So I wrote *most* of this back in March at my 7 year anniversary walking in the door. But I’m posting it here for two reasons: 1) It still applies and 2) today is another anniversary – 5 years at goal! So I’m all pumped!
It’s been 7 years since I walked in the Weight Watchers door to join this last time around. It’s the 6th time around. This is by far the longest I’ve stuck with any weight loss/maintenance journey. And as a good little Weight Watcher member I have observed so many things.
I’ve had to learn patience. First as a member – and now as a leader. I gained my first three weeks – a bit odd, I know, but I’m a bit odd. And then I started losing. Point two… another point two… then up a bit… then down point four…. And so on – never once losing more in a week than a point four. Now at the time I cried, pouted, stomped my foot, wished horrible things on those losing faster (I never said I was a nice person.) But as I got smaller in size I realized that God was looking out for me this time around. Now I know some of you don’t believe in God – and that’s okay. But I do and I *firmly* believe that in His infinite wisdom he had me lose excruciatingly slowly so that I’d learn. You see when I walked in 7 years ago, I was petrified of losing weight only to do what I’ve always done and gain it back again. But I had no choice. My genes are horrible. I was on a path of medication and laziness and poor habits. So I had to learn patience. I literally typed the dictionary definition in a large font and posted it on my office wall. I’d work so very hard all week. I stayed on plan. I tracked every bite, lick and taste. After a great week I foolishly looked forward to the weigh in – just *KNOWING* I’d done great. Well for me *GREAT* was .4 down. So many people tell me that I’m so patient. Well I am now because before I had to be patient with others, I had to be patient with myself.
There is no such thing as “only losing ___.” None. If you lost, be happy. I wasn’t and it did me no good. If you did what you should do and lost – that’s fantastic. Do it again. If you did all the right things and gained – don’t panic. It’ll right itself. Relax – this is not a game that’s measured in weeks.
I have watched those on this board carefully. I’ve noticed the same as I’ve noticed in my meetings – those who restrict themselves and get totally frustrated with “ONLY A 2 LB LOSS” will quit. They don’t last. Clichés are clichés because they’re true. When people say this is a lifestyle – they mean it. It couldn’t be more true. I’ve seen those that stay the course – at goal or not – are the ones that will succeed long term. Those that accept changes in their life as permanent will get *there* – wherever *there* is.
There are so many ways of following a weight loss/maintenance. Going to meetings. Counting calories. No carb. No grains. Vegetarian vs eating meat. Gluten free….sugar free. Whatever. There’s no judgment on the *right* way. Not from me anyway – because I had to learn my way and I had to learn slowly. I choose to live life happy. I believe it burns calories.
My victories: I’ve maintained my weight loss for 5 years! My family see me as happy in doing what I’m doing and they make choices in their lives based on happiness. I do this when I’m motivated or not. Nothing helps motivation more than being successful on those days that I “don’t feel like it”. My friends no longer ask me if I can eat “that” on Weight Watchers. My friends and extended family have been inspired and ask for help and recipes finally knowing that all those times I cooked for them and they said “I’m so glad you went off your diet for this” they now know that I went off nothing. The clothes in my closet that I’m donating IS my size and just no longer in style. My cholesterol is 125. Being in good shape has helped me through some major physical challenges. I ran a half marathon. I love trying on clothes. I wear belts. I’ve helped 4 of my members lose over 100 pounds and one of them lose 200 pounds. I’ve helped people I don’t even know. I’ve learned from my members. I’m NEVER embarrassed anymore about talking to a chef or a waiter telling them I’m trying to eat healthy and what do they have to recommend. I’ve met many people since I’ve lost who never knew my “before.” I have a love affair with bacon and I fit it in on my plan. My husband eats kale. No experience is wasted. Sooooooooo many others.
Document your victories – whatever they are. Pay attention and really ask yourself if you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t do this for anyone but the fantastic person in the mirror. Don’t eat anything that isn’t worth it. Fit this way of eating in to your life and don’t try to fit your life in to your eating. Do NOT try to do this on the minimum amount. Learn something from everyone you meet. Try new things. Forgive yourself often. Don’t measure how good you are by your food choices. Find a way to do it on days you really don’t want to. Reward yourself often – but not with food – you’re not a dog. Enjoy yourself.