Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A 'Sweet Valley High' Flashback

Another Lifetime Member at WW, Shani, recently blogged about the 21st Century revival of the Sweet Valley High franchise.

The books from the 80s frequently described the California twins' beautiful blonde hair, blue eyes, and "perfect size six" physiques. Only now, as Shani says, they're size 4.

The subsequent posts on this blog have had some interesting observations. I couldn't help but weigh in with one of my own:

[I]n the fifth grade, I received book number 4 in the series, "Power Play," as a Christmas present from a classmate I considered one of my best friends. The main plot focused around one of the twins' machinations to keep an overweight classmate (as was I at the time) out of her sorority. The young lady did everything that was asked of her during her pledge period, no matter how humiliating, and one of the twins finally resorted to blackballing her [at the final vote] to keep her out.

In diet terms, this event was the young lady's "lightbulb moment." She ran five miles every day before school, ate salads at lunch, and became a total babe. A rich student who called her Queen Mary only months before started stalking her. She tried out for the cheering squad and was made co-captain. She went out for football queen and won, beating one of the twins. The sorority tried to retract their blackballing of her, but she wisely declined the invitation.

Having now lost my weight, I identify a lot with this secondary character (her name was Robin Wilson). I really hope she doesn't make a revival, especially since such a big deal was made out of what she ate, how she dressed, etc. prior to her transformation. I don't want young girls who are now where I was to think something is wrong with them, as I believed for many years.

Maybe that gift wasn't really a gift after all.

It was a warning.

I was hoping that this particular story would not be rehashed, but it looks like it's going to be. As if girls this age don't have enough of being told they're less than.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


This morning I became a Lifetime Member with WW. I was getting very nervous that it wasn't going to happen in six weeks. When I made goal, I hit the PB2, pretzels and popcorn hard and gained 11 lbs in the first two weeks! While I have lost everything I gained the first two weeks I am still only one pound over goal. I am going to stay in losing mode until I hit 145, and I'm not on any type of deadline anymore.

My mom would have been 63 this coming Wednesday (April 23), and I am dedicating today's milestone to her memory.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Three Years OP!

I cannot believe that it has been three years today since I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting. At that point, I had had my epiphany the previous summer -- about nine months prior:

It was an event that I worked to prepare for and ended up missing. At first I wasn't really bothered.

Then the follow-up came. And more. And more. And more.

At that point, I.Was.Ticked. I felt ashamed, unappreciated and disrespected. I declared, "That's it! I'm doing something now, and if it doesn't work after a year, I'm going to pursue the gastric bypass!" I already had a Curves membership, and I actually decided to start using it after I renewed. Still, I was dissatisfied because from July to April I had lost about 12 pounds -- I was still coming home from Curves having Tostitos chips and salsa while making dinner -- and I hoped the program would help me a little bit.

Truth be told, I had already had one invasive surgery only five years prior. I didn't want to go through the healing process all over again. I wanted the satisfaction of knowing that even if I did resort to surgery, I had truly made every feasible effort to lose weight. And as a woman in my early 30s with no kids, I didn't want any more scars!

Well, I weighed in and started at 307.8. By week 3, I had lost a little over 3 lbs and was still hanging in the 300's. I renewed my driver's license -- and I had to make an appearance that I wasn't prepared for. I was shaken for weeks and I tried to keep the faith, plugging along all summer to stay on plan.

It took me five months to make my 10% target. A month later, my At-Work cycle ended -- for good -- and I ended up in the center that I still attend today. It turned out to be just the shot in the arm I needed.

This center and its members have watched me hit 50-, 75-, 100-, and 150-lb. milestones; seen me go from size 3-4X Women's to Medium (sometimes Small!)/Size 6-8 Misses'; cheered me on for throwing away "free" muffins; cheered me up after some stinging TOM gains; invested in items that I recommended in meetings; patted me on the back when I came home from the South and described my relatives' reactions to my weight loss; and celebrated when I [temporarily] came off my BP meds.

Today I celebrate not only what I have lost so far, but also what I've gained:

  • I have regained physical control of my body. My feet hit the floor in the morning with much more ease now than when I weighed over 300 pounds. A few years ago, my office had to evacuate for a fire drill. We are on a high floor in a very tall building -- I thought we would never reach the bottom. I can do calisthenics that I couldn't do (or was too embarrassed to do) in grammar school. The "big-boned" structure that I had been hard-wired to believe I would never be able to shed is making way for one that is muscular and curvy.

  • Traditionally a loner, I am going out of my way to meet new people and have new experiences. While I don't brag to everyone I meet that I've lost 171 pounds, I will definitely talk lightly about the program if it's brought up. I'm more willing to drive -- or walk, LOL -- someplace where I don't know anyone just to learn something new.

