• 72°

Brookhaven vet’s weight-loss story to be featured nationally

Brookhaven veterinarian Dr. Dianne Watson was determined toattend her husband’s 20-year high school reunion wearing a smallerdress size.

One hundred and seven pounds later, Watson is receiving nationalmedia attention for her weight loss.

Last week, the editors of “Woman’s World” magazine flew her toNew York City for a photo shoot at a world class studio. Watsonwill appear on the July 25 cover of the weekly magazine that willhighlight her Slim Fast success story.

“I weighed 265, so I started Slim Fast,” Watson said.

In September 2004, Watson had not only reached her heaviestweight, she had also reached her limit.

Watson moderately followed the Slim Fast program for eightmonths, losing 55 pounds.

In May 2005, she reached a turning point. She would have toreach a new level of consistency and steadfastness to reach hertarget weight in time for the reunion.

“In May, I really got serious,” Watson said.

She became committed to the Slim Fast program made popularthrough TV ads.

“I had one shake for breakfast, one for lunch and a sensibledinner,” she said.

Watson clarified what she meant by “sensible.”

“‘Sensible’ means sensible – not what I was eating,” shesaid.

Although her commitment to the program grew, her commitment toexercise did not.

“I have yet to get on a treadmill,” Watson said jokingly. “Ihave four children.”

She then conceded to working out once she was informed that shewould be on the cover of the national magazine.

After Watson achieved her goal she accompanied her husband Bobto his reunion in October.

Watson had to buy an entire new wardrobe for her current weightof 158 pounds. Included were size 10 dresses, down from the size 20she wore when she start the weight-loss effort.

The national attention came after Watson visited the Slim FastWeb site one evening looking for recipes and noticed an iconrequesting success stories. Watson clicked the icon and typed acouple of sentences about her weight-loss story.

The e-mail led to a reply from Slim Fast representatives whoasked her send more information. After giving more information,Slim Fast requested before and after pictures.

Watson enlisted the support of her brother Johnny Smith, aprofessional photographer.

She later received another phone call. She was told that shewould be on the cover of “Woman’s World” and would be flown to NewYork on May 3, have May 4 for sightseeing and then be photographedon May 5.

Watson was elated.

“It was unbelievable,” Watson said. “They fly you up there, giveyou free car service and they paid for everything.”

But perhaps the most remarkable experience has not been the tripto New York. Watson is daily amazed by the difference the weightloss has made in her life.

“I actually had folks say, ‘You’ve gotten so fat I didn’trecognize you.’ Now folks don’t recognize me because I’ve lost somuch weight,” Watson said.

Her energy level has dramatically improved and she attests thatpeople treat her differently.

“People are just more respectful,” Watson said. “You’re just notquite on their level when you’re obese.”

And her own sense of satisfaction is different as well.

“Nobody in my family is heavy,” she said. “I did not like beingthe fat one.”