Saturday, February 26, 2011

The key to change... is to let go of fear. Roseanne Cash

A few of you have e-mailed me recently asking me questions about how long it took me, etc. I figured if I'm going to answer a bunch of questions, I might as well use my blog to answer them!

When did I start? February 2003. I walked into the Methodist church in Avon to go to the Weight Watchers meeting with my mother. One of the lowest points in my life. In my eyes, going to ask someone for help with weight loss meant that I was a failure, right? I met Bev Lusk, my WW leader and she changed my life forever. When I reached lifetime, I told her I wanted to become a leader but because my kids were so young, it was not the right time. When I got back involved in WW, I heard she retired. Now that I am on the WW staff, I found her e-mail address. I can't wait to let her know that I finally took the leap!

How long did it take me? 18 months to lose 84 pounds. Did I lose every week? NO! Did I follow the program to a tee? NO! We are human and not perfect. If I was perfect, I wouldn't have been overweight, right? I got within 5 pounds of goal and got pregnant with my daughter. After that pregnancy, I lost 65 pounds and reached lifetime in March 2006. Special thanks to my daughter for being an excellent nurser, it is like having a treadmill on your chest.

What do I like about the program? Because it is all about portion control and listening to our bodies. Listening when we are full. Realizing that a plate at a restaurant is about 3 portions worth of food. Plus, WW has you eating real food and not something pre-packaged you get in the mail shipped in a box. If we want to indulge, we do it, but in a portion size. Don't deprive yourself. It's about making smarter choices. When you look at portion sizes, you realize that as humans, we don't need that much food. And when we do make smarter choices, we get a ton more food than someone whose choices are not so good. I also like the meetings. If you want to stay motivated, go with a friend. Be accountable for each other. But go to the meetings. You will learn a lot from your leaders and others in the group! Sympathy loves company!

How did I know it was time? I suppose you are asking me what was my breaking point. Honestly, it was having kids. I saw other mothers around me with children who were overweight and couldn't do anything with them. Play with them on the playground, they couldn't even go down a slide with them. I swore I would never be that mother. I also know how awful kids are to one another and I did not want to be the fat mommy who all the kids made fun of. I vowed to never have my kids be the butt of any jokes.

Did I have that "I know what I need to do but I just can't bring myself to do it" feeling? Hell yeah! I was in denial for a long time. Even before I got married, I had allowed myself to accept that maybe this was what I was destined for. I am now 40 pounds thinner than I was when I got married. But again, having kids puts things into perspective. Hell, I was taking blood pressure medicine at 28. Sooner or later, I was on the road to diabetes, I'm sure of it. How was I going to be a good parent if I couldn't take care of myself?

Isn't 89 pounds a lot of weight? Yes. Listen, I was over 200 pounds. You do the math. But I didn't let that large amount of weight discourage me. It doesn't come on overnight, so you are not going to lost it overnight. It takes time. "The key to change is to let go of fear". You can't let fear of failure hold you back or the fear that it can never be done. So, I worked on 5 pound goals. Dividing it up in little goals helped keep me motivated along the process.

So I'm asking you: What is holding you back?

Monday, February 14, 2011

He loves me thin and heavy...

A valentine for my husband...

He loved me when I was heavy, he loves me thin.

He loved me while I gained weight my senior year in college. He loved me when I couldn't climb a mountain very well because of my weight. He loved me when he heard my weight announced when I checked in the hospital with my son. He loved me when I was at my heaviest. He loved me when he had to buy clothes for me in Lane Bryant. He loved me when we looked like Laurel and Hardy in pictures. He loved me when he asked me to marry him and I was heavy. He loved me when I wore a swinmsuit in front of him, uncomfortable in my own skin. He loved me when he was so handsome and people were wondering why he was with such an overweight woman, thinking he could have done better. He loved me by seeing my inner beauty when I thought my outer layer was ugly.

He loved me when I started Weight Watchers. He loved me when I started to make separate meals. He loved me when we stopped our big Sunday breakfasts. He loved me when I made him eggs and I had egg whites. He loved me when we made pasta and I would measure out my portions and he would shake his head. He loved me when the weight started to come off. He loved me when we cut out/made food/drink changes to our game nights when we stayed in. He loved me when I got the crazy idea to run my first 5k. He loved me when he would watch our son so I could go to my WW meetings. He loved me when I was 5 pounds away from my goal weight and got pregnant with my daughter. He loved me when I would get on the scale and lament "only down a pound!"

He loves me thin. He loves me in my two piece bikini. He loves me in my strapless shirt (although he still doesn't understand it, fashion-wise). He loves me when I get up at 5:20 in the morning to go work out. He loves me when I get crazy ideas to run half-marathons. He loves me when he has to watch our kids so I can train for half-marathons. He loves me when get alone time together and I suggest we go to the gym or for a long bike ride (can't wait to do that again this summer!) He loves me when I get on the scale obsessively to make sure I maintained my weight. He loves me when I have separate meals (sometimes!) rather than what he and kids are eating. He loves me when I need a chocolate fix and he sees me eating out of the chocolate chip bag. He loves me enough to be a leader for Weight Watchers because he knows I am passionate about it. He loves me so much that he knows how I motivate people to become healthier and happier that I have to do this.

He loved me heavy and he loves me thin. He loves me...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why are you here?

I consider myself religious and spiritual. I am not sure if I could have an intelligent conversation about stories from the bible, but I could give it a try. I believe in God and try to live by the rules in the bible. I occasionally miss the mark. I'm not perfect by any means. But I do try to live by those rules.
There is something life-changing about realizing why you were put on this earth and how you can serve. I've used this blog as a communication tool to help people change their lives, to try to reach people by telling them what I have learned on my weight loss journey. But lately I have been looking for more and wanting to do more. It must have been the latest season of the Biggest Loser. Watching the first episode of this season, I had an epiphany, something that shocked my system beyond comprehension. It was so powerful and strong, I can hardly explain it. But I realized that I was meant to do more on this earth.
And that's where the idea of becoming a Weight Watcher leader was born again. I had toyed with this idea after I made lifetime in 2006 but my daughter wasn't even 1 years old and it wasn't the right time. Sitting there on the couch watching the new season of the Biggest Loser, I realized that there were gifts that God had given me that I need to use as He intended. The gift of communication, motivation, and helping others. I love my HR job! I truly feel like I help people to make the right decision regarding their business and their employees. My best days are when someone has thanked me for helping them talk through a problem and that it all turned out okay. I once had a client tell me that I have made them a better person.
So, imagine my happiness the other night when the Weight Watchers manager hired me on the spot after hearing about my story and my passion. I am absolutely thrilled! I told her that I didn't want to do this for the money, that's not what it is about for me. I want to help people change their lives, believe in themselves again and respect themselves again. Watching my mentor(maybe?) today, I realized that this is something I was born to do, that it is something that comes naturally to me. Again, the epiphany that I had made me realize that God is in charge of our lives and will show you the way. I hope he continues to give me the skills to communicate and motivate others.
Now, can I go somewhere warm for their training program?