometimes eat “diet” meals and in effect save up for a bit of a binge later in the day, instead of just eating more normally all the time and sparing myself some of that crap.  This is a better way to live.  Thank you. 
--PEBB Member
I was the typical yo-yo dieter until 2003, when I accepted I was just always doomed to be overweight and stopped the yo-yo habit.  
When I returned to work after a leave of absence to care for my brother dying from cancer, a co-worker told me about the Weight Watchers opportunity.  
At first I wasn’t interested, but I learned from my brother’s friends how worried he had been about my health and excess weight. In his honor, I joined Weight Watchers on Jan. 29, 2009. As of Feb. 18, 2010, I lost 98.2 pounds! Just 1.8 pounds to go for the big 100.  
I ride my brother's 21 speed mountain bike an average of 20 miles at a time and usually log 50 to 80 miles per week, even in winter.
My doctor says that with the help of my brother's memory, I have given myself the gift of life. My husband too has benefited from my new lifestyle and is now off his blood pressure medication!  
— PEBB Member JoAnne Boardman

I have been trying to lose 15 lbs. for several years. I rarely have time to exercise and already eat pretty healthily. In going to the Weight Watchers meetings, I learned tricks and options to increase fiber, decrease fat and eat better carbs. I incorporate those tips into my meal planning and after 5 months, I made it as a lifetime member, having lost more than my 15 lb target. I take medicine for Chronic issues and needed more fiber in my diet. Using the Weight Watcher program, I have found ways to increase fiber in a tasty, healthy way and am feeling great!  
I still track my food consumption but do so by meals, instead of items with each meal. I try to eat a 5 pt breakfast and lunch and that leaves me with 8-9 points for dinner.  I can still incorporate "treats" - weightwatchers.com offer seasonal recipes that are quite tasty; my family likes the recipes too (I just don't tell them it is diet food). I also found Smart meals at the Dollar Tree- a bargain at $1 each! I have more energy and stamina and really feel good about my size. I am wearing clothes I hadn't been able to get into for years.  
Several other staff are also doing the weight watchers program and sometimes we will have weight watcher potluck lunches and share what we have learned from our instructor (we go to different meetings). We can encourage each other and enjoy tasty food! I still have little time to exercise but by making wise food choices, I did succeed in reaching my goal.
I am a State employee who decided to take advantage of the PEBB / Weight Watchers program.

I started in April, 2009 and things are going quite well. Originally I was thinking of losing 20 and getting my BMI down to 29. Well, I am down about 50 and closing in on my target weight. 

I would not have thought I could accomplish this loss, however the WW eating regime makes a lot of sense. It also seems like something I can continue over time.  Its about good nutrition, portion size, "filling foods" and exercise.

My primary exercise has lots of walking -- at breaks, evenings or weekends. The dog and I tend do our walks in the hills rather than the flats, often with some additional weight in a pack for me.

