part two: thoughts on weight loss
This is part two, so read this post first. I wrote this post today, whereas the other post was written 8 months ago. :-) It took me so long to write this because believe it or not it’s been a hard topic for me to talk about. I think it’s good to talk about though because so many people struggle with this same thing.
About a year ago, Paul took a picture of me that later, when I saw it, made me ashamed. I was wearing a shirt that was too small and had horizontal stripes, and instead of the normally trim girl I have always been, I looked like a fat blob.
It was what I needed. Paul wanted me to lose weight, I could tell, and I thought it was only fair to him to have a healthy, in-shape wife. I tried a couple of things until I found something that was really, really good for me. I found a Weight Watchers group and went every week. I lost almost 20 lbs in about 5 months and only quit because I got pregnant.
I was ashamed to talk about Weight Watchers. For one thing, I can hide my weight pretty well because it tended to all be in my stomach and waist. People who knew me were shocked when I told them how much I actually weighed. (And, none of it was muscle… it was all flabby fat.) I was ashamed to need to be on a diet. I never realized how almost all of my friends are nice and trim… They do things right, eat right, and their biggest trouble is keeping weight on. And of course, there are lots of opinions out there on the best way to lose weight and what is “healthy”, and people are happy to share that with you, and some of the most hurtful comments I got were from these people.
But, here I am, talking about it now. I think it’s important because I learned one thing through this experience that I never realized before:
It is hard to lose weight.
I want you to remember that because you might be like I was, and critical of people who are overweight. Watch them grab another Coke and point your nose up in disgust and say “Well their weight is their own doing.” It might be true. But that doesn’t make it easy. Habits are hard to break, and it’s probably something that will be a lifetime struggle. Gosh, I only got a small taste of it, but enough of an experience that I will try to never judge someone because of their weight. That doesn’t mean I don’t think people should try to lose weight… Just know how hard it is to get there.
I tried Weight Watchers and I would do it again – it was definitely worth the money. First, we had weekly meetings. Our leader would talk about how to overcome struggles, how to deal with things like holidays that revolved around food, how to motivate yourself, and all sorts of good things that were applicable. I appreciated the positive-reinforcement they practiced. They celebrated victories, even small ones! And Weight Watchers has lots of little goals; your first 5 lbs, your first 10 lbs, 10% of your starting weight, etc. They celebrate each one which helped me tremendously.
We weighed-in privately at the beginning of each meeting. That was incredibly valuable for me. I don’t own a scale, and so I relied on those weigh-ins to track my progress. The computer would calculate how you did… even if you lost 0.2 lbs the person who weighed me in would congratulate me! Every little bit is an achievement. I needed that.
I did the points system of keeping my eating in check. That definitely worked for me. They calculate the points by taking the calories, the fat, and the fiber of each food. You were allotted a certain about of points each day that related directly to your weight (so you gradually decreased your points as you lost weight), and “bonus points” for the week to help cover any “oops” moments. While figuring out points all the time was a pain in the neck, it also made me more aware of what I was eating. It also helped me to realize I could have one cookie instead of two and that was okay. I think my favorite part was the flexibility to go to a friend’s house and have pizza without feeling guilty, and just adjust the next few days to account for that. And I started thinking about food in the way of, “Is this worth the points?” Some foods just aren’t worth it to me, so it was easier to turn them down. At the end of the week, if I had extra points, I’d reward myself with a Frosty or something fun. Being able to still enjoy those treats really helped me be better about what I was doing the rest of the time.
One criticism I’ve heard is that just taking in fat and calories doesn’t make a healthy diet. That’s true. Diet Coke is 0 points, but I’m sure it’s not really that much healthier than regular Coke! But that’s when you use the brain God gave you and work within the system to eat the right foods. Ultimately you want to get to a point where your normal diet allows you to stay within a good, healthy weight. Water is the best drink out there, so focus on drinking 0 point water and save the Diet Coke for a special occasion! (Or regular Coke, which is 2 points, because I can’t stand the taste of Diet Coke or Coke Zero.) And of course, it’s not just about the pounds you weigh but also overall health; it’s just much easier to track pounds.
