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.