Starting Weight: 318.2 lbs.
Weight Last Week: 251 lbs.
Current Weight: 250.8 lbs.
Weekly Change: –0.2 lbs.
Total Weight Lost: 67.4 lbs.
I joined Weight Watchers exactly 9 months ago today, and this is not how I wanted to mark the occasion. I wanted to celebrate with a 70 lb. loss, or, at the very least, by finally making it to the 240s.
Why is it so easy to put on weight yet so hard to get it off?
I’ve heard that maintaining your weight is actually the hardest part of this journey (lifetimers at my weekly Weight Watchers meetings always preach this idea), but after being stuck here in the 250s for 10 weeks, I beg to differ.
Maintaining is easy; I’ve been able to do it without even trying.
I’ve changed up my routine.
I’ve tried new recipes.
I’ve tried using over half of my weeklies.
I’ve tried not using any weeklies at all.
I’ve tried to eat mostly power foods.
I’ve tried to eat junk food.
And nothing has gotten the scale to move in any substantial way.
All that I’ve really got to show for these past 10 weeks is physical and mental exhaustion.
One of the supposed benefits of Weight Watchers is that you can “eat whatever you want.”
That’s a fine and dandy thought, and at the end of the day, I guess that it’s technically true.
We all have choices to make, and what you put into your body is part of that. Unlike Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem or the like, Weight Watchers doesn’t necessitate that you buy their prepackaged foods in order to follow the plan. You can make the Weight Watchers program work in your own way, by purchasing and consuming your own food, and by structuring your day in the way that you see fit. So could you, technically, survive on carryout and boxed macaroni and tiny cups of ice cream? Sure.
I see other people eat that way.
It’s all over social media.
But let’s be realistic for a second.
How long is that feasible? Is that a lifestyle that you can maintain and continue to lose weight?
Carryout and delivery and boxed macaroni is what had me weighing well over 300 lbs. before even reaching age 20. You could argue that it wasn’t the food but rather the quantity that I was consuming that made me fat, but that’d be a circular argument; there were obviously a lot of problems with the diet I maintained prior to embarking upon this journey.
I’ve kept all of that in mind, though, as I’ve tried to navigate this new facet of life. Nowadays, I don’t just focus on the food and I don’t just focus on the quantity. I don’t actually live by the Weight Watchers mantra that “you can eat whatever you want.” I can spout off a list that’s about a mile long of all the foods that I don’t eat these days.
I can’t remember the last time I had a donut or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or a candy bar or a big bowl of high calorie pasta or a full-fat, thick and gooey grilled cheese sandwich or deep-fried fish and chips or a big, piping-hot order of onion rings.
In other words, I make a lot of “sacrifices” with my food.
And that thought kept playing over and over and over again in my head on a loop as I left Weight Watchers this morning.
I drove around for a bit and thought to myself, “Why are you sacrificing food like this? You’ve avoided things that you’ve craved for months—the last 10 weeks, especially—and what’s it gotten you?”
Unlike two weeks ago, I wasn’t thinking about going on a bender, but I was thinking about going out and eating some food that I hadn’t had in months. My mind started racing. Maybe I’ll go to Cold Stone Creamery and get an ice cream with some typically-bad-for-you toppings. Or maybe Sonic… I could grab a large order of onion rings. Or maybe Starbucks to get a coffee without skipping the whip cream and asking for non-fat milk. Or maybe 7-Eleven for a chocolate milk and a little package of donuts.
I wasn’t planning to go and get all of this food (something I totally would’ve done 9 months ago)—but I was planning to do something out of the ordinary.
I was in a weird state of mind. For a brief second, I wondered if this is how “normal” people feel: they get a craving for something that’s not a typical part of their diet and they just go and get it without fear of losing complete control—without fear of going on a binge.
It was only about 10:30 in the morning by this time, and I had almost definitely decided on stopping at Cold Stone, which meant I needed to kill half an hour before they opened. The Cold Stone Creamery I was closest to happens to be in a strip mall, so I decided that the best way to kill time would be to do a little shopping prior to getting my ice cream. I’m going to lunch with my aunt and uncle on Sunday, so I figured I could get a maxi skirt or maybe a cute, summery dress to wear.
