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.
Read my 100 pound weight loss story here.
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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Hi Sara, I My name is Tina.
I joined Weight Watchers 5years ago lost 46lbs then was diagnosed with cancer. After completing my treatments I started stress eating and put all the weight back on plus another 12lbs. 2 1/2years later lost my husband to cancer. Last year I was at 211lbbs and diagnosed again and again praise God I beat it. Was back up to 220 during treatment. Now I’m at 214lbs and joined last week.
Hi Tina, what a fighter you are! I SO admire your dedication and spirit. My friend, if you can beat cancer, you can handle any eating issues that come your way. 🙂 Let’s stick together and we’ll do this thing.
Hi Sara! My name is Joanna. I’m 39 and have an almost 10 year old boy. I was very athletic growing up and didn’t have problems with weight until my 20’s and life happened lol. Over the past 10 years I’ve struggled with weight loss. I did Weight Watchers first and without even excercising and within 10 months or less I lost 45lbs. I won’t go into it now, but I put all the weight back on and some extra. Then a few years later at the recommendation of my brother, I joined mefifast. I was able to lose 53 lbs. Again, life and other things happened and I’ve put the weight on again. This time Ive been struggling with doing it on my own for awhile because I feel like I know a good bit and can use trackers, etc. plus I have a personal trainer 1 day a week and go to a 1 hr class one day a week. I’m eating fewer calories than alotted and I’m working out. Granted it’s not 5 days a week, but it’s more than I use too. Im thinking that unfortunately sim older now and my body just isn’t the same as it use to be. Reading your article is making me think maybe I need to give Weight Watchers a try again. I just ate spending the money when I don’t have it to spend, but in the long run, I know it’s worth it for my health and my son.
Thank you for inspiring me and if you have any tips or ideas , I’d love to hear them! Thank you! Joanna Jones
Thanks for sharing your experience, Joanna! I could relate to a lot of what you wrote. I really put off going back to WW for a long time because of the money and for other reasons too. Now I wish I hadn’t waited so long. It feels really good to be back and in better control of my eating. Freedom is a little too free for me when it comes to food. This is my thought about paying for WW and other similar weight loss programs. I need to pay. The money I put in helps keep me accountable.
I just joined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago! I lost 9lbs the first week, then totally fell off the wagon lol. About 6 years ago I lost 115lbs and have gained it back. Its great that you realized it was time to address the issue before it was too late!
Hi Melissa, you had an incredible weight loss your first week! Let’s cheer each other on and support one another and do this together. xoxo
Good for you, Sara! I rejoined WW for the “I don’t know how many times” on Dec. 30. I also need the accountability of walking through the doors and stepping on the scale once a week. I’m now down 26.8 lbs. and happy!
Wendy, holy cow that’s a major weight loss in a short amount of time! Way to go!
Christine Krueger says
I love Notting Hill! More than that, though, I miss you. My doctor talked to me about gastric bypass surgery, but with David in college, we can’t afford the cost share. Maybe I should try WW with you……
I have loved with WW program. The points system has clicked and made sense for me. It’s basically counting calories but it’s seemed easier and taken a lot of the work out of it. If you haven’t done it before I would highly recommend meetings to get started.
Sara, my friend…..I know firsthand how *hard* this subject matter is to talk about and appreciate your honesty.
Over the last 2 years, I’ve put on 18 pounds (yikes!) due to a combo of RA meds, steroids, not being able to run anymore, eating total crap to “soothe myself when things aren’t going right”, and a lack of motivation to do what needs to be done. No excuses. Just because my body hurts doesn’t give me carte blanche NOT to provide proper care of myself. I feel like a hypocrite because of my profession. After all, how can I motivate clients to eat clean and exercise regularly when I myself am falling short of those goals?
I’ve been playing around with the idea of going back to WW, since it helped me shed over 100 pounds too. Your post gives me the nudge to do just that. Thank you!
Many *hugs* to you!
Jill, thanks so much for your comment. I know you’ve had many health struggles over these last years. (And I love your honest and insightful blog posts about it here on this website and on your website.) Thank you for your willingness to share in this comment. I know it’s not easy to put the truth out there, especially when we you are in a health profession for a living. I applaud all you are doing and am proud of you. If you decide to join WW, please let me know and we can support each other!
Jeff Marshall says
You realize a blog about NOTTING HILL is now unavoidable.
Yeah! I can’t wait to read a blog about NOTTING HILL.
I just got home from a Weight Watchers meeting. I have been a life member since 1989. That being said, I have lost and gained it all back at least 5 times. I have been at goal for almost 3 years. But this past year I have struggled with family issues and depression. But I am determined this time is different. In the past I would have given up by now and not went back. I am trying to keep my eyes focused on God and my health. Hang in there, it is never easy. God Bless!
Kathy, you are an inspiration! Anyone who has been a lifetime member since 1989 – wow that’s really amazing. I’m so impressed that even though you are going through struggles, you are sticking with it this time. Good for you!
Weight Watchers was the only thing that worked for me and it’s been like 15 years. I’ve tried other things — pills, other programs, Whole30, nothing helped in the long run. After tax season is over (too much stress now), I am rejoining WW online with my boss. So I will look forward to keeping one another accountable and reading your posts on weight loss and health.
That’s great Barbie! I will look forward to us doing it together. We can share tips and recipes! I hear you. I’ve tried many programs as well, and others have been great for helping me learn about nutrition and healthy eating, but nothing has worked as well for me with weight loss as WW. I plan to write more about that in upcoming posts. Unfortunately I can overeat healthy foods and too many calories is still too many calories.
Love Nottingham Hill by the way ?
Me, too! Great movie. Now I want to rewatch it.
Darlene Botts says
Dear Sara, I am proud of you recognizing you need to get a hold of the added pounds and kick them off! My husband lost 120 lbs. over 18 months almost 20 years ago by doing WW at home only. He has kept 110 lbs. off .His life and mine changed dramatically and he continues to use the point system to control his weight. When I retired in 04′ at the young age of 57 I was determined to lose the extra 20 lbs I was carrying. I attended WW religiously for 1 year and struggled with the same 7 lbs!!! YIKES! My leader was wonderful and after one year sat down with me to say WW does not work for about 2% of folks and I was one. I have always been a “gym rat”. Long story short, I finally found “clean eating ” has worked for me along with my beloved yoga, pump, walking and kayaking. My husband and I eat very differently and I am accustomed to weighing food and often preparing 2 different meals. I am 2 lbs. off my desired goal,wanting to add a few as a “buffer”. I will be a young 70 in June, remain active and depend hugely on prayer to manage my life on this side of the cross. I feel good,have always had tons of energy and have not eaten real fast food in over 25 years. I am adding you to my morning prayers for success in your latest weight loss journey. God bless you and yours. Darlene
A move like yours is emotionally draining!!! We have moved a few times. Most recently we moved 2 years ago from NJ to KY and I’m not fully adapted to all the changes yet. But having moved from VT to NJ 13 years before that, I know that with God’s help I will adjust. That move was devastating and I honestly didn’t know what hit me, didn’t realize how much and in what ways the move would affect me. Having been through that I am prepared for the challenges this time. Still not easy, but God is in control. Therefore we are here because he wants us here. I am praying for you. God will never leave you nor forsake you! Deut. 31:6; Hebrews 13:5