Laurence Pitault: Inspiration from an online community helps her maintain healthy weight

Success Stories
June 23, 2021

Meet a mother of two who gave up “yo-yo” dieting and finally learned how to get to where she wants to be with a healthy weight.

Laurence Pitault, 47, lives in the South of France and works as an administrative manager. She’s also a mother of two teenagers and came to our attention via the Withings Facebook group for sharing her amazingly consistent ability to rack up 15,000 steps a day.

When she became a mother, Laurence tells us she put on a few pounds. Worried about the history of obesity in her family, she tried many diets but quickly noticed the “yo-yo effect.” “Every time I lost weight, it worked very well. I have a lot of willpower, so I was able to restrict myself, but when it came to stopping the diet and maintaining my desired weight, it didn’t work at all. I would gain weight back, often more than before. I ended up weighing 20 pounds more than I do today.”

Losing weight to recover faster

After Laurence had minor surgery, the doctor advised her to lose some weight to help speed up the recovery. She bought a Body Cardio smart scale and a Steel HR to track her weight and activity. “I’ve always been quite sporty, but I needed motivation to continue exercising regularly and eating healthily. I found my happiness with the watch, scale, app, and the Facebook group.”

During her weight loss phase, Laurence weighed herself regularly: “For 2 years, I weighed myself every morning at the same time. It was a real ritual. It allowed me to see directly what made me lose and gain weight and to stay on track, even when it was complicated because everyone else in the family wanted fresh cream at every meal.”

A high-level sports program

Laurence is determined to walk and run while also doing some weight training. This fitness regime commands respect because her workplace is located more than 60 miles from home. “I leave at 6:30 a.m. and come back around 6:30 p.m. I find the trick of running during my lunch break for 40 minutes helpful, and I bought a Steel HR Sport so I can see the evolution of my Fitness Level score via VO2 max estimation. I also look at speed and distance traveled and see that I’m improving!” In the evenings, her dog inspires her to get out for at least 1 hour on the hiking trails around her home which is how she manages to get to 15,000 steps.

“I’ve also found a balance with the Facebook group. Since my family is not interested in sports, I find a lot of support there. The interactions with the other members keep me stimulated, and I participate a lot. I’ve been a little unsettled lately because I used to be at the top of the leaderboard but some people started walking like crazy and I couldn’t keep up. Luckily, they’re all lovely, and a lot of them came to comfort me in private messages, so I quickly regained my confidence.”

The flat curve

As 2019 drew to a close, Laurence reached her goal, so now she is on a quest to stay there. “I have a weight variation range of 4.4 lbs, and I feel good there. As coach Lucile Woodward says, I’m on a flat curve. I’m at my weight goal. It’s a weight I feel good at. I don’t want to slim down any more, and I can eat a croissant every now and then without feeling guilty or worrying about gaining back my 30 lbs.”

“I now only weigh myself three times a week to continue to monitor myself, but I don’t obsess about it. I look at the curves in my app more than the weight and body composition numbers at the time I weigh myself. I realize that on their own, they don’t mean much, and the app is full of good advice to guide and motivate me.”

Thanks to Laurence for sharing her inspirational story. If you’re looking for tips and motivation, check out our Facebook groups.

We have a French Facebook group: Objectif Santé : + actif avec Withings

And an English Facebook group: Withings Activity Mates