Every week we highlight a Rise member whose story inspires us. With the help of her coach Emily Wortiska, R.D., Erika has lost 10 pounds in nearly 2 months by re-learning how she thinks about food.

With a full-time career, and a 1.5 hour commute each way, Erika is still finding time to take care of herself and conquer emotional eating. We’re inspired how Erika’s relationship with her coach has made all the difference.

Where did your weight loss journey begin?

I wasn’t an overweight child; instead I put on weight after high school. It was always an up and down battle in my 20’s. Still, in your 20’s it can be a lot easier to lose weight. When I was around 30, I joined Weight Watchers and I lost about 55 lbs. And it was great… I felt good, I looked good, but I ended up gaining it all back.

Why do you think you gained it all back?

Many of us struggle with emotional eating. After eating, I like to be what I call, “Thanksgiving-Day-full.” I like to feel full. There are times when I’m stressed or sad… or even if I’m in a really good mood and I just “want to treat myself” – I eat. Mindlessly. I think a lot of us do. My coach has helped me identify why I eat at these times and she’s helping me use my brain and not just my mouth when I’m eating.

What made you give Rise a chance?

A co-worker of mine introduced me to Rise and I thought, “Ok, I need that.” I love technology and apps and I’ve been a failure and success story a million times over. But I finally came to the realization that instead of putting a number on food — instead of counting points — I needed to learn how to eat healthy. I wanted to eat to have energy and feel good, not to meet my maximum points. So, I downloaded the app and got started right after my co-worker told me about it.

How did you choose your coach?

Honestly, I thought Emily looked like a nice person. I loved reading Emily’s background and her philosophy: “DIETS DON’T WORK.”  I love that with Rise I have someone who I am directly connected to. It’s personal, but it’s not too… intrusive. Rise fits into my busy life. Besides, it’s kind of fun. I love taking pictures of what I’m eating. And, I just want Emily to be proud of me.

How is Rise different from what you’ve tried before?

What I tried before never taught me how to eat. When I signed up for Rise, I wrote a little summary about myself for my coach and I was completely and 100% honest — something that’s not easy for all of us to be when it comes to our eating habits. I was actually telling a friend that Rise has allowed me to be FREE; I’m never judged. Emily is helping me change the way I’m thinking.

And, Rise is convenient.  I just returned from a 12-day vacation through the UK and not only was I able to plug in all of my Fitbit steps through the app, but I also tracked what I ate, easily. Take quick pics, write a description if necessary and post in the app. In fact, since I’ve started Rise I’ve only missed one day of tracking – and that’s when I was traveling back home from vacation and on an airplane most of the day.

How do you handle the everyday temptations and treats?

I destroy the bad food before it can destroy me.

[laughs] If you must, take a bite and throw it in the trash! It’s not worth it.

What keeps you going?

My coach! Emily is a real person and she has a busy life. I look forward to her daily check-ins and suggestions. She knows what recipes I like and she sends ideas along… and just the other day I was standing in the mirror and noticed that my ‘muffin top’ is getting smaller and my skin looks so much better!  I’m proud of that. I’ve changed a lot of my thinking – and I have a ways to go, but I’m proud of me.

We applaud you, Erika. We’re so proud of you.

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You could be our next member of the week! Work with Emily Wortiska, Erika’s awesome coach. When you sign up with her, you’ll get $10 off your first payment.