The road to success – so close and yet so far

I was back on my way and this time I was determined to make it the road to success!  I had achieved 30 pounds weight loss in the 12 months since returning to Weight Watchers after having a baby, which left me with 30 pounds left to lose.  There had been the occasional small gain here and there, but for the most part I was cruising along nicely and I felt good.

What could possibly stand in my way?  Because I had already experienced a similar level of weight loss before having my baby break, I had some preconceived notion that it would be plain sailing because I knew what I was doing. And yes, while I had learnt the basics – how to plan, healthy food choices, portion control and being active.  I had no idea about the way my body would react to the transformation it was going through.

I had been morbidly obese for years and it seemed like on the whole my body was very comfortable with that.  My mind and spirit on the other hand would no longer settle for that and knew that I could be a better version of myself, indeed, my best self.  It felt like I was in a battle with my body to get rid of the excess fat.  As my weight reduced, my body seemed to resist more and more.  Another 4 months passed and the gains began to become more frequent, it may have only been half a pound gains but it was just not what I wanted to see on the scales.  Then I hit another dreaded plateau, 4 whole weeks of staying the same!  What’s a girl gotta do!

Yes, there were tears and thoughts of throwing in the towel.  I’d come so far, I was 80 pounds lighter, my health had improved, I’d dropped dress sizes, all great reasons to celebrate so surely it didn’t matter if I just stopped now.  It was at this point that I became most grateful for my Weight Watchers leader and meeting group.  Having the support and encouragement of people who have experienced the same struggles and truly understand was and still is invaluable to me.  They rallied around, allowed me to let my frustrations and emotions out, picked me up and helped me plan what I would do in the next week to get me moving again in the right direction. (To read more about dealing with plateaus click here.)

Photo of CC
80 pounds weight loss – getting closer to goal

They didn’t let me quit and in reality it wasn’t what I wanted to do either.  Many people are able to achieve weight loss success independently or through online programmes but personally for me, the meeting group played a major part in me getting to my goal and maintaining it.  I’m happy to say the following week I registered a 2 pounds loss at the scales, which meant I had less than 1 stone to go.

I’d often heard people say that the last few pounds are the hardest to lose.  Now I know from experience that they are not wrong.  Success doesn’t come easy.  It’s also said that ‘anything worth having is worth fighting for’, once I hit the home straight, it would be a fight to the finish.

Soli Deo Gloria

Trick or treat – Danger zone ahead!

Seven months after joining Weight Watchers I had reached a weight loss of 60 pounds (4st 4lbs).   I was very pleased because I was doing what I thought I needed to in order to lose weight and it was working.   I was being smart, eating healthy (low point food) for meals so that I could have my unhealthier (high point) treat at the end of the day, usually a sweet dessert or chocolate or both!  Looking back now, I know that I didn’t have a real change of mindset at this point, also I was in danger of becoming complacent because I was just working towards a goal, which was still a long way off.

The summer holidays came and I went off on my first all inclusive package holiday since starting out on my journey. This was a challenge to my efforts and could easily have set me back quite a few pounds of progress, but fortunately it was just a one week holiday and involved lots of walking around to visit the sights.   I was relieved to have only gained 2 pounds when I returned to the scales after that trip.  Over the years holidays have become one of my main learning experiences, you can read more about my thoughts on holidays here.

CC on holiday after 60lbs weight loss - danger zone
7 months after starting my journey – 60 pounds weight loss

Holidays are a rare occurrence but on an everyday basis the places I visit may seem harmless enough but in fact they can pose the most danger to my efforts.  The supermarket shop is always interesting.   I try to write a list, at first this was not so much because I was organised but more because I tend to be forgetful and would come home without a lot of the food I actually needed.

I’ve recognised the supermarket as one of my danger zones.  I’m a sucker for new products, especially sweet ones.  I can often be heard squealing with delight as I go around the aisles discovering new items..”oooo look at this, oooo look at that!”  Now I hear myself too and have a little chuckle about it.  The difference now is that I’m armed with a barcode scanner, which I use to check foods to see how high or low they are in Weight Watchers points before I buy them.  The higher the points value, the less healthy the food usually is.  Most of the time the item isn’t worth it to me and goes back on the shelf.  Instead I take photos of new products so that I can make my own healthier version at home.

Another of my danger zones is my workplace.  A social side effect of the workplace is the constant stream of indulgent food – biscuits, chocolates, birthday cakes, etc., every week there is one thing or another.  Combine this with a high paced, stressful day and I find myself in a weakened state. When I’m tired, it becomes easy to reach for a quick fix.  Knowing this I try to plan ahead, when I know that events are happening, I take in my own snacks – fruit, light snack bar, etc.

Photo of fruit and a light snack bar to avoid danger zones
Be prepared for danger zones with healthier snacks

I’ve started to think of it like this,… ‘if I didn’t bring it, I’m not eating it’.  But being only human, sometimes I still give in and have some.  When that happens I don’t dwell on it because in the grand scheme of things, it’s one fleeting moment.  I’ve learnt not to let it overshadow the good choices I’ve made that day or week and I no longer allow myself to use one poor or unplanned choice as an excuse to slide right back into my unhealthy habits.

Life is full of potential danger zones, getting to know your personal danger zones is not always easy.  The trouble is that you have to go through it to know how dangerous it is. If you’re like me, it can take several times before it clicks that I need to steer clear or arm myself against the danger beforehand.  So the next time you come to a danger zone, the trick is to stay in control of the treats.  Be aware and be prepared!