Nine years ago today I joined Weight Watchers for the very first time in my life. I had dieted all through my teen years and would go up and down in my weight, of course mostly up since about 1996.
In December of 1999 I had started a new job, and in one of the bathroom stalls I found a Weight Watcher's leaflet. I think it might of been one the weekly leaflets they give at the meetings. I'm not sure... but I
remember sitting there reading through it... and thinking 'Wow, this looks a great program, why haven't I thought about this before?' I was absolutely certain it was going to cost an arm and leg to join. I remember years ago in the 80's my sister did Weight Watchers and she would go weekly for a weigh-in and pick up a bag of food that looked like cardboard.
I knew I had grown out and was continuing to grow, I was the heaviest I had ever been... I needed to do something about it. If chewing on cardboard food was going to do trick... I was ready to be handed a box. I was ready to lose. I crossed my fingers that I could afford it and called Weight Watchers' 800-numbers. I was excited to hear that it was only $9.99 weekly, and the enrollment fee was free for the holiday season.
I lived it up until the morning of January 2nd. That day I got up and took my first steps into my local Weight Watcher's center. Michael was my leader. I registered, was weighed and handed a name tag. Everyone was SUPER FRIENDLY.
Michael started out every meeting giving Bravo Stickers to anyone who felt they deserved one. He gave me two just for joining. He had me introduce myself... everyone was so welcoming. Right away I felt like I was part of the group. I remember I felt the meeting was too short I wanted to stay and keep on talking and listening to everyones stories, input, and ideas.
My first time losing, with in a few months I had lost 25 pounds. I was a Super Star. This was the first time in my life I had lost so much weight a healthy way. In the past when I was in high school I had lost about 50 pounds but that was by starving myself or vomiting after I ate topped with excessive exercise... so not healthy.
I don't know what triggered me to fall off the wagon. I always blame it on this really big heavy guy I had started dating... who highly encouraged me to eat fatty foods and put on weight, cause he liked his women big. But thinking about it, I don't think that was it, I didn't even really like him... he was just someone to hang out with, so I can't honestly say I fell off the wagon to please him.
Giving it some thought, I think there are several reason why I fell off...
I got big headed. Everyone was telling me how great I looked... so the urgency to continue losing weight wasn't really there because I looked good - I knew this because everyone was telling me.
I got comfortable, so I started to allow myself to slide a little here and there... every day I slid a little more and more until I was completely off program and eventually just stopped going to meetings.
Another thing I think had to do with me falling off, is that I didn't set short term goals. My first goal was my 10%. While getting to my first 10% goal, I kept being told how when I reached it I would have a sit down meeting with my leader and we would go over what was going to be the next step for me. We would set a final goal and come up with a plan for me to get there.
When I reached my 10%, after the meeting I asked my leader if I could set an appointment with him to discuss my final goal and come up with a game plan. Here's how the conversation went.
MICHAEL: What weight you thinking about for your goal?
ME: Huh, maybe 130.
MICAHAEL: That's with in the Healthy Weight Ranges for your height, correct.
MICHAEL: Okay, your final goal is 130.
ME: Okay, huh - so how do I set an appointment with you?
MICHAEL: We don't have to now, your goal is set. It's 130. (smiled)
ME: Okay (left feeling disappointed).
I don't know what I was expecting. He was a great leader, so I'm sure he was doing his job. But I guess I just expecting a little more of a discussion on how I was going to get from 165 to 130. Thirty-Five pounds is a big number to just set and jump too. I was new to losing weight in a healthy manner. I needed someone to explain to me about short term goals, etc. I didn't know about any of that.
After losing my first 10% I only lost about 7 more pounds before falling off. Those 7 pounds were a struggle... I don't know how long I hung in there before dropping off... I just know after my talk with Michael something shifted and it just wasn't the same anymore. I guess I was overwhelmed from focusing on a 35 pound goal and got discouraged.
Through out the years I've joined and rejoined again... always ended up with me falling off program. I think once I lost 10 pounds but never again did I earn another 10%.
I left Weight Watchers for a long while... well long for me, about 6-9 months. Ross and I decided we wanted to get fit. He's already slim, But wanted to lose a couple of more pounds and encourage me to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. He follows a combination of a personalized program a nutritionist wrote for him, body for life, and fit for life. His program doesn't have enough structure for me so I didn't want to do that, so together we tried The Fat Smash Diet. It didn't work for us... Vi tried it and she said she felt a lot better, and it worked for her. But who really knows because she refuses to get on a scale.
September 4, 2007, I rejoined Weight Watchers and have been steady going to meetings since. I have a new leader who is just fabulous. She's super cute and really makes you feel like she cares, she listens. This time I'm down 14.8 pounds so far, a little slower than the first time I joined... but that's okay. I'm hanging in there... and this time I truly feel is the time I'll reach my goal. I have great support from my leader, Ross, my online Weight Watcher friends, and the friends who I've shared that I'm losing weight with.
What I've done differently this time is I forgive myself... if I have a slip I pick myself up and move on. If I only lose .2 in that week I make an effort to cheer for myself for having a lose because I know if I continue on program the following weigh-in will probably be pretty hefty loss.
Also what I think is important is I don't focus on big goals... my 10% is 19 pounds. I'm down 14.8, and I'm still not focusing on my 10% goal. I go 5 by 5... 5 pounds at a time. The next goal for me to reach will be my 15 pound mark. Then after that will be my 10%, and here's a silly one but who cares that's just how it worked out... and you never know I might even reach 2 goals in one weigh-in... after my 19 pound loss/my 10% my next goal is to reach a 20 pound loss... lol. I've set my Weight Watcher goal to 141, my personal goal is 130. But for now I'm only focused on reaching my next goal of completing a 15 pound loss.
I thought I'd set my next three goals here with a possible time frame.
01/15/08 - 15 Pounds
01/29/08 - 19 Pounds/10%
02/05/08 - 20 Pounds
I know since my last weigh-in I was only .2 away from reaching my 15 pound mark, but I went off program from Christmas until New Years Eve... so I most-likely had a gain. I haven't gotten on the scale. I didn't want to be disappointed or discouraged to get back on gear but I might weigh myself before my next weigh-in next Thursday on the 8th.
Happy Friday, and Happy Weight Watcher's Anniversary to me.