I am very pleased that PEBB has offered this incentive!  Thank you PEBB!
I was the skinny Minnie who always tried to GAIN weight – till I stopped chasing kids, took an office job, and turned 50 . . .
I was really stuck, because I had no idea how to lose weight – at my max, I topped out at just under my full-term pregnancy weights. Because of the WW Online program, I have been able to be accountable for what, how much, and when I eat. Since meeting my goal, I have continued to monitor my eating behavior and have maintained my weight.
Today is my first day back from 2.5 week Mexican vacation. Although I was not able to access a computer and record my food and activity points, I did record what I ate in a little notebook every day. I weigh exactly what I weighed before I left for vacation . . .
The Online Plan is GREAT for me.
Since I first started WW in 2004, I have lost 131 lbs. I have put weight back on, but still attend weekly meetings, and like any battle with addiction, the program only works if you work it. I owe a lot of my life to WW and I just want to say that I value this benefit—more than probably any other—in my daily life, and I hope to see it continue beyond November of this year.
Many thanks for your work to make it happen. I believe it has lead to a healthier and happier workplace.
  Thank you PEBB and the decision makers for setting Weight Watcher's up as a benefit for us. I lost 40 pounds on my own 1200 calorie diet; then joined Weight Watchers for support and accountability.  I've lost another 33 pounds, with about 30 pounds remaining.
Weight Watcher's is a wonderful program with lots of support, encouragement and invaluable information.  This has alleviated my arthritic pain, increased my stamina and encouraged my exercising - I know I'll reach my goal! 
Thanks so much!
After many years of working out and getting no where, I became very discouraged about my weight. So, when Weight Watchers became available to us, I was hesitant about trying it; I didn't want anymore failures. Then I decided, 'Why not give it a try?'. I am pleased to say that I have lost over 20 pounds and am feeling better than ever. 
Thanks PEBB for giving us this opportunity. Now my husband is considering giving it a try. 
I’m a much smaller person now, thanks to PEBB, Kaiser Permanente, and WeightWatchers. Just after New Year’s, I saw in the PEBB newsletter that WeightWatchers was now a covered benefit for Kaiser members, so I decided to give it a try. Free is a very good price, right? I’ve lost 25 pounds, hit my goal, and am now a lifetime member of WeightWatchers! I guess the only downside has been the effect on my wallet – I needed a lot of new, smaller, clothes. Thanks for making this benefit available.
Finally, I have surpassed the 10 pound mark! When our at-work group started a second 13-week session, we eventually received the 16-week golden hands. I was a little disappointed because I hadn’t reached 10 pounds. I was stuck between 8.4 and 9.8 pounds. My colleagues shared how they had lost 10, 25, 17, 30, 27, etc. Finally, I did it too! In the 18th week and with two 45-minute sessions of water aerobics behind me – that put me over 10 pounds. And now with another week and two more sessions of water aerobics I have lost another pound. What a wonderful feeling! 
I'm living proof that the program works. Since January, I have lost 41lbs and my medications have been cut in half. My doctor is so pleased. She stated that I would like much longer with a weight reduction. My diabetes is better and I now take only one metformin at night instead of one in the morning and one at night. I also reduced my high blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication. That saves the insurance company [PEBB] lots of money for drugs. I hope to follow the diet and continue with friends in the office to weigh in until the new year comes around.  I want to thank you very much for the privilege of being part of the WW program.

I started Weight Watchers online 1-8-09 and have lost 70 lbs so far! Thank you so very much!
I joined in January, 2009 because I wanted to make a positive change. To date I have lost 70 pounds. I am thankful that PEBB made the decision to provide this service it has been life changing.
I, too, have just started my second session with Weight Watchers and can't praise the program and PEBB enough. I've lost 31 pounds and on my way to another 19 and lifetime membership (my goal)! I know I can do it with the support of Weight Watchers. An added bonus--my husband, with severe heart problems, has lost 30 pounds. After his checkup this morning, his doctor was very pleased and said keep up the good work.

