On April 4, 2009, I rejoined Weight Watchers. Again. For the eleventy-third time. I was mildly thinking about bariatric surgery and knew that I would have to have 6 months of a proven track record in an accountable weight loss program, and that WW would count. But the only thing I was committing to was following a sensible program to reverse the weight-gain process and see what happened.
Who knew where that would lead? I certainly didn’t – because I was taking one next step at a time, as they came up, and didn’t obsess about getting to an unrealistic place. Those steps led to lapband surgery, working with a personal trainer, and most recently plastic surgery to get rid of excess skin. (Which I’ve told you about in excruciating detail.)
Two years and three weeks after walking into WW, I stepped on the scale and realized I was at my goal weight of 175 lbs (well, okay, 175.2 but I’m still counting it). I’ve lost 46% of my starting weight for a total of 137 lbs. The last time I was at this weight was when I was in grad school 34 years ago.
Why didn’t I jump online and tell you all about it, you ask? Well, I confess to putting it up on Facebook and getting some very supportive responses. But mostly I wanted to just sit with it a while and let it settle in.
Many people start a weight loss journey at this point and don’t understand why I would stop at 175 lbs when in BMI terms it’s still obese. But I’m where I had secretly wanted to be when I started all those months and years ago. I don’t pretend to be skinny. I will never be down to 125 lbs, nor do I want to. My primary care doctor set my goal weight at 165-175, and I do intend to lose another 5-6 lbs. There is no hurry, though, and it will get easier when I’m allowed to get back to the gym.
I’m now 9 weeks out from my plastic surgery, something I had no intention of doing when I had my lapband surgery much less when I started back at WW. The arms are healed and back to full functionality; the belly still has a little bit to go but then, it was major abdominal surgery. Sometimes I forget that. Just another step, though a dramatic one. But it was the right choice for me, at the right time.
One WW tool I learned (and remembered) was anchoring; having something very specific to see or touch to remind me of what I’ve accomplished and what my goals are. For me, that’s a silver Pandora bracelet for my weight loss journey. I already have a clock (it was time), an owl (a wise decision), Chinese symbol for happiness, a present (a gift to myself), a Christmas tree (for the pictures that opened my eyes for the need), a queen bee (“Never underestimate the power of a woman”), an embossed Inner Strength bead, a dangling tennis shoe (exercise and the gym), and pretty glass beads.
Next step: buy two final charms, one a pair of dangling scissors (for surgical “cutting”) and a butterfly. For the new me.