After a trip to Las Vegas with her boyfriend, Kevin, and his sister, Lindsey, Megan realized just how uncomfortable she was in her own body. She decided that it was time to make a change in her health and lose weight together with her boyfriend and friend — it would be a team effort!
Megan with her boyfriend, Kevin.
The three opted for Weight Watchers and individually have seen so much personal success, but they couldn't have done it without the strength of and support from their team effort. Ahead you'll see Megan's story detailing her 37-pound weight loss, read about her healthy-eating tips, hear some words of wisdom about ordering at restaurants (no shame!), and get some ideas for a new smartwatch fitness tracker.
POPSUGAR: What made you decide to start your weight-loss journey?
Megan Murphy: We [Megan, Kevin, and Lindsey] got back from Vegas and were reviewing photos from our trip, and I was disappointed with what I saw. That Summer had been a series of "quick fix" attempts at dropping some weight before events, and Vegas was no different. It had reached a point where I wasn't only upset with the photos but I was constantly uncomfortable with my body.
PS: What drew you to Weight Watchers? Had you tried other programs before?
MM: What haven't I tried?! I have a bachelor's degree in dietetics, so I know the science of a balanced diet and understand nutrition and food chemistry but was never quite able to make it work for me. I loathe counting calories, and as soon as you tell me I can't have something, I want it so much more.
I had heard of Weight Watchers a hundred times over and had known people who were very successful on the program — and knowing that nothing was off limits with Weight Watchers was a big deciding factor for me. I also loved that the new program had a greater emphasis on exercise! It really pushed me to get back in the gym.
PS: What's your favorite way to work out?
MM: I love to run. I enjoy sprinting, distance running, circuit training, interval runs, you name it. I like to balance my week with some intense cardio like running, or sprinting and lifting, or HIIT workouts.
"It's nice to have other people pushing you to follow through and go to the gym. Accountability is key!"
PS: What's your weekly exercise schedule?
MM: It depends on the day! We [boyfriend Kevin and his sister, Lindsey] all Spin together, and it's a great way to spend time with friends. If our schedules allow, we like to work out together; it's nice to have other people pushing you to follow through and go to the gym. Accountability is key!
PS: How do you keep workouts exciting?
MM: I like to use Pinterest and Instagram to find new workout ideas. I like to use these workouts for ideas to make my own; keeping it interesting makes me want to do it. I also love to try classes at new studios. There's a place in Louisville we just discovered that offers obstacle-course style fitness; I'm so excited to give it a try!
PS: What was the first big difference, other than the number on the scale, that really made you feel proud and excited?
MM: I was most upset about the extreme roundness of my face and the fullness of my cheeks. It wasn't until I lost over 25 pounds that I started to notice a difference in my face, but when I did, it was so reinvigorating! Seeing muscle isn't so bad, either.
Megan: Before and After
PS: How do you track your weight loss?
MM: I log my weight in the Weight Watchers app and have measurements that I've taken over the years to compare.
"I don't feel bad customizing my order at restaurants anymore. I used to get so embarrassed, but it's my health and I'm not going to be ashamed for sticking to my plan!"
PS: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?
MM: Breakfast is usually some sort of egg white scramble or oatmeal (I love oatmeal and all the different combos that can keep it interesting!). Lunch varies every week but is usually lean protein and veggies. I get snacky in the afternoon and might have a Quest Bar if I'm really hungry or some fruit — usually an apple or berries. Sometimes cherry tomatoes or snap peas. Dinners are always changing. We take turns cooking dinner so the menu is always rotating! I love dessert, so I'll usually have a protein mug cake, some yogurt, or Halo Top for dessert!
PS: Do you count calories?
MM: Not consistently; I've tried to do both count calories and macros on top of [Weight Watchers] points, but they're not as effective for me. I'm a volume eater, so seeing calories in an apple or carbs in snap peas is discouraging to me. I like knowing that these healthy snack choices are at 0 SmartPoints. I get 30 SmartPoints per day, and I usually eat right around 30 SmartPoints.
PS: What are the healthy staples that are always in your fridge?
MM: Nut butter, egg whites, yogurt, prosciutto, chicken sausage, fruit/veggies, RxBars, Halo Top, cashew milk, plain oatmeal, Quest protein powder.
Megan: Before and After
PS: How do you strategize for meals out?
MM: Weight Watchers has taught me how to be smarter about eating out. I still eat the things I want but weigh if they're worth it or not before I order them. I also don't feel bad customizing my order at restaurants anymore. If I want my veggies with no butter or oil, or my cheese and dressing and nuts for my salad all on the side so I can control how much of each I use, then I order that way. I used to get so embarrassed, but it's my health and I'm not going to be ashamed for sticking to my plan!
PS: Do you use a fitness tracker?
MM: I have a Garmin Forerunner 235, and I LOVE IT! Kevin keeps trying to get me to get an Apple Watch, but I'm obsessed with my watch and don't want to change. I love the race predictor feature; it really pushes me! And I love seeing my VO2 improve as I get fitter!
PS: What has it been like being on this journey with a loved one?
MM: It has made all the difference! At times it's easy to get jealous when you're on a plateau and it seems like everyone else is making progress, but ultimately we are excited for each other's success! Having people who can push you to keep going or bounce ideas for healthy meals off of is invaluable. Going into a tailgate or a party and knowing that you won't be peer pressured by everyone to eat bad food and have other people who will stick with you is a gift!
"Having people who can push you to keep going or bounce ideas for healthy meals off of is invaluable."
PS: What role did Weight Watchers play in your journey? Would you recommend it?
MM: I recommend Weight Watchers to everyone who will listen! Since last August, the group of people who have joined Weight Watchers with Kevin, Lindsey, and I has crept into the teens! I have a better sense of portion control now and feel more confident in making food decisions.