And why this time it is different.
10 years ago (in 2003) I was in the final stretch of high school. I was also overweight and uncomfortable in my own skin. With the financial backing of my grandparents and the emotional support of my best friend I walked into Weight Watchers for the first time. Every Wednesday night I took my 11 dollars and stepped on the scale. I changed my eating habits and played rugby 4 days a week. I lost 35lbs.
4 years ago (in 2009) I was in the final stretch leading up to my wedding and also finishing my first degree. Unbeknownst to me this would also be one of the most emotionally challenging times in my life as my Dad battled cancer and its associated complications. Again I walked through the doors to Weight Watchers and I went every Thursday night. I lost 48lbs. I was 177lbs at my lightest.
I maintained a reasonable weight loss until about a year to a year and a half ago. Now the pounds have come back on. I went from 183 to 225 in less than 18 months. In addition to my clothes not fitting, I no longer feel comfortable in my own skin and I am erasing myself from my own life. I spend time on the periphery, I choose not to participate and I avoid pictures at all costs.
Yesterday I walked back into Weight Watchers. Since 2009 I have walked back into WW a couple of times, tried WW Online and also done online calorie counting. Each of these attempts have been marred with self-sabotage. I let myself feel the woe is me, that feeling of entitlement where you just want to eat what you want and say to heck with the measuring cups. This time it’s about embracing the journey. I need to identify my triggers, make healthy habits second nature and stop the food obsession.
I know WW works for me, the support and the structure of the plan. So I’m back and trusting in my ability to do this and realizing that what I get out, is what I put into the journey.
I got married just over 3 years ago. Coincidentally or not, I was also at the lowest weight in my adult life then as well. For those of you who are counting, like me, the magic number was 177lbs. In late January 2009 I reached a breaking point and joined Weight Watchers at 219lb. I was also that magic 177lbs when I left for university in 2003.
Just shy of 6 months after I got married I started a condensed nursing program, to receive my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in three years, rather than four. The first year I went to the gym the mornings I was on campus, ate a balanced diet and slept enough. I even ran my first half marathon, completing the Seattle Half Marathon in 2:29:29. My weight stayed steady around 183/184.
I continued to train for races at the half marathon distance, completing 5 in the year 2011. As well I raced my first sprint triathlon in the summer of 2011. I had left my part time job in November of 2010 and this allowed me to run and go to the gym as much as pleased. However, relying on my husband for all my fun money and to cover all of our living expenses made me feel extremely guilty. Eventually in November 2011 I began working part time again. At the same time I gave up my gym membership because of lack of time and also because I was planning to run my first full marathon in May 2012. To make a long story short, lack of time forced me to put my marathon dreams on hold and run the half marathon instead. I didn’t train properly and it was a bit of a gut buster. In 2011 I hovered around 187/190lbs. I was still happy here and with the busy pace of life I was just happy to be running and working out.
Fast forward to 2012, as I decreased my running, I didn’t increase workouts in any other areas. In fact I became more sedentary than I had been for over three years. Combined this with a sudden overwhelming fed up feeling regarding having to always make the healthy choice and be the one with willpower, I also abandoned any sense of healthy eating. Fast food re-entered my life, frozen food and things I would never have craved in a million years suddenly became the most delicious items to me. Running became a once a week slog if I was lucky. My bike and swim suit were long neglected. I woke up one morning at my start weight from January 2009. That morning was October 21/2012.
In my life no one has ever called me skinny, but they have called me healthy, fit and strong. My goal is to be that girl again – healthy, fit and strong. The by product of being that girl was that I felt better about my appearance, but the best byproduct was feeling better about myself. In 8 weeks I will have completed my nursing program, during which all this weight has crept back on. As I proceed into the world of job hunting and casual shift work I want to be striving to be healthy, rather than maintaining bad habits. My hope is to use this blog to connect with others, document my journey and hold be accountable. This is the beginning of my success story.