Friday, January 13, 2012

Before and After - My Weight Watchers Weight Loss Journey - January 13, 2012

I wish I had taken a true before picture, before I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting, but I didn't. The picture that inspired me to go to that meeting is not one I like to share (and won't here) - it's me in the background, unaware that the camera is on me. I was at a birthday party in the summer and was dressed in what I thought were cute clothes and I figured I looked fine. At the moment the camera found me, though, I was slumped over - my daughter had just bitten through a plastic spoon and swallowed part of it (she thought this was hysterical and - spoiler alert - she was totally fine and it did appear later, ahem). I was annoyed and upset and tired. I wasn't sucking things in or standing tall, I was appearing as I probably appeared most of the time. The friend who took (it was her son's birthday party) it posted it on Facebook. And there it was, a picture of me as I really was, and I couldn't pretend anymore.

Pictures of me from before I started WW are hard to come by because I was hiding from the camera. So the best I can do is this, because I really want a record of what I've done, how hard I've worked, and how far I've come.

Here's me in July 2011. We're in Athens, GA, with one of the painted UGA dogs that hang around town.

Here's me in October 2011, about six weeks after I started:

And here's me today. I'm at my goal, I'm on Maintenance (which is really weird and scary), and I am excited:

Wearing jeans in a size I haven't seen in over ten years.
My first meeting was on September 1, 2011. Since then, I've lost about 23 pounds total and gone down 2-3 sizes, depending on how you look at it. (I was kind of squeezing myself into a slightly smaller size for a year or two, but the size up didn't fit right either - OH WOMEN'S CLOTHING, WHY ARE YOU SO WACKY? And now I can fit into a range as well - the jeans today are at the low end, but most days I wear a size bigger than these because I'm just more comfortable there.)

I now am exercising regularly (usually the 30 Day Shred or another DVD, plus I have a new pedometer to keep track of my steps).

I've completed week one of Maintenance as of today, and I am planning to sail through the next five weeks. (Hold me accountable!) My next goal is to find a 5K and to walk/run it.

After my daughter was born, I definitely stopped taking care of ME for a while. When she got her official diagnosis, I sort of gave up. "I'm almost 40," I thought. "What's the point? I'm where I am and that's it." I had a lot to deal with all of a sudden and I just didn't have time or brain space to worry about myself. When I kept getting reports every year from the doctor with borderline cholesterol problems, I'd just brush them off. I'd make excuses and laugh and joke about how I needed to stop eating a pint of ice cream every night, though I'd continue to do it and make half-hearted attempts to change my ways.

Every 5 pounds I added on the scale led me to think "Well, it could be worse. I'm not at XXX weight!" Even when I started WW, I thought, "I'm not at XXX yet! It's fine!" But it wasn't fine. And it feels really good to be doing something positive for myself after all these years so that I can be healthier and happier for me - and for her.

I promise to post an update in six months (the summer!) so you will know if I've managed to stick to this. I really, really hope to!


  1. Very impressive! How much ice cream and sugar do you eat now? How much bread?

  2. Hi Bob. Interesting questions. What I've loved about Weight Watchers is that nothing is restricted as long as it's eaten in moderation/within the daily point allotment. So I've cut back on all three things, but not as a deliberate cutting something out. I probably still eat too much sugar (I always make sure I have points left for dessert). I stopped going out and buying a half a fresh loaf of sourdough bread from YDFM and eating it within a half hour (with Smart Balance - so it was TOTALLY HEALTHY), but I still eat bread (mostly lower-calorie, but tonight I had a full portion of naan and it was heavenly). Ice cream...I tend to not buy it to have at home, but I have it when I'm out (full fat, premium ice cream when I'm out - if I'm going to have it, I want to have the good stuff). If I do buy it, I buy double-churned mostly or Trader Joe's "hold the cone" which is portion controlled but full fat). But really, I haven't given up a lot, I've just changed HOW much I eat and HOW I eat.

  3. I think you will be able to maintain your perfect weight if you already can eat that much sugar and carbs. I believe the sugar stuff is toxic, but I just shared a slice of Tiramasu at Southern Sweets a few days ago. The less sugar I eat, the less I'm addicted to it and the less I crave it. But then I feel guilty about missing out on the pleasure of quality desserts which I've enjoyed since early childhood. One thing's for sure: After a couple glasses of wine I find myself ordering that slice of Coconut Cake I told myself I wouldn't order.

  4. Everything in moderation (and moderation is subjective, of course). If I were in that situation, I'd decide what I wanted more - the wine or the cake - and pick that one (and have the other the next time). Or I'd have one glass of wine and a smaller slice of cake, track it, and move on. But unless it was a nightly occurrence, I wouldn't really worry about any of it. I don't see it as sugar or carbs or fat or protein - I see it as finding a balance of all things and changing my old (bad) habits. WW's big claim to fame is how well people tend to do long term/on maintenance - I hope that holds true for me as well. I've met enough people in meetings and out and about who have lost much more than I have and who have kept it off for 5, 10, 20 years. That's the goal!

  5. Good for you! I so need to do this, but don't even know where to start. I'm still nursing, so I'm hungry all the time...or so I tell myself!

  6. Oh this absolutely was easier to get going on once my daughter weaned. For whatever it's worth, Weight Watchers does have a nursing mom program that gives you more calories and nutrients per day, but I wasn't really motivated to try anything until we were done with nursing. ;)