Navigating the holidays can feel stressful when you’re on a weight care journey. But 48-year-old Found member, Karen Dulaney, has been through it before and is gearing up for it again.
Like many people, Dulaney admits to trying everything to lose weight. “I’ve tried the shakes, gummies—all kinds of weird things you can think of.” After many unsuccessful attempts, she became a Found member and has since lost 35 pounds and aims to drop 50 more.
What’s different this time around? If you ask Dulaney, she’d say Found’s encouragement to be consistent with her small habits—specifically walking more and being mindful of her food choices. Her Found care provider also prescribed topiramate, a weight loss medication that has helped her toward her goals.
Dulaney’s first month was during Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2021—a time when focusing on health goals can be a challenge. But she noticed something different: The medication controlled her appetite, and she felt that she could really enjoy the holidays. Rather than trying to eat perfectly—something that wasn’t realistic for her, or anyone, really—Dulaney found that she could taste all of the foods at the table and still find success on her weight care journey. “The combination of medication and behavior change makes everything feel more manageable,” Dulaney says.
As she looks forward to spending time with family and friends this holiday season, Dulaney has some wisdom to share about how Found has helped her prepare.
1. Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating—tuning into your body’s hunger cues and fully enjoying the eating experience—is really important to tap into during the holidays, Dulaney believes. It’s something she has struggled with in the past. “A lot of the times I wasn’t hungry anymore,” she says. “I was just eating because the food was there,” she says. Now Dulaney frequently pauses during meals to check in with her hunger levels.
2. Don’t be afraid to try weight loss medication
For some, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough—and medication is needed to address the biological factors that impact sustainable weight loss. For Dulaney, topiramate helps control her appetite and manage her cravings.
3. Take advantage of the Found app
She likes that this health hub offers science-backed tips, daily routines to follow, and support from other members. Another plus: Dulaney says she uses a workout app on cold winter days when getting outside is just not happening. These tools keep her focused, even during the hectic holidays.
4. Make some easy swaps
Going to a gathering? Dulaney suggests bringing a healthy side dish or dessert. It’s an easy way to ensure you have a good option, and she says other party-goers appreciate it just as much. “Sometimes people are excited to find out there is something that isn’t loaded with sugar,” she says. So what's Dulaney bringing this year? A delicious Brussels sprouts and butternut squash dish. (BRB while we get her recipes.) Check out the recipes on Found’s blog if you need some ideas.
5. Lose the judgment
During Dulaney’s journey, she learned to ditch the word “diet” from her vocab. When asked what advice she’d give someone who feels like they overate at a gathering, she says to “be positive and don’t beat yourself up.” Instead, get outside for a walk or throw on a yoga video and move on. Remember, it’s one day, and tomorrow is another.
6. Sip lots of water
Dulaney understands the importance of getting enough water to keep her body working at its best. Still, staying hydrated can be a challenge during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. So she totes a large bottle with her to keep on top of it. And she logs her hydration in the Found app.
7. Find a buddy
The Found community is a great place to get support from other people on the same weight care journey. Dulaney also leans on her mother-in-law, husband, and her sons. “Have at least one person that can help you,” she says.
8. Take time for self-care
Dulaney notes that self-care is crucial between running here and there, and taking care of her family. It’s something that she has prioritized ever since becoming a Found member. She might take a walk around the block, put on a workout video, or do a full-body scan to check in with herself. Delaney realizes the importance of filling her cup—and how it can help her move closer to her health goals no matter what time of year it is.
Found is among the largest medically-supported weight care clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 members to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.