I don't often walk into a friend or family member's home, plop myself down on the couch and say "I'm on Weight Watchers!" In fact, I don't tell very many people at all. It isn't a fad diet. It isn't something that I'm just doing for a while. It isn't a fundraising opportunity. It's my life.
I'm going to be a Weight Watcher forever. It's been decided. I joined for the last time in December 2011 when I weighed 199 pounds, my personal heaviest weight. I don't often talk about that, and I rarely say a number. (By the way, thank you to Valerie for asking me questions I used to be afraid to answer!)
So there you have it folks: the truth. I'm doing my thing at my pace and on my terms. I don't run marathons. I don't go to bootcamp at some ungodly hour every morning. I don't cut out all carbohydrates and beer.
I exercise when I can and when I want to. I eat what I should when I want to. I drink beer. I eat hamburgers. I could never give up french fries.
So why is this post called tell someone! then? Because I lived in hiding with my new lifestyle for a long time. I avoided exercising for nearly a year. I didn't take time for myself to shop the way I wanted to and go to the gym as I saw fit. I didn't want people to notice the changes, and they didn't. I lost about 10 pounds in the first 12 months on plan, and it wasn't enough. I've now lost about 10 pounds in just three months on plan when I did something extraordinary: I started talking about my journey.
I started small with my family, and do you know what happened? My mother and aunt both rejoined Weight Watchers with me in a matter of a few months! It's great!
Then I talked about it more and more with my boyfriend, to make sure that he knew this didn't mean we could never eat a buffalo wing again. I took advantage of his overtime at work and joined the beloved spin studio I've mentioned before. I am very vocal about loving my workouts and my instructors. He has realized that I'm not really different than I was before, but I usually order off the kid's menu or box up half of my food to take home with me for lunch. Now for birthdays or anniversaries, he buys me class packages to my favorite gym. He is incredibly supportive, but in a quiet and behind the scenes sort of way, and I love him all the more for it.
Lately, as my clothes get more and more loose, I have begun telling a lot more people about my lifestyle. Now when they ask if I'm losing weight, I smile and I try to say things like "I'm working on it" or "I hope so, thanks for noticing my effort." It sounds corny, but thanking them for the compliment is a battle in my head. Then they usually ask how, and I'm honest. I tell them that I am trying out all sorts of activities and so far I really love spin classes, and of course I tell them that I'm a Weight Watcher.
This means that I have friends joining Weight Watchers with me and I'm building an incredible support group. I have co-workers and long lost buddies that are signing up for spin classes with me all the time and I rarely go into a class where I don't know someone. People call me asking if I would like to walk with them. I text friends that live far away to see if they've tried their new workout dvd's yet. I trade workout dvd's or plans with my friends all the time. I am turning into a healthy living machine. It is a daily part of my life, and I love it.
Even most of the gifts I received for my birthday last week were healthy living related: class packages for spin classes, a heart rate monitor, cooking classes, new workout pants, and REI gift cards. People know that this is something that I love and something that I am not going to stop doing anytime soon.
Recently I had an epiphany, anyone who has known me for longer than six years knows that I've done Weight Watchers once before and I had success. I feel like I look bad having to come back to Weight Watchers and lose the weight again, like I'm a failure. But last night it occurred to me that I didn't have to come back because Weight Watchers didn't work, I had to come back because I didn't work. I didn't stay on plan back in 2007, but if I did I would probably be a lifetime member right now.
Weight Watchers only works if you actually stick with it. I can't just have them automatically deduct the money from my account each month and expect the scale numbers to start dropping. I can't pay the gym every year and wonder why I don't have a 6-pack. I can't stock my fridge with healthy food, then go out to eat every night, and tell everyone that my healthy lifestyle isn't working.
"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work."