Tag: Weight Watchers

Resources For a Healthier Lifestyle

Speedometer with needle moving from Exercise to "A New You"In the first few blogs this month we learned how to successfully lose weight from Nora, a woman with Down Syndrome who lost 63 pounds on Weight Watchers. To locate a Weight Watcher’s meeting near you, go to weightwatchers.com.

For this blog, my goal was to continue January’s theme of weight loss by offering additional resources. So I started with a simple key word search for “weight loss” in Google and found 218,000,000 links! Needless to say, I was totally overwhelmed.

Then I stumbled upon DPH’s website, scrolled down the home page, and found a site with everything in one place. Mass In Motion is an inviting website that provides simple, practical, and cost-effective ways for Massachusetts residents to eat better and move more at home, work, and in the community. Perfect!

Time to Navigate

Let’s explore this colorful and easy to navigate website together.

Eat Better

Learn about the “plate method”, quick & easy low cost recipes, and money saving tips. If you have a specific question about the foods you eat, you can send your question to Ask the Nutritionist and a registered dietician will provide an answer within two business days.

Move Morebar bells behind tape measure wrapped around apple

Find out how much activity you need and get past your barriers by learning about physical activities for people with disabilities and older adults. Parents can also learn age appropriate tips to help their children move more.

At Work

Since one third of our day is at work, here are some tips for packing nutritious meals and snacks to bring with you. Spend lots of time sitting in front of a computer at work? Look here to explore options for becoming more active at work. Employers are also encouraged to find out more about the Workplace Wellness Program.

In Your Community

Here you can find a walking club, bike rides for ordinary people, local organic food, and Search the Get Active Database to find places near you to be physically active.

I hope you have fun exploring MassMotion and finding tools that will work for you…and be sure to let us know your favorite weight loss resources and tips.

Supporting a Personal Goal Leads to Success

a new sprout in soil is held by hands that are held by other handsLast week we were inspired by Nora, a woman with Down Syndrome who lost 63 pounds on Weight Watchers. This week we will hear from some of the people she felt were important in the process. As they share their experiences with Nora, you will learn of the supports they offered that may be helpful for anyone with a disability trying to lose weight.
But as important, you will see the final result when someone is given support to reach their personal goal; a confident leader who also happens to have a disability.

Providing support

Once Nora set her goal of losing weight, her staff from Minute Man Arc, Ashley Poor and Marcia O’ Grady, worked closely with her by offering the following supports:
• Help in preparing a weekly menu and shopping list
• Food shopping with Nora to help her follow the list
• Providing transportation to and from exercise
• Visiting local restaurants to find healthy choices on the menu that Nora could select on her own
• Choosing healthy activities: Frisbee verses Nintendo or bowling verses going out to eat

Confidence takes charge

As Nora began to lose weight, she began to develop a whole new confidence. Carolyn Wellington, a group leader from Weight Watchers, describes the change in Nora as seen at the Weight Watcher meetings.

“At first, Nora came to the meetings and just listened. But as she started to lose weight, she began to realize that she could encourage others. There was a turning point at one meeting when somebody stood up and was talking about how hard it was to stay on the diet and all of a sudden Nora jumps in with ‘Just say no and eat a salad. That’s what I do’.”

And the thing is she did, so people began to listen.

As she worked towards her goal, Nora not only gained confidence, she also established credibility in the eyes of others. Nora was no longer the person with a disability, she was now a Weight Watchers success story and people were listening.

A leader emergesNora McShane wearing T-shirt with "Less is s'mores"

Once Nora met her goal, she wanted to see her friends also make healthier choices.

She began by successfully leading the campaign to change drinks in the soda machine at Minute Man Arc to include healthier options. She also formed a walking club and was instrumental in starting a nutrition class at Minute Man.

Yet her most impressive achievement reaches far beyond her initial goal of losing weight. In 2010, Nora became a member of the Board of Directors for Minute Man Arc, taking on a leadership role that will impact not only her peers, but the community at large.

Nora’s story began with a message on how to successfully lose weight, but it turns out to be much more. She taught us that anyone can be a success if they have the determination to reach their goals and the support to get there.


Nora’s Story of Weight Loss Inspires Us All

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.