One Year of Commitment
This isn't just any new year. This year, something feels different. It's a mind shift that I didn't see coming; it's a totally new slate. I'm ready to get healthy, lose weight, and live my life to the fullest in every sense of the word.
And listen -- this ain't my first ride around this rodeo (or something like that). I've been here before, many times. Correction: I've thought I've been here many times, only to discover I wasn't really where I needed to be. My head was playing all sorts of games.
But I have been here a few times: The first time I lost a bunch of weight and kept it off for many years (story forthcoming). The day I quit smoking. The day I discovered I HAD to work for myself or I'd always feel as if my soul was being sucked out of my left nostril.
All of these days felt the same as today. It's a quiet resolve -- the kind you don't really feel the need to tell anyone about. It's more like a knowing than a hoping, and that's what makes it so powerful. You just know this time will be different, and because you know, it is.
Where I've Been
My kids dug an ancient issue of SHAPE Magazine out of somewhere, and were instantly indignant that they'd never known I was featured in its pages. Many years ago, I'd lost 13 pounds on Weight Watchers and discovered Martial Arts, and submitted my success story to the magazine hoping for my first publication. Unfortunately, it didn't work like that -- they basically took the facts of my story and re-wrote them. Back then, I was devastated because I hadn't actually earned a by-line -- I was so used to the success of my weight loss, I hardly saw it as a win anymore.
I LOVED the Weight Watchers program. Back then, I worked the entire program online (I've never been a meeting type of person). The weight just seemed to fall off of me, and the program was ridiculously easy to use. Of course, so much was different then. I was not yet a mom, so I had plenty of time (and cash) to indulge in salad making and luxury workouts at the gym. I lived the corporate life, structured by long hours, working lunches, and the Tupperware containers I carried my lunch in every day, points diligently counted. The fact that I was fifteen years younger than I am now didn't hurt, either. (#HormonesSuck)
It all went off the rails after pregnancy. Don't get me wrong -- I love my kids. But bloated bellies, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and no time to yourself make for lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with cookie chasers, and exercise consists of the bicep curl you get lifting your fifth cup of coffee (and it's corresponding muffin) up to your mouth.
In the time since I had kids, I gained all those thirteen pounds back, plus some. I'm currently at the heaviest I've ever been, having topped the scales back in October at a whopping 180.1 on my 5'4" frame. Not only am I not happy about this extra weight, it's making me super uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable to sit, and it's uncomfortable to go for the runs I used to love. It's uncomfortable to shop for clothes, and the day it got hard to tie my shoes was a bad day indeed.
I've Tried All The Things
I've lost and gained these pounds back over and over again over these fifteen years, too. I started and stopped my Weight Watchers membership a gazillion times. I joined one of those meal replacement programs -- a few of them, actually. One wanted me to eat 1 meal a day and replace the rest with shakes. Every few weeks it wanted me to not eat at all for two days. Another one wanted me to eat a "meal" that came in powder form in little envelope 5 times a day. I've seen nutritionists, health coaches, and even a doctor who put me on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, swearing he could turn back time.
None of it worked.
Not for any length of time, anyway. I lost weight on that powdered food thing, but who can eat like that forever? Who would want to? Who could afford it?
Then, the Sunday after this past Thanksgiving, I started fresh -- I re-joined Weight Watchers. This time, though, I didn't reactivate my old membership. I started clean, like a Weight Watchers virgin! No long history where my failures seemed to overshadow my success. I'm simply not the same person I used to be anymore, and I'm glad for it. For every pound I've gained, I got a side dish of wisdom and experience to go with it. Now, as I begin to release those pounds back into the universe, I'll keep those side dishes as tasty ways to snack on life -- intelligently, mindfully, and with a whole lot of hard-won soul.
The Prodigal Daughter Returns To Weight Watchers
Although I knew how it all worked -- I got the points system, I knew all the foods to eat, I knew tracking is key -- I knew Weight Watchers was the best program around, and yet I just couldn't commit to it. I had a lot of thinky-thoughts in my head that were messing with my game. You probably know what I'm talking about. Stuff like:
If I don't lose more than two pounds this week, forget it! It's not worth it.
If I lose more than two pounds this week, I'm eating a whole pizza!
I ate a Fudgesicle, therefore my entire week is ruined. I'll just start again on Monday.
You probably have a few of your own similar thoughts, am I right?
This time, though, I'm in it for the long haul. I'm not looking for instant results, I'm looking for long-term change. When I signed up back in November, I decided to commit to going to meetings (yes, me. Meetings. I told you I wasn't the same person.) for one whole year. Of course, I can't "end" my journey in the middle of next November. I will have to "end" on December 31, 2018, because OCD and perfectionism and all, but I figure there are worse things to be a wackadoodle about.
When I weighed in that "first" time, I came in just under my top weight at 179.8. Today, I've lost a total of 2.8 pounds -- did I mention we're smack in the middle of the holidays?
I'm a writer, and words are the way I process stuff, so I figured, maybe it will be fun to journal about this journey. Maybe it'll be help me to write about what I'm doing, what's working, what I find works, and what doesn't. I guess it'll also keep me honest, since I'll have to write about my failures as much as my successes.
I'll also share my favorite tools (my ALL TIME favorite blender for soups and smoothies, planners, etc.). And every Sunday, I'll pop in here to share my weight. I do have an additional motivation -- I set a Healthy Wager a while back and if I hit 156.5 by April 16th, I win $250. So there's that :)
I hope you'll join me! If you want to get these blog posts (and occasionally some other stuff I put out) delivered right to your inbox, just pop your info in the space below, and we'll do this thing together!