My weight-loss journey has ended for now, as of July 23, 2009, for today I took a pregnancy test and discovered that I am expecting Amick Baby #3! My total weight loss from February 26 through July 23 was 23 pounds. But more than losing weight and going down a size was my total self confidence boost. And I have a better concept of eating and drinking. I make wiser choices. Plus now, I know I can do it. And that is worth every penny paid for Weight Watchers. I will definitely be joining again after this baby is born!
Before I got pregnant with Andrew (my first child), I was at the *very* top of the "normal" range for my BMI. I am 5'11", and at the time I weighed about 175.
Even though I wasn't "fat," I certainly was not happy. I can't remember a time I have ever been happy about my weight or my body. Even as far back as the third grade, I remember realizing that I had a big stomach and thinking, "I'll always have this."
Probably from college until getting pregnant (about a decade), I was habitually starting and stopping a diet/exercise program. There was always the self-inflicted guilt. The overeating. The promise to "start on Monday." But Monday never came. Or it only lasted four days.
In the fall of 2004, I lost 17 pounds on the Atkins diet. For the first time, I was able to fit into size 12 jeans, as I have been a 14 my entire adult life. But then I got strep throat and started eating bread again. You know, like normal people do.
And so I pretty much just continued with my horrible eating habits. Not caring how many calories or grams of fat anything had. Not paying attention to portion size. Not ever stopping myself before I was stuffed. It was like I was too stupid to realize that there truly is a correlation between what I ate and my weight.
By the next summer I had gained it all back. Here is a picture of how I looked in the summer of 2005, when I was actually already pregnant with Andrew but did not know it yet. (This is a Gap in Hawaii, by the way.) These are my size 12 jeans that were a little snug but fit well enough. My stance is making my left hip stick out a bit weird, but you get the point.
Sigh. Then I got pregnant. And I gained 56 pounds. And after Andrew was born, I had major issues with his feeding, so losing weight was not top priority. Or even bottom priority. And frankly, I have never had much motivation or willpower.
Months passed and I was still wearing maternity clothes because none of my size 14s would fit. So I bit the bullet and bought 16s.
And that is where I stayed. Sure, I lost a little bit of weight. At one point in the summer of 2007, when Andrew was about 15 months old, I got down to about 188 briefly. But I stayed at about 195-200.
When I got pregnant with Benjamin, I still had 20 pounds leftover from my first pregnancy. I weighed about 197. Thankfully, with my second pregnancy I only gained 27 pounds.
And I don't have to tell you that with Benjamin's birth came a whole host of things to distract me from losing weight.
But to tell the truth, I just didn't want to.
I didn't think I could. I thought I didn't have it in me.
I loved the idea of losing weight. I loved the idea of being in shape. I drooled at the idea of wearing size 14s (and some 12s) again. I would sit down and write up a workout plan and a healthy menu. And then a few days into it, I would just quit.
I didn't think I could. I thought I didn't have it in me.
After Benjamin was born none of my 16s even fit, even though I quickly lost my pregnancy weight and was back down around 200 again. Girls, you know that having a baby does weird things to your body. You can be the same weight but not the same shape.
I refused to buy 18s so I shamefully headed over to the women's section and bought a few pairs of 16W pants. And a couple of regular 16s that fit.
I was miserable. My body image was controlling me. It consumed my every thought. I hated going into my closet because nothing fit. I hated going places because nothing fit and when I finally found something that kind of fit, I felt like a big, fat cow in it. I hated being in pictures. I hated being in my skin.
I struggled with the idea of losing weight because I knew it was going to be hard work. And I don't like hard work. I like to eat and sit on the couch.
Plus we plan to have two more children (yes, we're nuts) and so what was the point of losing weight just to gain it back?
I would plan for things in the near future like vacations or family birthdays and think, "I'm still going to be fat and miserable then." And although Matthew has never been anything but supportive of me, I am sure he was tired of my crying and whining about my weight and then watching me make poor choices with food.
Then my mom mentioned going to Weight Watchers together. She had joined last year and lost 30 pounds but had quit for various reasons, only having gained back a small portion of what she had lost. At first I was hesitant, not only because of the money, but because of the work of what I thought it would take to do this successfully. Planning meals. Counting calories. Yuck.
But we went to our first meeting on February 26, 2009. My starting weight was (gulp) 206.8. But this time I was determined. I was a woman on a mission. (Putting your weight loss plans on the Internet is good accountability, by the way!)
The first week I lost 4.8 pounds. The "work" of WW was hard at first. But it doesn't take long before you are just used to it. There are tons of resources available to make it easier on you. After the first week, my weight loss ranged from 0.4 to 2.2 lbs a week, but has averaged about 1 to 1.5. (I have only gained once, two weeks ago, and it was only 0.2 lb.)
And because I was losing slowly (the way you're supposed to), it didn't permanently harm me to have a piece of birthday cake or a yummy Italian meal (yes, a whole meal) occasionally. There are extra WW points built in so that you can treat yourself. The motto of WW is, "Stop Dieting. Start Living." And I can honestly say that even though I may have an unhealthy meal or snack every once in awhile, my eating habits have changed. And I will not go back.
I didn't start exercising regularly until 30 days ago, when I started the 30-Day Shred with Matthew. Yes, we did it. Exercised for 30 days straight. It was hard. I could not have done it without him because I still don't have the best willpower. But he does. Wow, does he ever. He is my rock! Out of the 30 days, I was probably only excited to work out about three of the days. I fought it tooth and nail (just ask Matthew) about three days. The other 24 or so days, I did it because it is what you do. Now that the 30 days is over, I plan to exercise (whether it's biking, walking, or shredding) 4-5 times a week. I can definitely tell a huge difference in my body because of the Shred. Especially in my abdomen and my thighs. Nothing gets your thighs in better shape than doing lunges for 30 days. LOL
I have not arrived at my goal weight, but I am about halfway there. I have now lost a total of 19.8 pounds. I know, it's silly, but I just cannot bring myself to say 20! My "official" WW weigh-in weight is now 187, but I have seen as low as 184.5 on my home scale. Do you realize how close that is to my "official" pre-pregnancy weight of 177.5?? But even then, I will not be ready to stop. That is still the very top of my "healthy" range. My goal weight is 160. Will I reach it before we decide to have another baby? Maybe, maybe not. We're not sure yet when we'd like to try to have another baby, but I am just going to keep on trying to fit into those size 12s. I can almost zip them. I can fit into a couple of pairs of my 14 jeans, but there are still several pairs of 14 jeans and pants that are still too tight. Which makes sense because I'm still 10-15 pounds heavier than I was when I wore them comfortably.
Here are comparison pictures.
My very first night of Weight Watchers and then last night.
February 26 to June 11.
A new me. Not just the body but the habits. The mindset. Ah, the contentment. That is worth the $40 a month for WW anyday.
My point in all of this, other than just to share my success, is to say yes, you can do this. I have zero willpower. I still hate to exercise. I still LOVE food. But the old saying is 100% accurate: "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." And though I would not consider myself thin (yet), for the first time in years, I do not dread going into my closet. I do not dread being in front of the camera. And you know what? My skin is not all that bad of a place to be in.