Watching Fergie

Fergie: fit, foxy, 42.

Fergie: fit, foxy, 42.

It’s Monday morning, and a thousand Seattle-area persons of size have crowded into a fourth-floor Westin Hotel conference room. Sarah Ferguson, the Weight Watchers spokesperson and the Duchess of York, is due to arrive any minute. One woman from Tacoma, who’s 70 inches tall and used to be 80 inches around, is on the edge of her folding chair.

Suddenly and without warning, music surges into the room: Fergie’s here. Frenzy ensues. A throng of women—jumping, shrieking, punching the air with pom-poms—swarms in and leads Fergie to the stage.

“I like this city a lot,” she says of being in Seattle for the first time as a spokesperson. And she likes her hotel, the W. “It’s trendy and modern. Although they could turn up the lights a bit. It’s so dark in there.” The stress of traveling makes her want to eat. Yesterday, she almost ate a candy bar. “I spit it out. Then I had enough points left to have a vodka tonic on the plane.”

Halfway through the meeting, Fergie—fit, foxy, 42—invites a handful of Weight Watchers success stories onstage. One success story, Kim Henton from Seattle, wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to exercise. “4:30?” Fergie says, “that’s what time I get in.”

Then Fergie asks Dawn Fletcher, who’s lost 237 lbs., how Fletcher’s life has changed. Fletcher says, “I can now wear seat belts.”

Weight loss changed Fergie’s life, too. Years ago, a British tabloid reported that 82 percent of England would rather sleep with a goat than with Fergie. Then someone wrote she was the Duchess of Pork, and that name stuck. “Imagine the person who did that headline,” Fergie says today. “Probably they thought, you know, York, pork, dork. . . . And yet it’s stayed with me. That throwaway line probably saved my life.”

After the meeting, 32 randomly selected women get to have lunch with Fergie. What’s on the menu? Fergie wonders. “It’ll be a buffet,” an organizer says. “It’s an American thing. We love all-you-can-eat.”

Earlier, Fergie admitted, “I’m a closet American. I couldn’t have [lost that weight] if America didn’t embrace me. I couldn’t have made it without you.”

Christopher Frizzelle

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

This screenshot from Auburn Police Department bodycam footage shows an officer about to fire his weapon and kill dog on May 13, 2022.
Auburn police shoot dog, and owner claims it wasn’t justified

See videos of attack as well as bodycam footage of officer firing at dog.

File photo.
King County Council approves creation of Cannabis Safety Taskforce amid rash of dispensary robberies

The multi-agency task force will cooperate to find ways to improve safety in the cash-only industry.

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Diane Renee Erdmann and Bernard Ross Hansen. Photos courtesy of FBI
FBI arrests Auburn couple after 11-day manhunt

The couple was previously convicted for fraud and skipped sentencing on April 29.

Screenshot from Barnes and Noble website
Cover art of books that KSD Librarian Gavin Downing says have been under fire: “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts),” by Lev A.C. Rosen, “If I Was Your Girl,” by Meredith Russo, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George Matthew Johnson.
Kent middle school librarian wins intellectual freedom award

Gavin Downing refused to keep ‘silence in the library’ amid attempted book banning and censorship.

Kent elementary school teacher accused of using racist language toward student

River Ridge Elementary instructor placed on administrative leave by Kent School District.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.

Most Read