e-Wise Woman: Health tips for women on the go | Issue 1 | Spring 2011

Bigger Bike... Smaller Susan

"I've struggled with weight all my life," says HAP member Susan Featheringill. When she retired from her job as a school district official in June of 2008, she envisioned time with her grandson and time with her husband, taking their Honda Gold Wing motorcycle across the country on charity rides for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Association. "The Association has 40 rides a year, all over the country. We wanted to do all of them," she says.

Then another school district called. They wondered if she could fill in for the summer. The three-month school assignment stretched to 15 stressful months. "While I was there, I gained 30 pounds. I said this is it; I'm going to lose the weight before summer. I imagined people looking at our rebuilt motorcycle, looking at the large woman on the back and thinking, 'no wonder they had to trike it out.'" Susan had seen the HAP advertisements offering 12-week Weight Watchers® memberships for $25. "I thought, for $25, I really need to do this. I went to my first meeting, decided this has to be a lifestyle change, put on that mindset and never looked back."

Susan lost 75 pounds. Along the way, her daughter took monthly photos. "Every month you could see gradual changes, and at five months you could really see the difference," Susan says. She calls that slideshow "The Incredible Shrinking Woman."


"I now have a lot more energy. I am able to exercise and have gained flexibility. I am happy with how my clothes fit and how I look. With my new size and energy, climbing on and off the trike is so much easier. Thank you HAP!"

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Susan's Three Lifestyle Tips

1. Stay hydrated.
"In the middle of the afternoon I'd usually get tired. Whether or not I had eaten lunch, I'd start eating everything in sight. Weight Watchers® taught me I was actually dehydrated. Now if I'm sluggish and tired, I drink water, and it works.

2. Listen to your body.
"It takes time for your mind to tell your stomach it's full. I ask myself if I'm hungry for that next bite or not. When something tastes really good, you can thoroughly enjoy it with one or two bites. You don't need 50.

3. Smaller forks.
"Use a salad fork instead of a dinner fork. This makes you naturally take smaller bites."