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.