This isn’t easy for me to write about but I do know that when I read other people’s journeys, saw their results, and wished I could do what they did, I realized it was absolutely time I stopped wishing and started actually doing something consistent about it. I knew I had to share my story. It’s important for me to write about this because it can help someone else, just how it helped me.
That’s where Weight Watchers came in. I knew I needed to do something about my weight. Not for anyone else, but for me and how I feel about myself and for my future health.
There are three big things that happened to me before my pee-wee brain finally made me physically take action. I had to stop lying to myself and pretending that I was doing something about all of the weight I gained since college.
I started noticing I had been gaining weight about 4 years ago, right after I graduated college. I had been skinny my entire life, could eat anything I wanted and didn’t gain an ounce. All of the sudden, I could feel everything I ate. I could feel it on my stomach and on my face in what seemed almost instantly. But the poor food and drink choices I was making the last 4 years had already made itself comfortable on my body. I just kept thinking to myself, “after college I won’t be drinking and eating out as much and will have time to actually cook, so I’ll drop the weight in no time.”
I was wrong. On to the second time it hit me even harder.
My junior year of college I was lucky enough to become the Homecoming Queen of my University. Two years later the University asked me to come back to crown the next Homecoming Queen, so I made the trip back and went out with old friends from college. It was my turn to buy a round of shots, so I was up at the bar picking up the drinks for my college sorority sisters. As I looked to my right I saw a guy that I had a brief fling with and I genuinely said, “Hi! It’s so good to see you!” He looked absolutely lost. He didn’t recognize who I was at first but after a second I saw the color come back to his skin and he said, “Lindsey! Oh my gosh, it’s been ages!” We chatted for a hot two minutes and as I was turning around, he must have thought I was gone and I heard him say to his friend, “Wow, she’s such a nice girl but boy does she not look like what she did in college.” There’s a reason him and I didn’t work out, he was a jerk.
At that moment I literally froze in the bar but my body was hot and sweaty and I felt like I couldn’t hear anything that was happening around me. It sounds super dramatic but it was just another thing that happened to make me wake up.
That instance as embarrassing as it was for me, I still didn’t drop the weight. I went in the exact opposite direction and kept gaining more and more. To give you an idea, since college I had gained about 45 pounds. I was feeling miserable and noticing things that I have never noticed about my body before. I couldn’t sleep, I was never satisfied with how much I ate, I couldn’t breathe as well going upstairs, and I started getting pains in my body all of the time and had no idea what I did. I was feeling pretty hopeless, sluggish, and depressed.
During this time, little things were happening to me that I just never told anyone and again kept ignoring the fact that I gained weight. My pants wouldn’t zip, my breasts got larger and not in a good way, and I found myself having nothing to wear in my packed closet. I would wear this big sweatshirt all of the time and I mean, ALL OF THE TIME and my family and friends would make fun of me. They didn’t know the reason I wore it though. I wore it because it was the only thing I actually felt comfortable in. It’s sad to say but I only felt pretty or okay looking when I was wearing A SWEATSHIRT. Like what in the heck?
I was digging myself a hole that I couldn’t get out of.
The last and most recent thing that happened to me that for some reason had the biggest effect on me was when I got my professional photos taken of me at work. I had to choose the picture I liked best of myself for the photographer to edit and touch up so that we can put them on my works website. I was excited because I felt really pretty that day and when I started clicking through the photos I literally couldn’t believe it.
I actually didn’t even realize the pictures were me. I was going right past them because I didn’t even recognize myself. You’re probably like, “Lindsey you’re crazy you see yourself in the mirror every day”, but I’m telling you, I couldn’t believe the pictures I was looking at were me. I kept going through each one hoping that one of them would remind me of the self that I thought I looked like in my head. I never came across one. I settled on one and just wanted it to be over.
I realized then that the last four years you would not be able to find a full body size picture of me, anywhere. If you do, I’m wearing a big long coat or something that makes me look big but it would trick people into thinking, “Oh, Lindsey isn’t gaining weight she just wears big clothes.” Everything I have been doing the last few years has been to hide. No wonder I had no idea who I was looking at in those photos. How silly have I been the last 4 years?
