At her heaviest, Kim Petrowski weighed 317 pounds. Years of fad diets didn’t deliver lasting results. She joined the original Weight Watchers in 2015—and later joined the new WW—with the goal of losing about half her body weight and finding a new level of happiness and well-being. Now down 118 pounds, this is the story of her ongoing journey.

By Krystal Hagan

Kim Petrowski, a 39-year-old mom of a 7-year-old daughter, decided to make a change after one heartbreaking day at the amusement park. Now she’s a WW Wellness Guide and shares her journey online as The Fit and Fabuless Mama.

What made you decide to finally commit to losing the weight for good?

My rock bottom was having to get off a ride at an amusement park because I didn't fit when my daughter was three and telling her that Mommy didn't feel like riding the ride that day. She was so sad, and it absolutely broke me. I knew right then and there I had to make a change for the both of us.

How much weight have you lost and how did you do it?

I’ve lost 118 pounds thanks to WW (the new Weight Watchers), which I attribute to lots of hard work and consistency. There is no secret. When you work the program, the program works.

What is your goal weight? Have you reached it?

My goal weight is 160 pounds. Not yet! Still on my journey.

What other diets/routines have you tried? Why do you think they didn’t work?

I’ve tried a lot of fad diets that just aren’t healthy. They didn't work because they were too restrictive, and I always looked at them as temporary. WW for me is sustainable for the long term and this is my lifestyle now. There is no on or off. It's a forever thing.

What has been the hardest part of your journey?

Working on my mindset. I am an emotional eater, so really getting to the bottom of why I do that and working on changing that behavior. For me, my mindset shift has been so key in changing my weight and my life.

Who/what inspires you to keep going?

My daughter inspires me to keep going. I want to be around to see my grandchildren grow up. My amazing friend and Zumba instructor, Emily, is the most inspiring person in my life. She has lost 130 pounds herself and has kept it off for seven years. She lives a healthy, balanced life and works harder than anyone I know. She pushes me to be a better person in all aspects of my life.

How does your typical day look?

During the week I wake up and get my daughter on the bus, eat a quick breakfast and head to the gym. If it's a day I'm working, I head to work and be the best WW Wellness Guide I can be. I feel like I have found my true calling in life helping people reach their weight loss and wellness goals.

After work, I pick up my daughter and then continue to work. I’ve shared my entire weight loss journey via social media. I will record a YouTube video or work on other social media postings. Then, I will help my daughter with homework and cook a healthy meal. 

If it's the summertime, we love to go to the playground as a family or ride bikes after dinner. Every weekend day starts with my favorite Zumba class then a delicious brunch made by me. Then usually parties or seeing friends. I live a beautiful and social life and WW fits into it perfectly.

Could you give us an example of what a typical healthy meal is for you?

I love eggs. I pretty much can eat eggs every single day. My favorite typical healthy meal is a spinach and feta omelet with bacon and fruit. I also love all kinds of homemade soup.

What are your go-to snacks?

My #1 go-to snack is string cheese and fruit. Right now, clementines are amazing! I love having shrimp cocktail as a snack too, since shrimp is a ZeroPoint food.

Do you have cheat meals/cheat snacks? If so, what are they?

Luckily with WW everything is on the menu and I never refer to food as a “cheat meal.” That has a negative connotation, and I am working on improving my relationship with food. I simply refer to it as a “high point day.” When I do have a high point day, it's usually an amazing burger and fries or Mexican food. Chips and guacamole is my love language. 

Do you have a go-to tool or app that keeps you on track?

The WW app helps keep me on track. It tracks all my food and activity.

Do you find yourself focusing more on diet or exercise, or do you try to find a balance?

In the beginning, I definitely focused more on my diet and slowly incorporated exercise. Now I have found a balance.

What is your favorite way to work out? How do you motivate yourself on the days you don’t want to exercise?

My all-time favorite workout is Zumba. I love to dance, and my instructor makes me feel like I am out at a club dancing with my friends. I work out four to five days a week. As a mom, it's my "me time" to work on myself and my goals. I motivate myself by focusing on the feeling I will have after I’m done. I call my endorphins "Zumba vibes" and they truly make me so happy. I also remind myself that working out for one hour is only 4% of my day and I am worth that 4%. It puts it into perspective.

How has your weight-loss journey affected your family?

It has affected them most definitely for the better. I am the mom that I’ve always wanted to be. I run and play, and I am no longer sitting on the sidelines. My husband and mom are both on WW now and doing amazing. It's truly a family affair.

What advice do you have for others, especially busy moms, who are struggling with their weight?

My biggest tip is to tell people it's OK to put yourself at the top of the list. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Making yourself a priority is not selfish. Once you are happier with yourself it will spill into all areas of your life.