Last friday I returned to Weight Watchers (WW). Psychologically speaking it is not easy returning to a program. I thought about it for two months before setting the date in my head that I would go back. It was important that I properly psych myself up because it is a journey of a thousand steps (make that 10 thousand on Spiffy).
In 2002 I made "Life Time." This is the Biggest Loser equivalent in WW world. It means essentially that I successfully completed the program. I worked it-- and it worked. I learned nutritional information that was new to me and I met some really nice people. Slowly, over the next ten years I changed habits and some of the weight returned. It occured to me periodically to go back and relearn some things, but then I would have some success and think "I can do this on my own!"
So as my landmark birthday approached I made a deadline for myself. I had a healthy goal weight in mind and decided that if I wasn't successful by my birthday I would go back to WW. The first month I did a modified WW protocol. I kept track of my food on index cards in my purse, watched my portions, and weighed in once a week. Over four weeks I made jagged, irregular progress whereby I lost and gained the same 1.5 pounds. I blamed my hormones (or lack thereof), genetics, metabolism, only recognizing my stinking thinking when I started blaming my height. Denial is a compelling process.
The second month I got serious. I increased my work out intensity, ate more lettuce, and stopped eating by 8:00 every night. I lost a total of 1/2 pounds and kept it off.
I chose to celebrate this success as clear evidence that I needed help.
But wait, before I returned to WW I explored a different system. Without shaming or naming I will just say that the experience was enlightening. Even though I was clearly struggling with putting my desire into action, my past weight loss journey made me more informed than the representative of this alternative program. In addition, she was unprepared for questions about preservatives in their food which was ridiculously expensive. I was promised a call back--still waiting. When I left the appointment we both knew we would not speak again. Like my Banana Republic jeans, we were not a good fit.
The next week I finally returned to WW. The group leader literally said "Welcome back!" People smiled. I was allowed to readjust my goal weight to reflect my new age and weighed in on their private scale. The group meeting was encouraging and energizing. After the meeting I got a small group instruction on the improvements that have been made in 10 years.
I found out my scale at home is off by 4 lbs.-- HEAVIER! Thats right, I lost 4 pounds just by joining up-- the learning continues.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can . . .
What action are you psyching up for in your life?