Member Stories: Susan
"The first step is the hardest, but it is well worth it. Decide to step into the program and you will be stepping into a life you deserve."
Weight is always something that I have struggled with. There have been several times when I was successful getting a good amount of weight off (20 -50 pounds) but I totally failed at keeping it off. This cycle of yo-yo dieting and gaining it all back, plus more, was very detrimental to my self-esteem.
I struggled to accept that I had gone to all of that trouble and hard work to lose weight, just to gain it all back again. “What is wrong with me?”, is something I often asked.
Over the years I developed some deep-rooted shame about being so overweight. I could not accept that I had let myself go so badly. I felt that everyone judged me as having “no self-control, or no discipline”. I started to hide my eating to avoid the shame. This made it worse, but I could not seem to stop the cycle.
I remember seeing a picture of myself after a vacation and I was totally horrified at how I looked. I felt so sad for the person looking back at me in that picture. She had lost her spark. She was resigned and she was living a marginalized life. Gone was the carefree, spontaneous, active, and hopeful woman. Instead she struggled to move and needed a “sleep machine” to breathe at night. I made up my mind at that moment that I was going to take a different approach. No more fad diets that I could not stick with. I wanted to make a life-long major change to how I approached food.
I entered the doors of Weight Watchers in April of 2005. Since then I have been able to lose 90 pounds, and I am not finished yet! I still have 10 pounds to go. My journey has not been a straight line down like some others. Mine has had its ups and downs, the odd break and a lot of staying still. Having 100 pounds to lose seemed overwhelming to me in the beginning. Some days it still does. I try and focus on the next meal, how great I look and feel, and on how well I have done rather than how long it has taken. In some ways I think that I have already arrived- besides, it is the journey that counts the most.
Make an investment in yourself
Fitness has been a very important part of my weight loss journey. I don’t always love exercising but I always love the way it makes me feel and look. Removing 90 pounds as a middle-aged woman could have left me looking soft and saggy. Instead I look toned, fit and trim. It has been well worth the effort for me. I look at it as an “investment” in me. I invest time and effort in fitness and I reap the benefits of an active healthy body and lifestyle. I try to include a friend whenever possible. I love the connection and the time passes much quicker.
I think most of us underestimate our strength and abilities. I recently became certified to lead weightlifting classes at my local gym. I love the challenge and the participants find me inspiring. Go figure!
By following Weight Watchers “Beyond the Scale” program I have been able to reclaim my life. Since entering the doors in 2005, I have learned so much about nutrition and my emotional attachment to food. I have been able to develop other non-food related ways to comfort, reward, entertain myself and deal with boredom.
I have become a “fitness nut”, moving my body every chance I get. I decided to take on 6 physical challenges this year; 1 for each decade of my 60 years:
- Climb Manchu Picchu – done
- Become a fitness instructor – done
- Complete my 1st half marathon – done
- Ride my bike 220 km in 2 days – done
- Get to goal weight – TBD
- Become a Weight Watchers leader - TBD
Eat what you love
Food is the most important part of the Weight Watchers program to me. I love to eat, I love a variety of foods, and I have a big appetite. It takes a large quantity of food to fill me. Out of necessity I have become the “Queen of Substitution”. I choose filling foods with lower SmartPoints values to substitute.
Here are some examples:
- Weight Watchers whole wheat bread (2 slices) instead of any other type of bread: 2 SmartPoints vs 6 SmartPoints.
- Spaghetti squash (cooked firm) instead of pasta (1 cup): Zero SmartPoints vs 5 SmartPoints.
- Mashed cauliflower with a little 1% milk (1/4 cup) vs mashed potatoes 1 SmartPoint vs 4 SmartPoints.
- I mix my instant oatmeal with hot water instead of adding milk (1 cup 1%) then I add fruit. 3 SmartPoints vs 7 SmartPoints.
- Fresh fruit for snacks
- 3 egg whites for omelettes or frittatas rather than 2 whole eggs. 1 SmartPoint vs 4 SmartPoints.
- Ground turkey (3 oz) instead of extra lean ground beef: 1 SmartPoint vs 3 SmartPoints.
- 2 ounces of wine spritzer instead of a 5 ounce glass of wine: 2 SmartPoints vs 4 SmartPoints.
These substitutions allow me to use the Weight Watchers program to suit me. Substituting gives me plenty of food while allowing me to stay within my SmartPoints allotment.
Settle for more
The first step is the hardest, but it is well worth it. Decide to step into the program and you will be stepping into a life you deserve. Make an investment in yourself; I dare you! My transformation has surprised even me! I invite you to challenge yourself to “settle for more”!