On Saturday, August 16th, I achieved something I wasn’t certain I would ever achieve; Lifetime Status at Weight Watchers! While it is a time for celebrating; it is a time for reflecting. I will admit, I was more excited to reach Lifetime than achieving my weight loss goal. But this is not only a time to celebrate but a time to reflect.
Facing the Scale aka Reality Check
When my brand new digital scale arrived, it was my time to confront and face the consequences of a few years of poor eating and not much body movement. My facing the scale happened on January 23, 2013. To say I was horrified would be an understatement. My thinking had been, avoid the scale and the problem doesn’t really exist. I had guessed at my weight to create an online account on the Weight Watchers Website. I found out what a poor guesser I really was! (This is why weighing and measuring food portions was crucial for me.) I had under-guessed my weight by twenty-five pounds. Talk about a shocker! Seeing that incredibly huge number on the scale was a disheartening but unlike my past behavior I did not let those negative feelings of self-loathing, anger and disappointment drive me to the refrigerator and pantry for comfort! Instead, I chose to use those negative feelings to ignite a fire of determination to propel me forward! I let that awful feeling come back when I felt I was losing my laser-like focus or being tempted to eat/drink something that would not help me to achieve my goal of feeling better (getting healthy).
After 17 months and 12 days, I achieved my Weight Watcher Goal Weight. In a way, it was anti-climatic. Sure I was happy and thrilled but then it hit me. The realization that I wasn’t needing to be driven to lose more. Now what? Panic started to set in. I seemed to only know how to lose weight or gain weight. I didn’t know the “middle” ground of maintaining. My weight had fluctuated all my life. I was either up or down. Now I was terrified of the “middle” the “average” the “same.” Maintaining my weight is new territory for me.
In Weight Watchers Maintenance,after reaching your goal weight, you are required to stay within 2 pounds of your goal weight for six weeks. You have to weigh in within two pounds of your goal twice during the six weeks. The very week after I reached goal, I weighed in and lost 3.2 lbs.! This loss put me under my goal weight by 4 pounds! This caused another panic to set in. it. To get back within my two pounds of my goal weight, my mind had to change gears from not just maintaining weight but now gaining weight to make my maintenance weigh ins! Talk about a switch up!
Another part of maintenance is to start increasing the amount of food you eat to reach a “balance.” They suggest adding 2-6 points back to your allowance. I had forgotten to add back points the first week. The second week, I added 4 points plus per day back to my total which helped level things out. The third week I added 2 more points plus to my day. I am now eating six points additional a day and it seems to be working fairly well, I might have to “tweak” that number a bit. Other Weight Watcher Life-timers have told me they flux between 30-36 points a day, depending on activity levels. I will admit I love having the flexibility!
The head being set right is 99% of weight loss from what I can see now I have had to switch my head from weight loss, to weight maintaining to weight gaining all in the space of two weeks! At some points, I felt I didn’t know which way to turn! I started allowing myself to have a good breakfast before the Weight Watchers meeting, and allowed myself start adding points back to my daily points allowance. It was so right, but in some ways felt so wrong! It worked and out of the six weigh ins I was within my goal weight range three of the six weeks!
Welcome to More of the Same
Something was said at that meeting where I reached goal which has proven to be so true! “Welcome to more of the same!” Reaching goal and Lifetime isn’t the end of the Weight Watchers Road; it is a milestone in a journey which continues. A “logic” says but you reached your goal, you shouldn’t have to “count/track” anything anymore. Really? I have reflected, when in my life I did not count/track and what was the result? I became extremely overweight and unhealthy! The “real” logic says if I do not want to become morbidly obese and unhealthy again, I must continue to each properly, count/track everything, and keep my body moving! Reaching your goal isn’t the end of the story. Now it is the time for due diligence to “protect the loss.”
The Next Chapter, Protecting the Loss
One of my next personal goals, is to create my own list of ways I can keep on protecting the loss. How much differently will that list look from the weight loss mantras I have kept in my head for the past 17 months and counting?