Long-time Snoqualmie resident Jennifer Morin is being featured alongside Oprah Winfrey in a new Weight Watchers commercial series after losing 95 pounds in five years.
Morin, a substitute teacher in the Snoqualmie Valley School District and also a coach at Weight Watchers in Issaquah, said she was chosen to be in the commercial after being featured in the January 2016 edition of “Weight Watchers Magazine.”
“That’s how it started,” she said. “They often will use members from the past success story. So that’s where it spun off,” she said. “All of a sudden I got a phone call from the Oprah Network and Weight Watchers and they said they wanted to do this.”
Morin received the call on Oct. 31, and was flown out to Santa Barbara, Calif., in early December to meet with seven other Weight Watchers members from around the country chosen to be in the commercial. The commercial was shot over two days as each of the guests filmed a one-on-one interview with Oprah. After the interviews, a final scene with the eight members having dinner with Oprah was shot.
“I have to say, I was privileged to have the opportunity and time on Dec. 10 to have a one-on-one interview about my journey, why and how it started, and what brought me to where I am today… Then the next day was the bigger deal, we went to her home to have dinner and that’s where they shot one of the commercials for the new year,” she said. “She knew all about me, it was amazing, answering questions and doing the commercials with her.”
Decisive hiking trip
Morin said that she made the decision to change her lifestyle eight years ago while on a hike with her husband in the Valley.
“I was so out of shape I couldn’t hike,” she said. “I would see my husband take off and do a hike without me, I wanted to do this with him and with my children.”
In 2009, Morin joined Weight Watchers. By sticking with the program and keeping track of her goals and milestones, she lost about 95 pounds. She said the program works on a point system in which every food item has a point value and she has an allotment of points per week. By staying under her personal points budget, she controlled her portions and started making healthier choices, Morin explained.
In addition to a change in diet, Morin also started making an effort to engage in more physical activities. Going to a standard gym didn’t work for her, so she found hiking to be the best way to become more active. As she lost weight she began hiking more and more, eventually doing solo hikes around the Valley.
“I was just gradually adapting it as I was losing weight. I went further and further gradually, until I said ‘Wow I’ve done Mount Si,’” she said.
A healthy lifestyle
The Valley, with its expansive trail systems, and the area’s farmer’s markets were two big reasons she was able to stay on track, she said.
“I utilize our farmers markets for fresh eating, walking, hiking, it’s just a beautiful place and has so much to offer, the state is a healthy lifestyle state,” Morin said. “Living here has inspired me, wanting to be outdoors and that connects with health. Without that balance I wouldn’t have this lifestyle.”
Morin still attends Weight Watcher meetings; she began working at the Weight Watchers location in Issaquah part-time as a coach/mentor of other members in the program. Weekly meetings with other members helped her to stay motivated and on track to making the change see wanted to see, so she wants to give back to people going through a similar experience.
“Those are the key things, and of course my community and family,” she said.
“That’s what propels me to keep going and to help others.”