Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lengthy First Introduction

So, I am back on Weight Watchers (WW) for the 5th time. I am determined that the 5th time is the final restart and that I continue with the plan for life. I know the plan has worked for me. I don't want t temporary solution or fad diet. I want something that I can live with. I love the accountability and I love the support network.

I am short - 5'1". At my height, there is no hiding extra weight. I need to embrace that fact and move on. I have never been the type of person who could eat what they wanted (or what my peers ate) without gaining weight - not even as a child. I know many people who have "worse" eating habits than I do who don't gain the weight. That's not me and I also need to accept that. I am impatient. I like my instant gratification. I don't mind working hard (quite hard) for something I want. But, I like to see the output. I need to be more patient with this process.

Some history about my prior experiences with WW:

In 2000:

I just had my son and knew I needed to lose weight. My friend was on WW so I decided to go with her to the meeting. I weighed in at 180 lbs (far above my comfort zone), got the materials and went on my way. I was not incredibly motivated at the time. I joined with people who I didn't think needed to lose weight in the first place and I wasn't quite sure how it would work for me. Plus, since I just had a baby, wasn't I going to drop the weight on my own? Wrong! I think I journaled for one day and realized how many points a club sandwich was. I felt like I couldn't be bothered by counting and journaling - so I never went back. I decided instead to join a health club and exercise it off. The funny thing is, the exercise alone didn't work and my eating habits never changed.

In 2003:

I hit a wall. I was just over 200 lbs, which was devastating. My "new baby" was 2 and I saw a picture of myself that was beyond unflattering - and worse, a true snapshot of what I had become. My perfect friend asked me to be in her wedding (which in my mind equated ordering a dress of which she may learn my size and large group of other friends passing judgement on how I let myself go). I remember the moment of clarity as if it were yesterday. I had just ordered a meatball sandwich from the local pizza parlor and when it came I threw it away - opting for a workout video instead. I started eating healthy and exercising. But I had no real direction. I had recently seen some friends and family who lost a significant amount of weight. They all found success with WW. I figured that I would give it another try. I talked my mom into joining with me which was a great decision to buddy up with someone I felt very comfortable with.

I joined a local meeting and loved the leader. She was funny and inspiring. What's more, I was successful. I followed the flex plan (when I started that was the only plan). I was walking at lunch and exercising at night. I was determined. The weight seemed to melt away. I was losing a good amount each week. It seemed too good to be true. It was not difficult to follow and I reached my goal in about 6 months. I also went past that goal to lose another 20 pounds. I was the picture of success... However, maintenance was another story. Apparently I like the challenge of losing and seeing the numbers go down. The numbers couldn't go down anymore. There was a pressure to keep the loss and for some reason I was hungrier than ever. I started with gummy savers, then trail mix and soon enough - made more exceptions. I stopped journaling and stopped attending meetings. I also stopped exercising. Needless to say - it all came back. I vowed to never let that happen - why oh why did I undo all of the work? I fell off the wagon big time and waved as it fleeted away.

In 2005:

It's sad being a former success story. I had become what I had feared - the "she'll gain it all back" diet failure. I ballooned back up to just above 200 lbs - again. By the way, what's with hovering around that same number each time I gain? Is that what my fat self likes to settle at? Or do I just get to that threshold and decide to diet? My mother experiences the same thing. We tend to lose together and gain together. We don't live or eat together so it's odd. We both settle at our same top weights, respectively.

I decided to give it another try. I was determined, again, because I wanted to be proud of myself again. My kids didn't even remember the "thin" me. I wanted to make them proud. I returned to WW and felt much more comfortable following flex than alternating with core. I liked the idea of core foods and firmly believe that flex is not a license to mindlessly indulge. In fact, I would much rather have more healthy food than less junk food. But, I feel much safer with flex and heck - it worked last time.

I dropped aroud 50 lbs. I was getting compliments again and then... I stopped. Again - why oh why? I hadn't even reached goal this time! I had little excuses, like the guy with the road rage in he parking lot of the meeting building - but really, I gave up on myself.

In 2006:

This one is hardly worth mentioning. I think I lasted a week... I had no true motivation.

In 2007:

Here I was, back at 206 lbs. Enough already! I avoid social functions, I sit out on activities that I would normally enjoy, I dread vacations... I am so disgusted with myself because I have not only gained but I have let myself go. I don't look in the mirror, I hate shopping for clothes, I don't style my hair or put on make up anymore. I am not representing myself well and I am through.

So here is a breakdown of my final restart -

April 18 - Started on plan again

April 28 - Attended first meeting

May 5 - Attended second meeting

May 12 - Attended third meeting

May 19 - Attended fourth meeting...and I am off...

I am down about 12 lbs total from when I started on again. But, in since my first WW weigh in, I am down 6.4 lbs. I know that I shouldn't complain and I know that any loss at all should be celebrated. But, my losses since my initial weigh in a low compared to my other WW experiences. I am 31 now - is that truly the start of the metabolic demise? Anyway, I won't be defeated and I will continue on. Even though the scale is not going down as much as I'd like, I have some NSVs. I just need a measuring tape to confirm! I can tell that I am losing inches. : )

One thing that I wish I were better with is journaling. For some reason this time I stick to calculating points in my head, which may be part of the problem. My goal is to journal more. It's a solid goal.

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