How long did it take you to lose the weight? I joined Weight Watchers on December 2, 2010 and I'm 4.8 pounds from goal. However, from May 2011-September 2013, I was living overseas in Japan. In those 2.5 years, I only lost 30lbs. It was a slow process. I was doing WW online. The commissaries on the bases didn’t have as large of a selection as stores here do. But I also wanted to enjoy the Japanese food and the experience of living overseas. Now that I'm back in the States and going to meetings again, it's coming off quicker.
Lightbulb Moment: I don't remember having a specific moment that said it's time to get serious. My husband had just gotten back from Afghanistan and was 13% body fat (hello!), we wanted to have kids someday and I want to be able to have a healthy pregnancy. And I saw a commercial for Weight Watchers’ new Points Plus plan. I went on to their website and read that they were now incorporating carbohydrates and protein rather than calories. I thought hey, this sounds a little bit healthier than what they were doing; maybe I should check it out. So I did. I don't ever remember being really unhappy or insecure with my weight. I know I wanted to lose weight and I knew that I would when I was 100% ready.
How did you do it? Two words- Weight Watchers. I track points. I don't do Simply Filling, but I do try to incorporate as many power foods as possible. But I know myself and I need the structure (and portion control) that comes with tracking points. I owe Weight Watchers my life. They gave me a second chance at it.
What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you overcome it? The biggest challenge is something I continue to face- the mental aspect of it all. I look in the mirror or see pictures of myself and I know that I have lost weight. But when I'm out in public, no matter what I'm wearing, I still like I'm heavier than I really am. I still feel like I look that big or that I take up that much space. I do keep pictures on my phone of me at my heaviest and me now as a daily reminder. I don't know how to overcome it. I'm still working on it.
What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? Four things helped me - my before before pictures (which is what I'm working towards now), my leader in California who I still keep in contact with, my leader here in Colorado and my husband - who is my biggest supporter. They all help re-focus when I start to lose focus.
How has your life changed since losing the weight? My cholesterol has dropped over 60 points! My BMI has dropped 15.5! I can cross my legs, be comfortable on an airplane, be comfortable on a rollercoaster, be on my feet and walk around all day without my feet being sore, and most of all, I can run! I used to not even be able to run 1/4 mile and I completed a 10k on Memorial Day!
Exercise routine: I don't consistently workout. When the weather is nice on the weekends, my husband and I go on hikes in the mountains. And I have ran two 5'ks and a 10k. I would like to get into running more though.
Favorite breakfast on the run: My usual breakfast during the work week is 1/2 cup of Chobani vanilla yogurt with 1/2 cup of Cheerios and handful of blueberries. Other than that, I'll make some sort of egg breakfast sandwich on a bagel thin or a sandwich thin.
Favorite dessert: Ice cream! I track my ice cream in the morning. I would say that I have ice cream at least 5 times a week for dessert. Right now, I'm addicted to Skinny Cow Chocolate Mint Ganache Ice Cream cones!
Favorite comforting dinner: I love pizza, casseroles and when the weather is cold, soup. Really any recipe from Emily Bites. Her recipes have helped me so much throughout my journey. Dinner isn't boring because of her recipes.
Favorite healthy restaurant or fast food find: My favorite "healthy" find at a restaurant is the Chopped Factory Salad from The Cheesecake Factory's Skinnylicious menu. It's the only thing I've eaten there in the past 4 years. And I could eat it every day. I love that salad. My favorite fast food and pretty much the only fast food I eat is Chickfila. There is just something about their sandwich that I love. It's high in points, but I make room for it.
Advice for someone just starting: Be patient. Don't give up. Take the ups with the downs. And remember that you are worth it! Once you see the number (not just the scale, but clothing size, cholesterol, etc) come down, it becomes an addiction. Remember why you started.
Anything else that you would like to share: It didn't become a lifestyle for me overnight. I didn't start WW thinking it was a diet but there was a turning point a couple years in that I noticed I was ordering healthier options off of the menu or I'd eat smaller portions when we'd go out to eat. Not because I had to for WW, but because I wanted to. It is my lifestyle now. Moderation not deprivation. There are times that I''ve eaten a whole box of cookies because I didn't allow myself 1 cookie a day for a couple weeks. Now I know, I can have 1 or 2 a day and it satisfies my craving. You'll find what works for you, it just takes time.