I feel I had a major wake-up call in late December 2012/early January of 2013, I was feeling bad, really bad. I wanted to sleep all the time. I would come home from work and crash on the sofa after eating dinner and not want to move a muscle until bedtime. When it was time to go to bed, I would slowly walk up my stairs, become totally out of breath and have to stop before reaching the top of the stairs! I hated how I was feeling. No energy, no desire to do much of anything. Then I decided to share how I was feeling with a cardiologist friend, which was a major step for me! He suggested that I get in for a stress test. His words struck me with total fear! In my heart of hearts I suspected I was a half of a step from a heart attack with how I had been feeling and his response confirmed my fears. I knew I had to change or I was going to die and I did not want to go and get a stress test to prove that point! Fear was a huge motivation for me to change. Not really the fear of dying but the fear of not being able to live a healthy life and the fear of feeling old beyond my years.
I joined Weight Watchers online January 2, 2013. I didn’t own a scale and so I “guessed” my weight. My first step in trying to get on program was to log everything I ate. I faithfully started the online tracking but not really trying to restrict my eating in any way. My first purchase was the Weight Watchers Digital Food Scale. I was determined to give myself the tools I needed to succeed! For the next couple of weeks, I tracked everything I ate online and started trying to drink more water.
My online purchases started arriving. I could now accurately measure my portions of food. The light bulbs started coming on. I had been eating too much food! My portions were way out of control! No wonder, I felt so bad. I was eating myself to death. I had no energy and couldn’t climb one flight of stairs without being winded! My next change I made was making myself eat one piece of fresh fruit a day at work instead of candy bars, chips and other unhealthy snacks. It was a major push to eat just ONE piece of fruit but I did it!
My new scale arrived January 23rd so that was the day I learned how truly unhealthy I had become. I had under-estimated my weight by 25 lbs. It was worse than I had realized. I decided this was the time to get really serious! While not the highest weight I have ever been, it was dangerously close. My next change was to try to get in those good health guidelines every day! I decided early on to keep focus only on the five pounds I was trying to lose at the time. I didn’t look at the “big picture” just at those immediate five pounds in front of me. I firmly believe that this strategy kept me moving forward and not getting too discouraged!
By the end of February, my first month knowing my real weight and having the right tools to weigh and measure my food, I managed to lose 11 pounds! I was thrilled! I was on my weight to better health. During the next year, I had a trip to the beach, a cruise to the Caribbean and managed to lose during each vacation time.
I really didn’t think about a goal weight the first few months. I had my annual check up on October 1, 2013 and consulted with my doctor on what I should weigh. She gave me a ten pound range which I felt was too low for me but took her note and kept it so I could show it to Weight Watchers when I was going to switch from online to meetings. I felt I didn’t need the note as the range she gave me was the upper end of the range weight watchers suggested. I still felt it was too low but she had agreed to renegotiate with me when I got closer to my goal weight. I have scheduled a follow-up appointment with my doctor in August; it will be fun to see her face when she reads my chart! 🙂
When January 23, 2014 came around I had managed to lose 86.6 lbs in my first year! That was thrilling!!! And since January 23rd I have managed to lose an additional 29 lbs. and reach my weight watchers goal weight! I started the year very focused on continuing my journey to greater health. My next milestone came when I hit the one-hundred pounds lost mark in mid-March. I knew at that point the biggest part of my weight loss was now behind me and the push toward the goal range had fully began.
I switched from following the Weight Watchers Program online to attending Weight Watcher Meetings the last Saturday in March. I didn’t know how I would handle the transition from being fully on my own to now attending weekly meetings. I found the Saturday morning group very friendly, lively and fun! I found the leader Kathy to be energetic, upbeat and very approachable. It did help that as a member of a Facebook Weight Watchers Group, I had virtually “met” one of the members of the Saturday morning meetings online before meeting her face to face. I do enjoy the meetings! At first, I wouldn’t say much but now I regularly participate. Our Saturday meetings keep growing in numbers which I think is wonderful! It is so uplifting to see so many people willing to come to an eight am meeting on a Saturday morning!
To help me even more, I was the organizer for at Weight Watchers at Work group which began meeting in May where I work. I am now attending two meetings a week. Marie is our leader for our at work meetings and is very personable and a true superwoman handling all the weigh-ins and conducting the meetings on her own! Our group is about 25 people who are focusing on getting healthier.
I have been in the healthy weight range which Weight Watchers and my doctor suggested since May 24th but I have been pushing to lose more. I have been losing/gaining the same 1.4 pounds for five weeks and it hit me. My body was talking to me and I was not listening! For seven weeks, my weight has stayed within a one pound range. I have been on program and doing nothing extraordinary that should cause a “stall” and looked over my charts and felt I have been maintaining and not losing much in seven weeks. Then, a light bulb went on. I AM at a healthy weight, have a healthy BMI AND within the goal range given to me by both Weight Watchers and my Doctor. My body has been trying to tell me; you are at GOAL, you have accomplished your mission of feeling better, being healthier and reached the weight range you thought was far too low for you! When I was in my mid-twenties and weighed this, yes I could count my ribs front and back. Now being somewhere over “40” I cannot count any ribs front or back. I am sure I have ribs, just not sure exactly where they are yet! I know I can lose a few more “vanity” pounds and not be unhealthy and that will be my goal over the last of the year to shed those “vanity” pounds but with no big rush to do it!
This Friday (at work) and Saturday (at the Weight Watchers Center) I will be “officially” celebrating reaching goal. This is very exciting for me as I never thought I would reach the suggested weight range! Now I am working on six weeks of maintenance to achieve my Lifetime Status with Weight Watchers. If I have calculated correctly, I should achieve lifetime on August 16th.
Below are the pictures from my Saturday morning celebration with my leader Kathy, the “bling” I received Saturday: the clapping hands are for 16 weeks attending meetings, the copper key ring for 10% weight loss at meetings and the silver star for reaching my weight loss goal! As of Saturday, I am down 119.2 lbs. This was said at one of our meetings recently, “Welcome to Goal! Welcome to more of the same!” I will be attending meetings still on a regular basis, weighing and measuring my portions and trying to eat more healthy foods and yes, that is exactly more of the same that I have been doing already! But doing those things, got me to a healthy weight and I do want to stay there! Just like the shampoo bottle says. “Rinse, Lather, Repeat!”
I feel very bless that God allowed me to live so I could get healthy again. Thanks to: my mom, for always being supportive, my best friend for being honest and suggesting a stress test, my family, friends and co-workers for always being encouraging and supportive, the wonderful members of the Facebook Online Group (Weight Watchers and Us) who were my meetings when I didn’t attend meetings for the first 101 lbs and taught me I am awesome no matter what my weight!, the USF Fit Program, and a very special thanks to Richard Simmons who has always personified a genuine love, a fountain of joy, a source of endless energy and exuberant encouragement for all!