Life.

Hello, friends!

Long time no see, huh? I know, I know… I’ve been gone for more than a month… my longest hiatus to date! But, alas, I am still alive—although just barely!

When I last wrote, I mentioned that June had been really, really tough on me. Unfortunately, things didn’t let up in July—in fact, I’d hazard a guess that July may have even been more challenging than June was. 

My stress levels skyrocketed, followed directly by my weight, and then, accordingly, my grades plummeted. There was a brief moment that I really and truly thought I was going to flunk my anatomy + physiology course… I was working far too many hours, sleeping and studying far too few hours, and eating nothing but crappy processed foods at random intervals in between massive sugar and caffeine binges.

Something had to give… And without giving it too much thought, I decided that what that something was was my job.

Weight Watchers sent me on a weekend business trip to Chicago on July 15th so that I could complete my leader training. I worked the weekend before that trip, but the rest of the week leading up to it? I decided to find subs to cover every single meeting I was supposed to work so that I could take the entire week off.

That business trip, surprisingly, was a godsend; it put some things into perspective for me.

seatbelt!

My first time on an airplane in over a decade… + I fit in the seat! My seatbelt needed to be tightened, + my tray table came all the way down! I nearly cried with relief + excitement.

Being surrounded by new leaders—by people from all across the country with new and exciting stories just like mine, who understood me probably better than anyone else I work with here at home in Colorado—was eye-opening, and it re-energized and re-motivated me like nothing else has been able to do thus far.

NewFriends

As you can see from my hair, humidity + Colorado girls don’t mix! …Not to mention we’d just walked 3 miles to do some touristy souvenir shopping at the mall + then get some—you guessed it—deep dish at Chicago’s famous Giordano’s… because Weight Watchers leaders eat pizza, too!

The group of new leaders was pretty big; there were over 30 of us. These ladies in the photo, though, were the ones I seemed to form a special kinship with. They “got me,” and they understood what it was like to be in this in-between of learning how to balance becoming a staff member and continuing to be a member yourself. Surprisingly, not all of these gals were at goal yet either, so I found myself in good company in that department, too.

On night two, when we were given the teeniest bit of free time, we commiserated over deep dish pizza and booze (though neither of which were overdone… because we actually were watching each other!). This was quite a change from the chef-prepared Weight Watchers dishes we had cooked and served to us otherwise (three times daily!) because, yes, believe it or not, Weight Watchers did, indeed, make sure their brand new leaders were eating nothing but plan-friendly meals, desserts, and snacks while we were slaving away in WW Bootcamp:

LMS1LMS2GiordonosDinner

This whole “having every single meal cooked, prepared, and served” thing was amazing. I figure this must be what it’s like to be Oprah on plan! Every single recipe was from one of the many Weight Watchers cookbooks out there in existence—even the desserts!—and it was fabulous. We also had free, unlimited access to all of the Weight Watchers products we sell in our stores and online, and a wonderful, free fruit and veggie bar that was replenished by the hotel staff throughout the day, too, meaning everything I consumed that weekend, aside from our Giordano’s adventure, was 100% on plan. My coffee creamer, my snacks, my everything was Weight Watchers approved…

And for some reason, this turned me on to the idea of really and truly giving Simply Filling a go after I returned home. Literally the entire time I was in Chicago schooling up on the latest and greatest techniques of facilitating a Weight Watchers meeting, I was working up the nerve to make a new plan for myself and, in turn, make a new start at Weight Watchers.

It’s no secret—at least not to all of you—that I’ve struggled with SmartPoints. When we first rolled out this new plan, I complained to just about everyone who’d listen, and that included all of you here on the blog… But then reality set in: I had decided to accept a job with Weight Watchers, so I had to put on my big girl panties and work this new program… I had to… Otherwise I’d have to quit the job that I felt was really right for me at this particular phase of my life, because I just couldn’t have it both ways.

So I gave it the old college try (with a lot of grumbling, mind you), and for awhile, I started to lose weight again… But that trend didn’t last long. Soon enough, I was slowly but steadily gaining weight, and before I knew it, twenty—yes twenty—pounds had crept up on me.

Let me be clear about something: I don’t think, fundamentally, there’s anything wrong with the SmartPoints plan… and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Weight Watchers employee. The SmartPoints program falls right in line with the latest and greatest scientific studies surrounding nutrition and weight loss. Have you ever seen the documentary Fed Up? Watch that bad boy just once, and you’ll be outraged at the world and gung-ho to follow SmartPoints to the tee—really.

But the thing is, for me, this is not working. For my longtime readers, it’s no secret that around 10 months into my health journey, after being completely, gloriously binge-free, I “fell off the wagon” and relapsed into ED hell. This was before the change in our program, so I’m not blaming SmartPoints for my relapse. However, I will tell you this: I am blaming SmartPoints for my inability to crawl out of the darkness… And here’s why:

This plan requires a tremendous amount of discipline. For those of you already shaking your heads, anxious to tell me that weight loss and a drastic health journey of any kind takes tremendous discipline, let me stop you before you start. Don’t be trite. Don’t say things we all already know, OK? 

Of course this sort of journey, in any form, requires discipline. But with SmartPoints, it’s a little different. On the PointsPlus plan—the plan that I used to drop over 80-pounds—that famous Weight Watchers motto “you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight!” was really the truth. You could eat ice cream for dessert every day if you wanted. You could have a fancy coffee and a donut for breakfast without demolishing a day’s worth of points. You could go out for pizza and beers and still be on track for the day, week, what have you. That plan was a lifestyle in every way, shape, and form.

