A year ago this coming Wednesday I decided it was time to take care of myself and lose weight. On January 4, 2016, I joined Weight Watchers and on January 5th I went to my first meeting. I started my Weight Watchers journey not as a New Year’s resolution, but as a gift to myself. Because back in October of 2015 my world turned upside down and I needed to find my happiness.
Not a lot has actually changed over this past year but I have learned more about myself than I thought I would. That “I have learned” link? Click on it. Everything I realized in my first month and a half with Weight Watchers still holds true today. I am proud to say that I have maintained my Lifetime membership since I received it 5 months ago.
It was this photo taken in September 2015 that gave me a harsh dose of reality. I knew I had gained weight over the years, but I never admitted to myself how much I gained or how much it showed. My daughter was so proud that she took this picture and I didn’t recognize the person in it. When did I get so puffy? Looking back through photos from the past two years, most of my friends will tell you that they too didn’t realize I was so big. Either I wasn’t that heavy for that long or, more likely, I did a really good job hiding it.
When I began my Weight Watchers journey on January 5, 2016, the scale read 178 lbs. That’s more than what I weighed when I was pregnant with both girls. It finally sunk in. I went home that day, looked in the mirror, and saw who I was on the outside. The reflection was not me. This “puffy” person staring back didn’t match how I felt about myself. She didn’t match drive for happiness. She didn’t match my confidence. She didn’t match who I thought I was. That person in the reflection was someone who sacrificed herself for her family for the past 6 years. That person in the reflection was someone who went off her anti-depressants because she thought she could do it herself. That person in the reflection *thought* she had happiness and confidence but she didn’t.
I chose a goal weight of 135 lbs. It’s the highest recommended weight for my height. I’m not out to be my college weight of 115 lbs or my pre-pregnancy weight of 125 lbs. I’m just out to be happy and healthy. 135 lbs is healthy and maintainable.
My Weight Watchers journey was, and continues to be, 100% positive. Surprisingly the weight came off quickly and easily. I averaged a weight loss of 1.8 lbs per week which lead me to my goal weight in just 6 months! After 6 weeks of “maintenance mode” I got my Lifetime membership and I have maintained +/- 2 lbs from goal since then. Not once did I feel like I was on a diet. Not once did I feel deprived of the foods I wanted to eat. Not once did I exercise!!
I did however, make changes. Changes, not deprivation, are what make you lose weight and maintain the loss. Instead of eating two donuts, I ate 1/2 a donut. Instead of heading straight to sugary sweets, I tried fruit. Instead of drinking high-sugar, high-calorie girly alcoholic drinks, I drank wine or vodka waters. I spent less time on the computer and more time with my family. I used my vacation time at work and fully enjoyed my summer. I also started back on an anti-depressant because I learned I can’t “just suck it up” and be happy.
See the girl in the photo above? I recognize her. That girl is me. She’s happy, she’s healthy, and she’s confident. At 135 lbs, her outside matches exactly how she feels about herself on the inside. She feels like herself again.
My Weight Watchers journey isn’t over. I will be a Weight Watcher for life. I am determined to not gain the weight back. I listen to the people in my weekly meetings and I learn from them. I am determined to continue with my meetings and not pay because I maintain free Lifetime. My Weight Watchers journey is a one-time mission of loss and a life long path of maintaining my weight and happiness.