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.