Broadway Beats The Bulge

By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

April 7, 2005

Kerry O’Malley’s career was taking off! She was starring on Broadway in the hit revival of
Into the Woods, booking numerous commercials, and running between business lunches and auditions daily. But the price of success? A huge toll on her body. Her eating became haphazard, her workouts suffered, and fatigue was a daily state. Eventually she also found herself carrying 20 extra pounds.

Something had to change, but Kerry [pictured, r.] wasn’t sure where to start. As an actress, however, she was good at taking direction, so having a plan appealed to her. Enter Weight Watchers. With her already-packed schedule, she loved the idea of dieting online. “I found the website fantastic and helpful. I counted my
POINTS® and entered everything into the computer.”

Awareness of portion size and
POINTS values was Kerry’s biggest awakening. “As a vegetarian I always used to order grilled cheese, until I found out it had 13 POINTS! I was horrified. Now I have the know-how to make smarter choices.”

Kerry also found herself recommitted to fitness “because you can earn
POINTS for working out and then you can eat more!” She got a pedometer and walked 17,500-20,000 steps most days. She also did Pilates 2-3 times a week and used exercise videos when traveling for work. “I am proof that you can lose weight even when you are away from home if you’re conscientious.”

Having reached her goal weight, Kerry is so thrilled with her success she now recommends Weight Watchers without reservation to other Broadway performers looking to trim down, shape up or just take better care of their bodies. “I am taking control of my life and it’s been great for me.”

Another Broadway veteran who found success with Weight Watchers is Laurie Gamache, whose long list of professional credits includes three years as “Cassie” in
A Chorus Line. Laurie [pictured, center] first turned to the plan after weight fluctuations were affecting her career. When performing, the grueling 8-show per week schedule made it easier to keep weight off, but the minute a show closed, she’d be battling the cookie jar. “I’d put on weight which would make it harder for me to land the next job. So I’d try to starve myself but that always failed, so I’d get frustrated and eat more.”

Laurie credits Weight Watchers with taking the mystery out of dieting. Originally having lost 25 pounds on the plan*, she still follows the
POINTS value parameters. Laurie says Weight Watchers is also a “godsend” for touring with Broadway productions. “When you’re living in hotels for up to a year at a time, it gets really hard to eat right, but Weight Watchers gave me more freedom while traveling. Before, if I got stuck at a fast-food restaurant, I’d panic or feel guilty. But with the plan, I just figure out the POINTS values and budget accordingly.”

Laurie says she’s learned that weight maintenance is her choice and admits to the occasional slip up, but now she also knows how to correct it. “Weight Watchers gives you the tools to maintain a slim physique for life, whatever your profession.”

Ana Andricain got into Weight Watchers thanks to the cast of
Les Miserables. “Almost the entire women’s ensemble joined the plan after a former cast member came back to visit the dressing room and looked amazing. Her secret? Weight Watchers. I said ‘Sign me up’”

Then a bride-to-be, Ana [pictured, l.] was inspired to lose weight because she wanted to look especially great in her wedding pictures. However, as a hypoglycemic, she’d had difficulty losing weight. Her condition necessitated eating every couple of hours. With Weight Watchers she learned to make smarter food choices and found she was actually eating more than before (which kept her blood sugar steady) even while she lost weight.**

One of the biggest pitfalls of working in the theater is the constant presence of food backstage. “By doing the program en masse, we got the M&Ms out of the dressing room and replaced them with Wasa crackers and apple butter.” Another challenge for performers is the need to nosh after a performance. “
Les Miserables is a three-hour show and when we’d get done, we’d be starving. I’d usually try to keep 2 of my POINTS values available for late-night snacking so I wouldn’t go to sleep hungry.”

At her goal for over a year now, Ana says “I think weight loss is different for people whose bodies are their instruments. Knowing how to maintain your weight can mean the difference between booking a job or not.”

*Results not typical

** The foregoing is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have. Do not disregard professional medical advice or the advice of other qualified health providers, or delay in seeking it, because of information you have obtained on our site.

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