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Goffstown woman to discuss weighty matter

GOFFSTOWN - While many choose losing weight as one of their New Year's resolutions, Sandra Burke is happy to say she can cross that goal off of her list for 2013.

The 31-year-old has lost 60 pounds since joining Weight Watchers in 2011 and will speak at a celebration of the company's 50th anniversary today in Bedford, one of several celebrations around the state.

Burke said she knew it was time to get serious about weight loss when she realized that she no longer had buttons on any of her pants.

"I'm serious. I had safety pins closing every pair," she said.

In 2009, a mandatory health risk assessment at her company also revealed cholesterol levels so high that her doctor was ready to prescribe medication, which prompted her to try to lose weight on her own to bring those numbers down.

That same year, Burke married, and she uses her wedding photos as motivation to stick with her weight loss efforts.

It isn't without its challenges, Burke said.

"There are days where I'm still an emotional eater," she said. "I still want to turn to food, I just make better choices now."

Burke said Weight Watchers, which was named this week as the No. 1 weight loss program by US News & World Report, was instrumental in reaching her weight loss goal.

"It really isn't a diet; it's a lifestyle change," she said.

Burke attends weekly meetings with her mother, who has also lost 30 pounds on the plan, and thinks of fellow meeting-goers as her weight loss family.

Burke said she will share her story today with complete strangers because she wants to be an inspiration to others.

"I think the highlight of Weight Watchers is everyone's story," Burke said. "We don't have nutritionists or personal trainers. We're just regular people."

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