Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, April 17, 2014
Deer Isle woman’s weight loss story recognized by Rachel Ray Show
by Ruby Nash
When Beth Alteri walked into her first Weight Watchers meeting in October 2012, she had no idea how far that decision would take her.
“I’m still having a hard time processing it all,” Alteri said. “I’ll believe it when I see it on TV.”
On Tuesday, April 8, Alteri, a Deer Isle native, was flown to New York City with her husband, Philip, to film a segment with the Rachel Ray Show on her weight loss story. The show will air on Monday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to noon on local channel 2.
Since October 2012, Alteri, who once weighed 260 pounds, has lost 110.
“I started out at a size 22,” said Alteri. “Now I can fit into one leg of those pants. It was almost like I had blinders on.”
She managed this significant feat by sticking to the Weight Watchers program “to a T,” exercising regularly, and having a hefty dose of family support.
“My husband has been so important in this,” Alteri said. Philip Alteri helped the kids get ready for school on Tuesday and Thursday mornings when Alteri was working out at the gym. He also told her she was beautiful every day, regardless of her weight. “I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else by my side throughout this entire process,” she said.
Her parents, Wendy and Eddie Faulkingham of Deer Isle, paid her tuition for the first few months of Weight Watchers when she started because Alteri asked for it as a birthday present.
“Whatever your children do, no matter what, whatever their success is, it’s your success,” Wendy Faulkingham said. “This has really been blood, sweat, and tears for Beth. She’s had to really work.”
Her sister, Deena Staples, drove with her to meetings. “My family has been incredibly important to my success,” Alteri said.
On Wednesday, April 2, Alteri submitted her story for consideration to the producers of the Rachel Ray Show, based on a suggestion from a friend. “I honestly thought nothing would come of it.”
That night, a producer called to ask about her, her family, and her story. The next morning, she spoke to someone else from the show. By Friday, April 4, the producers had called to invite Alteri onto the show to film a segment on weight loss stories. The next day, Saturday, at 9 a.m., a freelance film crew was following her at home and while she was working out at the gym.
By Monday, less than a week after she had clicked the link, Alteri and her husband were on a plane from Portland to New York City, care of the Rachel Ray show. “I had never been on a plane before,” Alteri said.
The segment included a makeover, so Beth was whisked into wardrobe on Monday, then onto a hair stylist.
“We did a little sight-seeing on Tuesday morning. I think we were in Times Square at 6:30 in the morning,” Alteri said.
At 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning, April 8, a week after she submitted her story to the show, Alteri was standing beside Rachel Ray in New York City.
“I had to bite my lip to keep from crying. I thought, ‘this is actually happening.’ There were 100 people there, applauding. It’s still a little overwhelming,” Alteri said of the experience.
The show included a big reveal of her full makeover to her husband at the studio and her mother who was patched in via Skype.
“It was awesome,” Faulkingham said. “She looked beautiful.”
Additional surprises will be revealed when the show airs.
By Wednesday, Alteri had returned to her normal life, where she is a wife, mother, editor of Fenceviewer.com for The Ellsworth American, and a Weight Watchers leader.
“[Weight Watchers] pays me, but the pay is just a bonus,” explained Alteri. “I get to share my story, and contribute to other people’s success. Even if I get to help just one person feel as good as I feel, and let them know that it is doable, then it’s worth it.”