  • I have gained a toughness I never knew I had. I have faced ridicule, both open and subtle sabotage, roadblocks to eating OP (on both plans), roadblocks to exercise, and most importantly, roadblocks to feeling good about myself -- and slayed almost every dragon that has come along. I have a new dragon threatening to lurk now, but my motto has become:

You will not overtake me unless I want you to, and I don't WANT you to!

I thank everyone that has come along for the ride thus far. I hope to report in nine days that I am OfficiallyDes, the Lifetime Member, and I hope in three years to still be working the Program as faithfully as I do today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Tale of the Tape, March 2008

New stats:
BUST - Then: 64"; Now: 37.25"
WAIST - Then: 55.5"; Now: 35.5"
ABDOMEN - Then: 58.25"; Now: 36.5"
HIPS - Then: 51.25; Now: 38.75"
THIGHS - Then: 33.75"; Now: 21"
ARMS - Then: 18.5"; Now: 12"
BODY FAT - Then: 48.6%; Now: 26.7%
Total Inches Lost: 121
Total Pounds Lost: 150
Body Fat Pounds Lost: 107.94

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Goal, Baby!

Well, after almost 35 months on WW and 44 months altogether after deciding to change my life, I knocked it out of the park this morning with a 5.6 lb loss -- putting me 1.2 lbs below goal! In addition to my Goal charm, my awesome Leader Sandy also gave me the new weight charms that replaced the magnets -- a 100 and a 50 -- in honor of my 159-lb weight loss! (Total weight loss since 2004 is 171.2 lbs.) During the meeting, she also gave snaps to the site, and a few people came up to me afterwards and asked for the link ... talk about feeling like a rock star, LOL!

All this after the day from hell yesterday -- and I mean from the moment I woke up ... first I had a very early morning project. Then I found out that one of my prescriptions was DOA until I go back to the doctor ... who doesn't have Saturday hours or an emergency number (WTH?). Then I had a random stranger lecture about the canned corn, sweet peas and green beans in my cart that I was buying for a Curves food drive. Then Curves was opened late (staff emergency). I got home -- no answer at my doctor's office. I found myself reading Scripture before going out in the pouring rain for my next obligation, where I got called on my attire (sneakers) before I could even say "Good afternoon!" It took everything in me not to come home and chow down -- especially after passing up a deli tray, Doritos and fruit punch at my appointment -- but I dutifully had my steamed brown rice and winter mix, followed with some air-popped popcorn and plenty cayenne pepper (to stop me from eating, LOL!).

I got home and had breakfast before zooming down to Exit 135 to donate platelets for the New York Blood Center. The nurse who did my pre-donation checkup was absolutely floored when I showed her my license -- and of course I explained that I had made goal today. I had to explain that I eat regular food, not "Weight Watchers food" (whatever that is) on the plan.

When I got home, I finished posting on the boards, my email groups, emailed my sorors, called my two sisterfriends out of state, did my colored laundry, and made dinner. Yeah, I'm happy, but it's pretty much business as usual. I was already not eating all 35 WPAs on Core -- I have no idea how I'm going to take on another 28 for Maintenance!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Facing the Music, Part 2

Well, I got myself to another meeting. I was down 1.4 today. After weighing in, I looked at my membership book for the first time -- I had gained 3.4 the previous week -- something I might have done with or without a trip to Alabama. So now I only need to lose two pounds to get to where I was -- something that shouldn't be too hard with TofM on the horizon -- and 4.4 to get to goal.

If I had looked, I would have been ticked all week and probably gained even more by binging and blowing off a few workouts. I guess ignorance is bliss, LOL!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Tale of the Tape, February 2008

New stats:
BUST - Then: 64"; Now: 37.5"
WAIST - Then: 55.5"; Now: 36.25"
ABDOMEN - Then: 58.25"; Now: 38.5"
HIPS - Then: 51.25; Now: 39"
THIGHS - Then: 33.75"; Now: 21"
ARMS - Then: 18.5"; Now: 11.5"
BODY FAT - Then: 48.6%; Now: 26.9%
Total Inches Lost: 118.75
Total Pounds Lost: 151
Body Fat Pounds Lost: 107.89

(For anyone keeping track, these numbers are higher than December's because not only did two different people do the measuring, differently, the December stats reflected my WW weigh-in the day before rather than the Curves scale, which usually registers me 3 lbs. heavier. Sigh.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Facing the Music, Part 1

Well, my jubilance two weeks ago didn't last. Less than two hours after I got home from WI, I got a call saying that my uncle had died over the weekend. Although he lived in Jersey, the arrangements were scheduled for Alabama, so my grandmother wouldn't have to travel. I hemmed and hawed (over the expense, over losing personal days, over having to see my family for the first time in seven years despite not being at goal, damn it!) before deciding to go.

