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PostHeaderIcon Weight Loss Tale

PostHeaderIcon No Kirstie Alley Collection for this Woman

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This is my 30th week on the Weight Watchers program.  I am really happy with my progress, despite gaining weight while on vacation in April.  This last week I lost 1.2 pounds for a total of 36 pounds. 

I have been reflecting quite a bit lately about losing weight and realized that it has relieved a lot of stress I was feeling.  Yes, I was concerned about getting dressed every day. 

I feared that one day I would wake up and nothing I owned would fit.  I would have to shuffle around in pajamas bottoms and men's XL T-shirts or accept shopping in the stores for plus-sized women. 

My rationale for being overweight was always, "Well, I'm a mom.  I'm allowed to look like this," or "I have two small kids and work full time - what does anyone expect?"  Buying a minivan in November of 2007 coincided to a large extent with my weight gain, and I have often wondered if, subconsciously, the van gave me more freedom to be fat. 

It certainly helped complete my transformation to fat mom. I love that the lease is up this November and the minivan is going back.  I

'm now looking for something more hip. I tried to make jokes about my weight gain, as well.  I cracked that I'm now shopping in the "Kirstie Alley Collection," thinking that her well-documented yo-yo dieting and mine were very similar.  But, there was never more than a chuckle from my friends.  It just wasn't funny what had become of me. 
Another depressing change was how I felt about attending professional events, something my job requires. As I gained weight I remember feeling sad when events were approaching.  I was not my normal outgoing self with those 36 extra pounds.  Often I wanted to disappear, blend in to the wall, crowd, or whatever. I didn't have a lot of interest in getting together with friends, going on vacation or seeing anyone that I had not seen in a long time. 

I dreaded facing people and feared that I would see a look of surprise or disgust on the faces of people who were used to seeing me much thinner.  I rationalized that if no one said anything to me about gaining weight (i.e., is everything OK with you?) they had not noticed. 

I figured if we were still getting invited to events and parties, I must still be a nice person to be around.  Maybe I was, but this desire of mine to blend in really quashed my confidence.  That confidence is slowly coming back and I'm so much better for it.  My true personality is starting to shine through again.  
Thanks for reading.  Chime in with comments if any of this resonates with you. ---AV

Last Updated (Sunday, 19 December 2010 18:16)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea Back on Track

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I haven’t quite gotten over the shock of my recent 6.2-pound gain, but last week I had a one -pound loss for a total of 34.6 over the last 29 weeks. I’m not back to my pre-vacation loss of 40.2 pounds, but I'm heading in the right direction again.  

It shouldn't have been such a shock to see the number on the scale, considering that lately I have been ignoring my food tracker and my need to exercise. 

I've basically been living in denial that I have a problem with food.  My experience tells me how disastrous this mind-set can be.  After all, the last time I joined Weight Watchers at work, I fell so far off the wagon I regained all 17 pounds I lost within two weeks of the program ending.  I know the damage I am capable of.  I am not cured, by any means.  I have to give this weight loss 100 percent attention or the weight comes back - quickly 

In this week's WW meeting we talked a lot about support.  Attendees were asked many questions about support systems: the friends, family members, and co-workers we interact with regularly who encourage us on our weight loss journey.

I stayed quiet during the discussion because I was listening intently to the stories other members told about people who sabotage their weight-loss attempts. One member talked about her sister who bakes cookies in advance of her visits, despite the woman requesting fruit. Another person described a family member who said, "you're so thin, your collar bones poke me when I hug you." 

Others said that certain friends often urge them to "take a night off" from the program or "just taste" an unhealthy treat regardless of the member politely saying "no thank you."  Still others remembered friends who get offended when they had made a dessert and the WW member won't try it.

I didn't have much to offer because I don't have any weight-loss saboteurs. Everyone I know is completely supportive of my weight-loss journey. My friends and loved ones encourage me by checking on my progress, sending healthful recipes, providing healthy food at gatherings and suggesting healthy restaurant options when we dine out. My best friend is a fitness nut who plans weekly runs for us. She even slows her pace so I can keep up.

That's why I feel like I'm not just losing weight to look better and live a long, healthy life, I'm losing weight for all my friends and loved ones who are pulling for me. They understand what I'm doing and hopefully respect my decision to take good care of myself. More importantly, they adapt to the new me and are genuinely happy for me.

I couldn't really ask for more.

See you next week.---AV

Last Updated (Tuesday, 18 May 2010 04:07)


PostHeaderIcon Weighing In Not Always Easy

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At this week's Weight Watcher's meeting I chickened out and did not weigh in.  A WW staff member scanned my membership book and printed out a sticker indicating that I had attended the meeting but did log my current weight.  I was afraid that I would mar my perfect record of more than 6 months of weight losses by having a gain "on the books."  

