Monday, July 16, 2012

My Weight Watchers Story: 60 Pounds Lost

I've been wanting to post my Weight Watchers story for a while. Having just passed my one-year anniversary of becoming a Lifetime member (lingo explained later), I figured this is a great time to share!

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.

My precious 6 week old

Baking with the 2 1/2 year old

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.

Still drinking green smoothies

My almost 6 month old

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 :)

Close-up, it was our anniversary :), December 2011

Half of Quincy with Heather of Run Faster Mommy, March '12 (we both PR'ed!)

Today, after walking home in the 90 degree heat carrying too many groceries, looking very serious

I'll talk more about the work of maintenance, my final weight goal and my newly discovered love of running in a separate post :)


Betsy said...

Congratulations on your weight loss! You look great!

Randy Thomas said...

That's fantastic Brenna Kate. What a great post. You look fantastic.

Brenna Kate Simonds, Living Unveiled said...

Thanks, everyone!