After 10 years of being away, this is why I am going back to Weight Watchers.
It’s with a mixture of nervousness, excitement, and a bit of trepidation that I share this with you.
Why would I go back to a weight loss program after such a long time away from it?
Answer: I need the help and accountability that the program provides me.
Plus, it works.
I’m definitely living proof of that.
In 2006 I joined Weight Watchers online program and (combined with therapy) lost 80 pounds. I hit a plateau for awhile, so I switched to using a Body Bugg (these were the dinosaur versions of FitBits, Jawbones, and Garmins) and lost the additional 20 pounds making for an amazing 100 pound weight loss. (Click here to read about how to find the best Fitness Tracker for you.)
For the last 10 years I’ve been maintaining that loss through healthy eating and lots of exercise. Overall it’s been going great.
Then our move to New York happened.
When we moved to New York, I lost my best workout friend who was also my neighbor, so we could carpool to the gym together, walk, and go on bike rides together. When we talked and worked out, it was the best combination of therapy, exercise, and friendship. The minutes flew by.
I said goodbye to the gym where I had worked out, swam, and taken classes for the last 10 years.
I switched to a new doctor who doesn’t know my story, as much as I’ve tried to explain it in a couple 10 minute visits.
I drove back and forth across the country a bunch of times, eating too much fast food.
I was stressed and ate junk food thinking, “I’ll deal with it later,” or “Just this one time.”
I was out of my zone.
I moved to an area that had NEW amazing goods that I just had to try, like the best doughnuts ever and fried everything and this place called Tim Hortons and this really good pizza with these little round pepperoni thingies that turn up and get all crispy when they cook.
All of this added up to me seeing numbers on the scale that I hadn’t seen since I was on my way going down the weight loss progress path.
This was totally unacceptable to me.
As of walking in the doors to the Weight Watchers meeting last week, I need to lose about 15 pounds.
I hate typing that sentence and I hate admitting it to you all, my readers, my Faithful Finish Lines members, people who have heard my speak, and my friends.
I seriously considered not writing about this topic at all and just waiting until I’ve lost the weight on my own, over here in my quiet, hidden corner of Western New York, hoping I can hide it well enough with layered clothing and holding the camera up high enough in photos. (Just how high does a selfie stick go, anyway?)
It all feels so Oprah Winfrey-like. We’ve watched her go up and down with her weight over the years. (And now the ultimate irony, she is making the big bucks as a Weight Watchers spokesperson.) Yet I have to give her credit because our weight issues are so public yet so private.
I’m just a girl, standing in front of you, telling you I’m struggling with food and eating issues. (Oh wait, that’s more of a movie quote. Never mind. I’ll leave movie quotes to Jeff. Ten points to the first person who can name the movie in the comments.)
In all seriousness, most of us struggle with weight and food issues at some point in time and some of us a LOT of the time. I hope you accept my words with love and compassion.
If you hear that I need to lose 15 pounds and you are thinking, “Whoop dee doo-dee, because I need to lose 100 pounds.” Please go back and read my story. I’ve lost 100 pounds. I feel where you are coming from. Fifteen pounds is a big deal for me because up until these last months, I’ve been maintaining this weight loss for the last 10 years, so I knew right away something was off, and I refuse to allow this to slide into more pounds.
I need to stop this run-away train.
I made good choices during this time too, and I want to give myself credit for that. (It’s my blog, I can brag if I want to.)
I could be in such a different place right now if I didn’t have all the skills I learned in therapy and my years of maintaining my weight. This move has been a really tough life transition, and when life got hard my go-to for the first 30 years of my life was FOOD, food, and more food. The fact that I haven’t returned to many of those habits is a huge win for me.
I have not been binge eating. I’ve been eating junky food, but I’ve not been binging. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL FOR ME. If I could make that in bigger capital letters I would because I cannot say how big of a deal it is.
We (my son Josiah, my son Paul, and I) joined a new Tae Kwon Do school almost as soon as we moved here. Joining a new school is like joining a new church. We practice 5-6 times a week so it becomes our home away from home. We like our new school and greatly respect our new teachers, but we miss our old school and teachers. The exercise has been great for me, though, so I’m proud that we took that major step forward even though it hasn’t always been easy.
I looked at a number of gyms and finally joined one, although I don’t have the love for it like I did my previous one. I REALLY miss my friend Jan that I used to work out with. I don’t work out as hard or as long on my own. I need to force myself to go to some classes, like BodyPump or Spinning, but so much in my life is new right now and I won’t make myself do one more new thing quite yet. If you haven’t moved in awhile (or ever) you forget the depth of how emotionally challenging it is for every single thing in your life to be new. All that said, I go 3-4 mornings per week to weight lift and do cardio.
I took another step of faith and signed up for a 5K and trained with a friend once a week to get ready for it. I hadn’t done any formal races in close to a year, so this was a big step out of my comfort zone, too. We had a great time together and supported a worthy cause. I’m thankful we did it. I ran the whole thing, which is a big deal for me since I normally walk/run. I ran very slowly and was one of the last finishers, but I was proud of myself for accomplishing it. It had been warm all week, but this is after all Buffalo and race day was freezing.
Why Weight Watchers
There are so many weight loss programs available these days — including many free ones online — why go to Weight Watchers?
This is why I decided to go back to Weight Watchers, even after 10 years of being away from the program.
- Year after year, it’s one of the top rated program weight loss programs. Weight watchers is a safe, effective weight loss program. They stay current with research because they are in the business of making money with weight loss. They want their program to be as do-able and effective as possible.
- I need accountability. Could I do everything Weight Watchers does at home? Yes. Do I? No. I have the apps, the food plans, the menus. The problem? I don’t follow through. I have to know I will face the scale every week in order to hold myself accountable.
- It’s reliable. As much as the program has changed and modified over the years, I was amazed when I returned at how much it had not changed. It was like returning to an old friend. The structure of all of it was exactly the same as what I remembered (right down to getting the little booklets when I joined and the posters in the same places on the walls). Somehow I found that comforting. I breathed and said, “Okay, I’ve done this before. I can do this again. I know this.”
- Portion control. Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned from Weight Watchers is portion control. Over these last years I’ve moved into eating a more healthy, whole-foods diet but portions still matter and WW has always been the best program for teaching proper portions. Healthy or not, calories still count when it comes to weight loss.
- I can’t outrun my fork. Ironic as it is considering my life-time hatred of exercise, I have incorporated fitness into my life. When life got crazy, I was able to bounce back into my fitness routine fairly quickly. It’s not been easy, but I was able to make myself do it. Yet healthy eating has been a bigger challenge. I know Weight Watchers is the program to get me there.
I’ll continue to write about weight loss, fitness, health, and my personal journey over these next weeks. Will you join me?
Have you lost weight, gained it back, then set about losing it again? If you have, I would love it if you would comment below and tell me about it. Let’s get back on track together.
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