Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My Weight Loss Journey

I'm often asked how I've managed to lose weight and keep it off. My answer is always Weight Watchers and a supportive husband. For the first four years of my relationship with Brian, I gradually started packing on the pounds. I went from a size 14 to an 18/20. I couldn't believe how slow it happened. I didn't even notice. Brian noticed, but never said a word. He didn't care how I looked, he only wanted me to be healthy. I didn't know what to do. I tried dieting, but that didn't work. It didn't work, because I didn't know how to eat healthy. The fad diets helped me see a weight loss, but it never stayed off. 

Me before a year before I got pregnant with Sister Sue.

Me four months after I had Sister Sue.
Sister Sue was born in 2008 and I was still gaining weight. I wanted my life to change. I wanted to show my daughter a positive body image when she got older. I didn't want to be overweight. Brian and I discussed my options. He mentioned that someone in his family lost a lot of weight on the Weight Watchers program. I was doubtful, but willing to try. After attending a few Weight Watchers meetings and using the program effectively, I started to see a loss at the scales. I was gaining confidence and becoming a healthy person. It took me two slow years, but I lost a total of 45 pounds. 
Me 9 months before I got pregnant with G.

In 2011, G joined our family and I gained all but 10 pounds back. I now had the task of getting back on track. My mind wasn't focused on loosing the weight, because I wanted it to just be gone. It took me a year of encouragement from Brian and my friend Jen to get back with the program. Every week, Brian inquired about my weigh-in at Weight Watchers. If I gained, he was sympathetic and pumped me up to loose next week. If I lost, he was excited and celebrated even the smallest loss. My friend Jen always had new food suggestions and knew the right thing to say. 
Me 6 months after G was born.
Throughout this journey, Brian has been amazing. He knows exactly how to encourage me and how not to discourage me. When I make a poor food choice, he doesn't say anything about it. He knows if he does, that will only make me feel sorry for myself. Then, the next thing I know, I'm making that poor choice worse. 

Five years after G was born and three and a half years using the Weight Watchers program, I've lost a total of 56 pounds. These last five pounds have taken me six months to loose and I'm not finished yet. I've still got three pounds to go until I reach my goal weight. 
This is me now.
I've learned a lot along the way, but two lesson have stuck me the most. First, how to actually see my new self, instead of the overweight version of me. When I see old photos of me I'm shocked. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I'm surprised it's me. When I go shopping, I still don't expect to fit into a size 10 or 12. It's a great feeling. 

The second lesson I learned was the importance of how to effectively communicate my weight loss to Sister Sue. I don't want her to think it is ever acceptable to say "I'm fat", "I wish I was skinny" or "I need to go on a diet". Brian and I try really hard to not say my Weight Watchers food is "diet food". That's the beauty of Weight Watchers, you can have any food you want as long as you stay within your daily point goal. 

It's been a difficult journey for the whole family, but worth all of the hard work. I'm not finished yet. I never will be, because becoming healthy is a lifestyle change, not a diet. 

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