The program lets people skip a weigh in from time to time, but it's not something that's encouraged. I weighed myself at home on my weigh-in day and those three pounds I had picked up while on vacation earlier this month were still hanging around.
I continue to battle with getting out of "vacation mode" and back to the "losing weight" mode, so as an incentive the WW leader again offered me the traveling journal to take home. I've taken it home in the past and it has helped.

When you take home the traveling journal you must track what you eat every day and return the book at the next meeting. It serves three purposes.  First, you track because meeting attendees are counting on you to participate. Second, you can see what other people who have had the journal are eating and vice versa. Third, it provides ideas for varying your diet and may even include a recipe or two. You can also see how much exercise others are doing. I am tracking my food consumption this week and it's helping.  
Meanwhile, every time I have tried to run lately I have been thwarted by bad weather or my schedule.  It's been longer than a week since I've run and now I feel like I'm going to be sore when I finally get out there.
What are the lessons I've learned from this "vacation" from the program and from exercise?  It's hard to get back on track.  I would rather not have to reprogram my mind to be a good weight watcher and exerciser.  
On the postive side: all the clothes still fit that fit before I left on vacation. However, I miss the possibility of fitting in to more clothes when I get dressed in the morning. And there are many items staring at me from inside the closet hoping to get into the rotation, especially with summer approaching. See you next week with a new picture. --AV

Last Updated (Wednesday, 22 December 2010 03:49)


PostHeaderIcon Vacation and Weight Loss, a Tough Mix

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A few days after my last weigh-in my family and I went on vacation. I was excited at having just reached the 40-pound mark, sporting a new swimsuit and wearing warm weather pants and shorts that fit. Sadly, I found that staying on the program was extremely difficult while we were away.  We ate in restaurants at least two meals a day. There were healthy options available but I often did not chose them.  I ate bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast three days in a row. I ordered dessert after dinner twice, which is something I very rarely do even if I'm not on Weight Watchers. 

Although I did a lot of swimming, walking and chasing my children around, I didn't run as I had planned. When we were packing to leave the only clean things I had left in my suitcase were my running clothes. 

As the vacation wore on, the good habits I had established were replaced by bad ones. As reality set in, I knew I would have to face the scale at a WW meeting, but I couldn't bring myself to go last week. 

Of course, I was busy at work and making the noontime meeting would have required some finagling, but to be honest, I didn't want to weigh in and see a weight gain.  

Instead, I weighed myself at home over the weekend and saw a 3-pound jump. I took the gain as a wake-up call to get back on the program STAT. I finished the weekend strong and in control and look forward to attending my weekly WW meeting, determined to undo the bad things I did on vacation. 

During our week away when I wasn't making good choices, I asked myself,  “why I am taking a vacation from my WW program?”  especially since I have been so committed to the program for more than six months, and pleased with my progress. 

My behaviors reinforced what I know to be true - success in weight loss doesn't happen accidentally. It requires work and diligence. When I get lazy, bad habits reappear.  See you next week. -AV

Last Updated (Wednesday, 12 May 2010 01:30)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea Hits The 40-Pound Mark

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This past week, I shed another 2.4 pounds, bringing me to a total of 40.2 pounds lost over nearly six months. This is a huge milestone for me for a number of reasons. 

First, I have lost only a small amount of weigh lately. 

This has been tough. Many times I thought, "If this keeps up it will take me 10 years to reach my goal."  One thing I did different this week was track my points four out of seven days. I wrote down everything I ate on those four days. And even on the days I didn’t track points, I think I was more conscious about what I put in my mouth.

Because I got a little off course last month, I was curious about how that impacted my weekly weight-loss average. So, I checked the Weight Watchers’ Web site. On average, I have dropped an average of 1.7 pounds weekly.

The program suggests that members lose between 1 and 2 pounds weekly. So, I'm in the range for healthy weight loss. Good news - that increases my chances of keeping the weight off. And, I'm halfway to my goal.  If I can lose the other 40 pounds in the next six months or so I will be ecstatic. The sooner I get there, the sooner I will achieve “lifetime status” and will not have to pay to attend meetings.
In case you wondering how Weight Watchers measures up to other diet programs in terms of cost, I also figured that out. I have paid 5.97 per pound lost That is a striking statistic, isn't it?  Backsliding will have an impact on my lifetime status goal but it will also have a financial impact. Knowing that per pound number will help me stay on track. 
And since we are talking statistics: I will also say that this is the most weight I've lost during my half dozen WW attempts and this is the longest I have stayed in the program. 

Why did I give up so easily before? I'm not sure: boredom, self-pity, or a misconception that I'd lost enough weight and looked "good enough?"  Well, this time, good enough simply isn't good enough--AV
See you next week.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:52)

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