I’m not here to endorse any one way to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but merely write about what worked for me. What works for me may not be your choice, but I guarantee that we faced (and continued to face) the same challenges if you’re like me and struggle with weight. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and currently lead a weekly Weight Watchers meeting. Like I said, I’m not here to endorse this program specifically, but since it pretty much saved my life, a lot of what I’ll be writing about centers around it.
A little about me… I have been overweight most of my life, save for 5 minutes when I was 14 (the first time I joined Weight Watchers and lost 25 lbs.). I tried other methods (Slim Fast; the age old “On Monday I’ll Start My Diet” diet), but I was never committed to any change. Then I was back again, at Weight Watchers, in 2004, when my oldest son was a year old. I only went to get weighed in. I thought, stupidly enough, that I would feel that was enough accountability and I didn’t follow the WW plan at the time. Yeah, that lasted long.
Finally, I HAD to commit. People commit to healthier lifestyles for so many reasons. For me, I was just done. Done feeling tired from laying down on the couch. Done not having the energy to play with my boys. Done putting off fun activities with my kids because I was incredibly self-conscious - no going to the pool (me + swimsuit = horror!), no planning fun vacations, no going to the amusement park because I didn’t fit into the seats on the roller coaster. Done shopping in the “women’s” section. Done because all the great bracelets and necklaces I had didn’t fit my fat wrists and neck. Done because my weight was really was negatively impacting my marriage. Done not finding any clothes to wear in my closet because they were matronly, too small, or just blech. Done thinking about losing weight every single morning when I woke up and not doing anything about it (which is an extreme burden on the mind). Just. Done.
So, in September 2008, I joined Weight Watchers again…for the last time…I swear…the LAST TIME! I had to swallow my pride (no calories or fat in that!) and step on the scale to get my starting weight - 264.6 lbs to be exact. I only weighed more pregnant! This close to 300 lbs. This close! I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. It wasn’t. After that awful first weigh in, I never looked back. I lost 105 lbs. over 3.5 years. Yes, it took that long, and it was worth every minute.
As a result of my weight loss, my whole life has opened up. My attitude has changed and my confidence naturally increased. I no longer have that mental burden of “I’ll start my diet today.” I don’t say no to anything because of my weight. I “cost” less (hardly ever sick, life insurance premium down $50/month). I don’t have to keep buying new clothes because I get bigger (Although, now I buy new clothes because I’m smaller. Financially, it’s a wash, but personally, a heck of a lot more fun!). I run races with my husband and our relationship has improved, and our children have healthy lifestyle role models.
It was a day to day journey, not without its struggles, setbacks, and bad days (or weeks). But as a result, fitting the Weight Watchers plan in my life and exercising, I reached my goal and continue to maintain it (which is a challenge in and of itself... and a good topic for another day).