Each Tuesday we feature a different success story from the Trading Cardio for Cosmos community in a segment called “Twenty Questions With…” Young, young at heart, marathon runners and those who can’t exercise at all, vegetarians, pescatarians, working mommas, work-from-home professionals and retirees. We’re going to showcase them all, because when you read about someone like you succeeding, I think it gives you the confidence that you too can succeed!this week I want to introduce you to Stephanie! Stephanie is 29 years old and has been working her Weight Watchers program since 2013! Having lost more than 60lbs with diet and exercise, Stephanie is a great example of someone who truly tailors the program to her life and her busy lifestyle!
Best of all, you can follow Stephanie along her journey (and pick up great motivation and food finds) at:
And you can subscribe to her blog HERE!
Now onto the questions:
1. Give us the basics about you – your first name, age, region you live in, etc.
Hi, my name is Stephanie! I am 29 years old and I live in Northern New Jersey.
I am a 6th grade teacher, and have been married for four years. We do not have children.
2. When did you start your weight-loss journey? What was the “tipping point” that made you start?
The truth is, I’ve been struggling with my weight for many years. My most recent “aha” moment was in the fall of 2013! I don’t actually remember what prompted me to recommit to Weight Watchers but I just did it. The saddest part for me was that I did not realize how heavy I was until I started losing weight.
3. What is one piece of advice you wish you had known when you started out?
I wish someone told me “This journey won’t be fast or easy but it will be worth it.”
4. How much weight have you lost? If you are done losing, and are on to maintaining? How long have you been maintaining your loss?
So far, I have lost 60 pounds. I am still working on losing some more weight. I do not have a goal weight yet because I am going to base my healthy weight on how I feel and on how physically fit I feel. I am not too worried about getting into a certain size pants or down to a certain weight… I just want to feel as healthy as possible!
5. How do you keep your motivation up?
To help keep my motivation up, I think about how far I have come. I look back on how I felt about myself before and it pushes me to keep going. Also, I have a wonderful and supportive group of people in my life. They push me when I find it hard to push myself.
6. How do you handle cravings?
Some days are definitely harder than others… For the most part, I will try to come up with a lower point alternatives. For example, if I’m craving french fries, I will go home and make some freezer fries (3 points versus 11+ points)!
I also always make sure to ask myself if the treat will be worth the points.
7. What are your top three tips for success?
My top three tips for success are:
1.) Do not compare your journey to other people’s journey. You are unique which makes your journey unique. Find what works for you… don’t just do things because they work for others.
2.) Don’t beat yourself up! We all make mistakes, we all have bad days, we all fall off the wagon at times. It’s so easy to be brutally hard on ourselves. There is enough pressure on us for everything else. There’s no reason to add more stress to your own life. If you fall off plan, dust yourself off and try again. Each day is a fresh start.
3.) Take this journey day by day. Enjoy the changes you are seeing and feeling. Celebrate small victories and do not dwell on the number on the scale. There are so many factors that accompany this journey.
8. Do you exercise? If so, how often, for how long and what type of exercises do you do?
Yes, I do exercise. I do cardio 6 times per week. My cardio workouts range from 30-60 minutes and usually consist of running and/or walking! I aim to weight train 3 times per week. My husband comes up with different routines for me because he is a trainer! I really love working on my arms because I feel like my lower body gets a great workout from running and walking.
9. What is your favorite breakfast?
My favorite breakfast varies from week to week. I either have a Premier protein shake and a banana or I have Emily Bites Ham and Cheese Quiche with a piece of fruit.
If I’m in a pinch, I also enjoy Quest bars. I workout in the morning before work so protein is very important when I eat breakfast!
10. What is your go-to lunch?
My go-to lunch is a Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Chicken Burger with a side of roasted asparagus and salad! I also pack an apple and sometimes a bag of popcorn.
11. What does a typical week night dinner look like? What about a weekend dinner?
Weeknight dinners are quick and simple. My husband and I both work more than one job so weeknights are somewhat hectic. One of my favorite weeknight dinners is crockpot shredded buffalo chicken. This chicken comes in handy for several meals throughout the week.
I also love Taco Tuesdays! Easy and delicious! Sometimes I make different variations (nachos)!
One of our favorite weekend dinners is a lean cut of steak, oven fries, and veggies. Another favorite is homemade pizza!
12. What kind of snacks do you like?
I am a huge fan of microwaveable popcorn and fruit! I love the sweet and salty combo!
13. What kind of desserts do you eat?
My favorite desserts involve peanut butter and chocolate. Both of these things are high in points so I either have to really budget for them or I have to make some modifications (PB2 and a few mini chocolate chips).
When I can, I enjoy a graham cracker topped with a little peanut butter and several mini chocolate chips!
14. What kind of adult beverages do you enjoy?
WINE! I LOVE WINE! However, I have found that when I’m really having success with my journey, I don’t find alcohol worth the points.
15. What is your favorite meal to eat in a restaurant?
If I could order any meal, it’s a cheeseburger with french fries or pizza. However, my favorite meal that is more Weight Watchers-friendly has to be filet mignon with broccoli and a baked potato.
16. Do you have a favorite fast food/casual dining meal?
I love getting the small burrito from Moe’s (the Joey Junior)… I skip the rice and beans and load up on veggies.
17. Do you have a favorite weight loss blog/website/FB group that you visit for inspiration?
I am so blessed to be in a small, private Facebook group filled with women from all over America, with different backgrounds, different journeys, different lifestyles, but all of whom are always there for me in life and in this journey!
Additionally, I love Instagram. I have found some of the most inspiring people and some of the best ideas when it comes to working out and eating.
18. Do you have a favorite website for healthy recipes?
I love all of the recipes I’ve ever made from Emilybites.com and Skinnytaste.com! I highly recommend them both!
19. Do you have a favorite quote, meme or thought that keeps you motivated?
This quote spoke volumes to me when I started working out. Since then, I haven’t stopped my activity!
20. What’s one final thought you can share with someone who’s interested in losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight?
My final thought for anyone interested in losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is to make yourself a priority! You are worth it!
Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! Have questions for Stephanie? Share them in the comments below and don’t forget to follow her on Instagram and subscribe to her blog!