So…it’s been well over a month since I last weighed in at WW. I’ve officially cancelled my membership. Why, you might ask, did I do such an abrupt turnaround? Things were going so well! What happened!?!
You’re right – things were going very well! I was losing weight almost every week and eating lots of good healthy food, as well as getting a ton of activity. And honestly, that hasn’t changed, for the most part (well except for the losing weight – I’m the same weight now I was 3 weeks ago – but I’m OK with that!).
Still, I felt it was time to move on, for the following reasons:
First, my travel schedule was starting to interfere with going to meetings on a regular basis. I was frequently missing my Saturday meetings and having to weigh in on Friday. But the Friday meeting wasn’t til 9:30 am, which kinda interfered with my work schedule. It became easy to find excuses to skip…
Secondly, the weekly meeting topics weren’t really doing anything for me anymore. There never seemed to be enough time for honest discussion – and too much time spent going over low-point food finds (usually over-processed frozen treats rather than fresh fruits and veggies), getting all the members seated and trying to keep everyone from having a million side conversations.
But the real reason was that a weekly weigh-in was triggering my ‘diet mentality’. I was living week to week and trying to do things on the day or so before my weigh-in to ensure a good week. Like avoiding certain foods to keep from retaining fluids. Or avoiding alcohol on those nights. Or skipping dinner on Friday nights if I’d really overindulged that week. You get the picture. The scale was becoming too important and as a result I was starting to exhibit some of the behaviors that have caused me to fail in the past – binging and starving, feeling guilty, and sneaking food when nobody was around to see.
During this time I also started listening to the Fat2Fit Radio podcasts, which made me rethink my approach to weight loss. Their premise is simple: eat as if you’re already at the weight you want to be. Live the lifestyle of a thin, healthy person and eventually you will become that person.
So simple, yet so incredibly powerful! I decided that a thin, healthy person wouldn’t obsess over the scale and definitely wouldn’t be exhibiting the behaviors that I was starting to see again in myself. So I decided to adopt their philosophy and just start living like the 150-pound woman I want to be.
After a couple weeks of feeling weird because I wasn’t on a ‘plan’, I started to feel much better – less constrained and definitely not worried about having sushi (a low calorie and healthy meal despite the high sodium soy sauce) on a Friday night. Seriously, it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I’m still weighing every day, but now it is merely an observation and not a check-point to see whether the WW scale will show a loss in a few days. There are certainly other methods of tracking progress, such as percentage of body fat, or body measurements, but for right now I feel comfortable with the scale and its place in my life.
I’m also still closely tracking my food every day, because without that touchstone I know I’ll start to overeat. But instead of being in ‘weight loss mode’ I’ve just set my daily calorie goal to that of an active 150 pound woman – which is a lot more food than I thought it would be!
Don’t get me wrong – Weight Watchers served a very important purpose in my life and I lost 40 pounds by eating yummy, nourishing food and keeping active. It’s a great program and I would recommend it to many people – but for those of us that have issues with obsessing over the scale, it might not be the best thing.
I do miss the support of a community and that’s why I started up the UnDieting Divas group with a couple friends. We’re all sick of ‘dieting’ and just want to live our healthy lives without feeling like we’re on or off a plan. So far we’re having a lot of fun building the website and community and are excited about our first face to face meeting in a couple weeks! But really, the motivation to keep living healthy has to come from within and that’s what I really need to work on. I’ve come a long way over the past few years and although I have a long way to go it feels like this lifestyle is here to stay!