Back in January, I started Weight Watchers with a goal in mind. I wanted to be at a certain weight when I went to my 30th high school reunion in early May. I had 38 pounds to lose and 17 weeks to get there. For those 4 months, I was diligent about following the program, making healthy choices and tracking what I ate. Imagine my surprise when I met my goal almost 3 weeks early! By the time I left for my trip, my total loss was at 40.2 lbs.
Here is a photo from last summer and one from the reunion this year.
I know that with any weight-loss effort, there are going to be plateaus. So the first few weeks after my reunion, it didn’t concern me too much that I was hovering around the same weight – some weeks down a fraction, some weeks up a fraction, but basically maintaining. The problem was I wasn’t where I wanted to be yet. That goal was supposed to be an intermediate step – ultimately, I wanted to lose a total of 80 lbs, so I was only ½ way there.
I had told myself that when school got out, I would start an exercise regimen that would include Zumba at least once a week, plus walking and/or swimming at a friend’s pool. Telling myself that and making myself do it were two different things. I found lots of excuses during the early part of the summer – mostly that I was too busy with projects around the house and at church (where I was filling in as secretary for the summer) – and only started going to an abs class in mid-June. I have since added a Zumba class as well, but the triple digit heat that we had for over a week meant I just wasn’t motivated to go walking.
Adding the exercise has been a good thing, but I have gotten lazy about tracking my food. I also did a lot of rationalizing with myself – I was burning calories, so it shouldn’t matter that much what I ate or whether I wrote it down. Unfortunately, it did matter. I soon realized that it was true what they said – Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt! For a few weeks, I continued to lose a little bit – two tenths of a pound or so each week. But it caught up with me this week. I gained 3.6 pounds. The good news is that I still have a total over 40 lbs. The bad news is that I am nowhere near where I wanted to be for the beginning of school.
I have 4 weeks left before going back to work. I have a new goal. Well, a mini-goal. And a plan. I want to lose 10 pounds in the next month, and I am going to do that by getting back to the basics of the program, tracking my food better, and adding some sort of exercise (walking, swimming, or just dancing around my house to the ipod for an hour) so that I am doing something 3 times a week.
And when I reach that goal, I am going to set another mini-goal. I am going to have to break this whole process down into baby steps, or I will get overwhelmed and fall off the wagon again.
So I am making a new start. I am going to learn from this setback (like the Weight Watchers leader told us at the meeting yesterday) and figure out what to do differently in the days and weeks and months to come.
I know that I will continue to have good days and bad days, but I have to live up to the commitment that I made to myself – to be honest about what I eat, and to make healthy choices as often as possible. I know that I won’t be perfect. As long as I keep trying, though, I can be happy about where I am. It’s when I am not trying that I start to feel like a failure. And I don’t want to feel like that. It just isn’t productive. I know I am already a success for having lost 40+ pounds – I just don’t want to lose that feeling by giving up on the process.
This is my 100th post on this blog! In the coming weeks and months, I hope to share more success stories here at The Spirit Within. Thanks for following this journey!