Losing IS Winning Sometimes

For more than 30 years my journey with my body and weight-loss was like that Notre Dame – Stanford game Saturday night. I’d score (lose weight) and then they’d score (I’d gain it all back and then some) until finally I decided I wanted to end up in the W column more than I wanted to stuff my face.

This time, it’s been different because I’m different. No more trying to lose weight for a specific event or person. I wanted to lose about 20% of my body weight for at least 3 years but convinced myself it would be impossible because a) I have a disease that messes with my gut; b) I have to deal with menopause; c) I’m just short and will have to deal with it; d) I’m too old.

Still, my intuition said that losing weight would be doable if I were ready to take ownership of the process and commit to a lifetime of change. Plus, I knew that losing weight could change, possible reverse the issues related to my illness by reducing inflammation. What did I have to lose?

My choice was to join WW because I knew I needed accountability (meetings) and a plan that didn’t require me to track calories (the app). That was just over a year ago.

In my first week I lost a whopping 2.4 pounds. I was a little miffed and realized I probably wouldn’t lose 25 pounds by Christmas but I figured it was heading in the right direction so I’d stick with the plan.

Little did I know that 2.4 would be my BIGGEST single loss in a year, but that’s okay. Because all the little losses of .4 and .8 and even the small gains of .2 or even a pound have added up to more than 30 pounds – just shy of my 20% goal. I’m active in a number of  WW groups online and I’ve shared the following lessons I’ve learned there — but wanted to put it here too – to remind myself to keep going even on days that I think I’ve “got” this.

>>>>> This is NOT a sponsored post. I’m in no way affiliated with WW other than as a member who attends weekly meetings and uses the app. My understanding is that the average member loses between 1-2 pounds a week on the program. My experience is that I lost on average .7 pounds a week over the year. <<<<<<<

How to start WW 101:

1> Join. either online or online and meetings. (I prefer meetings for the accountability.) Plus, when I invest money I force myself to make it a good investment. Like most people I don’t have buckets to just throw down the drain.
2> commit mentally to making changes. When you want to whine ask yourself if whining and giving in helped you in the past.
3> Get a coach or a therapist if you have things to dig through in your life that you’ve been burying with food.
4> Understand this is NOT a diet. You can eat everything. Tracking makes you accountable and conscious. You can no longer be unconscious about what you put in your mouth if you want this to work.
5> Stick in for the long haul. It’s not a race – this is your LIFE.
6> Focus on percentages — i.e., getting to 1% loss, 5% loss up to whatever your goal loss is. This will keep you from comparing.
7> Know that you can do this – some weeks you’ll gain. Some weeks you’ll maintain. Some weeks you’ll lose less than a pound. Keep going.
8> Do it for you. Not for your lover, you kids, your parents, your boss or the hot person you see every day in the coffee shop. At the end of days, you have you.If you need outside validation to feel whole, see #3.
9> Accept that you’ll have to change whatever you did that got you here. If you usually have 1/2 cup of sugar and 4 oz of cream in your coffee, odds are you’ll have have to change that. Not because it’s a diet, but because you’ll want to make better choices with your points. If you don’t want to change your coffee process, accept that you’ll have to change something else. It’s all choice – your choice. Make wise ones.

FAQs I’ve learned on My WW journey.

  1. You can eat anything.
  2. Stop asking what you can eat or if you can have {fill in the blank}. Because you can have it. The question is, are you willing to use your points to have it.
  3. If you have it, track it.
  4. If you eat all your points before lunch – so be it. You have weeklies for a reason. Get conscious and you’ll see results.
  5. When you ask what other people think about {fill in the blank} that’s fine. You may be trying to start conversation, build friendships or find others who think like you do – bravo! Don’t be surprised when you get a ton of people who are snarky, or say that they hate/never eat/ would never eat whatever it is. Humans have opinions and they are strong. Humans are also very emboldened on social media and tend to respond like they never would to your face or in a meeting.
  6. Yes, you can have artificial whatever – it’s your choice. You’ll definitely find in your journey of life whether or not that crap makes you feel good for the long haul (see what I mean about humans having strong, snarky opinions?! 😊 )
  7. WW is a business – they absolutely have the right to make the rules and change them from time to time. If that isn’t your bag, you have the right to speak with your dollars (or actually by not putting your dollars toward the company.) Just don’t dampen someone else’s sunny day by b*tc*in and moaning about how the company did you wrong.
  8. Weight loss is BIG business. There are 8 billion and a half ways to lose weight. When one becomes a fad there are cookbooks, blogsites, trainers etc. who will do their best to convince you that their fad is the best – because – money. Pick what works for you. Just remember the basics of weight loss are comprised of these four words: Eat Less, Move More.
  9. Drink your water. If you don’t like water use a tea bag or two. Or raw fruit. Work your way up – add a half cup a day. Your body will thank you. And you’ll be amazed how quickly you start craving water.
  10. Cut back on the sodas…you don’t have to do it cold turkey – half a can a day if you have to. (same goes for your sugar/creamer/whatever in your coffee). As you slowly change, your habits get ingrained.
  11. You don’t need a cheat day – because this is for life. Surely you’ll have days where you eat better than other days. Some days will be parties and some will be just awful days and you’ll turn to food. The key here – pay attention. When you feel like you’ve had enough – stop. If you feel you want to eat just because – go ahead – but be conscious of it (that’s what tracking is for). Not so you can beat yourself up, but so you can have a record.
  12. Pay attention. You’ll see your patterns and then have data you need to shift. Because to lose weight you’re going to have to shift from what you’ve always done.
  13. No matter what – you can do this. You can do hard things
  14. I believe in the power of you – at the end of the day losing weight or not is all about YOU – no one, no plan, no diet, no app can do it for you….be brave. You got this.