I weighed 183.5 the day after I had my second son. In the euphoria of having a HBAC, I somehow gained 10 pounds in 6 weeks post-birth.
4 months after that, I was back at 183.5, but not budging. This was in May 2010. These pictures are from around those times.
I knew something needed to change because what I was doing wasn't working. My reservations about signing up for a formal diet program were that I had an eating disorder for well over a decade, though I had not been symptomatic in 7 years at that point. I had several friends with disordered eating history who had success with Weight Watchers, so I started doing it "unofficially" (this was the old Points program, so points were easier to figure out), just counting points every day based on the info I found online. I did that for about 2 weeks, lost weight, and my head was still in a good place.
Weight Watchers On-line
At that point, I signed up for the on-line Weight Watchers program.
I was pretty active, chasing 2 little boys and taking lots of walks, so I lost about 10 lbs/month until I reached my goal (about 3.5 months later), which was just under 150. My weight had generally been in the high 150's into the 160's for most of my post-esating disorder years, but my doc had told me years ago that a good healthy range for me is 138-150, so I thought 150 was a good goal.
This was in about October, 2010. I introduced more high-fat foods into my diet and ended up losing about another 7-10 pounds.
Trying Weight Watchers Meetings Out
I fluctuated a bit after that until in April, 2011, I decided to join Weight Watchers meetings. I wanted to try the different type of support and accountability, as well as learn about the new program (I was still following the Points program, not the new PointsPlus system). I was about 155-156 at that weigh-in.
I lost more slowly with the new program, but I made my initial goal weight of 148 in about 2.5 months. If you attend meetings, once you hit your goal weight and stay there for 6 weeks, you become a Lifetime Member and can attend meetings for free. I made Lifetime in June of 2011. I continued to lose weight and have lost about 60 pounds total (I still fluctuate a bit within a 5 pound range).
Personal Reflections on the Program
I love the new PointsPlus system. I love that almost all fruits and veggies have a zero PointsPlus value (so green smoothies are now free!). I like that protein and carbs are now factored in, so that the PointsPlus value has a better overall nutritional value.
I also love that every Weight Watchers member can make Weight Watchers their own within the construct of the program.
I've always eaten a mainly whole foods diet and have been able to continue that easily with Weight Watchers. I do eat a more fat than most people I know who do Weight Watchers. This is how I feel my best, and I adjust my Daily PointsPlus Target to account for this.
And that's the thing I love about Weight Watchers. If I feel like having a banana with peanut butter, I can. Dark chocolate? Sure! Full fat cheese occasionally? Yes! I even sometimes put whole milk in my coffee (I prefer it black ).
I have really grown to love the meeting environment. I love hearing others' success stories and what works for them, as well as getting to share my own experiences. I have found I also need the accountability of getting weighed at a meeting.
Still The Same Joyous Brenna
Though I have struggled with my weight for about 25 years, I still lived a very full, mostly happy life before losing weight. I cannot say, as some do, that my life began because I got thin. Far from it. I have an amazing, blessed life now as I did 2 years ago.
I share this mainly because Weight Watchers is a tool that has worked for me and empowered me to have a more sane relationship with food than I have had in the years since the eating disorder. Weight Watchers has taught me a lot, and I've found new habits and hobbies that will carry me for a lifetime.
Here are some more recent pictures of me. It seems the only time I get a full-length shot is at a race! I did get my husband to take the nice, sweaty shot below :)
I'll talk more about the work of maintenance, my final weight goal and my newly discovered love of running in a separate post :)