I couldn't afford to join Weight Watchers so I'm very happy PEBB is having this as a benefit and hope they continue to do so. Thank you.
My quest for weight loss and heath gain began in December of 2007. At 210 pounds, I was at my heaviest and very unhappy with the way I looked and felt. It affected my everyday life, leaving me with little self-confidence and a growing list of health issues.
Having struggled with weight since my middle school years, I knew that if I didn’t follow healthy steps to weight loss I would just gain it back down the road. This time I wanted the change to be permanent. I started with small steps – going for walks in the evening and during my breaks at work, keeping a food diary, and counting calories. When my (now) husband moved here from England during the spring of 2008, I had already lost over 20 pounds. Since he was already a gym-rat and ate healthy portions, my good habits kept growing and soon we were going to the gym 5 days a week.
I had dropped a total of 40 pounds by our wedding in late-July but began to hit a plateau. After the holidays came and went, I decided I needed something extra to help me get over the hump. After hearing that PEBB members were eligible for free Weight Watchers sessions, I decided to give it a try. I liked how the program didn’t rely on pre-packaged meals or meal-replacement shakes. It gave control to the people using the program, providing guidance on healthy eating and exercise.
The inches began dropping again after just a few weeks in the online program. It was easy to follow and gave me encouragement with weight charts and a food/activity log. I could see my results every time I logged in.
I feel great about myself for the first time in years, now 75 pounds lighter than when I started this journey in 2007. I didn’t diet, deprive myself of the foods I love (I have a total weakness for Indian and Thai curries!), or go hungry. I just changed my lifestyle and became very aware of how the food and exercise choices I make impact my body. I stopped officially using Weight Watchers after I reached my “goal weight” a few weeks ago. I use quotes around those words because to me “goal” denotes a final destination – a stopping point. I look at this as a starting point to a new, healthy life.
The best part of my success? Digging into the back of my closet to find those old clothes from my so-called “skinny days” and having them fit better than when they were first purchased. Nothing beats that feeling!
I have had diabetes for 13 years. Last year I had a minor stroke and a heart attack. I have tried diet after diet with absolutely no success. When PEBB came out this year with Free Weight Watchers I thought the only thing I have to lose is my life. I would give it a try! I am just finishing my second round with Weight watchers. I am down 51 pounds! I am off of my insulin and cut Lantus from 200 units a day to 50. My blood pressure is so low the doctor has started to reduce my blood pressure medicines. That is after the first 50 pounds.  I can actually jog now which was totally impossible to even walk very far before! I still have 92 pounds more to goal and I have to wonder what life will be like then! I want to watch my 3 grandkids grow up!  Thank you PEBB for giving me my life back! 
I just want to say thank you so very much! I have been overweight my entire adult life, and have hopelessly tried to shed pounds! Weight Watchers has been so great, I have lost nearly 40lbs since January, and am continuing to lose weekly. I have a ways to go, but I have hope and determination! Again, Thank you so much!
Thanks so much for Weight Watchers. Since January first I have lost forty pounds and have gone down two, almost three, dress sizes. I feel great. It is a great program!
I started in February of this year and so far I have lost 38 pounds!  I feel so much better and I now know that once you lose 10 percent of your body weight, your heart and other major organs are happy too.  Also, with the economy at this time being so tough, I am so grateful for this program and our benefits giving us the opportunity to do this without paying out of pocket.  I hope others out there will give this program a try!!!
Good Luck And Don't Give Up!
I am so grateful that PEEB has offered Weight Watchers for weight loss and control. I feel so much better and my blood pressure has drop to within normal range. A co-worker enticed me to join making a bet that another co-worker  (a long time  smoker) would most likely stop smoking before I would lose any weight! Boy was he wrong. Since I started the program January 6, 2009, I have lost 44 lbs. I am about 11 lbs from my goal weight.
I have come to the conclusion that most people know how to eat healthy-we just eat too much. Over the years our potions have increased incredibly.  
I have never been over weight, but as all folks in their 60's, I have gradually gained weight over time with the probability to increase more in later years.
My husband has always been overweight and he has tried every program ever invented (in addition to not eating) to loose weight (at one time I could not get my arms around his waist for example).
For the first time in our 42 years of marriage, I have been able to help him loose weight. Since I started Weight Watchers this year at work, I have lost 7 lbs. and my husband 17. And thanks to our WW coach Martha, I bring home valuable information that I receive at the weekly WW meetings and my husband and I together have changed our eating and nutrition patterns....which is now a life-long goal for both of us rather than a short-term goal for him. We are thinking that Weight Watchers should be called "Nutrition Watchers".
I am in the program and have as of today lost 36 lbs! I feel so much better than when I started in January. I am watching my co-workers shrink before my eyes and they are in turn feeling much better and are excited with the results. Without them for words of encouragement and kudos I would not be doing this, they are a blessing to me. Thanks again for the opportunity to join WW and have our weekly meetings at our branch. Kudos to all of the other offices statewide who are also enjoying this benefit.  Maybe we can add up all of the weight totals and see how much has been lost statewide! That would be awesome!  Again Thank You.
I was facing the prospect of living my "golden years" fat and disgusted with myself. My feet hurt all the time; my flexibility was gone and my joints ached. The addition of the Weight Watchers program in our health plan took away my last excuse for not doing anything about it. It's free now -- why not try? I knew I had one last weight loss effort left in me, so I signed up in January. I'm now 40 pounds lighter -- and still counting. I wake up happy every morning thinking about this wonderful gift I'm giving myself. It feels so great!  And thanks to the sustainability of the Weight Watchers program, I know it's a gift that will keep on giving.
I have lost 45lbs since starting Weight Watchers Online on January 18th.  My goal is to lose 80lbs and be back to my high school weight.  I have lost 30-40lbs in the past and regained it quickly.  What is different about Weight Watchers is I am not dieting...I am permanently changing my eating habits.  I appreciate the recognition that 1) people do go out to eat and 2) I like my sweets.  I just needed to learn the impact of my eating choices and learn to enjoy the sweets in reasonable moderation.  The point system has been great at doing that.
Even though I have exercised consistently for the last 15 years... With life changes, a few years ago I rapidly gained about 35 pounds. I thought I had to accept the new weight as part of who I am. I was learning that as you get older, you can’t keep eating anything you want and not gain weight. I lost 10 lbs on my own and then with Weight Watchers this year, I have lost an additional 23 lbs. I am now at a healthy weight and will continue to have WW as part of my lifestyle. Thanks to WW and PEBB I am healthier and where I need to be. It isn’t an easy road, but it definitely works!
I just want to say thank you so very much!  I have been overweight my entire adult life, and have hopelessly tried to shed pounds!  Weight Watchers has been so great, I have lost nearly 40lbs since January, and am continuing to lose weekly.  I have a ways to go, but I have hope and determination!  Again,  Thank you so much!
I, too, have just started my second session with Weight Watchers and can't
praise the program and PEBB enough. I've lost 31 pounds and on my way to
another 19 and lifetime membership (my goal)! I know I can do it with the
support of Weight Watchers. An added bonus--my husband, with severe heart
problems, has lost 30 pounds. After his checkup this morning, his doctor was
very pleased and said keep up the good work.

