“WW” for the rest of us…

Weight Watchers has been one of the most major game-changers in my entire life. Funny thing is, I’ve never been a member.

A little background: I have fought weight issues my entire life. I am 5’0″ tall and have always had a round face and thick middle. In my early college days, I managed to stay small with a busy schedule and working jobs that kept me on my feet for 8 hours at a time. Once I moved on to the “White Collar Years,” all that baby fat came back and multiplied. I wasn’t active. I didn’t have time to pack a healthy lunch. And I didn’t care quite as much.

Later, when I became pregnant with my first son, I saw pregnancy as a built-in excuse to eat nonstop, all day, whatever I felt like. My internal dialogue basically went something like this: “Oh, what’s that Baby-In-My-Belly? You want to me eat this pint of Ben & Jerry’s this afternoon? Even though you had a full order of nachos for lunch an hour ago? Okay, Baby. Whatever you want, Baby.” I was already at my heaviest before becoming pregnant, and had gained another 50 lbs. on top of that by the time I had a six-month-old infant to care for. By the time my husband and I learned we were expecting Son #2, I hadn’t been out of the plus size section in years. Cue another reckless, lazy, binge-eating pregnancy!

So now here I was, frazzled, unhealthy, and exhausted. I was beyond unhappy. I felt trapped. I had been miserable in my own skin for so long, I just erroneously started accepting that every aspect of my life was supposed to be bad, and that I was stupid to expect it to ever get better. Some people were lucky, but I wasn’t one of them. It was genetics, it was economics, it was my unfinished education, it was [whatever viable factor I could think of to place blame on].

Then one day, life changed. I accepted a new position at the university where I had worked off-campus for years. The new job scooped me up out of the boondocks and placed me right in the heart of a bustling campus.

Slowly, I started making changes. With a terrific boss cheering me on, I re-enrolled in college to take classes on my lunch hour. I started bringing vegetables with me to snack on from my desk in place of my old lunch hour fast food. I started hand-carrying paperwork across campus each day instead of calling the transit service to come pick it up for me. I started exploring new facets of work that led to an even better job working for my same supervisors, doing things that interested me immensely.

I dropped a few pounds. While I’d always¬† wanted to join Weight Watchers in the past, I’d never really had an ability to do so. In the beginning it simply felt like a financial burden I wasn’t ready to sign on for. I’d never succeeded long-term on a diet before, so why would I pay for a three month subscription right out of the gate for something I’d probably only last a week or two on?

Moreover, I was now enrolled as a part-time student in addition to my full-time job and children to mother. When would I ever have time to go to a meeting or join a gym?

And yet, I was still very interested. I started trying to learn more about the ins-and-outs of the Weight Watchers system, without actually joining. If I were ever to join, I’d want to know getting into it whether or not it was something I could actually manage.

Over time, through my many hours spent hunched over a laptop scouring the internet for blogs and websites discussing various aspects of how it worked, I had eventually sorted it all out. I knew the entire plan. I knew how to do it. I knew where to start. I knew where the Internet was hiding all of the tools to figure out where to start. And I’d discovered loads of bloggers and forums that would keep me on track with new recipes and daily encouragement.

And I’d never even joined up.

So, I dove headfirst into the program, with only myself, my scale, and my internet connection to keep me accountable. And I started losing.

And then I kept losing.

People started noticing. They asked how I did it. I felt weird saying “Weight Watchers,” since I didn’t actually join it. But truthfully, I absolutely did it using Weight Watchers. And you can, too. Stay tuned.

–Gracie, The Busy Loser



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