I stepped on the scale the first day at Weight Watchers weighing 253.4, knowing that this was my last resort. If Weight Watchers didn’t work, I’d be having gastric bypass surgery because somehow, someway I NEEDED to get the weight off. I had 100+ pounds to lose. I was 24, recently married and even though I wasn't sick YET, I knew where I was headed. I have PCOS which makes me a lot more susceptible to developing type II diabetes; my mom is slightly overweight but nowhere NEAR obese and she is pre-diabetic and has high cholesterol.
*side note, mom joined Weight Watchers about 3 days ago. I'm SO proud of her!! I want her to live a long and healthy life, just like I want everyone around me to live a long and healthy life!! She's doing AMAZING and I have no doubt she will lower her blood sugar and cholesterol in no time.
My father who wasn't sick a day in his life woke up one day in excruciating pain as a tumor the size of a baseball tore into his colon from his appendix. Appendix cancer is VERY rare; this man was NEVER sick and suddenly he's being cut from his sternum to his pelvis and having cancer removed from his body. They took his appendix, 3 feet of his colon, several lymph nodes and 6 months of his life but he fought and he's in remission and every single day I thank God that he is here and he is healthy.
The thing is though, you NEVER know what is going to happen. I could wake up tomorrow and get hit by a bus trying to cross the street. Life is not guaranteed and I can't live in constant fear that today could be my last BUT I knew that if I kept the weight on I was limiting my own days. With my family history of diabetes, high cholesterol and my own issues with PCOS and the fact that I'd been morbidly obese MY ENTIRE LIFE (yes, even the pediatrician used the words "morbidly obese") I knew it was only a matter of time until my card was punched. I can't help the fact that fate has the final word, I can't help the fact that tomorrow I could get killed by a flaming toilet seat (Dead Like Me reference LOL) but I can make sure that I don't succumb to preventable disease like type II diabetes. I can make sure that I don't live my life testing my blood sugar, having toes removed one by one, then a foot, then a leg; I can stop diabetes from taking my vision from me; I can stop high cholesterol from stopping my heart. I have some control of my future but only if I stand up and grab it and fight for it.
And fight I do. I can't say "everyday is a struggle" because that's not true. Someday's are a breeze, other days I struggle. But that's life, right? If everything was always easy we'd never appreciate all the amazing things we have because we wouldn't know what it's like NOT to have them. I can appreciate all the amazing things I have right now because I didn't have them just a few months ago.
Right now I feel better than I ever have, healthy, balanced and just overall GOOD. It's a feeling I never thought I'd get to.
For a couple years now I've been talking about goal, knowing I was getting close but not ready to say "yes, this is it." I thought I needed to hit 140. Then I thought 150 sounded more reasonable. Then I thought about 145. More recently I started thinking about 135. Whenever I thought about goal I thought about a number until I woke up yesterday and felt happy, comfortable and good in my skin. I realized how much I've gained over the past 5 years including (but not limited to)
*Love and respect for myself.
*A healthy relationship with food.
I spent the rest of the day thinking about how good I feel, thinking about how different I feel, thinking about how amazing it is to have those things and I didn't think about the number I would see later in the evening when I weighed in. That's the first time I didn't spend an entire Wednesday (Weigh-In-Day) thinking about what the number would be later in the evening. Then I realized those things have NOTHING to do with a number on the scale and I realized I could lose them all if I start focusing on that number again and I don't want to lose those things. I was so thirsty for them for so long, I've worked my ass off to get them, I've EARNED those amazing feelings and I want to hang onto them for dear life and I think that if I try to hang onto them AND a magic number I'll lose my grip and watch everything I've earned slip away...
I thought that if I didn't get to 140 or at least 145 that I was settling. For SO long I told myself (and anyone within earshot) that I wanted to lose 113.4 pounds. I felt like I was so close, I should just keep pushing a little longer, a little harder to get there! I felt like I was settling by not pushing myself but then I imagined what it would look like if I did push myself harder and harder trying to get to 135 or 140 or 145 and getting frustrated because I was exhausted and hungry and I was sacrificing SO much to get there. I imagined myself doing MORE than I'm already doing and I honestly don't think that would be healthy or responsible. I'm eating the cleanest I've EVER eaten. I'm weighing, measuring and tracking everything I eat. I've increased my activity and I spend a good amount of time in the gym and/or walking the dogs or just being active somehow.
