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Joan Wolochin, Lead Social Worker

Although she’s struggled with her weight since childhood, Joan was never able to lose pounds and keep them off until she tried Weight Watchers. She shared her success by helping start the Weight Watchers program at Kelsey-Seybold’s Berthelsen Main Campus. Joan has dropped 48 pounds and is on a maintenance program. She has added “gym time” to her total health program to gain strength and muscle.

When did your weight struggles begin?
I was overweight as a child, but back then there was no push to be healthy or exercise. My pediatrician asked my mom to encourage me to lose weight, but he didn’t provide ways to accomplish that goal. Of course, I realize now I needed those tools. Hindsight is wonderful.
I had a difficult time losing weight after my two babies were born, and I was too busy with young children to take time for me. Fitness centers were beginning to evolve, but I didn’t have time to participate.

Was being overweight difficult emotionally?
It depressed me at times, but I kept telling myself it’s what’s inside that counts.

When did you decide to take action?
At one of my annual physical exams, my primary care physician told me I was borderline diabetic. I went into mental shock. I told my PCP there was no way I would become diabetic. He sent me to a Kelsey-Seybold dietitian, and she helped me for a while to understand carbs and healthy eating. I managed to lose about 20 pounds, but when I stopped seeing her, the weight started creeping back up.

What kicked in to motivate you?
I have two young adult grandchildren. Having grandchildren can give anyone a reason for living life to the fullest. I want to be here for them every step of the way.

Why did you decide to try Weight Watchers?
Several of my friends had lost weight on Weight Watchers, and even though I had attempted Weight Watchers in the past, I knew there was a new program that was having a lot of success. What did I have to lose? And it really worked well for me.

Do you exercise?
I’ve been so focused on my diet that I haven’t done much exercise until recently. Now I’ve joined a gym, and I’m doing the treadmill, bike, and weights. I’m working on firming, getting stronger, and gaining muscle mass.

What is your weight status?
I am a Life Member of Weight Watchers, meaning that I’ve met my goal.  The weight loss is great, but the knowledge of how to eat for life is even greater.

How does your husband feel about the new you?
He’s proud of me. He’s happy because I’m happy, and he encourages me to make healthy choices. He likes to joke that I’m “half the woman” he married.

What has driven you to get healthier?
My dear mom passed away recently. She always kept her weight down, until Alzheimer’s took so much from her – life’s simple pleasures and beautiful memories. She taught me so many things. She was my mom, my teacher, my best friend, and my role model. As I look at her picture in younger years, I say to her, “You would be proud of me, mom.  I’m staying healthy, so I can live as long as you did.” Dying at almost 95 years old means she did a lot of healthy living.

I dedicate my Wellness Hero recognition to my beautiful mom.