By Shani Petroff
I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life. I still struggle. I have my ups and my downs, and sometimes go off the rails in my eating — but every time it’s been the Weight Watchers program that’s helped me get control back and rein it in. The community, the plan (in all its iterations), and the freedom it allows have been a blessing. Over the years I’ve had the amazing opportunity to share my journey with all of you.
For those who already know me from Community and those I hope will get to know me, here’s a little life update:
The career. I’ll start with my most exciting news! I write books for teens and tweens and after some bumps over the years, things seem to be picking up steam. I just had a teen romantic comedy debut. It’s called Romeo & What’s Her Name and it will even be in Target and Walmart next month! (The picture in this post is from the book’s launch day — and I only had a few bites of the cake — which I tracked! I also have a holiday rom-com called My New Crush Gave to Me coming out in October, and a third book Airports, Exes & Other Things I’m Over will be coming out next year. Plus there’s talk about some other exciting things that I can’t wait to share. There’s definitely stress, i.e. I’m on a crazy-tight deadline now, but it’s the kind of stress I used to dream about, so I’ll take it! In the meantime, I still freelance at a TV news station because it helps pay my bills and it gets me out of the house.
The weight. I have a long way to go, but if it weren’t for Weight Watchers, there is no question I’d have a lot further. I had a small, bad stretch last year (a broken heart — which I’ll get to shortly, and a project that hung over my head like a black cloud), and I just ate. I didn’t care if I gained; I just shoved food in my mouth. I would even get on the scale, but felt numb as I watched the number climb. I snapped out of it (as I mentioned earlier, this community and this program came to the rescue). Tracking, reading posts, and posting myself woke me up, but it’s scary how much damage a few weeks of total disregard and free-for-all can do. I got back on track, and I’m still working to get to my goal. I still have stumbles (none as bad as that one — and I’m hoping I learned my lesson not to do that again), but I always pick myself up, learn something new, and keep going. I will hit goal (and stay there), even if it is at a turtle pace. I’m going to make it happen. It’s a promise I made to myself. One that I have no question that I will stick to.
My health. I have a checkup next week, so fingers crossed all is well! But as of last time, my heart looks good, which is a relief. My family has a history of heart disease (my father died way too young and had his first heart attack when he was younger than I am now), and it’s one of the reasons why following this program is so important to me. I want to be healthy, lose the weight, and live a long, productive life.
My love life. A little over a year ago, the man I was seeing ended things — through email. He said the distance was hard and he was confused. Then a month later, through the “power” of social media, I learned he was engaged to someone else. I was crushed. But time does heal, and I’ve moved on. I’ve been dating. Not exclusively. But I’ve been going out, meeting new people, and realizing that there are some really great catches out there (and some that aren’t). I’m working to get over my self-consciousness and to love myself at any size, and I’ve been getting better at it. As for the ex (whom, from what I gather, is now single), well, he contacted me a few months ago. He apologized, I spoke my mind — I told him I deserved better — and he agreed. It doesn’t change what happened, but it was nice to hear, it was nice to get everything out, and it felt like a proper chapter ending. Now I’m ready for the next chapter, with a new leading man. J
My family. I am very lucky in this respect. I have a wonderful family. An added plus, my mother and brother are both on Weight Watchers, and my sister-in-law is always watching her eating — and they are all doing very well! It’s extra motivation for me to stick to my goals!
So that’s what’s going on with me. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey with you. I’ve been learning a lot — about myself, the program, what works for me and what doesn’t, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
I would also love to hear more about you and your experiences. I hope you’ll find me on Connect at @shani!
Read more Shani Weighs In.