By Liza Hamm
Updated January 10, 2011 12:00 PM


“They’re not doing this alone,” says Weight Watchers leader Richard Phlegar, who has worked with the group every week for three years.

When Tori Fuchs walks into work at Geico’s Woodbury, N.Y., branch, she dreads one thing: the office party. “There is not one day that goes by where there isn’t a birthday, anniversary or shower,” says Fuchs, who dropped a dramatic 210 lbs. in the last three years and now fears falling off the weight-loss wagon. So when there are trays of treats at her fingertips, “it’s hard,” she says. That’s when she turns to friends in her Weight Watchers at Work group-a collection of about 20 dedicated dieters who meet every Wednesday in the office to check on each other’s progress and swap recipes and tips. Having the support of close colleagues such as Nancy Edwards and Denise Simicic “makes such a difference,” says Fuchs. “We stop by each other’s desks if we’re having a rough day” or if they try to skip a meeting. “If I don’t go, Tori stalks me,” says Edwards. “We say, ‘You have to be there!’ ” After all, it’s the camaraderie that has led to their successful slimdowns. “Being with people who are dealing with the same situation makes it easier,” says Fuchs. “It’s like having family inside the building.”