I cannot cut anymore out of my diet; I've already eliminated grains, dairy and sugar for health reasons and most days (because I'm eating so many veggies and so much lean protein) I'm under my Daily Points Target anyways!
Adding MORE time at the gym is going to physically hurt and exhaust me and I know I'll burn out quickly if I don't injure myself first. I truly enjoy walking my dogs for a couple miles everyday but if I start walking them because "I have to" I know I'll start to resent it and I'll stop.
I know myself because I've allowed myself 5+ years to figure myself out and I've allowed my transformation to be ugly and messy. I wasn't a caterpillar who busted out of the chrysalis a beautiful butterfly and fluttered away. I've been a bull in a china shop, a hot freakin mess! I've spiraled up and down and I've tried restricting which lead to binging; excessive workouts lead to months of NOTHING; I know what triggers me to go OFF track and now I know how to stay on track. So I let go of the magic number and instead asked myself "how do I feel?" and the answer was "amazing."
Then I decided this is goal. Goal is NOT a number, not for me. Goal is this place that I'm in right now. This place of love and respect for myself and it has nothing to do with losing 100 pounds or 105 pounds or 113.4 pounds...the same as it has nothing to do with weighing 135 or 140 or 145 or 150...goal is not a number. Goal is so much more than a number and the moment I realized that I seized that thought and that's why I'm officially saying I'm at goal.
Of course to be a lifetime member of Weight Watchers you do have to pick a number goal and weigh in within 2 pounds of that goal once a month so I picked 148. That's 105.4 pounds down, 8 pounds under the Weight Watchers weight range for my height of 5'6" and even though my focus is on how GREAT I feel, how whole, how balanced and how completely transformed I am I do realize that I do have to pay a little attention to the number. I feel like 148 is a number I can manage and I feel happy with it. I might get under that number by remaining consistent with my eating and working out; I do plan to train for and compete in my first triathlon in September so who knows how that will affect my body and the scale? But if I don't lose anymore, if this is the end of the weight LOSS portion of my journey I'm comfortable with it. I feel REALLY good lately and I don't want to ruin that by obsessing about a number because I know now that feeling good and the number on the scale are completely unrelated. Can you believe I just said that!? Like, who the hell am I!? LOL!!!! All along my focus has been on numbers. How much I weigh, how much I lost, how many steps I got, how many pounds I lift at the gym...the numbers were everywhere and suddenly light broke on marble head and I realized the numbers mean NOTHING and I mean everything. I am so much more than a number and I deserve to feel good.
Getting to goal, picking a goal, everything about goal freaked me out for so long and I truly believe that focusing so much on the number is what prevented me from getting here. But I'm here now and I'm ready to start the next chapter in my Success Story, maintenance. As long as I weigh in at or below 148 for the next 6 weeks I'll be a lifetime member... I can't believe it! It still feels a little surreal. I didn't share this with the meeting last night, I wasn't ready. Not only because I want to hold onto this secret just a little longer, I want to feel the pride and know that I've accomplished this and hold onto it and embrace it and have it be mine-just mine-for a little bit longer, but also because I got some disappointing news right before I weighed in which made my exciting "OMG! I'm at goal!" moment a little less exciting. As some of you know my goal is to work for Weight Watchers someday because it's an absolutely amazing company and it's done so much for me; I'd love the opportunity to be on the other side of the scale, weighing members in, supporting and encouraging them and/or leading a meeting. So I applied! But, last night I was told that there are no job opportunities so I should not try to pursue my dream. When the disappointment of realizing that fades I'll share my exciting news with the members in the meeting and other people in real life, but for now I am feeling a little sad and disappointed; not exactly the way I imagined I'd feel (and trust me, I've imagined the moment a million times over the past 5 years!) the day I weighed in at goal, but I know everything happens for a reason. So, I'll allow myself to be disappointed that I won't be able to pay-it-forward; but I'll also allow myself to feel incredibly proud of all the changes I've made. Yes, 105.8 pounds is a TON of weight and YES that's absolutely something to be proud of, but I'm most proud of how much I've changed INSIDE. I didn't give up on myself. I got myself to goal and I'm officially starting maintenance. It's starting to feel a little more real and a little more exciting with each passing moment and I'm sure that just as slowly as the excitement is creeping on, the disappointment will creep off.