As various weight loss organizations popped up over the years, Weight Watchers held its own until 1997.
Competition from the pharmaceutical industry contributed to financial problems that led to Weight Watchers of West Virginia's bankruptcy reorganization, Snyder said. The franchise applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 1997.
But many of the new drugs that had become so popular were later found to be dangerous. The Federal Food and Drug Administration yanked its approval of Redux, also known as dexfenfluramine, and Pondimin, also known as fenfluramine. Studies also showed that as many as one-third of dieters taking a combination of Pondimin and phentermine - the duo called fen-phen - had damaged heart valves.
Weight Watchers rebounded and has continued through tough economic times.
She points out that proper eating can deter high medical bills as well as the need for some expensive medications.
Aside from business challenges, Snyder has suffered personal losses over the years.
She and Harvey divorced in 1993 but remained friends and continued to run the business. He died in 2000 and she continued on her own with the Weight Watchers franchise.
Selling has been "one of the most heart-wrenching decisions," she said. "I now understand the definition of bittersweet. I love Weight Watchers. I love everything about it."
However, stepping away from so many business duties has reduced stress and improved sleep without so many things to think about.
She is currently excited about the upcoming September release of her new "Lean and Luscious" cookbook with publisher Cathy Teets of Headline Books in Terra Alta.
Snyder, who will be 71 on Oct. 19, appears younger than her years in energy and appearance. She credits her eating habits as well as the motivation she derives from other people who reach for their goals.
Her idol is Barbra Streisand, who followed her dream to become an actress even without the encouragement from those close to her.
Snyder made a couple of contributions to the research at the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center and was one of 40 people invited to Streisand's home on Dec. 3, 2010, in Malibu, Calif.
"I've loved Barbra since 1963 and never dreamed I would get to meet her," she said. "She was so genuine."
She also met Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, the center's director, who complimented the pluses of Weight Watchers.
Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlo...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1246.