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Weight Watchers helps Island Park woman drop 61 pounds

An underactive thyroid coupled with two pregnancies made it hard to lose weight for the Island Park woman, who works as an independent director at Pampered Chef.

Tara Whaley, 33, of Island Park, at left

Tara Whaley, 33, of Island Park, at left in January 2018 when she weighed 266 pounds, and after her more than 60-pound weight loss. Photo Credit: Tara Whaley; John Paraskevas

Tara Whaley, 33, Island Park

Occupation: Independent director at Pampered Chef

Before: 266 January 2018; After: 205 January 2019

Tara Whaley says she was diagnosed in her mid-20s with an underactive thyroid and also had trouble losing weight after each of her two pregnancies. “I was so wrapped up with my kids, I didn’t give myself any attention.”

When she saw herself in a photo from Christmas 2017, she decided to join Weight Watchers. “I had a friend on the program and saw her success. She’s lost more than 100 pounds and has been my inspiration,” says Whaley.

She says at first she did a web-only membership, but ended up going to meetings to be held accountable. Whaley says she found the allotted points program and list of zero-point foods easy to work with.

“I lost 18 pounds the first month and lose between 3 and 7 pounds a month now, depending on how rigid I am. But when I focus, the weight loss is there,” Whaley says.

She’s learned a few tricks, like using ground turkey in meatloaf or substituting Greek yogurt for mayonnaise, Whaley says. She also likes the skinnytaste.com blog for recipe ideas.

“The recipes are geared to a healthier lifestyle. They’re delicious, and my family likes them. My husband has actually lost about 20 pounds since I started,” says Whaley, who now wears a 14, a size she says she hadn’t worn since getting married.

Whaley says breakfast is a piece of fruit or an egg along with a Premier Protein shake from Costco mixed with a cup of black coffee. Lunch can be turkey on a whole wheat wrap with lettuce and mayonnaise or a green salad with light dressing. Dinner is often chicken breast and roasted vegetables. “I love ice cream, so I eat Enlightened brand ice cream,” says Whaley.

Whaley says that when she started the program, she would walk the Long Beach boardwalk three or four times a week, getting 4 miles in each visit. During the summer, she did at-home workouts using Weight Watcher DVDs and a twist board.

“If I got to it, I got to it. I wasn’t strict. But now I want to get more serious because I want to tone and build muscle,” says Whaley.

“If I had known how easy this program is, I would have done it a long time ago. The program works if you work it. It’s about tracking your food. You have to get into the mindset of this being something for you. And once you commit, you can do anything.”

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