Thursday, April 13, 2006

I hit my Weight Watchers goal today!

I can't believe I did it. I honestly can't believe it...but it's true! Today I went to Weight Watchers, and I am now officially down 32.8 pounds, and I have hit my official Weight Watchers goal. I weigh less than I have in about 10 to 15 years, and I'm wearing some size 6 and some size 8 clothes (depends on the brand). I barely recognize this new body as my own...and that's a good thing!

If anyone is reading this and hoping to lose weight, here is my advice:

1. DO NOT think about your final goal, just about your mini-goals. If I had sat down in February and told myself "I need to lose more than 30 pounds" I think at the first setback I would have quit, or I would have been frustrated when I only lost a half pound. Instead, I focused on losing one pound a week, and promised myself that as long as I was averaging a pound a week of loss (and fortunately for me I averaged more than that) I WAS meeting my goal. A pound a week equals 52 pounds in a year, so I think that's a worthy goal. By keeping the goals small, I felt like I had lots to celebrate along the way, and I wasn't too bogged down by the big picture.

2. Don't live in deprivation. If you told me now that I could never have chocolate, pasta, wine, or cheese again, I would gladly give up the "skinny" to enjoy those foods, because I LOVE those foods and I'm not a big fan of deprivation. Plus, I hate being told that I'm not allowed to have something...that makes me crave it even more. Instead, just choose to have those items less frequently, or in smaller portions, or both. When there is a birthday party, I still get to have a (small) piece of birthday cake. When it's girls' night, I still eat dessert. When I want to, I still have a glass of wine. By not giving those things up, I have been able to enjoy the ride, and so it doesn't feel like I'm on a strict diet, and so it feels like a lifestyle shift, and not deprivation.

3. Plan ahead. It's MUCH easier to lose weight if you plan your day and to be successful. If I know that I'm having a higher point (higher calorie) dinner, I make sure to have a light lunch. If I know that I have lots of social plans on the weekend, I save up my flex points for those events so that I can enjoy the events without going over my point allowances.

4. Share the journey with someone else. My dear friend Michele initially inspired me to join Weight Watchers because of her success with it, and she and I spent a lot of time swapping tips and recipes. Then, Ryan came on board (hurrah!) and we plan our points together, encouraging each other to stay on the plan and congratulating each other on our successes. My mom is also on the plan (I'm proud of you, Mom!) and it's fabulous when we have dinner with my parents because I know that it will be healthy. It's a lot easier to do this if your team is in place, ready to support you.

5. Diet and exercise together is the best combination, but if you can't do one, don't give up the other. Radiation burns and hysterectomies and fatigue have really put my exercise on the back burner, but though I'm not exercising the way I should and would like to, I'm not giving up the plan...and I've still had success.

Now, my plan is to add the exercise back in to my lifestyle, and to continue with my healthy eating habits for the rest of my life. I will slowly add back in more points until I'm not losing weight any more, and I will work on doing strength training and cardio to make my body not only slim, but also healthy. Reaching goal is, in many ways, the beginning of the journey, and not the end. I'll continue to attend WW meetings to keep myself on target, too.

I am giving away all of my larger clothes. My clothes will tell me when it's time for me to drop a few pounds again...I will not be buying ANOTHER wardrobe, because I like where I'm at far too much. If/when my clothes get too tight, I will just drop my points down to the "dieting" range again, and do a minor correction before things get out of hand.

Because I'm a healthy weight, I have cut my risk of a breast cancer recurrance by as much as fifty percent. WOW. Now there's some incentive to keep the weight off!

Thanks for letting me brag....if I can't do it in my own blog, then I can't do it anywhere. Thanks for listening!