So there were a few not-so-OP or -Core days over the last week, and this is a week that I would have gained anyway. So this morning I had a few choices:

  1. Stay home (and miss another meeting). Not!

  2. Use a No-Weigh-In Pass for the first time in almost three years. (Hmmm ...) No ... I'd be a liar if I did.

  3. Go weigh in and get ticked over the number for the rest of the day (and possibly the week), setting myself up for another gain.
Well, I got up and went to the meeting. I weighed in but told the receptionist, "Don't tell me the damage. I'll check the book when I can handle it." She didn't, and I haven't. I bought the March/April WWM and had a great meeting, great breakfast, great day (not so great donation in Clark for the New York Blood Center -- it took two hours to give platelets and it's official -- I still have HBP. The nurse suggested I go get my Micardis prescription filled. Rats!).

My visit South was quite pleasant. I wowed my family -- at least the ones who saw me. And while I was there, I saw my next car! Deep Sapphire, here I come, LOL!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Board Gems, No. 1

Now that I'm so close to goal, I've been spending more time at WW's Maintenance boards. A boardie in Maintenance posted that she had not been so diligent on the Program and she expected to gain at her next WI. The awesome Deb (RRainbow) weighed in (no pun intended) by pointedly asking: "Did you think that once you got to goal you would be DONE?"

Here is a little more of her post, and the gem therein:

Here is how this program works: it is for LIFE. For the rest of your life, you need to:
  1. Be accountable for, and track your intake, one way or another. Point counting, calorie counting, Core, exchanges, portion size control. You can't just go back to what you were doing. That will get you fat again quicker'n a wink.
  2. Weigh yourself frequently.
  3. Ideally, exercise.
  4. Remove small gains before they become bigger ones.
None of this means you don't get freedom to eat foods you love. But you can either eat what you want, or be the size you want. You can't do both - unless you take the foods you want and eat them in smaller portions, account for them, and eat them less frequently.

For years I ate whatever I wanted and then wondered why my most of peers didn't have to shop in stores like 16 Plus, Sizes Unlimited, Smart Size, etc., or, worst of all, have them custom-made. What were they doing that I wasn't? Answer: They were being selective! They made their choices, and I suppose that I made mine.

Now I am making different choices -- and they really aren't that hard. I'm choosing to wear whatever I want -- far too many years have passed when I could not.

Look for more of these in the future ... I will reflect on various posts or quotes I see out there.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekly WI

Well, after Jan. 13 I went into a downward spiral. Between water weight for TofM and finally getting sick, I had gains three weeks in a row -- 0.4, 1.2 and 1.

I decided there would not be a fourth gain. I went hard-Core this week, sticking mostly to water (I typically have decaf coffee or tea twice a day with Splenda), not having bread, staying away from APs simply because I had earned them, and not using as many WPAs as I normally do.

Today's verdict: down 5 lbs. While I'm very pleased, I know there is still work to be done and will continue to be vigilant.

NSVs --
1) bought a pair of size 4 Gap jeans last week and a size 4 skirt yesterday
2) two members came up to me after the meeting -- they remembered me from when I started going to these meetings in Nov 2005 -- and said that I inspired them.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Five Pounds from Goal!

Today I was down 1.6 lbs. While this is not the major drop of 3+ lbs I have grown accustomed to after every cycle on this journey, I am still very excited. I lost 2.2 last week, which pretty much rubbed out the 2.4 gain (water gain in preparation for T-of-M) that I had after Christmas.

I am less than FIVE POUNDS from goal! I cannot believe it! After starting my journey in the summer of 2004, and starting WW in the spring of 2005, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Forget the thermostat -- February is going to be one hot month!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

An NSV of Sorts

I had already decided to get serious about taking the weight off a few summers ago after a demoralizing event at work. My very last "last straw" moment was at a family cookout Labor Day weekend the same year. Long story short, I had a relative tell me to my face that I needed to go on a diet (I didn't think my husband heard what she said, but he did) ... mind you, her post-op GBS son was strutting all over the place!

I haven't seen or spoken to her anymore -- I am still so angry that if I saw her in the street I would probably not address her. But another relative (other side of the family) who sees this person often (they attend the same church) called me on New Year's Day and mentioned that the other person has seen me in my rounds around my work area and it was obvious that I had lost weight. I guess (I hope, LOL) relative #2 filled her in that I did it without surgery (and actually, without a diet either, LOL!).

Is this an NSV or what? At least she acknowledged the loss!