I’d got the basics covered and I was getting used to planning and shopping for healthy eating meals, tracking food and drinks, being more active and exercising. I was feeling good, eating more fruit and vegetables and curbing my sweet tooth cravings. I say curbing because those cravings didn’t just disappear. Over time I’ve become more aware of them and learnt how to control them instead of them controlling me…..well most of the time.
In the first three months I’d lost 25lbs (just over 2 stones) and my size 26 jeans could no longer stay up, even with the help of a belt. What appealed to me about Weight Watchers is the unrestricted nature of the plan. I’ve never liked the idea of diets, so I haven’t been a ‘yoyo dieter’. Don’t get me wrong there were times when as a teenager I told myself that I was on a diet and immediately stocked up on low fat yogurt to eat for lunch. But with the Weight Watchers plan no food is off limits. All food and drink is given a points value and I had a personal points allowance, so what I ate was my choice as long as I stayed within the allowance.
I started to feel like I knew what I was doing. There was one week when I saw a two pounds gain on the scales, but this didn’t deter me too much, if anything it spurred me on to be more careful the following week. The first major milestone celebrated at Weight Watchers was losing 10% loss of your starting weight. This gave me a target to aim for. I was forming good habits and edging closer to that elusive place where everything is in flow. The sense of being in control, it’s effortless and everything was going my way. For me this is being in ‘the zone’. Unfortunately this was also a new place for me and when I found myself there, it was like fast moving water and I didn’t know enough yet to glide along with it. I quickly slipped back out of ‘the zone’ and to be honest over the years moving in and out of ‘the zone’ has been like riding the crest of a wave following the tide of the sea.
Success! I reached my 10% weight loss target (27lbs lost) and was presented with a special key ring to mark the occasion. There are many reported health benefits to losing 10% of your body weight. I let them soak in and carried on doing what I was doing.
I was curious to know what my ultimate target weight would be, as I was doing so well, I didn’t think it would take me very long to reach it. The following week at the meeting I asked my leader about it. When my leader informed me I would have to lose a total of 7 stones to reach the prized goal weight, my first reaction was to laugh, because surely she was joking! I can still feel the sense of disbelief and deflation that I experienced on that day. That was an impossible task and I didn’t think I had any chance of achieving it. I bought a Chinese takeaway for dinner that night, followed by an ice cream desert. My points allowance didn’t matter because I felt destined to be overweight forever.
There’s a really good reason why goal weight isn’t mentioned when you join up, I guess a lot of people would leave and never come back. A good nights sleep helped me to put things into perspective, I didn’t get this big overnight and I wasn’t going to reach my goal overnight. I was going to try my best, I’ve always been a bit stubborn so there was no way I could give up. This was going to be a marathon, not a sprint…….little did I know the challenges that lay ahead of me.