I know this may seem dramatic, and if you don’t want to read it I totally understand. A lot of my posts are positive and this is not. But here’s the thing, you have to go through hard things to see positive results. The whole point of me blogging to help others live life intentionally (as it says on my blog page) would be a lie if I didn’t share the number one thing that bothers me each and every day. I want to share what I’m doing to go through this and what results I have already seen from making, keywords, CONSISTENT and POSITIVE changes to how I view food, my health, and my body.
If you noticed earlier in my stories of the 3 things that happened to me – the first two were about how others viewed me, that’s probably why I didn’t do much about my weight. But when it hit me that I didn’t even recognize myself, that’s when I started making these changes because I’m doing this for ME and me only. It honestly doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. If they think you’re too fat or too skinny, it’s about YOU being comfortable in your own skin and finding a way to accomplish that works for you.
I had to get real honest with myself after the photo thing happened and look at the actual problem. I’m 100% an emotional eater, I don’t look at food as fuel and energy. I needed to shift my mindset and do something that will teach me and give me accountability.
I had heard about Weightwatchers for YEARS, like actually so many years but always thought it wasn’t for me or even more naively that I would never need it. I thought I would never get to that point where I would need Weightwatchers. HOW SILLY. Sometimes I wanna smack my naive young self in the noggin’.
Anyhoo – I had known a select few people around my age who were getting married who had tried Weight Watchers and saw great success! I quickly logged on the website and remembered seeing the commercial for the freestyle program. I actually did my research to see how Weight Watchers was different and it’s actually a lifestyle change. It teaches you about portion sizes, keeps you consistent, and accountable. That’s me, that’s what I needed.
I’ve been doing it for about two weeks and honestly, I’ve lost 6 pounds out of the 40 pounds I want to lose. All of the sudden, 40 pounds doesn’t sound so scary. Weight Watchers allows you to still live life and go out to eat, just all in moderation. It gives you the tools you need to be successful that diets don’t give you.
Here’s what I’ve been doing, I’ve been giving myself 3 months of…
– NO ALCOHOL. I’m talking 0. THE BIG 0!!!
– NO SODA. Honestly probably my biggest culprit.
– ONLY GO OUT TO EAT ONCE A WEEK (while making better choices when I’m out to eat) For example…I went to Panera this week and I swapped out my side of bread for a side of fruit. I got water instead of soda. That’s what I call a win, friends.
Here’s something that has been helping me out A LOT. Have you heard of the marshmallow concept? Here it is:
I am in a room with a child and tell him/her that I’m going to leave one marshmallow in the room while I run some errands for 15 minutes. But then I tell the child that if they don’t eat that marshmallow in the 15 minutes I’m gone, I’ll give them ANOTHER marshmallow.
1. Some kids wait because they know that they can get another marshmallow later if they don’t grab the marshmallow.
2. Other kids ate the marshmallow and got less than what the others did.
What’s the point?
Are you a marshmallow grabber?
By that, I mean…look at my last example at Panera Bread. YES, I fricken wanted the piece of bread and the Mountain Dew RIGHT THEN AND THERE. But I knew that IF I didn’t drink and eat those things that I would feel better later on and reach my goal and honestly gain MORE because I would be hitting my goals in the future.
Aka, I’m not being a “marshmallow grabber”.
I think about this concept every single time I want the terrible foods that got me to feel this way. Am I going to let that instant gratification take control of me my entire life? Or am I going to resist the temptation and achieve a greater goal?
Bottom line is, it took a long time for me to gain the weight and it will take some time to lose it. I’m willing to put in more time to do it the right way instead of a quick fix. Hello, marshmallow concept FOR THE WIN! I haven’t hit my ultimate goal but the good thing is that I’ve been more consistent the last two weeks than I ever have in my life. What I do know is that I’m getting stronger every day, learning more about food and portions, and having more control over my decisions each day. There are more ways to win than just one way.
Here are some resources that are helping me achieve my goals daily – take a look and help yourself!
If you’re thinking of checking out Weight Watchers – click here.
Need actual tools to help you eat healthy for breakfast and lunch at work? (if you join WW today you get this kit for FREE) * I LOVE THIS* Click here