Today is Saturday, August 29, 2015. While I struggle to lose the remainder of my weight, I would like to reflect today on what I have learned after making the decision to join Weight Watchers.
In March 2011, I sat at my desk listening to the morning news while writing. Jennifer Hudson appeared in a commercial as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. I observed how great she looked. I was envious. She mentioned she lost over 80 pounds on Weight Watchers. To say I was envious was an understatement.
That unique little voice echoed in my head. “If she can do this, so can you.”
I Googled ‘Weight Watchers’ https://welcome.weightwatchers.com/ – reading several posts, clicking on to a site, reading. Reading. JUST READING.
I was intrigued. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2005; afraid I would need insulin injections like my husband I decided to change my lifestyle. Meeting with my doctor, we discussed my trying to get the Diabetes under control with Metformin. My doctor knows how frightened I am of injections. He encouraged me to change and shake up my lifestyle, along with my eating habits. I left his office saying to myself, “You can do this.” Little did I know how important those four words would become for me.
On that date, I chose to change my eating habits. Gone were unhealthy snacks. No junk food, especially at work. In place were healthy fruits and vegetables and healthy cooking. My doctor said he would give me one year to lower my A1C levels. Three months later, I returned to him to check my blood sugars. He noted that when I came to him three months earlier, my A1C level was over 7.0. According to his scales, I had lost 14 pounds – in three months! After lab work had returned, I was told my A1C level was 5.7! He shook my hand, saying to me — “Whatever you are doing now, let’s continue it. I rarely see any patient lower their A1C levels as quickly as you.”
After losing those 14 pounds, I struggled to lose more. Although I was eating healthy now, the pounds refused to decrease. Every three months, I went to my doctor for blood work and health check ups. I lost an additional five pounds, but I felt so alone, depressed and confused about why I could not lose any more weight.
Flash Forward to 2011:
On the date I watched the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers commercial, I was even more depressed about losing weight. Although I tried, nothing was working. A voice inside my head said: “Get up from this chair. Go to a Weight Watchers meeting.”
I remembered the last time I joined Weight Watchers so many years ago. The way Weight Watchers worked back then is members had to eat liver. Only one-half of a banana. Just what would I do with the other half? I had no idea. I don’t remember all of the programs at that time, but I knew it would not suit my needs since my husband refused to eat liver, and I detested it too! I remember the weigh-ins back then. Walking into the room where other members stood. A beige curtain was provided, with a scale. Stepping on the scale revealed the weight loss, or heaven forbid — a weight gain. Weigh-ins during this time were not private. I detested the weigh-ins. Snoopy people at the meeting could cast their nosey eyes at the scale, and I heard whispers — something to the effect of — “Did you see what she weighs?” How I detested these Snoopy, cruel women! I quit!
As hard as I tried to ignore the encouragement from a simple advertisement on the TV, a voice echoed to me. “Get dressed. Go to the meeting.” What was the catchy phrase I read on the website? “Confidential weigh-ins?” I was intrigued. “Just what is a confidential weigh-in?”
“Go to the meeting…” Frightening thoughts entered my head. I knew I wanted to lose more weight. The question was HOW? “I can’t,” I whispered while remembering that “I can’t actually means — I WON’T!”
Reluctantly, I dressed and drove to the meeting. I had a shopping bag in my car, deciding that IF I recognized anyone, I would place that shopping bag over my head.
Just before 10:00 am, I entered the meeting. My heart raced. My hands trembled. My palms were sweaty. “Please God, get me through this day.”
I completed the paperwork. A pleasant woman with auburn hair and a most inviting smile approached me. “Hello.” She said. “My name is Kathy. I’m your leader.”
I whispered my name, refusing to make eye contact. She gathered my papers and guided me to the ‘confidential scales.’
This should be interesting, I thought.
I stepped on the scales – more of a bathroom scale than the type most doctors use. I looked down. “Where are the numbers?” I asked. “Have I broken the scales?”
The receptionist smiled. “Only I can see the numbers. It’s Ok. You’re amongst friends.”
She wrote the number down on a booklet and handed it to me. Mortified, I got off the scales, wiping tears from my eyes. “This was official,” I whispered. “You are now a member of Weight Watchers.”
The next week I practiced and studied all the information Weight Watchers gave me. I jumped on the scales, convinced I lost about three pounds. The Weight Watchers scales revealed I had lost .06 of a pound. I screamed, gathered my things ready to stomp out of the meeting. Week One and I was a loser…not of pounds…but a loser for my life.
Kathy, the leader, rushed to my side. “Every loss is a loss,” she said. “You can do this.” Her demeanor convinced me to stay.
And so — I did.
What have I learned during this four-year journey?
1. Weight Watchers is a healthy way of life.
2. I am not alone on this journey. I have made loyal, encouraging and trusting friends. Together we can do this!
3. Weight Watchers IS a way of life – NOT A DIET…
4. Exercise! EXERCISE! EX-ERCISE!
5. Without Weight Watchers, I would continue to gain — not lose.
Over this summer, I have been on a roller coaster ride with Weight Watchers. Why? I’ve asked myself that same question. At Weight Watchers meetings, I have learned to track my food intake. However, what I haven’t learned – or practiced too well – is:
Weekends. How do I survive weekends?
Friday nights – we do karaoke. I usually have one or two drinks. Last night, I had one!
Saturday and Sundays are always a test. I think I’ve actually allowed myself just to go with the flow, eating whatever I want.
The time is now to go on record to say — I will do better. How? Portion control.
I must lose the remainder of my weight. What works so well with Weight Watchers is the points system. I have 26 points to eat daily. Lately, I haven’t practiced portion control.
When I mentioned to my leader that I was having too much trouble being on a yo-yo or a roller coaster, she gave me a nice compliment. “Just look at the inches you’ve lost. Maybe for now, you should focus on the inches and not so much on the weight.”
Good advice. My body is slimming down, and I am proud to wear the clothing I wear now. Nevertheless, I am still focused on the number on the scale, not what I see in the mirror.
Someone mentioned a beautiful quote I try to remember:
When you attend the meetings at Weight Watchers, the meetings need you. When you miss a meeting, YOU need Weight Watchers!
I suppose I should just consider that my body is changing -for the better…and I WILL continue this journey. Weight Watchers is now a part of my life. I’ve met two incredible friends at Weight Watchers. One of the ladies is a beautiful dark haired Greek woman. She is lifetime now. My other friend is a lovely, caring blonde woman riding on that roller coaster ride with me. Together we are either on a see-saw or a yo-yo. Together, we are determined to do this. After all, Weight Watchers is a valuable part of our lives now. “Yes…We can do this!”
Stay tuned for more details…Meanwhile, I must go get on the treadmill. After Labor Day, we plan to walk the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. I’m so excited!
“Yes…We CAN do this!”