Monday, January 30, 2012

Why I decided to join Weight Watchers

For this being a blog that focuses quite often on healthy living, and my progress in that category, there's something about this I haven't shared with you all yet.

Let's start in the spring of 2011, during this time my body just felt really blah. When I was diagnosed with celiac in March, it helped with this feeling. I didn't feel as bloated, or agitated by certain foods, and I thought all my problems were solved with this. I wasn't as fatigued as I had often complained about, and thought all my problems with how my body was feeling would be solved.


With the madness of this summer and back and forth trips to DC, other work trips, packing up our condo and ultimately moving, my body still didn't feel right. Sure, I wasn't feeling awful like I did when I was eating gluten, but I wasn't feeling great. My clothes were not fitting well, my runs felt harder and more exhausting to complete, and I hated the way I was feeling, and the way I looked in certain outfits.

In September I went to the doctor and was weighted in just got 158 pounds, and I was in shock. Could I really be at that weight? What was I doing? I exercise, I eat right---or, did I?

I mean, of course I didn't eat great when I was moving, or when I lived in a hotel for two weeks, or before our kitchen was being unpacked, but I eat well otherwise, of course I do!

Denial is a powerful tool, and let me tell you, I was in denial about my habits. They weren't just that month in transition, it had taken months for me to get here. And as in denial as I was, the proof was staring back at me everyday in the mirror.

Now to be fair, I have to tell you, I'm not in the gifted and talented group when it comes to genetics as far as being able to eat what I want, and not have it show on my body. And if you are, I hate you, leave my blog immediately (I kid...sort of).

I have the same genetic make up that a few other members of my family were blessed --I mean cursed,with (I blame the German genes for this one) and age wasn't helping. You know in Big Daddy when Adam Sandler said that he used to be able to eat whatever he wanted, but as he got older if he ate a milk shake his ass would then jiggle for a week? Yeah, that.

When Ben and I got married in June 2010, I was fluctuating between 140 pounds, and 143, it was a very happy weight for me, so seeing this 158 (and sometimes plus) killed me. I was especially upset when I saw that this puts me in the "overweight" BMI area for my height of 5'6". I knew I had to do something.

So, I started tracking my food again like I did before our wedding, it was eye opening, I really wasn't making that great of choices. I splurged too often on "treats," and was eating A LOT. I always had the justification, if it's good for you, it's OK to eat a lot of, right? WRONG AGAIN.

By Thanksgiving I had lost two pounds and was sitting steady at 156 pounds. During the holidays I did my best not splurge, but lost interest in tracking my food (I was using My Fitness Pal App on my iPhone) and decided that if I wanted to make a change I HAD to do it now, I couldn't go down this slippery slope of being content with having a few extra pounds.

So, on the day after Christmas, I joined Weight Watchers online, and from the moment I started, it's proved as a great tool. As of last Friday, my last weigh in day, I was down to 151 pounds, five pounds lost in 31 days. My clothes feel good, my runs feel great (when you're lugging around less weight, it really does make a difference), and my body feels better when I'm feeding it better choices.

I don't know how I forget this when I'm making poor choices, but it's so true to say,

Fit and Healthy feels better than anything can taste.

Weight Watchers online does take some work, but it's not super hard. I can easily enter recipes and determine points, and I love the way the points plus program encourages me to eat more real food like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.

Do I still splurge? Heck yes, I have to live. This weekend I had the most delectable Red Velvet cupcake from Sprinkles in Georgetown (they put a DOME of frosting on cupcakes there, for a sugar freak like me, it's heaven). The difference between now and then is, that's a once a week splurge, not a three or four times a week splurge.

The points tracking has made me realize the times I eat out of habit, not hunger (dessert after dinner each night especially) and how a few extra bites each day can lead to extra pounds over a few months, and that with patience and persistence, you can get back to a healthier place.

This experience has also proved to me that because I drew the short straw for not so naturally skinny genetics, that this has to be a life long process. I can't let my guard down, and I have to be OK with that. As much as it sometimes feels so unfair sometimes to not be able to eat sugar and french fries whenever the craving comes my way, things could be a lot worse in life.

I'm signed up for Weight Watchers through March 26, and I plan to continue it another three months after that for continued accountability.

For my five pound reward, I got a massage last Friday, and my next reward will be when I hit 145, eleven pounds lost, and I'll let myself FINALLY get a pair of Wunder Unders from Lululemon!

These pants are super comfortable and have been said to make your legs and rear look great. hey, at 145 pounds, plus the cost of these pants, my ass better look dynamite!

I can't promise updates all the time, but I'll keep you updated on my progress as I reach these milestones, my ultimate goal--138!


Ann said...

I love this blog post, Alexa, and how you realized a problem and found tools that were useful for you to be successful! Congrats on the loss and I can't wait to hear about your other weight-loss milestones! :)

Jen H-Running Free said...

I am so proud of you Alexa - I was wondering how things were going! One of the things my leader is always saying - "if you kind of do it, it kind of works, if you really do it, it really works!" It's so true! Keep up the great work - I can't wait to hear how awesome those pants make your butt look! :)

Angie @ Angie Anew said...

Just catching up on your journey to health. Our stories sound very similar (minus the true celiac diagnosis). I will be following along your journey!

Alexa said...

Thanks Angie! I'm excited to have you as a reader, and can't wait to hear about your journey as well.