Thursday, March 22, 2007

So, You're Thinking about Joining Weight Watchers

A good friend called me last night. She’s taking the plunge and joining Weight Watchers today for the first time. She talked about how hard she thought it will be. I am having a hard time with my weight right now, that’s true. Still, when you’re in the groove with WW, it’s not hard at all. It’s all in the mindset. I was thinking about this after I got off the phone with her. Once you become a mother, your focus is on caring for them. For some people, that may be a contributing factor to weight gain itself. WW can be a wonderful way to put some emphasis and energy back on yourself. It doesn’t matter if you need to lose 5 pounds of 500, when you join WW for yourself, it is a rewarding experience. It’s not just the half hour meeting. It’s the time you then take each day to make healthy choices, to work some activity into your day, and to record how your day went.

Those minutes of caring for yourself each day add up. You become in tune with your body. You look forward to small things like planning a meal or figuring how you are going to work a special meal or event into your program. I’ve never been one for word problems or math in general, but I get a kick out of being creative like that. In the past, walking has been my activity of choice. I would look so forward to those walks, especially if I was walking by myself. It gave me the opportunity to work through things in my head. I also liked to challenge myself to walk farther faster or to make it up the next big hill. I would get home from those walks and feel so good.

Another rewarding part about joining Weight Watchers is simply going to the meetings. You are able to talk about your experiences with people who have been there and can empathize and/or celebrate along with you. The reverse is true as well. There were several times when people would walk up to me after a meeting and thank me for something I said in a past meeting. I always took the opportunity to do the same. When you have a weight problem, your self-esteem has usually taken more than its fair share of hits. This gives us the opportunity to build each other up. We are strong, intelligent, and worthwhile people.

Finally, there is the scale. The first time you weigh in may not be that fun. Moping about it won’t get you anywhere. Think of it as the beginning of a fabulous adventure. Even Indiana Jones has to start somewhere. That number is just a number. When your successes come flowing in ~ weight loss, looser-fitting clothes, increased energy ~ it is simply a point of reference. If it has any power, its to remind you of how far you’ve come. Most importantly, you have to have a beginning weight so that you can measure your weight loss to date. I don’t care if it’s .8 or 8.0, I was always proud to share my weight loss. After leaving my meetings, I called my husband, my sister who inspired me to join WW, and my parents. Since I live so far away from my family, it’s nice to give them the week-by-week rundown to let them start to imagine what you will look like the next time they see you.

[Good friend, I'd love to start calling each week to brag about our successes.]

As it happens, I’m joining WW tomorrow. These words of advice and encouragement are as much for my friend as they are for me. I am going to walk into my meeting tomorrow hopeful for the future and happy to start the process reconnecting with my body. My body and I may very well feel betrayed from time to tome, but that’s not the way it is. We’re a team.

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