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Weight loss: a balancing act

Shedding excess pounds requires 'discipline, not deprivation,' a longtime 'Weight Watcher' says

Since joining Weight Watchers nearly 32 years ago, Renee Amies of Hazel Dell, Wash., has managed to keep off the 43-1/2 pounds that she lost in the first year. More or less.

'That doesn't mean I haven't found a couple of pounds here and there,' says Amies, 57, 'but then I go back to what works.'

What works for her is 'to practice discipline, not deprivation,' Amies says. 'It's not that we can't have a good piece of candy or a glass of red wine when we want to. The idea is not say no to everything, but balance it.'

For Amies, balance includes plenty of physical activity - riding her bicycle, walking with friends and swimming as much as possible - and trying new vegetables while enjoying her traditional meals.

But Amies - now a full-time employee with Weight Watchers, the worldwide weight-loss company - also knows that shedding extra pounds, and keeping them off, is a team effort.

'If you could lose weight by yourself, you would have a long time ago,' says Amies, who leads 14 Weight Watchers groups in the Portland-Vancouver area. 'I think people get discouraged with the weight-loss process because it gets hard.'

Weight Watchers groups still comprise mostly women, but they also are drawing more men, young adults and families with teenagers 'It pretty much covers it all,' Amies says.

'People are saying, 'I'm just done with this, I need to take better care of myself,' and Weight Watchers is one of the tools they choose to use.'

Weight Watchers International Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services with a network of company-owned and franchise operations. To learn more, visit www.

weightwatchers.com. To find the nearest Weight Watchers meeting location, call 1-800-651-6000 or click on the 'Meeting' link on the Web site's homepage.