(This blog is timed to a Weight Watchers ‘Inspire’ week and dedicated to all my fellow Weight Watchers at Work members)
They say you should have at least one really honest friend who isn’t afraid to tell you things others might not. Things you might not want to hear. A couple of years ago, I texted mine a photo of myself proudly posed in front of a red Porsche 911 convertible at a local car show. Her response? “When did you get that belly? I never remember seeing you like that before!”
Thus began my Weight Watchers journey. My honest friend, the tipping point.*
I started Weight Watchers ‘officially’ in November 2013. But I actually grew up on it. My mom has been an on and off again member forever, and she was always a really strong advocate for the program.
I knew the ‘mantras’ and guidelines by heart. ‘Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.’ ‘Wet it and forget it.’ And, in the old days, the idea that you could have two slices of bread, two milks, 3-5 fruits, however-much, weighed-out proteins.
Weight Watchers was always there when I needed it and just always made sense. A healthy way of eating and living, everything in moderation. A program you could use for weight loss – then continue practicing without putting the weight back on.
I called on Weight Watchers to help me take off the Freshman ‘seven pounds’ I put on in college. Then again after I had my two kids – when I put on 38 pounds each time. (I honestly don’t understand how anyone can be disciplined enough to watch what they’re eating when you’re not feeling that well, you’re trying to pamper and put yourself first – maybe for the last time – and you’re getting bigger and bigger, no matter how much you do or don’t eat!)
But I really got into the program two years ago, when I officially joined Weight Watchers at Work and committed to take off the 18 pounds that just came on that year … I’m blaming changes in metabolism.
I was nervous at first. I didn’t necessarily want to be that disciplined, write down my food, cut out late night snacks, etc. But I was motivated too and I just jumped in. And it’s one of the best things I ever did, no exaggeration.
While people teased me a little about ‘not needing to lose weight’ and ‘why was I there’ – I did lose the 18 unwanted pounds over about five or six months, slow and steady. I went down one to two pants sizes – to my lowest size ever (though a coworker dampened my enthusiasm a little, talking about ‘vanity’ sizes, compared to times past!). And I’ve met great people who motivate me to keep on going.
Maintaining is hard, but I find it worth it. I feel more energetic and healthier in my eating, exercise and general lifestyle. When I get off track a little, I know I can do the work and get the results. And when I feel badly about other things in my life, I know this is one thing I can control.
Just like it was all through my childhood and my mother’s life, it just makes sense. And, when you truly follow the program, it just works.
By the way, my ‘Counting Almonds‘ blog title? It comes from the fact that I count out 24 almonds a day as part of my daily protein regimen (12 with breakfast, 12 as a snack, whenever I need a boost). Showing the TOTAL NERD I am, every time I even say ’24 almonds a day’ I start singing in my head the old Partridge Family song, 24 Hours a Day (Google it if you like!).
*My honest friend’s husband has not been as helpful. I used to tell him and my friend I had my own, simple weight loss philosophy I called E.L.E.M. – Eat Less, Exercise More. He added on E.W. – Except Weekends. Wish it worked, but not so much …
Watch for my next blog: The Magic of Music and Lyrics