SmartPoints does not allow you these same freedoms. SmartPoints doesn’t allow you these daily “treats.” SmartPoints gives you the opportunity for maybe one “treat” per week, and that’s that… And you know what? In the grand scheme of things, I get that that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I get that people who’ve never had a weight issue also likely aren’t eating ice cream and donuts every day. I’m not stupid, and I do see the correlation… But that doesn’t make it any easier to actually stick to this… at least not for me.

I have struggled with my weight and, more importantly, food for the entirety of my life. I’ve been at every end of the spectrum as far as both my mental and physical health are concerned. I’ve been on every diet in the book, and I’ve lived and learned about true darkness at the hands of this particular struggle. I’m under no illusions; this is my “cross to carry,” so to speak. I will never be “cured,” and this is something I will have to work at and be mindful of forever… And for the first time in a really, really long time, I’ve decided to start making changes and doing what I have to do to help myself… even if that means making some tough choices.

So here’s the deal: 

I am throwing in the towel on SmartPoints indefinitely. I fought the good fight, and I feel no shame in this. What am I doing instead? Simply Filling. So, not to worry, I’m not giving up on Weight Watchers—not by a long shot… I’m just going to go ahead and walk down the path less traveled.

I am also going to be saying a super tough goodbye to my Friday 9:30 crew… at least as a member. As some of you might remember, I mentioned that I started working this meeting awhile back… And that was a really, really cool experience. To be able to go from a meeting member to a staff member and take part in these folks’ journeys in a brand new way—these people who I really and truly grew to love and admire—was a once in a lifetime, priceless gift. Many of my dear member friends tell me weekly that they miss me in the meeting and wish I could be a member again, and for awhile, I was making promises to them that that would happen on the days I wasn’t needed on staff… But after a lot of thought, consideration, and soul searching, I’ve decided that that’s just not the place for me anymore.

I will also, from now on, only work that meeting on staff when they need someone to fill in; I will not be there each Friday to greet my friends at the scale and talk them through their week.

This is really hard for me because I truly love those people… But an unfortunate consequence of my taking a job with this company is that sometimes things that were once a good fit are no longer so… Sometimes people outgrow one another, and sometimes change is a little too hard on all parties involved.I will miss my 9:30 crew more than I can say, but I hope beyond hope to see them around—because I will be around… both personally and professionally. Maybe some of them will pop into my meeting in the near future! 🙂

I am planning to sit in this Friday one last time as a member… And then I will be moving on to a new meeting where I can blend in a bit better.

My work with Weight Watchers is also going to change just a bit. It’s important to me that I get my own health and weight loss journey back on track, and it’s also important that I keep my sanity intact… And with 3 more years of school on the horizon, that might be just a tad bit difficult if I don’t work a little less. So I am not quitting my job… But I am going to choose my meetings more carefully so that I can manage my time better!

I love the people Weight Watchers has brought into my life… But sometimes loving yourself has to take priority over loving your job and loving others… Which is something I’m slowly but surely figuring out.

So yeah… Lots to take in, lots of information… If you’re still with me at this point, I appreciate it tremendously.

I’ll end this ramble by leaving you with my horrendous weight stats I’ve failed to post up until now, and I’ll also let you know that I’ve already made the switch to Simply Filling, and I’ve, thankfully, also already started to see results on the scale in response! I’ve also started to feel better and more in control. I’ve finally seen the light that my BFF Alison has been trying to get me to see for over a year: Simply Filling really is freeing!

254.6

Last Posted Weight: 250.8 lbs.
Weigh-in #95/07-01-2016: 250.8 lbs. (+/-0 lbs.)
Weigh-in #96/07-08-2016: 252.6 lbs. (+1.8 lbs.)
Weigh-in #97/07-15-2016: NO WEIGH-IN
Weigh-in #98/07-22-2016: 256.2 lbs. (+3.6 lbs.)
Weigh-in #99/07-29-2016: 254.6 lbs. (-1.6 lbs.)
Total Weight Lost: 63.6 lbs.

 

Until next time,

Eat well. Be well.

rachaelxoxo

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Life.

  1. So happy to see your update! No matter what, you’re still down 63.6 and that’s awesome. It was an extra treat to click on your BFF Alison’s name, and see that she was back too!!! I think it was just the encouragement I needed to find a wagon to get on again. Thank you for continuing to do what you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you’ve been having a tough time lately, Rachael. Not only that but another month has passed since you posted an update. I hope you’re doing okay, and no matter what the scales are telling you right now I hope you’re holding it together. Long-term weight loss can be really, really tough. A lot of people never make it. A lot of people never even come close. You’ve already beaten most people.

    Whatever’s going on right now, don’t give up, and don’t be hard on yourself. This is a long-term thing. There’ll be ups as well as downs. You win by staying in there, no matter how long it takes. Each day is an opportunity.

    I haven’t been here for some time, but it’s good to see your blog still running and I hope you’ll give us an update when you’re ready.

    Never, never, never give up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rachel, you don’t know me, but I’ve been following you since the beginning, and it suddenly occurred to me today that I haven’t had a blog post from you drop into my email box in a while. I hope you’re doing ok, and I also hope you know that even if you’ve put on pounds and pounds, I don’t just follow you because you are on a weight loss journey, I follow you because you are funny, write well and I like to keep updated on your life! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m worried about you, Rachael. I really want you to be okay and the lack of a post for such a long time makes me think that maybe you’re struggling right now. Maybe the weight is going back on. Or maybe something else is going on in your life.

    If and when you’re able, do post something, anything, to let us know that you’re okay, won’t you.

    And if you’re not okay, you know there are people around you who will support you.

    Thinking of you and wishing you well.

    Liked by 1 person

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