I think that my ideal, healthy weight is probably 40 pounds less than when I started, which means I have some more to go. But, I know it’s a bad idea to diet while you’re pregnant so I’m going to hold off on trying to lose it until after the baby comes. I am worried about trying to get the baby weight off PLUS the extra 20 lbs I need to lose on top of that. I am slightly higher than I was when I got pregnant, but all the weight I lost my first trimester is helping with that! :-) I would definitely do Weight Watchers again if I have the money, and recommend it for others who are motivated by the same things as me. I think the single best thing for me was having a weekly support group.
That’s my experience, and I thank you for letting me share that. Losing weight is not an easy road, so please keep that in mind next time you want to offer helpful comments to someone. Some of the most well-intended comments to me have also been the most hurtful, and most often by someone who hasn’t been there.
6 thoughts on “part two: thoughts on weight loss”
Weight loss is hard! I have fought mine most of my life since I started having periods at about 12. Some of mine is a weird combination of medical issues, genetic profile, and HABITS! Being married to someone who has never had to worry about weight is hard a lot of times, but he is very supportive.
I have done WW a couple of times now, twice paid and once using the skills I learned from them on my own. I was doing really good this last time, until we got into buying the house and all the stress was to much and the medical problems came to the forefront and my stress eating got out of hand, too.
Now that you have found something to help you loose the weight you will be more likely to use the principles to loose the weight after the baby. It just takes practice.
i hear ya! I’m still trying to lose the weight I gained while preggo with lexi (who’s almost 3 now!!) I’ve struggled with weight my whole life, went through a spell of anorexia, which thankfully didn’t get too bad and I had a friend who noticed and called me on it (and threatened to tell my dad!). Once I got back to eating I stayed a healthy normal weight for about 5 years. Then I got married which for some reason caused me to gain so much weight! the past 6 years has been a constant struggle to lose and get healthy. it’s so annoying.
Another reason I think you’d like the Bradley classes! You have to record everything you eat in a week! Talk about accountability… I’m just glad we started after all the Easter candy was gone… :-P But instead of points that concern calories, like WW, it’s protein points. And a checklist to see that you’ve eaten the right color of veggies and the right amount of dairy and so on. I hope you can get in one! :-D
Way to go! Sounds like you did a fabulous job!
Hi … I recently discovered your blog and am really enjoying it.
I guess I feel compelled to comment, because I’m a new-ish mom (I have a 15 month old) and wow… weight loss with a child is HARD. I’ve been trying to do all sorts of different eating plans and am back down to my pre-prengnancy weight, which is about 20 lbs heavier than I SHOULD be… but now, everything is soft and doesn’t seem to be in the right place.
Anyway (where was I going? Sorry) … it is hard and you’re doing great. You’re establishing a healthy lifestyle now and it will make it easier in the long run.
Molly: I hear you about genetics! (How did my brother bypass that? ;-)) Some people are more prone to struggle with weight. My husband is 110 lbs and will probably always be that, but he is so supportive. That really makes a difference.
Jes: I think that’s one frustrating thing – that it’s something that will never go away. You always struggle with it, especially once you add pregnancy/children to the mix. I wrote this post as if I had finished my journey, but in reality I’m just at a break. I am enjoying not having to count calories right now! But come Sept/Oct I’ll need to worry about it again. :-( It’s something I’ll ALWAYS worry about… Because once you let yourself stop then you gain all the weight back.
Marianne: Hi and welcome! I like how you said “everything is soft”. :-) And you’re right – establishing a healthy lifestyle DOES make it easier in the long run! That’s the most important… I hope to get there someday. Veggies, yuck. Ice cream, yum. :-)
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