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12 People Who’ve Had Life-Changing Health Makeovers

WW—formerly Weight Watchers—now focuses on overall health, wellness, and adopting a balanced lifestyle. WW members are reaping the benefits; these 13 people share the most rewarding aspects of their success stories.

Rachel FriedmanCourtesy Rachel Friedman

Walk the walk

Rachel Friedman says before joining WW, walking anywhere would make her feel out of breath. Since beginning the program, she has adopted healthy habits like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and even walking 2.5 miles home in nice weather for extra exercise. “My WW Coach helped me make small changes over time, like walking during commercial breaks while watching TV and helping me find workout classes I loved that helped me really appreciate and love being active,” says Friedman.

Eric GonzalesCourtesy Eric Gonzales

Stress less

Before losing weight on WW, Eric Gonzales would stress over daily decisions that many of us take for granted. “I can now go to restaurants without the anxiety and fear when I walk in wondering, ‘Are they going to sit me at a booth? Will I fit if they do?” he says. Gonzalez, who once suffered from hypertension and type 2 diabetes, appreciates that he can now eat out without getting lightheaded or dizzy due to high blood pressure; his blood sugar is also under much better control. “The best part is I’m now making happy memories that will surely outweigh the sad of my former life,” he says. Here are some inspiring weight loss tips from people who have lost 50+ pounds.

Aimée Van Zile-BuchwalterCourtesy Aimée Van Zile-Buchwalter

Running start

“Since starting my WW journey, I have trained for and run three half-marathons,” says Aimée Van Zile. “Before I started getting healthy, I never would have thought I’d be able to run a mile, let alone 13.1! I started slowly, one mile at a time and now call myself a runner, all because of taking ownership of my decisions and making my health and wellness a priority.” She also notes how good it feels to have a healthier relationship with food, enabling her to make better decisions without feeling restricted. Here are 15 weight-loss mistakes nearly everyone makes.

Bailey SextonCourtesy Bailey Sexton

Confidence boost

When you feel good on the inside, it shows on the outside. Bailey Siegel says her health makeover has greatly improved her personal relationships. “I’m a much happier and more confident person because I know I’m taking care of and prioritizing myself,” she says. “In turn, it makes me a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister, a better wife, and, I can’t forget, a better dog mom!” Increased energy levels have made her passion for traveling even more rewarding, as she can now hike to experience breathtaking views without feeling winded.

Alaa SakallahCourtesy Alaa Sakallah

Thrill seeker

Prior to kickstarting her health journey with WW, Alaa Sakallah loved amusement parks. But she always worried she wouldn’t fit on various rides or attractions; plus, she had the fear she would have to use a seatbelt extender on airplanes. “Now, I hop on rides and my only nerves come from riding the highest and scariest roller coaster,” says Sakallah. “And I have no fears of not fitting into my airplane seats either.” She uses her newfound energy to explore her city and doesn’t shy away from walking laps around her building with a health-minded friend. Check out these 18 weight loss secrets from around the world that just might be worth trying.

Tony WilliamsCourtesy Tony Williams

Sweet dreams

“Adopting a healthy lifestyle has improved my entire medical panel and I no longer suffer from sleep apnea,” says Anthony Williams. “Even better than having more positive visits to the doctor’s office and sleeping sounder has been my overall shift to my outlook on life. I now find myself more positive and my heart is always ready for new friendships, opportunities, and adventures. I now foster the belief we should never overlook a chance to help someone in need.”

Chappell C. JacksonCourtesy Chappell C. Jackson

Positive practices

As many WW members will tell you, sometimes it’s the little life improvements that mean the most. For Chappell Coleman, it’s being able to comfortably cross her legs without having to hoist one leg over the other, and the ability to confidently purchase clothes without having to try them on. “I can walk into a room knowing that heads will turn because of how I carry myself since becoming healthier,” she says. “I am also confident in the fact that I believe that I have significantly reduced my risk with future health problems like heart disease and diabetes.” These are 15 no-effort ways to burn 100 calories.

Debbie RondinelliCourtesy Debbie Rondinelli

Medicine cabinet overhaul

Debbie Rondinelli is noticing there’s a lot more room in her medicine cabinet since changing her health habits. She no longer requires medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. Even better? She’s catching more zzz’s as well. “I sleep better because I no longer suffer from heartburn or wake myself up multiple times a night because my breathing had stopped,” says Rondinelli. “I am no longer a bystander in my own life. I enjoy getting together with friends. I don’t avoid people anymore. I am a better wife, mother, and grandmother!”

Keisha Anne MillerCourtesy Keisha Anne Miller

Active duty

It can be hard enough to get off the couch and exercise when you’re a moderately healthy person, but Keisha Miller recalls before WW, she never felt positively motivated to get moving. All of that has changed. “I now choose to move and nourish my body, not as punishment, but because I love myself at every stage,” she says. Miller also notes an improvement in her mental clarity, proving a weight has been lifted both literally and figuratively. Read up on 20 food facts that will change the way you eat.

Kerri MinetCourtesy Kerri Minet

Better body image

“As someone who has struggled with their body image since childhood, I’ve found that my improved self-esteem has made my overall happiness skyrocket,” says WW member Kerri Minnet. Now she engages in activities she previously never thought possible, like hiking, running, and taking spin classes. One “little thing” she still doesn’t for granted since her health makeover is “being able to comfortably wrap a bath towel around myself.” Find out the weight loss breakthroughs doctors wish you knew.

Anthony DimaCourtesy Anthony Dima

Home run

Anthony Dima’s new-and-improved healthier lifestyle hits home in more ways than one: The proud dad now coaches his son’s baseball team and he can run the bases with the team. As a firefighter, he appreciates his ability to stay active all day without getting tired and winded. “I have a more positive outlook on life, and I find it easier to make healthier choices for meals and snacks without thinking twice about it,” says Dima.

Nick BeavenCourtesy Nick Beaven

Mind over matter

Adopting a healthier lifestyle doesn’t merely produce physical benefits, but mental and emotional ones as well. Poor nutritional choices and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a foggy brain, something Nick Beaven knows firsthand. “I thought that this journey would be purely physical and that the changes in my body and the size of clothes would be the best part,” he says. “They are incredible markers of my accomplishments—but the mental strength and clarity I have gained are amazing. My relationships have improved and I sleep more soundly. It’s awesome.” Read these inspiring stories of 10 men who lost 100 pounds and how they did it.