Here's the skinny (pun intended). I used to be skinny. Then I was thin. Then I was in decent shape. Then I had a few extra pounds. Then I was "a little" overweight. Then I was a fat "skinny person." Then I was a skinny "fat person." Then I just got fat. I didn't gain very much weight when pregnant because those silly little babies already had ample room to grow in there. After delivering each of my children, I lost my pregnancy weight and then an additional 40 or so pounds. Those blasted pounds kept finding me, and they brought their friends!
I'm all out of excuses. Stinker is almost 6 years old, so I can't blame it on post-baby body. I'm not unhappily married anymore, so I can't blame it on my loveless marriage. I'm not lonely, or injured, or any number of things people rely on to explain how they got fat. I'm just unconscious about my eating and too sedentary.
Each year, like millions of other people, I declare it will be the year that I lose the weight. Each year, like millions of other people, I start and then I stop. I make up stories and excuses, I get "too busy," whatever ... I make up some story to explain why I can't stick to any program. IT ALL ENDS NOW.
Have you seen Jennifer Hudson? Damn, that girl looks gooooooood. She is my muse. My body looks like hers did in Dreamgirls - a square block - except I don't have the booty for balance. She is a spokesperson for Weight Watchers so I thought I'd go check out the new Points Plus program. I know what you're thinking: So? You do this every year, and every year you quit. Why should we care that you're starting again? Why should we be supportive when our love and energy will be wasted? My answer: I'm doing a few things differently this time and I'm setting myself up to succeed.
I've joined with a friend, so I actually do have accountability. She's someone I see almost every day, so I have to look her in the eye and confess to my eating sins. I've chosen a center right down the street from where I spend most of my working hours, so it is not a big chunk of my time to stop in and weigh myself. I chose a center that literally has 18 meetings a week; no matter my schedule, it's highly probable I can find a meeting that will work. Plus, in addition to 18 meetings a week, it has 24 "open hours" where I can go weigh in even if I can't make a meeting. No more trying to convince myself to interrupt my Saturday to go to a meeting (ick!) or rushing home in traffic to get the kids, get them fed, take them to grandma's and then get to a meeting on time. Do you see what I did there? I eliminated all of my excuses for not going to meetings! As much as I don't like them, statistics show that people with the best weight loss results regularly attend meetings.
But wait, there's more. (Does that sound like an infomercial?) I'm also working the exercises in A Course of Weight Loss. It's got 21 lessons that are designed to help the reader identify the emotional reasons for overeating, address them and release them so one can lose the weight and not gain it back. If it works, this is a HUGE part of my journey because I am definitely an emotional eater. (Someone once described the phenomenon in a way that makes sense to me [as gross as it is]: Feelings are like cat poop, food is the kitty litter, and the eater is the cat. Whenever we experience unpleasant feelings, we try to bury them with food. OMG - this analogy speaks to me, dear reader.)
I'm not done. I'm also following a biggest-loser type of program that 24 Hour Fitness will be hosting. I get extra Points Plus for exercise - bonus! I get to eat more! - AND I'm 40-something and realize that no matter what I do with food, the weight will not come off if I do not exercise regularly.
And speaking of Biggest Loser, if all else fails and I can't get a grip on this weight loss issue, I'm going to the Biggest Loser ranch in Utah in the fall! So there.
So here's the status for Week 1: I lost 4.8 pounds! Woo hoo. I didn't have a perfect week - I had bunco with the girls last week plus I baked chocolate chip cookies for the boys (masochist, I know!) - but in the grand scheme I worked the program, and it worked me. I know I won't continue to lose so much each week as I progress in the program, but a nearly 5-pound loss is definitely motivation to carry on.
Oh, and I have some rewards for myself for each milestone I hit (5%, 10%, etc.) Alas, those are for another day.