Weight Watchers

I’m doing Weight Watchers. I think I told you that before, but I’m not quite sure.

You know how I’ve had weight loss goals since the dawn of time, and they creep up every once in a while here on the ole internet? The first time I wrote about it was in March 2011, then I updated you along the way a few times like in May 2011 , and then more recently with the Murdock Weight Loss Challenge.

*Supposedly* we are still doing the Murdock Weight Loss Challenge, but I decided this past August to take matters into my own hands. So I joined Weight Watchers.

Here’s the deal with Weight Watchers: I’ve done it before. I did it one summer after college and I lost 20 pounds in a matter of months. It was awesome and I kept it off until about 2009 which was around the time I started thinking five courses should be a part of my dinner every night. Since then there have been major changes in my life, most of them involving stress of some kind. I was on a slow but steady path of weight gain and hit my all-time highest weight of 180.5 pounds in January 2011. The whole time I was gaining weight I was doing Weight Watchers online. I was super frustrated and felt like a total failure, so I quit and decided to try something different – doing it on my own. It worked to a certain point, but then I got stuck again, so I decided this past August to be “all in” for Weight Watchers – determined to make it work.

And…

IT’S WORKING!

It’s not easy. At all. I have actually stayed the same weight for the past two weeks instead of losing, mostly because I’m having a hard time saying no to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the occasional second glass of wine, and Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Slims {DO NOT TRY THEM! They are honestly the best salty/sweet snack I have ever had, and I am vowing to never buy them again! If they’re in the house, I lose all self control!} But here’s the thing: Weight Watchers really is working.

Here are my personal stats, and then I’ll go into a list of reasons why I think Weight Watchers is working for me right now. Actually, first I’ll be super vulnerable and show you a picture of what I looked like at my heaviest. It’s the only picture I can find from that timeframe. This was December 2010.

January 2011: 180.5 pounds
May 2011: 169.5 pounds
May 2012: 172 pounds
August 2012 (start of Weight Watchers): 171.2 pounds
Current Weight: 165.2 pounds

Since I shared that picture with you, I have to share a “current” picture with you, too. Mostly to make myself feel better. Here I am! This was last night with my sweet little buddy Jack the Dinosaur. I tried to find a picture that wasn’t excessively flattering — we all know how taking pictures from above and tilting your head makes you about 30 pounds slimmer. Trying to keep it real here. ๐Ÿ™‚

Something you might notice: I essentially stayed the same weight for a year — I gave myself some grace during that time and just lived life. It was a BIG year. I ran, I did a lot of “application” of the things I had learned in therapy, and I did my best to set the foundation for a healthy view on food, exercise, and my body. ย It’s actually super encouraging for me to look at these numbers and see how far I’ve come in the past year and a half. There were a lot of times where I wondered if I would ever be able to lose a pound. And I’ve lost fifteen!

Here are the major things that I think are helping me, and why Weight Watchers is working for me right now:

1.Public Humiliation. I’m not even kidding. It’s me, a stranger, and a scale. There’s no lying to the woman behind the counter who is writing down my weight. There’s no moving the scale around the bathroom to see which part of the floor I am lightest on. There’s no “oh I’ll weigh myself in the morning after a long run and then eat a burrito since I’m starving!” — 6pm, every Wednesday, I’m weighing in.

2. The meetings. It’s group therapy. I see how far people have come, and I see when people aren’t making any progress. I get rewarded {with stickers!} every time I make a significant change or hit a benchmark weight loss. I go with one of my favorite friends and we cheer each other on every week. It’s a freak-show, but it’s encouraging and I kind of love it.

3. I write down every bite I eat. No cheating! Ever! I was counting calories before, and it worked to a certain degree. Weight Watchers has their “points” system, which some people say is similar to calories, but I like it a little more because it takes a fuller picture of the food – fat, carbs, protein, fiber, and total nutritional value are all added into the makeup of a food’s “point.” The way this has translated into my every day life: I am eating more fruits and vegetables, my portions are smaller, and when I do eat things that are low on the nutritional value scale and high in points, I CHOOSE to eat them and therefore ENJOY them all the more — knowing it all works into my weekly plan.

4. I am more emotionally aware, and therefore more aware of the way stress, excitement, fears, anxieties, big life events, etc. affect my eating habits. Becoming more aware of my emotions has really helped me just sit back and NOTICE things.

“I’ve been really hungry all day, but all I want to eat is french fries. That’s interesting. Is there anything else going on in my life right now that could be influencing this??”

“Oh, we’re opening our Chick-fil-A next week, I’m working full time, we’re living with family, our bank account is totally drained, I’m starting to get back into running, and I’m super nervous about the outcome of the election. These could be factors in my desire for all things fried.”

Noticing. It helps a lot.

5. Swallowing my pride. It’s hard to admit that what you’re doing isn’t working. Especially when it comes to weight loss. I mean, it should be pretty basic, right? Eat less, move more. But we all know there are bigger factors that play a role in our bodies, and sometimes you need an extra push.

It took a long time for me to be ok with going back to Weight Watchers. And once I decided to do it, I knew I needed to do it freely. I didn’t want to be ashamed or not tell people — I needed to share this part of myself and be alright with what others thought of it, whatever their opinions may be.

There are two reasons why I am doing this: first for myself. I desire freedom and growth in all areas of my life, and my weight is one of those. Also, for my future children. I know that my growth in this area will make me more whole and make me a better mom when the time comes.

So there you have it. Weight Watchers — for the win!

~Kristin

P.S. For further reading on this topic: I love the way Andie over atย Can You Stay for Dinner talks about weight loss. Very healthy approach!