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D7 What's My "Why"?

We've been talking a lot at my meeting about our "why". Why did we join Weight Watchers in the first place? Why do we keep coming? And for those lifetime members, why is it important to keep the weight off? If you don't have a "why" you might lose focus and end up quitting or worse...stuck...like me.

I'm stuck right now and it's because I don't have a "why" to focus on. I'm struggling to find my motivation right now. I don't want to quit! I just can't seem to convince myself to get my ass in gear. I'm complacent and I'm annoyed with my own complacency so I'm hoping that by talking myself through it I'll be able to move beyond this hurdle.

I know why I started Weight Watchers...I was in my early 20's and I was recently married. A lot of our friends started having weight loss surgery and they were losing weight quickly and looking and feeling great; I was jealous. So my wife and I both made an appointment with a weight loss surgeon. We went to the consultation which is a group meeting where the surgeon talks about the different types of weight loss surgery like gastric bypass surgery, band surgery or the gastric sleeve surgery. After that meeting you set up an appointment with the nutritionist to talk about what life will be like after surgery and the surgeon to discuss which surgery will be the right surgery for you.

I started having reservations about 5 minutes into the presentation when the surgeon was discussing the different risks and benefits of the different surgeries. Lapband you may not lose as much or as quickly as you might with gastric bypass and the band sometimes erodes into your stomach requiring additional surgery. However, it's adjustable and removable so if it doesn't fit your lifestyle you are not stuck. You do not need to have anything inside rerouted like you do with gastric bypass. Gastric bypass they cut your stomach, create a "pouch", reroute your intestines and you will forever need supplements to replace the nutrients your new insides cannot absorb. However, most people are successful with this type of surgery, losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time. At the time I went to the consultation the surgeon briefly talked about the gastric sleeve but he said he only did it on people who were too large for gastric bypass and it was a precursor to gastric bypass so he didn't talk about that as an option. He said that there is a 5 year success rate meaning most people lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off for about 5 years but after 5 years their weight begins to creep back up...


If I'm going to voluntarily have my stomach cut open, have my insides rerouted, risk infection, sickness and even DEATH I want it to last a lot longer than 5 years!! And it can if you change your lifestyle and learn how to eat and exercise...but how can I do that? After surgery you're kind of set free to fend for yourself. There are resources if you're motivated enough to go out and find them but if I wasn't motivated enough to go out there and look BEFORE surgery will I be motivated after surgery? I know myself well enough to know the answer is NO.

But I pushed my reservations aside and went to the visit with the nutritionist because I was determined to get skinny. I had spent the first 24+ years of my life MORBIDLY OBESE. Not just chubby, not just a little overweight...morbidly obese. I had heard from doctors for years that I needed to do something about my weight, I'd tried countless diets, I missed out on things like prom dress shopping because I was too fat to try on the dresses in the store. Thank God my sister was tiny and loved her fat little sister, she came with me and tried on the dresses I liked so I could order them in my size and have them sent to the store. I tried on my wedding gown by holding it up to myself and imagining what it would look like when my Spanx clad love handles weren't sticking out from both sides. I didn't want to live the rest of my life that way, especially when I was watching so many of my friends transform and start living the life I wanted.

The moment I realized "I can't do this" was when the nutritionist brought out a 2 ounce measuring cup and said "this will be the size of your new stomach." Amy and I left that appointment terrified and disappointed. I remember that I was driving and I was so upset I had to pull over in the movie theater parking lot where I sobbed for what felt like hours.

I sobbed because I was morbidly obese.
I sobbed because I hated myself so much.
I sobbed because I knew my weight was going to kill me if I didn't do something about it.
I sobbed because I realized gastric bypass was not going to be MY answer.


...and I sobbed because I was disappointed in myself for even considering it. I knew I was looking for a shortcut and in that moment I felt like the laziest person in the entire world. I couldn't believe that not only did I let myself get to 253.4 pounds but then I allowed myself to look for an easy out.


side note: I DO NOT believe that weight loss surgery is an easy out. I believe it's incredibly difficult and I admire those who use it as a tool, not a quick fix. Weight loss surgery is not a cure which is what I personally was looking for. I was looking for a quick fix but if you want to be successful long term with any weight loss program a quick fix isn't going to do it. It's all about lifestyle changes and weight loss surgery is a tool that you can utilize as is Weight Watchers. This being said, I was not intending to utilize the surgery as a tool. I thought I could have it, get thin and be done. My wife ultimately decided weight loss surgery was a tool she needed to be successful in her journey and had gastric bypass in July 2013. I've witnessed first hand how trying, difficult and yet rewarding this surgery can be. I am not bashing weight loss surgery or criticizing people who use weight loss surgery as a tool to get healthier. 


