Dining in the Comfort Zone

A reader shares her weight-loss success story.

By Renee Rogers, Ashland, Ohio

Raspberry Coffee Cake

Last year I realized that I wasn't comfortable with the person looking back at me in the mirror. I'm only 5-foot-2 and I could no longer find clothes that fit me properly. I felt worn out most of the time and I didn't sleep well. Worst of all, I knew I wasn't eating right.

I joined Weight Watchers in April 2003, and by June 2004, I'd hit my goal range, down 62 pounds.

I've always liked to cook, so when I started losing weight, I began paring down my favorite recipes. Then a friend introduced me to Light & Tasty magazine.

I spent hours poring over her back issues and marking recipes that would add variety to my daily meals. It's so easy to get bored when dieting. I think the variety of recipes in the magazine has been key in my continuing to lose weight.

Light & Tasty has allowed me to experiment with new twists on favorite foods that fit into my diet plan. I especially appreciate that the nutritional data is included, so I only have to convert the information to the Weight Watchers point system.

I fit Light & Tasty recipes in wherever they work. Sometimes it's a dessert with a traditional dinner or a Light & Tasty breakfast casserole. I've also tried soups and bean dishes.

My favorite recipes are Raspberry Coffee Cake (shown above right) and Hawaiian Wedding Cake. I have to limit my portion size on sweets, but it's great to know I don't have to deny myself desserts.

My husband, Fred, and our daughters, Megan and Lisa, have been extremely supportive. Lisa's always asking how many points I have left for the day. And Fred has lost weight, too—50 pounds' worth!

With the weight loss and working out three times a week, my energy level has increased dramatically and I'm sleeping much better, too.

I'm nervous about the possibility of gaining back the weight, but I feel armed with the know-how (and recipes) to maintain my new weight.