This week I introduce Nora McShane as a guest blogger.

My name is Nora McShane and I have Down Syndrome. Since 1992 I was overweight. My weight made me slow and tired and wearing a 1X was ugly. There have beeNora McShane wearing shirt with "Less is s'more"n many challenges in my life. I moved into my own apartment in 2002, but food quickly became a big problem. I ate cakes and cookies, high fat meats, soda and chips. Eating out become my world.

In 2003 I started watching The Biggest Loser. I knew in my heart I wanted to lose weight but wasn’t sure how. The people on the show gave me hope. I knew I needed a plan I could understand. For several years I tried fad diets. Complicated recipes and expensive shopping lists were too much for me.

In 2007 my first niece was born and I realized I wanted to be a good role model for her. Because of my Down syndrome, I will probably not have my own children, so being the best aunt is my substitute. I thought about my niece and how I wanted her to grow up knowing her aunt as someone who is healthy and takes care of herself.

Weight Watchers leads the way

Nora before weight watchers
before Weight Watchers

I decided to join Weight Watchers, and my friends and the ladies at Weight Watchers taught me to read food labels and figure out food points. My staff from Minute Man Arc, Ashley Poor and Marcia O’Grady, and I wrote weekly menu plans following the flex plan. I practiced each lesson I learned at the Weight Watchers meetings and also started to exercise every day.

In 18 months I lost 63 pounds. I am now a lifetime member because I haven’t gained back a pound… Not one pound.

Looking great, feeling great

Now I have a lot of energy and I see a “hot ticket” when I look in the mirror. At 32 years old people say I look 25. Recently, my second niece was born. I look forward to chasing her and her sister around the house and swimming at the beach.

I know many other adults with developmental challenges struggling to maintain a healthy weight. I hope my story will lead them to follow in my footsteps.