I couldn't afford to join Weight Watchers so I'm very happy PEBB is having
this as a benefit and hope they continue to do so.
Thank you
Since joining Weight Watchers in Feb. 2009, I have lost 42 pounds. My doctor was impressed with the results of my last blood work up - my cholesterol levels are well with in the norm and my hemoglobin AC is 6.1.  Six is considered non-diabetic - down from 9+ in January.  I have never felt better and I am 54 years old! Thanks WW and thanks PEBB.
I have tried to lose weight for years and years.  I have tried lots of different things and none of them have worked for me.  I just gave up trying anything new.  When PEBB announced that they were covering the cost of Weight Watchers I decided to try it.  I never figured it would work for me.  I could never loose weight.  I am on my second series and have lost 30 pounds.  My eating habits have changed and I am exercising every day.  The meetings mean so much to me.  They help me keep going.  If I miss a meeting I loose about half of the weight that I would normally lose if I attended the meeting. This happens even though I don't do anything different.  I love attending the at work meetings and can't wait for the next one.
Thank you PEBB for helping everyone make their lives better.
Since the first run of Weight Watchers I have now lost 32lbs. I have much more energy and I am feeling less stress on my body during daily tasks. With my doctor I have set a goal to loose 80lbs total and I feel I am doing well while get great encouragement from this program. Special thanks from this happier and healthier member.
I started Weight Watchers on January 20th. I've lost 28 pounds and I feel so much better. I just re-enrolled for another 13 weeks. I have more weight to lose and am managing to remain excited about it.
Just read the newsletter and wanted others to know that our office is also doing very well on the program. I personally have lost 24 pounds and feel so much better! I need to lose more but I am thrilled with the outcome at this moment!
I started the weight watchers program 12 weeks ago and have lost "50" lbs. The doctor told me if I keep on losing weight he would cut back my high blood pressure medicine and probably take me off of it. Thanks Pebb for this opportunity, you probably saved me from expensive medical bills down the road!
Just thought you should know that our office has been participating in Weight Watchers, and we are all doing great, I have lost 27 lbs, and others have lost anywhere from 10-24 lbs. This program works.
I just signed up for my second 3-month membership in Weight Watchers. I've already lost 16 pounds and am only 3 pounds from my goal weight. My husband has also lost weight just by my cooking better and in smaller portions. One suggestion: when signing up for the second go around, go through the Weight Watchers Web site. Once you've canceled your first membership and received your new promo code, you can log in under your old login name and password and renew that way. If you do it through the link on your web page, they tell you your old login name is in use and you have to choose another, so would lose all your previous data. By going through the Weight Watchers website, you keep your login and your previous info. Thanks.
I would really like to see everyone who takes the Weight Watchers benefit to consider signing up for the biggest looser pound-for-pound food challenge. Every pound we lose can help fill the food banks.
In the first three months I have lost 27 pounds and am feeling so much better. I still have a ways to go, but I have a very positive start and I'm still very motivated to keep going. This is my way of life now. It's been so easy to follow the plan and make the changes. I'm doing weight watchers online and really enjoy it!
Many people in our office are also on program and in three months, our office has lost approximately 550 pounds with the people that are doing the at-work meetings, online weight watchers, and one group that just formed their own weight loss group. 
I'm so proud of the HUGE weight loss that we have accomplished in just three months.
Not only are we going to be healthier for OURSELVES, but it will make us more productive here at the office (feeling better during the work day, less time missed from work, reduced healthcare costs in the future, etc..)
We have 32 members in our office currently enrolled in the on site Weight Watcher program. As of today, the total weight loss of this group is 496.6 pounds (15.5 pounds per person on average). Ending our 13-week program, our group will have lost over 500 pounds.
I have just completed my first 10 weeks and have lost over 30 pounds. I have cut my Lantus from 200 units a day to less than 100 a day! That is a savings of over $150.00 a month in my health plan all by itself. I am feeling so much better! I have a long way to go, but my goal is to be off of my 7 medications a day and insulin inside of a year! Thank you!  Please continue the program!  I think in the long run you will see a substantial savings overall!
I’m nearing the end of the first thirteen weeks, and have lost 13.4 pounds and just signed up for another 13 weeks. If it were not for this benefit, I could not afford to do this. With the support of friends and attending the meeting, this will be a lifetime commitment. I will be a much healthier person.
I have battled high cholesterol levels my entire adult life, and faced going on medication this year to lower my levels and get a better balance with hdl and ldls. I'm happy to tell you that after 3 months of being on weight watchers, I have changed the way that I eat and exercise, and my cholesterol is below 200 for the first time in 25 plus years. 
Having joined a worksite Weight Watcher's program on October 28, 2009, I was delighted to know that PEBB would be offering WW participation at no cost to the WW member. Weight Watchers is a fantastic program. Since joining late last October, and continuing with my second session currently, I have lost 27.8 pounds and I am less than half a pound away from reaching my goal weight! In addition, I have increased my level of activity, feel so much healthier and thrilled my doctor at my annual appointment in March! 

