This post was supposed to preface the post from Friday, but I scheduled that one and then didn’t have time for this one, so. I wanted to start a What I’ve Been Eating series to share some WW recipes I’ve been enjoying and encourage anyone who’s been thinking about trying Weight Watchers to just GO FOR IT. I have had a great experience so far. I’ve been doing it for about four weeks and have lost eight pounds. Each week when I get on the scale I’m encouraged by my weight loss. Even though it’s just a little bit, it’s something. And it’s motivating me to keep going.
I started thinking about doing WW last fall. I had reached a weight I was uncomfortable with, and I was back in my largest size of jeans. But something was holding me back. I didn’t want to watch what I ate, I didn’t want to count my points, and most of all, I didn’t want to give up my Milanos. Or my nightly bowl of ice cream. Or my fancy coffee drinks. I really, really love food. It tastes so good. And I was afraid Weight Watchers would take that love away. I was afraid eating would become a chore; something to check off the to-do list, rather than something I enjoyed. So I put it off.
When I was younger, I was thin without even trying. In high school and even through most of my 20s, I could eat whatever I wanted and it never showed. I was almost proud of it. I would never go for the low fat or the fat free when I could eat the regular mayo and not gain a pound. I would never say no to chocolate, opt for whole-wheat pasta over regular, or hesitate to eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food in one sitting. I worked out sporadically—I would occasionally run, or take a weight-lifting class. But overall, maintaining my weight felt effortless.
All of that changed after I had CJ. I lost all my pregnancy weight in about six weeks, but that winter, I gained it back. The following winter, I got a trainer, and I lost about 30 pounds. But then I got pregnant again. And since I’ve had Sam, I’ve had trouble losing anything.
I would contribute some of this to the depression medication I was on. After CJ, I took Zoloft for about four years, with a break when I was pregnant with Sam. After Sam, I went back on it, and was on it until this winter, when I switched to my new medication, Effexor. Zoloft was wonderful; I could take it while breastfeeding and I know it made my time with newborn Sam that much sweeter. But it gave me a completely carefree attitude toward food. An entire bag of Milanos? Sure. Cupcakes at work? I’ll have three. I never felt bad about how much I ate, and I never looked that hard or that long at my reflection in the mirror.
But soon not even my largest jeans fit, and when there was an occasion for me to go out and do things that required real clothes (not my day-to-day uniform of pajamas or yoga pants), I was hard pressed to find an outfit that looked good on me. I bought new clothes, but that only felt like a band-aid. I was getting more depressed, I was getting fatter, and I needed to do something about it.
I had signed up for Weight Watchers e-mails on a whim, after visiting their site one day. In February they sent out a coupon, 50% off for six months. Never one to miss out on a sale, I joined. And I started the following week.
Like I said, my weight loss keeps me motivated. I also believe it helps with my depression. I’m wearing shirts I haven’t worn in months. And my largest jeans are starting to fit a little better. And rather than feel discouraged by all the foods I see in the grocery store that I can’t eat, I’m encouraged by the challenge of trying new recipes, simplifying our meals, and making things that are not only healthy for me, but also that my whole family can enjoy. I may have trouble with the shopping and planning parts, but I really love executing a good meal (even if having salad for dinner still leaves me a little cranky).