Beginning a weight loss journey can seem like a scary thing for most of us. That didn’t stop Caroline Bouraoui though.
Her own unwavering commitment aside, Caroline credits three factors for her success at losing almost 200 pounds – finding the right weight loss program, a determination to become the healthiest version of herself, and her unwavering support system.
“It seemed impossible, at first, with a lot of weight to lose and many steps to become physically fit again,” said Caroline, a field coordinator at Unum. “But, I found inspiration from others who had struggled with their weight and I started walking every day. Eventually, I lost 100 pounds, and I could go hiking and experience more things I never had before.”
Caroline’s struggle with weight has been lifelong, but she was the heaviest the year before starting at Unum. “I had gone through a rough time in my life and emotionally ate to cope with my feelings,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I was living my best life being at the weight I was.”
She tried losing weight in the past with mixed results, but before being hired by Unum, she decided to give it another try. “The positive environment and support from Unum is what ultimately helped me stay on track and focused,” she said.
Caroline chose Weight Watchers to help her reach her weight-loss goals, but there are many other programs that may be right for you.
“It’s ultimately about finding what works for the individual as a lifelong way of healthy eating and being active,” said Laurie Mitchell, assistant vice president of Global Wellness & Health at Unum. “Which by the way, doesn’t mean being perfect.”
Regardless of which program meets your needs, Caroline says it’s important to celebrate other positive accomplishments.
“I had non-scale victories like hiking for the first time, which now is a normal form of exercise for me, running my first 5k this year, losing all of my health ailments, and one of my biggest victories was being able to travel again,” she said. “Now I’m able to give myself fully to anything and everything. My quality of life has changed drastically since losing 200 pounds.”
Her family and, now, husband, continuously supported Caroline in her journey, and, to add even more support, she had an office full of cheerleaders.
“My friends at Unum are so much more than that, they are my family as well,” she said. Caroline’s co-workers have supported her through each and every step of her journey, whether it’s attending weight loss meetings, going on walks or providing constant words of encouragement. “I am eternally grateful for my family at Unum and how they have always been there for me.”
In addition to inspiring others with her incredible weight loss, she continues to be a listening ear to anyone who struggles with weight loss or food addiction through her blog.
“I started a blog because it gave me a platform to share my experiences, struggles, and triumphs,” she said. “I believe everyone deserves a safe place to be their most authentic self, and my blog gives me that. I hope my blog can reach others, whether they are looking for a new recipe, honest feedback, or support when it comes to mental or physical health.