New Path Leads to Success in Quitting Tobacco
Quit Smoking
As a recovering ex-smoker I wanted to offer my feedback on the Quit 4 Life program and suggest another, perhaps more effective smoking cessation program.
I enrolled in Quit 4 Life last year and took the medication, did the program, talked to their counselors.  They were good, helpful people, and I stopped smoking for approximately 3 months before relapsing once again.  In a sense it worked, but it did not provide me with the mindset I needed to remain a long-term ex-smoker – and I think there are reasons for that that go beyond just me personally. 
I discovered this website www.whyquit.com about 3 weeks ago while thinking about trying another quit attempt.  I knew within about 2 minutes of browsing the website that this was the solution for me (and I truly suspect it is for most people).  I quit smoking cold turkey the next day, and I have 22 days under my belt without a cigarette.  I feel more positive and more confident that I will never again allow nicotine to enter my body than I ever have in 15 years of several serious quit attempts.  I have quit 4 times with hypnosis, twice with medication accompanied by behavior modification counseling, twice with acupuncture, at least twice with nicotine replacement therapy, and a few times cold turkey. 
The folks running the whyquit.com website offer this site and support for FREE – there is no hitch, no advertising, nothing they get out of it except the satisfaction of actually helping people effectively end tobacco use.  The site is pretty amateur –t here is nothing slick or professional about it.  But they clearly know what they are doing and what they are talking about.  I encourage PEBB to take a serious look at the information in this site, read the support forums, and consider recommending the site as a resource for members that are interested in stopping smoking.   I have spent a lot of money on smoking cessation programs and products in the past, and this is definitely the best smoking cessation resource I have ever encountered.  And did I mention it’s FREE?
Best Regards, Mitch Moore

