Why We Chose: Weight Watchers

I have a muffintop.

There, I said it.

I have a muffintop. You know, that sometimes slight, sometimes not-so-slight overflow where the top of your pants meets the area where your waist used to be? Yeah, I have that. And I'm not particularly happy about it.

See, while I struggled with my weight for much of my adult life, by around 26 I became an exercise freak and could eat whatever I wanted. By my 30s, I even had a figure I was at peace with. For several years I was a Spinning instructor, a runner, a fitness junkie and was even studying for my ACE personal trainer certification. Working out was my hobby, my passion, my sanity.

And then this happened.

woo hoo, i'm going to be a mama!

And this happened.

mega mondo 12 full months preggo.

And inevitably (and joyfully!), this happened.

how in the world did i have enough energy to laugh after 27 hours of active labor?

I did alright for a while. Since I was breastfeeding, the weight quickly fell off. Within two weeks, all my prenatal Spinning paid off and I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

i confess i posed at an angle to minimize my figure a bit.

But ladies, mamas, testify. The way you look before the baby and the way you look after the baby are two very different things, even if the number on the scale stays the same. The girls aren't exactly where they used to be, the view from behind takes a hit, and the belly's got a little extra sump'n sump'n to give Jell-o a run for its money.

Still, I was happy. I had my little girl. And she was amazing. And she was nursing which meant I got to have some extra daily calories and "needed" fat (you know, for her).

And I started running again and really started to look and feel strong and healthy.

Then I got cocky. I started having too much of this.

And this.

And more than a little of this.

And admittedly, I had very little of this.

And these.

And when a severe running injury to my foot halted my training in its tracks and literally knocked me off my feet, well that's when my reflection in the bathroom mirror started taking a turn for the uncomfortable.

not really as excited as i look.

Unable to work off the extra calories I was taking in, coupled with my stress and depression eating as a result of the frustration I felt with my very limited mobility, I quickly packed on several pounds, to the tune of about a pound a week.

Hello, muffintop.

I remember the day it became very obvious to me that I needed to get ahead of this before things got out of control. It was last week actually. I was laying in bed and thought, you know, I am not going to be that person. You know, the one that whines and whines but never takes a step toward making their (any given) situation better.

No, I was ready to make a change. And quickly.

Sean considered South Beach for his own weight loss plan, but after watching him grow increasingly frustrated with the limitations and feelings of deprivation, I knew it wasn't for me. After all, I needed more than a plan to knock off a few pounds. I needed a major mindset shift. A lifestyle change. Education and accountability to help me form healthy perspectives that I can then pass along to my daughter so that she will have a healthy body image and a healthy, balanced view of eating.

Weight Watchers was the first program that popped into my mind, probably because I knew so many people who were on it and loved it. I did some reading on their site and within two days decided to take the plunge. I signed up for a 3-month online membership and downloaded the iPod app. Sean decided to wait it out, so he could see if the program would be manageable and maintainable. But let me tell you, after watching me confidently eat a DQ Blizzard Monday night using a portion of my weekly POINTS allowance (15 for a medium Strawberry + Golden Oreo!), I think I can predict he'll be joining me soon.

Since the day I first signed on, I've done a ton of reading on the plan and am so impressed with its balanced and realistic method of weight loss and goal achievement. They even emphasize non-weight goals for people who simply want to eat healthier. They talk about eating out, special occasions, indulgences, and they make it possible to enjoy the journey.

Yesterday was my first weigh-in and I went down a whopping five pounds. I don't want to emphasize that number too much though, because a healthy pace is 1 to 2 pounds a week and I'm sure I'll even out to that shortly. But I do want to point out that I did not starve! No way, I ate at Sweetlix twice, had birthday cake with Sean's dad and a datenight Blizzard at DQ. But I also ate lots of veggies, whole grains, low-fat proteins and healthy, filling snacks.

And it was fine!

Even more importantly, today I walked past a big box of free donuts at work. And I laughed at them. In just one week, my boredom eating is under control. I drink more water than ever. I don't think about food 24/7. Not only is my body changing, but my mind is too.

That's huge.

I even enjoy the tracking part. The iPod app is really well-done and helps me to stay on target wherever I am, and I think the POINTS system is something I can relate to easily because it's like the food equivalent to Dave Ramsey's cash envelope budget system (more on that in a future "Why We Chose").

So after my first week (and yes, I know it's only been a week), I can say I think this is a program I can really stick with.

And after all, I need to stay healthy for this little one.

Tomorrow I'll have Sean take a "before" picture and will update this post with it. And over the next three months, I'll pop in regularly and let you know about my progress. I'll share snack ideas, recipes, helpful websites and anything else I come across that I think you may enjoy seeing.

Let me know where you are on your journey. Are you maintaining, struggling, on your way, encouraged, fed up, satisfied? Wherever you are, I'd love to hear from you. :)

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