“I no longer think in terms of “I can’t” or “I won’t.” Now I just think, “I wonder what would happen if…” and then I go out and try something new.”
Oh my goodness! I am so excited, I can now add “spokes-model” to my resume! When I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting I had no idea I would become an official success story. The only knew one thing for sure, I could not live the life I wanted in the body I had. Today I am half my size, living an active life along-side my half his size husband, and keeping up with our two full-of-energy boys – who arrived DURING our transformation!
On August 18th 2008, my husband and I weighed in at our first Weight Watchers meeting. I was more than 25 pounds above the weight I swore I would never exceed. I was in pain. Tying my shoes was a torturous activity that left me panting and sweating. When Mike and I went out to eat, we had to choose restaurants based on whether or not we fit into the seats – booths were out of the question. Worst of all we were so wide around the middle we could not embrace each other in a hug, the best we could do was wrap our arms around each other’s biceps. I was a young woman with dreams of fixing up our new home, adding children to our family, and living a life to its fullest. My body was holding me back from energetically pursuing all of those ambitions.
I learned countless lessons during the 3-1/2 years it took to lose 146 pounds. Of all the lessons the most valuable was realizing I didn’t have to know how the path would unfold, I only needed to believe I would feel better by doing the work and focus one week at a time. So, that is what I did. Using on-line trackers (or paper when traveling), I recorded everything I ate without “cheating” for the first 6 months on the plan. When I didn’t know for sure I made my best guess knowing that ultimately the process was about creating a sustainable lifestyle. The weekly weight in taught me to be patient and learn from the times things didn’t work out the way I expected.
Weight Watchers Success Story Photo Shoot
In early 2012, following the urging of our Weight Watchers meeting leader, Mike and I submitted our weight loss stories to Weight Watchers. In July we were invited to NYC and given the full celebrity treatment at a Success Story photo shoot. We had a whole crew of people to beautify and coax us into looking our very best. (see our traveling to New York slideshow)
The studio space was stunning. We shot in an older industrial building lit by two walls of dusty windows that perfectly diffused the bright summer sun light floating through them. The walls and anything permanent in the space were white washed from top to bottom. Weight Watchers had shelled out the big bucks for this corner space.
The photographer shot us separately and as a couple in two different outfits. With each click of her shutter button we were encouraged to find a new pose, act natural, be expressive, and, since I was sporting extensions, not fling my hair around too much. The experience gave me brand new respect for the professionals, modeling is not easy!
Back Handed Compliments
Last Sunday morning I was supposed to be hurrying to get the family out the door but I couldn’t tear myself away from the comments on Weight Watchers Facebook page. Most of the notes were congratulatory and complimentary, some commenters shared their own challenges and accomplishments but a few people jumped in with critical remarks. Those criticisms were directed at the company but they left me grinning from ear to ear.
Patty commented: “I don’t believe she can look this great even if she did lose all this weight… without have surgery to tighten up the loose skin…”
Liz complained: “Weight watchers, in your after pics, why don’t any of your success stories have any excess skin – do you airbrush the pics to make their weight loss look so neat and tidy? I think so. Just give us a realistic after picture for once, please.”
My response: “Hi Liz. That is a real look at me with clothes on! If we were to meet I would be happy to tell you all about the flaws you are looking for. Fortunately for all of us there are Spanx! I am lucky that my neck toned up but my under arms and middle are a totally different story. It is frustrating but a small price to pay when you consider I went from a 22 to a 2 pants size.”
I decided to take these remarks as compliments. I frequently wrestle with my feelings about what is going on under my clothes. Indeed, losing over half of my body weight, after almost 2 decades of obesity, left me with some flabby reminders. I have written about my Spanx wearing bikini-less life. Body image continues to be an obstacle for me, but I’ll get there. If there is one thing I have learned along this incredible journey, it is how sweet looking back can be. The joy of reminiscing is worth taking those first wobbly steps.
It’s Your Turn!
I now offer personalized one-on-one coaching! Nourishment coaching is a partnership where we design specific action steps based on your lifestyle to meet your needs and get your on the path to living the vibrant life of your dreams! It all begins with the application – Get Started Now
More of our story!
In March of this year Mr. Second Helpings’ Success Story was published on weightwatchers.com.
If you click over the to Success Story on weightwatchers.com you can read my story and see a short interview video featuring both of us.