I am feeling really great, and that’s because I’ve had so many good things happen within the last few days. I like sharing my life with you—the good and the bad—and I also like having little reminders for myself—reminders to help me get through the difficult times in my weight loss journey. This post is going to serve as a big reminder for me.
I have a childhood friend who’s in the U.S. Air Force and currently preparing to enter medical school. We’ve been friends since we were 7, and he’s always been incredibly kind to me, which really says a lot. When I was growing up, I was bullied for my weight. I was always on great terms with the girls I went to school with, believe it or not; they were always kind to me and none of them ever made a comment about my weight. The boys, on the other hand, were not kind to me. They were the problem.
I hold one boy, in particular, responsible for the majority of my torment. When we were 6, he started calling me Tractor and Bulldozer, and the rest of the boys thought that that was just hilarious, and they joined in. I was tormented for years after that, and it wasn’t a nice feeling. I was called those names (amongst many others) until well into my teenage years.
My friend who’s currently in the Air Force, however, was one of the only boys to never call me names or make fun of me. We progressively became closer friends over the years, particularly throughout high school. He’s never mentioned my weight ever, and it’s never been a subject of contention between us. He’s just a genuinely sweet soul, and he’s been such a good friend. That’s why whenever we have breaks from college, we always make sure to meet up and have a cup of coffee or grab some dinner or have a beer, which is what we did on Friday night.
The last time I saw him was in August, about a month before I began my weight loss journey. So on Friday night, we decided to meet at a local brewhouse for some beers. He got there before me and was waiting out front when I made my way in.
Now, here’s the thing that’s important to keep in mind: I don’t think I look noticeably different. Yes, I’m technically about 30 lbs. lighter (29.8 lbs., to be exact), but when I look in the mirror, I still see the same person I was back in September. When I look at myself closely, I can see minute changes: my thighs are a little smaller, my t-shirts hang a little better on me, my pants are baggier. But when I look at myself with less scrutiny, I don’t see a noticeable change.
When I walked up to my friend in front of the brewhouse, the look of shock on his face made me laugh. I just cut about 5 inches of my hair off a week ago (it’s now chin-length), and I assumed that that’s what had him looking so shocked. “I know! I look different, huh?” I said while tugging on my hair. “Do you like it? It looks like a flapper-girl haircut, huh?”
He smiled at me and said, “Not only the hair—have you lost weight?!” And then my face turned beet red. I said, “Yeah! I have, actually! I can’t believe you noticed! No one else has said anything to me. I didn’t think it was noticeable…” And then he told me that it’s very noticeable and that I looked great!
I just couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’ve dropped enough weight for people to notice! This is just incomprehensible to me.
I kept thinking about his comments the whole night—so much so that they actually ended up shaping the way I ordered. Instead of drinking a few beers (like I’d planned to), I stuck to one pint of berry hard cider, a 3PP drink. After I finished that, I just drank water. My friend wanted to order some appetizers to share, too (which we always do when we’re out, especially late at night), but we all know that greasy bar food isn’t the best choice when you’re trying to be healthy. He chose Carnitas Fries with Chili Verde (1,020 calories, 62 g. fat, 60 carbs., 9 g. fiber, 53 g. protein), and I ended up picking Avocado Egg Rolls (910 calories, 52 g. fat, 101 g. carbs., 14 g. fiber, 14 g. protein) because it seemed like the lesser of all evils on the menu.
When the food came, instead of just giving in to temptation, I was very, very cautious about eating. I took my little appetizer plate and took just a tiny bit of his fries—1/4 of a serving at most. Then I sat and picked at my portion for a good 30 minutes or so, eating slowly and mindfully. Once I’d eaten that, I took about 1/3 of a portion of the appetizer I’d chosen and did the very same thing—I ate slowly and mindfully. And once I finished that, I was done. I let the rest of the food sit on the table.
The entire plate of fries my friend ordered was worth 27PP. The portion I ate was worth 7PP. The entire plate of avocado egg rolls was 24PP. The portion I ate was worth 8PP. So, including my hard cider, my excursion to the brewhouse cost me 18PP.
I get 47PP to use per day, and on Friday, for the first time ever, I went over that number. I used 55PP on Friday, which means I dipped into my 49 weekly “splurge” points and used 8.
And you know what? I was actually really, really proud of myself for this. My behavior has totally and completely changed over the course of the 12 weeks I’ve been on Weight Watchers. Prior to joining Weight Watchers, I would’ve never been conscientious of my food choices; I would’ve never scrounged the menu for what appeared to be the healthiest of options. And I also would’ve never had such normal sized portions, either. I’d have eaten all of the food I’d ordered, and I’d have also ordered a few more beers on top of that, too.
The fact that I only went over my daily allowance by 8PP is a huge accomplishment—one that I am very proud of!
Then, yesterday, my cousin also flew in to town on a return trip from visiting her folks for Thanksgiving. I live very close to the airport she flew into, so she called me and asked if I wanted to grab some sushi for lunch with her while she was in the neighborhood. Knowing that sushi isn’t the best of choices point-wise I was a bit nervous, but I agreed to go anyway, thinking that I could handle it.
And I did!
I ordered a lunch special: a cup of miso soup (3PP), and two choices of rolls. I decided on cucumber (3PP each) and Alaska rolls (3PP each). I ate the soup and half of the sushi, and I drank several glasses of water. My cousin ordered a huge plate of calamari for an appetizer, and I had a very small serving of it (3PP worth), as well. She ordered a ton of food for herself: a few glasses of sake, a cup of miso soup, a full order of Spider rolls and a full order of Black Dragon rolls, and she polished off the remaining calamari, too. The fried food that she had looked so good, but I resisted! I ate my healthier choices and stayed on plan all day long. I used all 47PP of my daily allowance yesterday, but I didn’t go over and I didn’t binge.
I feel so good about myself right now. I feel confident in myself because I know that I can navigate tough food situations fairly well now. I know that there are going to be days when I screw up and when I feel like eating half of what’s in my refrigerator, but these days I’m experiencing more good days than bad ones, and that is so, so amazing to me.
When you’re in the midst of this journey, it’s hard to listen to people when they say, “it gets better; it gets easier.” This is really, really hard. It’s hard to lose the weight and change your behavior and change your life. Every single day is a struggle, and I often feel like I’m walking a tightrope. On one side of the rope sits a pile of pizzas and cheeseburgers, and on the other side of the rope sits a pile of fruits and vegetables and the other kinds of healthy fats and carbs that are sometimes the bane of my existence. Every day I feel like I have to carefully walk between the two piles—picking and choosing which foods from each side I’m going to allow myself to eat. Most days, I feel like I could fall headfirst into a pile of pizza at any second.
And then, suddenly, without the slightest of warnings, it’s better. Suddenly, it’s not quite as hard to choose the healthier food. Suddenly, it’s not quite as hard to resist eating enough food for three people. Suddenly, it’s not so hard to order a water or a glass of iced tea or just one alcoholic beverage.
Suddenly, it’s not such a shock when I see the numbers on the scale going down. Suddenly, it’s more shocking when they go up.
I don’t know when or how this happened, but it did, and I feel good. For the first time in my entire life, I feel confident about who I am and what I’m capable of. I feel like I can live the life I want to live.
I hope that all of you have had this same feeling at least once, and if you haven’t, I’m excitedly waiting for the day you feel it.