Taking Steps Together

 I have been battling obesity my whole life. I decided that I really needed to make some changes in my lifestyle to reach my new goals. I am sure everyone knows how difficult it can be to change your food intake while your spouse is eating that yummy slice of chocolate cake right in front of you.
After some conversation, we came to the conclusion that we both need to be healthy. So now we are going to the gym consistently – six days a week. The trainer on a weekly basis changes up our routines and gives us recommended diet plans. We are losing weight the natural way.
I have found a way to keep my weight where I want it!  I work in an office and sit for eight hoursa day. In order to maintain my weight, I bike three miles to and three miles from work every day.
Not only does biking maintain my weight (even though I snack all day), I also save money and time by not playing the parking game and not spending money.
-Genevieve Beecher  
  I started eating better and exercising on a regular basis. Little by little I started cutting back on the processed foods, sugars, fried foods, breads and pasta, and salt.
It’s amazing how much better I feel now that I’m eating healthier. I have more energy and am thinking clearer….oh yeah, I’ve lost around 20 pounds and gone down two dress sizes. I’m almost 50 years old and am back at my 20-something weight.
Stresses of life aren’t so draining now that I’m eating healthier and exercising!!

Get Your Life Back

I would love to share my success with gastric bypass. I have been overweight all of my life. I have tried just about every diet to lose, been to group, etc., but thank heavens for PEBB to cover the gastric bypass. I had my surgery on January 28, 2008, and as of May 5, 2008, I am down 83 pounds. How wonderful it is to get my life back. I have so much more energy and a lot less pain in my knees.
-Cathy Cunningham  
I have parents that both have diabetes and that makes my chances more likely. It put a fire under me to start exercising and eating better. Every time I am tempted to cheat, I ask myself if I really want to take shots later in life. It helps keep me on track. Thanks for letting me share my story!!!
-Donna Beverage

Find a group to help motivate you

 Last fall, my agency’s Healthworks program at DCBS sponsored a one-month destination walking challenge. My group decided on a realistic goal for the month and chose our destination of Seattle. Walking during lunch hours and breaks we almost made it to Seattle during the month.
Although the agency only sponsored the event for a month, the group decided to continue to walk or exercise through the winter. We no longer restricted it to just walking; we counted any exercise in addition to our normal routine.
There are six of us from our Section at DCBS in the walking group, and so far we have walked north to Vancouver, B.C, on to Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, and we are now approaching Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Weight Regulation
I'm not here to tell you that it's easy

