So why did I choose to go on the Weight Watcher's program? Well, it is because Weight Watcher's is ingrained in my head. I have joined Weight Watchers so many times I have lost count.
So, you may wonder why I would go back to a program which doesn't seem to work for me? The truth is the program does work for me. It works very well for me and is quite simple for me to follow. My problems in the past did not have to do with the program. My problems had arisen when I would go off of the program. It is a fact in my life, when I go off of a healthy, nutritious eating plan I gain weight. I usually gain back all of the weight I lost. Therefore, the issue for me to be successful is not so much in the losing of the weight, but in keeping the weight off once I have lost it.
In August of 2003, after going through a horrible divorce, I woke up one Saturday morning, got dressed, and drove a mile down the road to a Weight Watcher's meeting. I hadn't thought a lot about joining. I just went and did it. I pretty much figured it would be like all of the other times I had joined and I would last a week, maybe two, or possibly even a month or more. I had no idea at the time this would be the beginning of my success story.
I followed the Weight Watcher's Points Program to the letter of the law. I didn't allow myself to cheat, not even once. When the holidays started to roll around in October, November, and December, I stayed on program by eating healthy alternatives to the normally high fat, high calorie holiday treats. I didn't feel deprived at all. I was quite proud of being able to actually lose weight during that time of year when most people are putting on a few pounds. By January of 2004, I had lost fifty pounds!
One important thing I was doing differently this time which I hadn't done in past attempts to lose weight was the exercising component of the program. This time, I was a member of the woman's gym, Curves. I was working out faithfully 3 times a week, and I was learning to love exercise for the first time in my life.
My health was not very good when I started Weight Watcher's and Curves in August of 2003. I was taking medication for high blood pressure and diabetes. I really felt horrible all of the time, and I could feel my body slowly shutting down. It was hard for me to walk up a flight of stairs. My back was constantly hurting. I didn't sleep well. All of these ailments became a distant memory by the spring of 2004. I no longer took any medication. I could almost jog up a flight of stairs. My back no longer hurt, and I was sleeping more soundly. I basically was feeling GREAT!
As time went on, I continued on my program. By June of 2004, I had lost 100 pounds! By August, my anniversary for joining Weight Watcher's, I was down 120 pounds! I had been in two 5K's, and had started hiking in the mountains several times a week. I was the happiest I had been in my entire life. I was even becoming somewhat of a celebrity around town. People from Weight Watcher's, Curves, my church, or the school where I taught were constantly complimenting me on my success. Surprisingly, people I had never met would even come up to me and ask if I was the person they saw walking/jogging down the street. They would always have something nice to say to me. I also had a lot of people asking me for advice on how to lose weight. They wanted to know what my secret was. Most people assumed I had surgery and were somewhat disbelieving when I told them I hadn't.
In January 2005, I was down 150 pounds! A friend of mine from work, asked if I would speak about my weight loss to a group of women at her church. I hate speaking in front of adults, but I said I would. I got a bit nervous, but I had a lot of fun telling the ladies about my weight loss story. I really wanted to share my success by helping others to have a healthy lifestyle. I even contemplated changing careers and becoming a dietitian. My dream was to one day be a Weight Watcher's leader.
Then, in February of 2005, I hit my first stumbling block. I was only 8 pounds away from goal, and I had my first slip. I was away for a couple of days at a convention for work when I decided to eat a few things I shouldn't have. I thought I would be fine and when I got home I would get right back on program. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The couple of days of eating badly turned into a week off of program and a twelve pound gain! I was horrified! How could I have stumbled so close to achieving my goal weight. My Weight Watcher's leader told me she wasn't surprised. She has seen it happen before. For some reason, being that close to goal was a scary thing for me. In my whole life I had never weighed a normal weight. I had always been overweight. Now that I was normal, I was sabotaging myself subconsciously.
For the next six months, I struggled with eating correctly. I would be back on program for a few weeks, and then I would have a bad week off of program. I would lose a few pounds and then I would gain a few pounds. It was very frustrating for me.
I no longer went to Curves because I had joined Gold's Gym in December of 2004, at the urging of my doctor. He told me I had come to a point where Curves was not benefiting me physically. I needed a more intense workout. I loved going to Gold's. I even had a personal trainer I was working with a couple of days a month. Once I began struggling with my eating, my exercising also became a problem. Before long, I wasn't exercising like I should, and my hiking had come to an end.
It was at this time I met my future husband. I was planning a summer wedding, trying to sell my house, packing my things for the big move, closing out the school year, and searching for a job in a new city all at once. Saying it was a bit overwhelming is an understatement. Looking back a year later, I wonder how I survived. When I am that busy it is very hard to take the time to prepare healthy meals and go to the gym.
I did work really hard on my diet in July because I had a wedding dress to fit into. By the middle of July, I was driving with my fiance to my new home thousands of miles away. We were married a week later. At the wedding reception, I let down my food guard again and ate some wedding cake. I continued eating that whole weekend and into the next week. On our one week anniversary, I could no longer fit into my wedding dress. That was embarrassing! For some reason, I was rapidly gaining weight. I didn't just gain a pound or two. It was more like 15-20. I was worried, but figured I would get right back on program and lose the weight.
Well, all of the stresses in my life involved with a new marriage, living far away from my three children, finding a new job, moving to a new state, going to a new church, finding new doctors, etc. were more than I could deal with. I turned to my old friends - M&M's, cookies, cake, ice cream, French bread, pancakes, butter, fried chicken, steak, etc. to help me through the transition from my old life to my new life. Unfortunately for me, in the process my new body was replaced with my old body.
Over the past eleven months, I have tried to stop eating. I joined Weight Watcher's twice, but just couldn't commit to doing the program again. I tried The South Beach Diet for a day or two. I watched The Biggest Loser looking for inspiration. I bought books and magazines to read about the latest dieting sensations. But, nothing I did put an end to my eating binge until now.
I joined Weight Watcher's Online the end of April, but I didn't commit to the program until last week. It is a daunting task ahead of me to lose over 150 pounds again. I know I can do it because I did it once before. It may not come off as fast as last time, but it will eventually come off. And, this time I am going to make it all the way down to my goal weight!