I remember my first diet, I was ten. Up until that point, my body was something that took me places and did things — two legs that pushed pedals on my bike and two arms that grabbed tree branches for climbing. But once my mother introduced a can of fake chocolate sludge to curb my pudginess around the edges, my body became a thing, like homework, I needed to constantly work on and maintain. And, if I’m being honest, hate.
When I look back on that innocent ten-year-old girl, I wish no one would have intervened to hand me anything. Would I feel whole now? Would I have spent less time actively depriving myself of fun things like swimming with my friends when I was a teenager? Would I have made it through college without thinking the best way to fit in was to stay hungry? Would I now be staring down middle age at a healthy weight if I didn’t always revert back to my factory setting that hides my feelings with food?
While I have done the internal, personal work it takes to realize there’s nothing actually wrong with me, I am left with a body that needs to find its joy again which is why I’m joining Weight Watchers.
About a decade ago I was an active Weight Watchers member who attended meetings, spent nights walking around my neighborhood and cleansed myself of all the unhealthy ideas I had about food. In short, I was thriving without deprivation. And I’d found a community of people who, just like me, could share their struggles and succeed together. It was just what I needed and I’d never felt better.
Then life happened.
My family struggled financially during the Great Recession in 2008 — jobs were lost, we moved twice to two different states, we lived day-to-day and financial insecurity led me back to my old friend, food. Increasingly depressed, I just couldn’t deal so I ate and now my body is just a hot mess that needs help. I can’t walk up a flight of steps without getting winded, I sit all day at my job and I feel my body in the way whenever I try to do anything. My body challenges now aren’t based in the self-loathing from years ago — I don’t want to lose weight so I can fit in, I want to get healthy so I can lead a full life without the limitations of swollen feet.
In all seriousness, I’d love to look down without my chin resting on my double chin. That’d be fun. A real time to be alive!
More than anything, I’m ready. I had to get to this place of being sick and tired of being sick and tired in order to take my life back while my daughter is still young. When I attended Weight Watchers ten years ago, I’d write everything I ate down in little weekly booklets. Now, I can do that through the Weight Watchers app. Instead of a Weight Watchers book full of foods and points, I can use the app to do the searching for me. Every day, online, I’m greeted with my daily Smartpoints breakdown and meal ideas. And I can reach out to people just like me through Weight Watchers’ social platform, Connect.
I’ve found a community again and I’m out of my own head. So much of my life was falling back on old habits — eating the same, gross stuff because I was in a routine. Every night I would go to bed and think tomorrow is a new start and then when morning arrived, I’d say tomorrow again because it just felt too hard. But today is here and with a heavy dose of inspo from following #WeightWatchers on Instagram along with Connect, I don’t have to look far to find a breakfast idea (like bananas with peanut butter and toast) or a simple idea for lunch like grilled chicken kale salad. This all seems so simple, but I really needed the visuals and the support of real people trying their best to live differently.
For me, taking the weight off is secondary to making this lifestyle change. I need to re-learn what healthy meals look and taste like and how to gradually move again. I’m excited to start this journey so I can live fully. There’s no shame in re-connecting with a program where you found success but life had other ideas and you couldn’t keep it all together. I embrace that fact and now I’m here, back at Weight Watchers, thrilled to start living.
This post was sponsored by Weight Watchers, a leader in healthy lifestyle change, which helps people lose weight while living life fully.