On Friday morning, I found myself once again in a room full of like-minded women (included my mom sitting next to me), listening to a leader discuss some of the core tenets of the Weight Watchers way of life. Right before the meeting started, I weighed in and learned that I had gained back all but one of the pounds I lost on Weight Watchers last year. And all I could think was, "Thank God I am not fatter than I was when I started last year."
Weight Watchers is something that has worked for me in the past. It's relatively easy to convert foods into Points values and track them in the handy little weekly journal they provide to you. I have the book that lists the Points values for thousands of food items. I have a handy little electronic calculator that will convert my foods to Points if I tell it how many calories, fat grams, and fiber grams it contains. I have all the tools I need to be a success.
In the past, what I have been lacking is the drive and the attitude I need to make this work. Sure, I do well for a certain amount of time, and then I let a slip (a holiday party, a birthday cake at work, a bad night in the NICU followed by breakfast out with my coworkers) take me into a downward spiral. By the time I come up for air, I am so far away from the Weight Watchers way of living that I think that it is pointless to find my way back. After all, I am relatively healthy. And my husband doesn't seem to have any complaints. And there isn't anything that I want to do that I can't do because of the extra weight I am carrying around.
But then I take a look in the mirror. And I realize that I don't want to wear "this size" forever. And I don't want to have back fat and a double chin forever. And I want to be healthier when I eventually decide to have kids. And I want to live a long, long time. And I don't want my knees and ankles to hurt when I get out of bed in the morning, to the point that my trip to the bathroom looks more like the hobbling of an 80-year-old and less like the stride of someone who is only 32.
So as we head into the fall and winter, I find myself once again back in this place, feeling hopeful that this will be the time that it sticks. After all, I have the tools, I have a buddy, and I have a real desire to turn my life around. Now, all I need is to make sure that I don't get in my own way and that I remember that it's not a diet...it's a way of life.