 It was very early on in my life's journey that I got the notion that my body was at odds with the environment it had to negotiate as to what concerns appropriate weight to height ratio to maintain optimum health. I recall I went on my first effort to lose weight at age 12. I believe I lost 5-10 lbs doing the Air Force Academy exercises and somewhat reducing my caloric intake limited to mealtimes. As I look back at my pictures during that time, I wonder "why"? Who gave me the message that I was overweight, I certainly looked absolutely "normal."
This started a lifetime of struggle with maintenance. I became the yo-yo queen. All my weight-loss attempts failed when it came to maintenance. I did the 50-pound yo-yo move every year of college (gained during, lost in summer), the pregnancy gains and losses, and a myriad of other life experiences which affected my ability to control my eating. You may find it hard to believe, but I've endured 100-pound weight swings during 10-year periods multiple times in my life. My weigh-ins on my medical records are so bizarre that my last practitioner compared my weight postings to data entry errors.
Hopelessly frustrated with my last five-year-long, 20-lbs-per-year upswing I decided to consult a friend at OHD about gastric bypass surgery. When I started to share with her my struggles over dinner, the tears welled up in my eyes and rolled down my cheek uncontrollably; big, round, heavy ones. We couldn't finish dinner.

My friend, who had not experienced a weight regulation disorder to the magnitude that I had, suggested counseling. I felt that had no promise. My lack of ability to keep weight off had nothing to do with my emotions or my lack of self-control and discipline. Those were in check in all other parts of my life. After all, I had proven the ability to lose weight multiple times.
During my work at OHD, I fortunately had very easy access to the developing research on weight regulation disorders and the hormonal pathways that lead to disordered homeostasis (balance). I knew what I was fighting: a body that went ballistic in today's food/exercise culture and the communal attitude that this was somewhat related to my lack of self control/discipline. I shed the last notion.
For whatever reason, one day I signed up for weightwatchers.com. The program cost $15 per month. I had tried Weight Watchers meetings before, and I knew this program was not going to work for me (or I'd lose the weight and put it on again). But something was different this time. Although I had signed up for the Web site, I didn't go to it for months, but those crazy people sent me an e-zine every Monday. The e-zine contained many interesting tidbits about a variety of topics. Finally, I got hooked on the enthusiasm of it all. Remember, by this time, I had "dieted" multiple times and I knew it was no picnic. There were many times I would become discouraged, outraged, hopeless and uninspired. This last journey I experienced all those emotions again, but figured if I were going to endure hardship, I was going to do it with the support of those at weightwatchers.com.
This last effort with the help of WW.com has lasted over six years and I hit goal weight for my age and height (150) on 12.09.  I am 102 lbs lighter and feel like I always have a structure to grab when things appear to be out of control.
Maintenance is working well. I'll never go back, but I'll never unsubscribe to WW.COM either! 
I learned a lot of valuable lessons this journey but one of the most important lesson was this:

  Falling off the wagon doesn’t mean the wagon rolls away. It stays close by for you to climb on again the next day. The journey to acceptable weight management is not a minute-by-minute all or nothing affair. Keep on plugging and you will see results.
-Isolde Knapp

Ed's Medical Adventure

Before heart attack: a healthy diet, lots of exercise (bicycle commuting, kayaking, gym workouts, cross-country skiing)
After heart attack: an even healthier diet (more olive oil; even less salt) and all the same kinds of exercise, albeit at a lower level of intensity.
   But, don’t sugarcoat it! It’s a life-changing event, and not for the better.
-- Ed Deery   Read more from Ed about the event and the evacuation that led to a successful outcome - survival!

Back in the Chair

DAS’ Director faces his fears of the dentist and vows never to go another 20 years without a check up again.
by Scott Rupp, OEBB Communications Coordinator

His girlfriend made him do it.
Without her grousing, Scott Harra, new Director of the Department of Administrative Services, probably still wouldn’t have visited his dentist.
She convinced him to have a check up and some maintenance done and Harra finally returned to the dentist’s chair for the first time in 20 years.
“My girlfriend said I had to go. She set the appointment and I was stressed,” Harra said matter-of-factly, “and I let them know that.”
The results of his visit are not typical.
For not having visited the dentist for nearly two decades, Harra needed only a few fillings replaced, some teeth cleaning and the removal of some built up tooth scales. He said his dentist, though not recommending a 20-year hiatus for anyone, was impressed. Harra gave the credit for his good teeth to his family and genes.
But after his most recent trips back to the chair, he said he wouldn’t again go so long without seeing the dentist -- or any other healthcare provider -- either.  Read more of Scott's story.