Health & Wellness · Lifestyle · Personal

Today I joined Weight Watchers.

I will post a before picture later that shows what I looked like before my first weigh-in.

I didn’t lose all the baby weight I gained with my first pregnancy 15 years ago.  When I got pregnant with my second son 4 years ago, the OB-GYN told me the max I should gain is 20 lb. I managed to gain and lose those 20 lb. I worried about what I ate. When I binged on candy, fast food, and frozen dinners, I beat myself up. Depression/anxiety, exhaustion and insomnia were kicking my butt! I moved to Pennsylvania and those 20 lb. crept back in. My stretchy yoga pants weren’t fitting so well anymore. I noticed my little belly became a jumbo muffin top that I couldn’t disguise anymore. Nothing fit. I felt uncomfortable in my own body.

I booked an appointment with my PCP.  She told me that my BMI was 28.5 but I didn’t look fat.  She was more concerned about my cigarette smoking and the health impact of that. I realized if I wasn’t careful I was going to become obese.  My family history of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension made weight management a priority. Especially since my mother died from complications due to high blood pressure. I knew that if I was going to focus on losing weight, I was going to need help.

 

The reason why I chose Weight Watchers is because my health insurance offered a discount. I looked online for the closest location to my house and went to my first meeting today. I was 187.6 pounds at my first weigh-in (I am 5’8″in.) I had GAINED 10 lb. in a year. My self-confidence was shot and my eating habits were out of control. Stepping into my first meeting this morning, I felt a bit self-conscious.  Why?  I don’t look obese or overweight despite my expanding belly so I felt weird walking in there.  Some of my friends and accquaintances even told me I was “wasting money” because I “didn’t look fat.” I paid for 10 weeks and there was no turning back now!  Just knowing I HAVE to step on a scale in front of a bunch of  people each week sets up accountabilty.
My Weight Watchers leader Carol is really energetic and funny. She opened the meeting lip synching and dancing to this song:
Then she made me stand up and introduce myself. Public speaking is NOT my thing. I felt a spike of anxiety kick up.  So I told the Reader’s Digest version of my story:
“My name is Angelina and my nickname is Spike; I’ll respond to either one. I guess what triggered me to do something about my weight was when a neighbor told me ” ‘Hey Spike, I didn’t realize you looked so heavy.’
Now I’ve been called a lot of things in my life but “heavy” wasn’t one of them. She wasn’t a very nice person but it was the wake-up call that I needed. What makes it harder is that the people in my life are saying ‘you look great,’  ‘you’re not fat you don’t even need Weight Watchers?’
Well I must be ‘skinny fat’ because my BMI is 28.5 and that is considered overweight! I’m only a few pounds away from becoming obese. I want to learn how have a healthy relationship with food and stop the emotional eating cycle. Especially with the holidays coming up!”

When the other people in the room nodded in recognition, I was sure I was in the right place. These women are going through the exact same struggles and temptations.  Dealing with people who can’t/won’t support you in your weight loss goals. Guilt. Frustration. After sitting through the first meeting, I have all the motivation I needed to start my weight loss journey!

I am determined and my mind is set on losing weight. My close friends know that I go all in – dedicating all my time, energy, thoughts and emotions to the (latest) project that captures my imagination. Having a clear, meaningful vision of my goal helps me play the long game. This journey will have its challenges and disappointments. However,  I think going to meetings will give me the courage to keep going!
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