Set Goals for a Manageable, Healthy Diet

A reader shares her weight-loss success story.

By Kathleen Zimmer-Anderson, Waukesha, Wisconsin

Slow Cooker Berry Cobbler

Slow Cooker Berry Cobbler

I had hit a crossroads when I began my weight-loss efforts 1-1/2 years ago. My weight was the highest it had ever been, and my self-esteem was at rock bottom. I knew I had to deal with it.

First, I joined Weight Watchers. I had tried this program in the past and found it suited me, but I'd dropped out after a few months, sure I could handle the challenge of losing weight on my own.

This time, no matter how hard it might get, I promised myself to weigh in and attend a meeting each week, even after I reached my goal. Now, 18 months later, I've missed just three meetings and dropped almost 75 pounds—about 16 pounds from my goal weight!

I attribute a lot of my weight-loss success to the fact that I discovered Light & Tasty. I was immediately struck by the magazine's family-oriented recipes featuring mostly everyday ingredients. I didn't find myself running back and forth to the store to search for a lot of ingredients I didn't already have on hand.

More importantly, the recipes I've made have appealed to my husband, Chris, and our two daughters, Olivia and Abigail. And that's a key factor for me. If they don't like something, chances are I won't either. Plus, I hate to make a "diet" meal for me and another meal for them. Nothing makes me feel more deprived!

Among our favorite recipes are the Pepperoni Ziti Casserole, Slow Cooker Berry Cobbler (shown above right) and Makeover Cheesy Ham 'n' Potato Soup.

I love making the Cutout Sugar Cookies for Olivia and Abigail to snack on or have for dessert. When Olivia munches on one of these cookies, she often asks if it's good for her…and I respond with a hearty "yes!"

More than just recipes spurred me on, however. I was also inspired by the fun fitness articles and tips that readers shared. I have a quick story to share myself.

This past July, I completed a triathlon—a 1/2-mile swim, followed by a 12-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run. When I started walking a few months after joining Weight Watchers, I never dreamed I'd be able to finish something as daunting as a triathlon. But I did!

With the help of great tools like the recipes and articles in Light & Tasty, I know I'll continue to find success on my trek toward achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.