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.

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