Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chapter VI: Weight Loss – Success!

A little more than a month after N turned three, I joined Weight Watchers. I wish I could say I had some great revelation, some big turning point that told me I was ready to embark on the weight loss journey. I did not. I was not keen on the idea of joining, but a coworker kept trying to talk me into it. She was part of a WW group at work, and to keep the group going they had to keep a certain number of paying members. She was trying to round up anybody she could talk into it into joining. I had tried WW a few years before and found it to be too difficult for me to get in the right number of servings of this and that. However, Coworker assured me it was different now, much more flexible. I finally gave in and decided to give it a try.

At the introductory meeting, I was impressed by the Leader of the group. She had lost 40 lbs. on WW. She was enthusiastic, but realistic about the struggles people go through with weight loss. I felt an instant rapport with her, unlike the leader I’d had on my previous WW attempt. The program described was indeed flexible, much more so than the previous version I had tried. I decided to give this thing a try. On my very first weigh-in the scale read 343.4. No wonder I was almost too big for my 32W clothing (not an easy size to find, BTW). I believe I gasped or groaned. I know I gave some indication that I was taken aback by the enormity of the number. Leader said to me, “It’s okay. You’re never going to be that weight again.” I don’t know why, but that was the perfect thing to say to me at that moment. Somehow I felt deep down that she was right, that I was going to be able to make a difference in my weight this time. Wanting to really do it right, to be really committed, I bought the optional books with points for practically every food known to man, the dining out guide, the 12 week journal for tracking my points and the handy dandy carrying case for all of it.

There were three factors that probably contributed to my readiness to lose the weight at that particular time:
*My recognition that my weight was significantly impacting my health and happiness, but this was not enough without the second and third factors.
*I was comfortable in my life – my job was good, my home life was good, finances were good, N was a joy, I was actively involved in my church. Life wasn’t perfect, but it was comfortable. I was comfortable.
*My focus was on being healthy and eating healthy, not losing weight. I used the WW rules as a guide to healthy eating (limiting calories and fat while including fiber, eating veggies and fruits, drinking water, getting 2-3 servings of dairy per day) and focused on that rather than on the scale.

The weekend after joining WW, I left on a two week vacation to Las Vegas and Flagstaff. Maybe this wasn’t the best time to try a new weight loss thing. Maybe it was. The journaling aspect of WW was right up my alley. I’m a list maker by nature; tracking points fit right in to that nature. At my weight, I was allowed a substantial amount of points (don’t remember exactly how many, but I believe it was around 34 or 35 at approx. 50 calories/point) per day. I quickly learned how to choose lower point options in place of some of my high point favorites. I won’t say it was easy all the time, but for the most part it was. I was not struggling to stay within my points range on most days. I was not feeling deprived most times.

I returned home from vacation, and at the next WW meeting (having missed two while on vacation) I had lost 11 lbs. What a great start! I was so buoyed by this early success that I started to really believe that I could do this. And I did. I even started walking about 30 minutes a day through our neighborhood. N loved our walks together. So did I. I did very well for two years, eventually hitting an all-time post-college low of 197 lbs.

Then life became much, much less comfortable. I lost my job due to the company filing bankruptcy. Since N’s arrival, W and I had discussed the possibility of moving closer to family. We took the job situation to be a sign that the time was right to move. We decided to move back to LOH, the city where I started my adult life, close to my family. This would give N the chance to have a closer relationship with his grandparents than the once or twice a year visits we could manage when we lived so far away. Ten months after the company first declared bankruptcy I was laid off. I had known for about six months what my layoff date would be so we had planned our move as well as we could. I had no job to go to but had made several contacts on two trips to LOH. On one of these trips, we house hunted and purchased a nice, but affordable, home. Our old house sold quickly which was a blessing, but also a curse as it gave us less than 30 days from my layoff date to be out. That last month was a whirlwind of activity. I did manage to stay on WW throughout all of this, partly due to the wonderful support of Leader and partly due to the fact that it was the only thing in my life I felt I had any control over. I had not yet reached my low of 197 but was at about 220 when we made our move.

To be continued. . .

Next installment: Turning the corner from weight loss to gain, again


Anonymous said...

I lost 13 lbs in only two weeks by obeying this one easy rule

Anonymous said...

I lost 13 lbs in only two weeks by obeying this one easy rule

Trueself said...

Because of shit like the two comments above I am closing the comments for this post after I leave this comment.

There are not enough foul words in the English language for me to adequately express my feelings about the people who left these comments.