I joined Weight Watchers in February of this year. Well, actually, I joined Weight Watchers in 2003 after I had my second child. I was successful at weight loss, so I’ve gone back several times.
The LAST time I joined, I was TERRIBLE about tracking and going to meetings, so I finally quit. I was bummed about failing, and didn’t know if I’d be able to be successful again.
I tried losing weight by myself, but that didn’t go well. I tried writing down what I was eating, but I didn’t stick with it, and I was tired of looking up calories and whatnot. I tried blogging on a popular weight loss sight, but most people were so supportive of me, even if I was gaining weight, that it was easy for me to tell myself that I wasn’t doing too bad. So, I sucked up my pride and went to Weight Watchers to admit I couldn’t do it alone.
I did well for the first 3 weeks – I lost .4 lb and then lost 1.2 and then maintained…and then things went to hell. I gained .4 lb. Not too bad, I can take it off. Then I skipped 2 months and when I went back I had gained 3 lbs! I took another few weeks off and went back and said gained another 2.4 lbs. So at this point I’m up 2.4 lbs from when I started. I cried when I got home from that meeting.
2 months ago I was on an overnight field trip with my son’s 8th grade class. There was a lot of “down” time where the parents got to just hang out and chat. As we were all comparing our various fitness trackers, one of the dads revealed that he’d lost around 50 lbs several years ago using Weight Watchers. He emphasized that it wasn’t for everyone, and to be truly successful with it, you have to be vigilant about tracking – basically WRITING DOWN WHAT YOU EAT.
I know this. My head knows it. I’m a smart adult. Yet, somehow, despite knowing this, I wasn’t doing it. And I was getting upset that weight wasn’t just coming off in spite of the fact that I wasn’t keeping good track and I was still eating some pretty crappy foods.
I did gain 10-15 lbs when I was first married. I don’t know if we ate out too much, if I was “too comfortable” or if I was eating because of some other reason (I did have some stress at work – the woman I partner-taught with made things challenging). Whatever the reason, I remember sitting in our living room eating cake in the middle of the afternoon and just breaking down. I started Jenny Craig that same day and in just a few months, I looked like this again:
I was 28 at the time, and by the time I was getting closer to my goal weight, I was “cheating” with junk food and not following the plan as closely as I could have. So, I quit while I was ahead. I managed to stay close to that weight until I got pregnant with my first child.
When I was young, I was thin. Really thin. I could eat double scoops of ice cream every day and not gain weight. I could eat at restaurants and junk food and not gain weight. The older I get, I find that to be the opposite of true. In fact, ONE salty restaurant meal and I gain a pound (or 5) of water weight. Several meals in a row gets me real extra pounds.
Getting older sucks.
So, now I am 45 and 30 lbs heavier than the conga dress and the gorgeous blue dress. 20 lbs more than this picture of me below when I lost several pounds and was RELIGIOUS about eating and working out (7 years ago).
I tried on this same outfit today for inspiration and could barely fit the shorts over my hips and could definitely not zip them up. I’m not prepared to post it today, but perhaps as I lose more weight, I’ll post it as a “goodbye” photo.
I will say that the older I am the harder this is. I’m thankful I’ve managed to not gain more. Walking and going to the gym and eating mostly well has kept me from gaining 50 pounds, I think, and I’m hoping that if I really develop good habits NOW (finally, at ate 45 for goodness’ sake), I can keep it up throughout the rest of my life. (Eating ice cream at 11pm is NOT a good habit.)
I hope so anyway.
I don’t expect to ever look like I did in that blue dress, but if I can keep this up, I just might be able to zip up those shorts in the photo above.
More than anything, I want to be good to my body and myself. I also want to show my kids that we can ALL eat healthier – like eat strawberries for dessert every now and then instead of cookies or ice cream. I know my family eats too much sugar and I’m making it my mission to cut back their sugar by at least 1/2 by the time we go back to school.
What healthier choices have you made for yourself? What weight loss lessons have you learned along the way?