My weight loss story is not the story people want to hear. People magazine runs articles about people who lose 100 pounds in five months or people who lose half of themselves in half that long. The populous likes to hear stories about the obsessive compulsive guy who lost weight by eating nothing but rice cakes. They want to hear about the lady who put on a pair of tennis shoes and ran herself thin in record time, eventually winning marathons. My story isn’t nearly as glamorous.
I joined Weight Watchers January 17, 2002. I remember the day because my life really hasn’t been the same ever since. My habits have drastically changed since that day a month before the winter Olympics. What was I thinking? I joined Weight Watchers right before I went to Hawaii for two weeks. I went to Hawaii. I went to Weight Watchers in a Catholic church in Ka’paa. I lost weight on that trip and I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything Hawaiian. I tried all the food, I just logged it in my food journal.
What was I thinking? I’ll tell you. My friend, Stacey Staley, was looking good. She had always looked good, but she had confessed to me a few months earlier that she was the biggest she had ever been. She was wearing a size 14 and I would have killed to fit my size 24 ass into her fitted slacks. Still, she had been unhappy with her appearance. Several months after her confession, she looked amazing. I mentioned it and she whispered to me, “I didn’t want to tell anyone. I joined Weight Watchers and I’ve lost twenty-five pounds.” I was amazed. She ended up losing forty pounds, getting to goal and earning Lifetime with them.
Two months later, I noticed that my sister (also named Stacey) was getting thinner. She had always been more fit than I was, so it wasn’t amazing to me, but I asked her what she was doing. She confessed to me that she had joined Weight Watchers at work. She said that she really liked that she was able to eat at any restaurant. She said I should come because they were starting a new class at her work in January.
After fighting with every diet on the planet, I was tempted by the freedom to eat anything as long as it fit within my points range. I had tried the Atkins Diet, which ended in a bread binge that lasted for months. I had tried Body For Life, which was abandoned when the program didn’t allow for the pain that a new exerciser was going to feel. I was ready for Weight Watchers.
I knew two people who were looking fabulous because of Weight Watchers, so I joined with my sister’s at work program. I was disgusted with my appearance. I was ready to do whatever they told me to do because whatever they had was working. It worked for Stacey Staley and it worked for my sister. My sister was cut from the same cloth as I was. If it worked for her, it would work for me. I joined blindly and followed all of their rules. Forty-five pounds dropped off me with relative ease.
That’s the glamorous side of my story. I lost forty-five pounds in about four months. It was so easy that I was planning on being at my goal weight within the year. But here we are nearing my three year anniversary, and I’m not at goal yet. For awhile, that was really discouraging for me. I felt like I should be at my goal by now. Even though I had lost all that weight, I felt like I was a failure because I wasn’t at my goal yet. Each month that went by made that goal seem so much further away.
It wasn’t the plan’s fault. It’s not like I was staying within my points range and the weight wasn’t budging. No, I couldn’t blame it on Weight Watchers. My weight loss stagnated because I wasn’t following the program. Sure, I would follow it faithfully for a couple of weeks, but then the binges. I had allowed the bingeing to return to my life. I made excuses just like everyone else does. I could list them right now for you, all the excuses that I made for myself. They sounded so valid when I made them, but now they seem empty, like an abandoned hermit crab’s shell.
So here I am. My butt fits easily into those coveted size 14 jeans. I find myself in the strange situation of being where I wanted to be and finding out that it’s not enough. I know Weight Watchers told me that it was not enough, but back when I started with them, all I wanted was to be as thin as Stacey Staley was when she started. Now, I’m there and I realize they were right. My weight needs to be between 109 and 131 just like the little chart says. Losing forty-five pounds isn’t enough for me anymore.
Last Saturday, I was back on track. Last Saturday, I started Weight Watchers again just like I did back in January of 2002. The only difference is that it is so much easier for me now because I know exactly what to do. What is she thinking? Starting a weight loss program right before Christmas? Why doesn’t she just wait?
Nope. Can’t wait. Not one more minute. Not one more second am I going to wait. I can enjoy Christmas and eat healthy. I know this because I’ve done it for the last two Christmases. I can live like this for the rest of my life because this is the healthy way to go. I have cut the bingeing out of my life. That’s the only thing that I needed to do. I just needed to quit making excuses for the binges. You know the excuses (it’s Christmas, we’re on vacation, we’re camping, it’s a party, it’s the weekend, we’re celebrating, ad infinitum). They are crushed under my feet like that empty hermit crab shell. The shards splinter and spray around me and I am released from them forever.
If I lose at a healthy rate, I will be at my goal by October 1, 2005. That seems so far away, but I refuse to do anything unhealthy and losing faster than one or two pounds a week is not healthy. You’ve seen me do amazing things. I lost the first half of my weight without a glitch. I wrote 50,000 words in my novel in a month. I’ve written almost every day in my blog for over a year. I can do amazing things and this is the next one on my list. I will be at goal by October 1, 2005. This year, I’m going to be a vampire for Halloween and knock your socks off. Hope to see you at the party!