I lost weight and I kept it off. I did it by going to Weight Watchers meetings.
Weight Watchers for me, was much more than a food plan. In fact, to be completely honest I would rate my adherence to the food plan to be about 70%. The food plan certainly helped me to lose weight and it’s a big part of maintaining the loss, but it’s not why Weight Watchers worked/works so well for me. I never wanted to go to Weight Watchers meetings.
In fact, the idea of meetings was wholly distasteful to me. At the time, however, there weren’t any other options. Joining Weight Watchers meant I went to the South Gorham Baptist Church every Wednesday night.
I stood in a line with a variety of people I didn’t know. Many of them looked to have nothing in common with me. The one thing we had in common was a desire to lose weight and through that we shared challenges, successes and support.
One-by-one, we’d get our private weigh-in. Some people would whoop in joy and some would hold back tears. I never got too emotional about my weight one way or the other. I cared about how many pounds I had left to reach my goal and I knew I was going to keep picking away at it until I got there.
After the weigh-in I’d find a seat somewhere in the middle of the rows of folding chairs. The other members would fill into the seats around me and eventually the meeting would start.
My Weight Watchers leader lost 88 pounds.
She had pictures of herself before she lost the weight. She shared stories about her life before losing 88 pounds. I didn’t need to lose 88 pounds but I could relate to her stories. I’m pretty sure had I not joined Weight Watchers I could have reached a weight that was 88 pounds more than a healthy weight for me.
She had a way of inspiring us to do our best to follow the program.
She got us to think about high risk situations and out response to them. High risk situations included times of strong emotions, boredom, stress, habits, celebrations, and come to think of it, pretty much just life in general. It turned out that for a lot of us the thought, and certainly the proximity of food, represented a high risk situation.
While I was working at losing my 40 pounds I saw new members join, members who didn’t reach goal quit, and members reach goal. There was a constant turnover. I didn’t think much about the people coming and going. I thought about me. I knew I’d keep coming because it was working and I was learning how to modify my behavior to support my weight-related goals.
Weight Watchers meetings helped me discover the power I wasn’t using, and the ways I gave away my power. I learned that my beliefs were just that. They were things I believed, but just because I believed them didn’t mean they were real. Weight Watchers helped me challenge limiting beliefs and in doing so, I began to act differently.
I’m still acting differently after all those years.
I’m still at goal although I have adjusted my goal because my 35-year-old goal isn’t my 61-year-old goal. My 61-year-old goal is still considerably less than my Weight Watchers starting weight and it’s still within a healthy range for a woman my age.
I never wanted to go to Weight Watchers meetings but I’m glad I did. While it’s true that Weight Watchers is my job, it’s also true that I chose Weight Watchers to be my job, because it’s my way of life. I believe in it and I love the life I live.