Monday, April 30, 2012

The Zen of Weight Watchers

I joined weight watchers in October of 2010.  My dear friend, Tai, called me and told me that she had just joined.  (thank you, Tai!) They were having a special and maybe we could try together.  I bit the bullet and joined (very half-heartedly, I might add).  I had already lost all of my pregnancy weight, but was still morbidly obese at 238.2 pounds.  I made myself lose 5 pounds before I went to weigh in for the first time.  Looking back, that seems so silly, but I was ashamed.  I went to that first meeting on October 5, 2010 and really learned how to do the program.  Shortly thereafter, I re-injured my back and it was severe.  I ended up having my second back surgery on November 19, 2010.  in spite of all of that pain, a fire had been lit.  I marched over to the weight watcher center in my walker to weigh in every single week.  I learned to be accountable and take responsibility for my weight.  

As soon as I was able to sit for an hour, I started going to meetings.  I went with quite a bit of judgment, skepticism and trepidation.  I found a leader who I liked and went to meetings weekly on Wednesday mornings.  Once I went back to work, just before Christmas, I had to find a new meeting.  I chose the 8:30am Saturday meeting.  My leader, Robert, like most weight watchers, has had a life-long struggle with his weight.  He is a platinum-haired, fabulous, kind, funny character who is very easy to relate to.  He makes each meeting an event.  Since January 2011, I've missed maybe 4 meetings (usually due to work).  Needless to say, I drank the kool aid and I'm a believer.  

As of this past Saturday, I've lost 80 pounds.  I'm less than 3 pounds away from being a "normal" weight for my height.  More than the weight loss, I can honestly say that I've found a particular kind of peace that I don't think I've ever known before (at least not in the same way as I am currently experiencing it.)  I've formed bonds with several members of the group.  I find inspiration in those lifetime members that come each week and share their stories.  I enjoy supporting my fellow ww members and sharing my stories.  That hour each Saturday morning has become a kind of therapy for me.  

This past Saturday, I was really jonesing for a meeting.  I had missed the 4-14 meeting because of the flood and our trip upstate.  I missed last weekend, since I had to work.  I arrived early as usual, got my Starbucks and reconnected with my ww pals.  The topic this week was about taking care of yourself and being a friend to yourself first.  It was very timely, considering my foul mood over the past week.  

Sitting through that meeting, I realized how quickly and willingly I will congratulate and lift up people around me.  I'm a damned good cheerleader to everyone - with one glaring omission - me! Why is that?  Why am I so quick to forgive and support others while I judge myself so harshly.  I suppose many of us do that, but I have made a conscious choice to be sure to celebrate my successes.  I start today by stating that I am proud of the changes I've made since I joined weight watchers.  

My weight watchers journey has been about so much more than weight loss.  I found my fire again.  When I walked into Banana Republic last week (I haven't been able to shop there for over 5 years, since they only go up to a size 14.  When I started ww I was a 22) and tried on a size 8 dress, I didn't feel like a fraud as I had the first few times I walked into that store. I looked in that mirror and I was proud.  I was just happy.  I was able to congratulate myself without thinking about how much more I want to lose, or about how I wish I could change x about myself.  I just felt a profound love and respect for myself that I'm not sure I ever have before. 

I can't imagine how I'd be able to shoulder the burdens we have been faced with over these past months had it not been for these internal changes.  Weight Watchers has been a saving force in my life.  I may have a lot to contend with, but I know that I can handle whatever comes my way - and I know things could always be worse.  I'll continue to go each Saturday.  I may not be an official lifetime member yet, but I will say that I'm a member for life. 

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