My (Very Long) Weight Loss Journey
I have struggled with my weight since Sophomore year of High School. It probably started before that, since I was anxious and self conscious during my Middle School years (who wasn’t?) My friends were skinny – all of them. I was never a “skinny” girl – I’m not built that way. But I certainly wasn’t fat when I weighed 140 lbs. Though, I thought I was.
I’ve always been a “comfort food”eater when I’m feeling down. The Summer after my parents got divorced, I remember eating lots of Lipton soup with noodles. (Soup has always been my go-to comfort food, FYI. It reminds me of when I stayed home sick from school when I was little at my Grammy’s house, she always made the most amazing home made Chicken Noodle Soup ever.) So many carbs. So much sodium. I was young then, and I really wasn’t aware of how terrible I was eating. I was aware, however, when I went back to school shopping in late August and my normal size no longer fit me. When I stepped on the scale I was devastated at how much weight I had gained. And that’s where it all began.
Over the years, I have tried every diet, every fad, you can possibly think of. I tried lots of diet pills – Stackers, Xenadrine – I convinced myself that they worked, but in reality, they just made my feel anxious. I would take diuretics and then a really hot bath to shed my water weight/bloat. I tried the “starve yourself” diet – 500 calories a day, 12 fat grams. How I managed to do this for almost two months is beyond me. I was about 17, and I lost 30 lbs so quickly. Obviously, I gained it back, and more, just as fast, if not faster. I tried Weight Watchers. This was back when Weight Watchers kind of sucked. I remember being baffled by the points system. My grilled chicken salad with lite Italian dressing and a half of a pita pocket was 12 points. A Big Mac was also 12 points. Why the Hell would I want the salad? An apple was 2 points, but so was a nutri grain bar. Which one would I choose? I lost about 20 lbs, but I quit that as well. And gained back my weight. The same with Jenny Craig. I lost 20 lbs, but really, can you live on pre-made, frozen meals, forever? Of course not. I never stuck with that either. For a few years, I maintained my weight. My good friend, Amaritta, taught me a lot about eating healthy. I started shopping at Trader Joe’s, and made healthier choices. I really wasn’t losing weight though, probably because I would eat whatever I wanted on the weekends.
It was not until this past January, that I realized I really needed to do something – something that worked. And it finally clicked. I had to stop thinking of eating healthy as a “diet”. I didn’t want to be on a diet, I needed a serious life-style change. I did join Get in Shape for Women in January, with Greta’s encouragement. I didn’t know enough about it. Yes, I lost 10 lbs that month, and I was very excited to be down 10 lbs before my vacation to Punta Cana in February, but I quit that as well. I knew I would never stick to their “diet” for life. It wasn’t reasonable for me. I don’t want to drink protein shakes. If I want a cheese stick, I’m going to have a cheese stick. (Also, FYI for anyone else contemplating joining, I really disliked the owner. At my first weigh in, I was a little shocked because I had gained weight over the Holiday’s. I remember the owning asking me, “Do you feel like a failure?” Ummm, no I didn’t, but I do now. Bitch.)
I tried eating healthy, and I have maintained my weight since February, give or take a pound or two. I thought back to my past “diets”, and I realized that what I did like about Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig was that I could go to the meetings and weighed in once a week. It held me accountable. So I decided to join Weight Watcher again.
I joined last week. It’s very, very, different than I remember. Fruits and vegetables are zero points, which is amazing. I had my first weigh in today (well, second. I don’t count the first week because it’s just my starting weight) and I lost 7.4 lbs! I was shocked and thrilled. I’m not starving myself. The first two days were definitely the hardest. I used to snack mindlessly, so I missed snacking the most. The first night I went to bed and all I wanted was a vanilla frosted donut from Dunkin Donuts. Yes, I have to count points, but I can eat whatever I want. Your point value is based on weight, height, age, gender, and physical activity. So what I eat may not work for someone else, obviously. This week was a little bit of a learning week, figuring out what I like and don’t like, and what is worth the point value and what isn’t. I was going to post my food journal, but it’s a little bit redundant, seeing that I eat the same thing almost every day. But I will list some of my favorite finds!
(1 Point! You can have 2 tbsp’s.)
(5 Points! My favorite.)
(Green Squash noodles. I bought it pre-made at Stop & Shop. ZERO POINTS. I mixed them in with Peppers, Onions and Squash. It was delicious. And I used spray butter in the pan, so it was all zero points!)
(4Points. This was worth 4 points for me.)
(4 oz is only 2 points. Great for a turkey burger.)
(Egg & Cheese on English Muffin from DD. 7 Pts.)
(This is really good for a frozen meal. 6 Points.)
Wish me luck on my journey!