Friday, March 12, 2010

My Weight Watchers Story

Most people who know me know that I've been on Weight Watchers for a while. Since June 2008 to be exact. My weight loss could be described as less than stellar. Well maybe that's not entirely fair. Its been slow. Very, very slow.

Since this is my blog about my life I guess I'll share my Weight Watchers story with whoever is reading. I've been slightly overweight, I guess you can say pudgy, all or almost all of my life. Luckily my parents always encouraged me to play sports, so I spent much of my childhood on the soccer field. I firmly believe that all of that soccer helped me stay thinner through most of high school. After graduating I wasn't playing soccer at all, in fact I was pretty inactive. I gained about ten pounds before I even stepped foot on a college campus.

Then came what I like to call my freshman nine. Cafeteria food including lots of ice cream made a home for itself on my hips and waist. Then came the break-up weight, cue another 9 pounds. A long-term boyfriend and I broke up half-way through my second year. That's right, I put on about 30 pounds in less than two years.

I was surprisingly ok like that for a while. I mean I knew I was overweight, but I wasn't putting on any more weight, but I wasn't taking any off either. The summer after my third year my mom's whole family rented a beach house for a week down in Savannah. I was heartbroken when I saw the pictures. Compared to all of my cousins (who are all teeny tiny) I looked like a giant. I couldn't take it anymore. Plus my best friend had recently gotten engaged and asked me to be the Maid of Honor at her wedding. I decided to join Weight Watchers.

Luckily I found a meeting with a leader, Cheryl, that I love. Between July and Thanksgiving 2008 I lost 21.4 pounds. Then life got in the way. I've always been a stress eater and finals were tough that semester. What started as a two week "break from Weight Watchers" turned into an eating free-for-all my last semester of college. It felt like everyday was "the last time I could eat" this or that it was going to be the last time I could do something or another, always revolving around food, of course.

By the time I moved back home in June, I had gained back 18 pounds of the 21 I had lost. I finally, finally recommitted to Weight Watchers and to myself this past August. Since then I've lost 11 pounds and 16 pounds overall, which is nothing stellar. Lesson learned: once its off, bust your butt to keep it off. I never thought that it would be so hard to take it off again, it had been relatively easy for the first part of my weight loss journey.

But I have learned a lot of important things about myself, life, and food since I've been on Weight Watchers. I know that I never quit, even if there are major set-backs. I've learned that I'd rather run long distances than be overweight. I've learned that I love to exercise. Seriously, I love it. I've learned that I'm an emotional eater and I eat especially when I'm lonely or stressed. I've learned that chocolate doesn't have to control my life (but I am still trying to learn this lesson as it applies to chips and salsa). I've learned that I feel better and more energized when I eat more natural foods.

Losing weight is the hardest thing I have ever done. It takes a lot, and I mean A LOT of hard work and dedication. But its not like anything I've ever done before. This is a lifetime commitment. In school, there is always the end of the year and at work there is always the end of a project; there's always some kind of an end in sight. As for staying healthy and losing weight, the end is....death?!?!?

And in regards to hard work, I can make great, smart, healthy choices all week and my body might not respond right away. I could be retaining water, getting over an injury or illness or have a slip up that throws me off of my game and shows up on the scale. In school, I studied until I knew it. I took the test. I did well. If losing weight was like that, I'd be much closer to my goal weight by now. Its overwhelming at times, and its overwhelming now.

Ok, end long, rambling, overly-detailed post! Thanks for reading!

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