My appointment was on Wednesday January 10, 2011. I remember the exact day because on Thursday January 11, 2011 I joined Weight Watchers and I've been going since (excluding an 8 month period of time when we were looking for quarters in the couch cushions to buy McDoubles off the dollar menu but I only gained 4 pounds during that time away because mentally I WANTED to be at WW, I just couldn't afford it).

I remember what my why was but my why has changed. I'm down 92.2 pounds and I don't qualify for weight loss surgery anymore. I ran my first half marathon in April 2015; I lift weights; I look different than I did, I can shop at any store, try on my own clothes and bring them home...size 6's most of the time, the occasional 8 and on top mostly mediums where it used to be 3XL...

So why should I continue? What motivation do I have to keep going? When I first started Weight Watchers I wasn't sick but I knew I wasn't far from getting sick either. I was uncomfortable in my skin, my knees hurt all the time, I sweated when it was 10 below, I had to shop at specialty stores and never felt cute in anything I wore...I had motivation to get started and I did good.

I lost 102.6 pounds as of July 2014 and by December 2014 I had gained 18 back...18. That's a lot in just a few short months but I somehow managed to excuse the gain saying it was water retention from our Christmas vacation in Louisiana where I ate gingerbread man cookies. I ate an entire town of gingerbread men. Maybe even an entire state. So. Many. Gingerbread. Men. I didn't gain 18 pounds on vacation but I did gain 8...I was devastated and disgusted and swore to myself I'd take it back off. And I took off some of it but I haven't seen 158.4 (my 95 pound mark) since this time last year. I am currently hanging out at 161, my lowest (when I hit my 102.6 mark) was 150.8. I was 10.8 measly pounds from goal and now I'm 21 pounds from goal and I'm frustrated but not frustrated enough to do something about it.

Instead I attend my meeting weekly, have a fantastic week on plan and follow it up with a terrible week, work out like the athlete that I am one week and then sit on the couch as if I'm a part of it the next. My consistency is a huge, huge problem and I wish I knew how to flip the switch to get me back into the game. I know I did it once so why can't I do it again?

The answer is I CAN and I'm GOING TO. It's going to suck but I've done a lot of sucky things and been victorious. And I know it's only going to suck temporarily. When I fake it-til-I-make-it I usually end up actually enjoying myself and doing well. Tomorrow I'm starting the first half of my 15 pounds in 2015 challenge and I'm meeting with my trainer first thing in the morning; clothes are packed and so is my food for the day. It's a brand new week with brand new points and a brand new perspective.

And I think I have a why...why do I want to push through and continue to lose? Well, obviously I want to work for Weight Watchers and pay it forward, that's always been a goal of mine but other than that I want to do this for me. I've devoted the last year or so to my career and taken the focus off of me and off of my weight loss and fitness goals and it's paid off but now I'm a little tired and I'd like to sit back and reap the benefits of what I've sewn. I need to stop messing with perfection and allow myself to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I worked hard, it paid off, it's time to stop working so hard to keep perfecting something that's pretty perfect. That's not saying I should start slacking or blowing off my responsibilities but it's OK to stop dedicating so much of my time to work. I need to stop picking up extra shifts or private clients or filling all my downtime with work related things. There is life outside of work and it's OK to enjoy that life. It doesn't mean I don't love my job! It's OK to love things other than my job. It's OK to love ME!!

So WHY do I want to lose more weight? Why do I want to get to goal? Why is it important that I start following the program like I did when I first started?

Because:

-I want to run faster
-I want to lift heavier
-I want to wear smaller clothes
-I want to see more defined muscles

-I want more energy (yes! I want even more than I already have!!)
-I want to feel fulfilled by things OTHER than work
-I want to feel more confident
-I want to experience not having a muffin top
-I want a smaller number on the scale
-I want a smaller BMI
-I want to make myself proud

I know I have what it takes, I just have to remember that I'm worth it. If I'm questioning a decision I'm about to make like "Should I eat that? Should I run? Should I skip the gym today? Should I pick up a heavier weight instead?" I'm going to ask myself "are you making yourself proud right now?"

Because if it isn't making me feel good, if it isn't helping me reach my goals, if it isn't making me proud why am I wasting my precious energy and time on it? Life is so short and I'm determined not to waste another 24 years unhappy, unhealthy and uncomfortable.

-t






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