64, Valley Stream
Occupation Retired registered nurse
Before 197 pounds, March 2016
After 145 pounds, January 2018
Sharon Schamberry, 64, of Valley Stream, knew that normal age-related changes were causing some weight gain but says it was the loss of her husband three years ago that hastened the process. Her husband was Jeff Schamberry, a long-time photo editor at Newsday, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 63.
“I was so sad, and I just didn’t care. I would eat a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting,” says Schamberry. “I hated going to the doctor. The first thing they do is put you on the scale, and I was embarrassed.”
Between her doctor’s urging and her daughters’ concern for her health, Schamberry decided to return to Weight Watchers after a 12-year break. She went to meetings and used the Weight Watchers smartphone app. She found the social media aspect of the app helpful. Reading about other people’s stories and their successes, she says, was inspiring.
With a consistent 1½-pounds-per-week weight loss over 8 months, Schamberry shed a total of 52 pounds. “That’s the way it was for me, nice and slow. Within just a few weeks my clothes started feeling better,” she says. She adds that she wears a size 10 now with comfortable room for movement.
“My daughter, Danielle, said she didn’t recognize me when I was waving to her when meeting up for a planned walk on the Jones Beach boardwalk. Others say the same thing,” says Schamberry.
She starts her day with a slice of toasted Pepperidge Farm Very Thin white bread with light cream cheese and a teaspoon of jam or a banana. Lunch can be tuna fish with light mayonnaise or turkey breast on the Pepperidge Farm bread with a garlic pickle on the side. Dinner is often chicken or salmon with vegetables. Snacks include Weight Watchers chocolate caramel mini bars. After dinner, Schamberry might enjoy a Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom ice cream sandwich.
Schamberry says she tries to walk 10,000 steps or more every day. During the spring, summer and fall, she rides her bike for 45 to 60 minutes every day.
“Stick to it. Don’t worry if you slip up. Get right back on. When you eat out, go online first and review the menu to see what your options are. When you get there, order what you’ve researched and enjoy your meal.” Schamberry, a confessed former closet eater, says one of her favorite lines is “What you eat in private shows in public.”