Shopping was, as usual, a complete disaster, though, and I walked away empty handed.
Why do I continue to try to wear dresses? They don’t look good (on me), they don’t make me feel good, and they don’t even really match my style or personality. They say that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over again while expecting different results. Sound familiar?
Apparently I think that I’m magically going to love myself in a dress if I just keep trying them on every few weeks.
After standing in yet another fitting room and genuinely cringing at what I saw, I walked out of the store with zero plans to return and zero plans to try on any dresses or skirts in the near future.
I also decided that I didn’t need any ice cream.
On my way home, I bypassed all of the fast food places I’d thought of earlier, having decided that any sort of “unhealthy” food was basically the last thing I needed.
I was about 5 minutes from home when I changed my mind again and decided to pull into the parking lot of 7-Eleven and venture inside.
I made a beeline for the refrigerated section and stood in front of the milk and coffee beverages. I didn’t open the door—I just stood there looking at them for a few minutes. And then I moved on.
I walked over to the open refrigerated casing of “fresh” food—the place where they keep the day-old sandwiches and the salads and the giant pickles and the fruit and the hummus. I picked up a few different things and glanced at the nutritional information. Horrified, I moved on.
I briefly glanced at the cereal and boxed pasta, but, uninterested, I didn’t stop to linger.
Next I went to the freezer and stood in front of the wall of Ben and Jerry’s containers. I stood there for about 5 minutes and read each flavor name through the glass window. I didn’t open the door—I just read. And then I moved on.
Next I stood in front of the pastries. I picked up packages of mini donuts, Hostess fruit pies, prepackaged cheese danishes, gigantic muffins, little packages of pound cake, cookies the size of my own head, and twice I walked past the warm display case of “freshly made” donuts, bear claws, and apple fritters. I pulled out my phone and started scanning things, looking up points. Once I discovered the giant banana nut muffin that I had in my hand was a whopping 24pp (more than half of my daily allowance), I put everything back and moved to the next aisle.
I paused in front of the cereal bars and granola bars, lingering for a moment on the Cliff bars, thinking, briefly, that I ought to just buy something healthy and be done with it. But, of course, I didn’t do that.
I looked toward the warm, rotating food case near the cash register, and my eyes passed over hot dogs, taquitos, mini tacos, and gooey, cheesy pieces of pizza. I was super tempted to buy the pizza, but, again, I didn’t.
By now, I’d aimlessly wandered the gas station for 15-20 minutes, and I’d caught the eye of the cashier. I’m certain she assumed that I was either insane (see above for that definition again) or that I was going to pocket something without paying.
At this point, I was embarrassed by my inability to just pick an item of food, and I wanted desperately to just leave empty handed, but I’d made such a production of the whole process that I felt trapped. In a last ditch effort, I thought maybe I could just buy a pack of gum, but then something on an endcap caught my eye: a little four-pack box of Pillsbury Mini Blueberry Muffins. I had seen someone on Instagram post a picture of these just a few days ago, and I remembered thinking that they were reasonable point-wise.
Without looking at the nutritional information, I picked up the box and walked to the register.
I ate them in my car on the way home, not stopping to calculate the points value until I’d already finished them.
Any semblance of “normal” that I’d felt earlier was long gone by this point, and my simple plan to have something out of the ordinary was a spectacular fail.
My hopes and goals for the week are the same as they always are: I want to make it to the 240s, I want to lose 70 lbs., and I want to just make some kind of stride forward.
My goals for June aren’t going super well. My back has been giving me awful trouble, so yoga has been a complete bust. The only time I’m not in a constant state of pain is when I’m standing or when I’m lying flat on my back. I can’t sit for more than 10 minutes without needing to get up and move. Instead of getting better, I feel like I’m only getting worse as time goes on.
I hope your goals are going better—I want to see you guys succeed this month!
Eat well. Be well.