Liberty resident achieves weight-loss celebrity

LIBERTY — Weight Watchers holds an annual contest to recognize program members who have been successful in their weight loss goals and who inspire others struggling with similar issues. One of Weight Watchers’ 2010 Role Model of the Year first-place winners is Liberty resident Sheri Cameron.
When Cameron began her journey with Weight Watchers three years ago, her 5’5” frame was lugging around an unhealthy 349 lbs. of weight.
“I had to special order my clothes on the Internet,” said Cameron. “When I got winded walking up the stairs, I knew it was time to do something.”
Following a program that taught her balance, modification and healthy eating habits, Cameron has lost 200 lbs. since April 2007.
In recent years, South Carolina has consistently ranked high among the fattest states in the nation. Obesity is a national epidemic linked to diseases like diabetes and hypertension, as well as costing upwards of $140 billion worth of medical expenses each year. Sheri Cameron, like many overweight adults, have wrestled with weight and dieting since childhood.
“I remember being over 100lbs when I was 8 or 9 years old,” said Cameron. “At 12 years old, I had to have hip surgery and at that time I weighed about 180lbs.” Various unsuccessful attempts at dieting affected her self-esteem and confidence. When she made the decision to join Weight Watchers, Cameron said she surrounded herself with supportive people to whom she would have to be accountable.
“I asked my Mom to join Weight Watchers with me,” explained Cameron. “I knew she had done it in the past and it had worked. I asked people for help and encouragement. Now that I am healthy, I can support other people. It is nice to give back to people because I have had so many people support me.”
Cameron’s weight loss and winning title as a 2010 Weight Watchers Role Model of the Year has awarded her the opportunity guest speak at Weight Watchers meeting across the South Carolina Upstate. She also received a gift card for Macys and Weight Watchers matched one dollar for every pound Cameron lost in a donation to the charity of her choice. With the $200, Cameron purchased 375lbs of food that she donated to Pendleton Place Children’s Shelter in Greenville.
Lisa Craig, Public Relations Manager for Eastern US Weight Watchers, submitted Cameron’s inspiring story to People magazine. Featured in the current edition of People’s “Half Their Size” issue (now on newsstands), her 200lb weight loss has earned Cameron national media recognition. When asked if she is approached out in public, she replied “I’m not that famous.”
Being a winner in the Weight Watchers competition was an unexpected victory for Cameron. The physical health benefits and through-the-roof self-confidence resulting from her accomplishments are, perhaps, the rewards for which Cameron is most grateful.
“When I first started Weight Watchers, I looked around the room and thought no one here has as much weight to lose as I do. No one knows what it’s like to be me. What I know now is that you don’t know at what stage people are in their journeys. There were people who knew what it was like to be me because they had been me when they started.”
Sheri Cameron has triumphed over her struggles with weight loss by taking her journey one day at a time. In the three years it took her to lose 200lbs in a healthy manner, she acquired the knowledge and tools to make her weight-loss permanent. “I am successful because I did not deprive myself of the things I like. I learned that I do have control over what I do and don’t eat. Weight Watchers is a very do-able, live-able program. I am supportive of anyone who has the desire to lose weight, but I also don’t push my journey onto anyone.” Her advice is simple: stick to it and don’t give up!