CHAPTER 1 – January – “40 and Fabulous, Not 40 and Frumpy”

I reticently put the picture on the fridge. It was a beautiful, glossy 5×7 photograph my mom had gotten made of our family at Christmastime 2008. Along the backdrop of our new church’s alter we were a great looking bunch. Great looking except for that woman in the gray sweater! Who was she! I stared at the picture in disbelief. I recognized my parents, both now in their sixties, my sister and her husband both in their thirties with their two young boys, and of course my husband and two boys – Nick, a junior in high school and Zach in 1st grade. It was a neat tradition we had started a few years back – the family Christmas picture. But as I found myself again in that picture, for the first time I really did not recognize myself. I looked big. I looked frumpy; the person staring back at me was not me. Well, it was me, but I didn’t feel like the person staring back at me in the picture was truly the me I was inside. Looking at my unrecognizable self in that picture I realized I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. That was it. Things needed to change. I needed to change… READ MORE

Lessons Learned

I definitely learned or actually “re-learned” the basics about the Weight Watchers program this month. I learned about the point system, figured out my point allowance for the day, how to use the 35 “floater” points and the importance of tracking. In addition to all of this, three basic learning lessons stood out for me this month.

1. This is NOT a diet! I can eat whatever I want as long as I fit it in and follow the healthy guidelines. This is probably one of the best things about the Weight Watcher program. About two weeks or so into it, my Dad asked me if I had to buy “their food”. I reassured him that weight watcher members eat regular food just like everyone else! I have just never understood the appeal of programs that insist on members eating certain foods. I also have never understood programs that limit certain types of food for certain periods of time (like carbohydrates, for example). The strength of Weight Watchers for me is that I can eat regular food just like my family and others in my life; this is what makes this program doable for the rest of my life, even after the weight loss is completed. Of course if I only ate Lucky Charms and macaroni and cheese every day there would be a problem. Enter the healthy guidelines – those are great for providing educational information about a balanced, healthy mix of the right kinds of food in moderation and healthy portions.

Weight Watcher’s Healthy Guidelines:
• Fruits and Vegetables (5 servings per day)
• Milk Products (2 servings a day)
• Liquids (6 glasses per day)
• Healthy Oil (2 teaspoons per day)
• Lean Protein (1-2 servings per day)
• Vitamin/Mineral Supplement (1 per day)
• Whole Grains (Choose whenever available)
• Activity (At least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week)
• Sugar & Alcohol (Limit your intake)….READ MORE

Weight and Tracking Log

I had a net loss of 7 pounds this month and weighed in at 169.4 pounds at the end of the month. Each week was a measured loss. It came off pretty easily in big chunks. This is pretty common at the beginning especially for folks who have thirty or more pounds to lose. Still I felt good about my success and pressed on. I wrote everything down on my tracker and found it fairly easy to use, carrying it with me in my purse with my pocket guide and a pen.

Even though there were a number of meetings available to attend throughout Saturday mornings, I began to regularly attend the 7:30am one. The other people who attended were funny and they were definitely a committed and hearty bunch to be there at 7:30am on a Saturday morning…in January…in Cleveland.

Activity Log

None – let’s not even go there yet, shall we?…READ MORE