In approximately 2.5 hours I will step on the scale at WW, and determine if I have achieved Lifetime status or not. You will believe how excited/nervous/stressed I am about this, by noting that I am out of bed and writing this at 6:30 a.m. and have been up for an hour and a half!
I first joined WW (back then in was Weight Watchers) back in 1973, when my high school friend, Deb and I first attended a meeting together. I recall that I weighed around 270 lbs. at my very first weigh-in, and back then (I was only 22) my goal was 135 lbs. I did go on to lose a lot of weight, but never hit my goal. In 1979-80, on my next weight loss attempt, I lost a lot of weight before stalling and eventually joining WW to try to get to my goal, probably still 135 lbs. I did get as low as 150 lbs. on that attempt before losing my mojo and gaining it all back plus some.
You have heard my weight loss story that started in 2009, when I weighed 328 lbs. For those almost 30 years between 1980 and late 2009, I weighed over 300 lbs. and did nothing to help that situation except eat. I moved as little as possible, because it left me winded and hurt. When I went to my doctor in Dec. of 2009, complaining of chest pain and heart palpitations (I was convinced I was dying of heart disease), and after an EKG, he told me, "Your EKG seems to show you've ALREADY had a heart attack," he finally got my attention.
Subsequent tests with a cardiologist proved my heart was still okay, but I knew I wasn't doing it any favors by being morbidly obese. My maternal grandmother had died of a stroke at 62, and my mother had a sudden heart attack at 65 and passed away.. I was fast approaching 60 (I was just weeks away from my 59th birthday in Dec. of 2009), and decided I HAD to do something. So I just cut out Pepsi, and started eating just one helping at meals. As the pounds melted away, I got more strict and started cooking healthier meals. In March of 2010, I started walking down the road in front of my house, just trying to go a little further each day. It hurt my back, hips and knees to walk, but I just kept going a little further until one day I made it clear to the end of the road (1.2 mile round trip). What a thrill. I still call that spot my "Rocky" moment and when I arrive there now I hum the Rocky theme song in my head. From there, I walked further and further and now walk over 10,000 steps every single day. Of course, that has never been consistent. I hit my goal weight on April 15, 2011 (It was 160 pounds then) and my June of 2011 was below 150 lbs., which became my "happy weight." I could wear size 10's (and some 8's) and felt really GOOD! At that point I continued to lose, getting clear down to 139.8 by November of 2011. I have a picture or two of me at that weight and I actually feel I almost too skinny.
Didn't take me long and I gained back to 150, where I managed to maintain (mostly) for the next two(ish) years. In the Fall of 2012, I got a chance to go to New York City and appear on the Today Show with Joy Bauer featuring my 178 lb. weight loss. What a thrill that was! It remains a highlight memory in my life.
Minor regains in both 2014 and 2016 (35 and 50 lbs.) were lost, with the help of Diet Bets, Spark People, and even WW on-line. In 2018, however, I found myself tipping the scale at 239.8 lbs. OUCH! After I hit my 150 lb. goal for my son's wedding in Oct. of 2016, I just quit. I really lost my mojo! I binged and binged and the pounds piled back on quickly. But a 90-lb. regain? How did I let that happen? In late August last year, I got serious and lost 40 lbs. by Christmas, but once again the holidays derailed me, and I put 26 lbs. back on before I joined WW (attending meetings this time!) on 1/1/19. (I have made a pledge that this year there will be NO Christmas baking and I will not gain weight over the holidays!)
A brief history of my weight loss journey would not be complete without mentioning how much help I have gotten from blogging here at Spark. Although I don't do it often anymore, I am constantly writing blogs in my head as I walk down the road and listen to my playlists on my iPhone. The motivation for my latest weight loss? My 50th high school reunion in August. Although I didn't get down to my 150-lb. goal for it, I was IN the 150's, and managed to squeeze into my size 10 skinny white jeans, so I was happy. But I didn't STOP after the Reunion. I kept attending my WW meetings, determined to get to 150 lbs., which I did on Sept. 20, 2019, when I weighed in at 149.4. I got my goal charm and my 75 lbs. lost charm at that meeting and was so happy. I was informed that I needed to maintain for six weeks to get to Lifetime status. Since then, knowing I had to maintain within 4 lbs. of that goal weight, I have been doing nothing different, in fact I stepped up my walking (I had entered a step bet), and for a few weeks there I was averaging 20,000 steps/day. I am now back to my 10K daily steps, which is still a lot of walking!
Yesterday morning, however, the scale read 145.4. WHAT? My WW leader had told me that on 11/1/19 (TODAY) I had to weigh between 148-152 to achieve Lifetime. How did I dip that low? I had been maintaining at 148-149 for most of the six weeks. I guess WW doesn't want you any lower than 2 lbs. below your goal weight. They fear people will set their goal weight too high, and then continue to lose weight for FREE after hitting lifetime. Have you ever tried to gain weight? ME NEITHER!! I have gained weight repeatedly over my lifetime, but never TRIED to do so! I also know ME. I know a binge day could result in a binge week, month and even years! But yesterday for lunch we were at a restaurant and I ordered a fried pork tenderloin sandwich and fries. I have not eaten anything like that since I got back on track in January. But I was so stuffed from my lunch, I didn't even fix any dinner last night. And the scale this morning (with my pajamas on) reads 148.2! PERFECT! And I don't feel like I have started anything, i.e., I don't feel like I'm off the rails again, because I had that one high-caloried meal. I still feel committed to eating less and eating right and moving MORE. My plan is to keep attending weekly meetings, weighing in and hopefully that will help me maintain.
This morning when I got on my computer, there was an e-mail from the National Weight Control Registry. I get a questionnaire/survey from there every year about this time, since they picked me for membership back in 2011 or 2012. In fact for a while I was featured on their "success story" page, which was really cool. Oh, I just checked and I'm still on there! Makes me happy that I don't have to feel embarrassed since I am back at goal weight! http://www.nwcr.ws/stories.htm There has been a few years when I had to fill out their survey and had regained, but I was always truthful about that. This year was nice to be back at goal when filling out their survey although on the very last page they asked for "your story," and I wrote of my regains over the last 10 years, and what a struggle it is for me to maintain a weight loss.
This is a collage I made back in 2011, comparing my weight when I had hit 200 lbs., (upper right) during my original weight loss in Oct. of 2010, and then when I was briefly closer to that 140 lbs. I mentioned earlier in Oct of 2011. Today I added a picture from yesterday (bottom left), wearing the same Halloween shirt, and weighing in at 148 lbs. It's a 2X, so I tuck the shirt into my skinny leggings, because nowadays I'm fitting into medium and larges.
Can you believe, next month it will be 10 years since I started this "Lose Weight, Get Healthier" journey? My life has changed 1000% since losing weight. Even during my regain periods, when I feel ashamed of what I'm doing to myself, I feel physically better than I ever did at 300+ lbs. I swear I will never go back there, when I couldn't do much of anything. My life was controlled and limited by my inability to move much, and fit just anywhere. Now I can go and do whatever I want, and my life is only limited by making healthy choices. A small price to pay when I walk down the road or look in the mirror. I reiterate, NOTHING tastes as good as being skinny feels. Wish me luck when I get on that WW scale in a couple hours. 150 or BUST!!!! Lifetime HERE I COME!!!