Five Years and a Surprise

What? Two posts from me in a week? I know it’s been a while since I’ve done that, but I have to post about what happened on Wednesday night at my monthly weigh-in.

As I got out of my car, I reached into my computer bag to grab all my Weight Watchers tracking books. I have all of them since I rejoined (for the last time), and there are so many now, I had to number them (because heaven forbid I throw away the old ones!). For a while, I lost the very first one that I got in April 2012, but I recently found it; it is now number 0, since I had already numbered the others by the time I found it. 😉

Anyway, I realized as I was looking through them to find the right one that this week marks 5 years of my being a Lifetime Member at goal weight. 😮  On my way back from the restroom (doesn’t everyone go to the bathroom before they weigh in, lol?), I stopped and showed the leader all my books and told her about my milestone. (She was making notes on the board as she prepared to start the meeting.)

To my surprise, right on the spot, she tossed aside her meeting agenda and asked me to talk to the group and  tell them my story.  Despite the fact that I am a corporate trainer and make a living out of talking in front of large groups, I was completely thrown off guard!  I was embarrassed by the attention, and I stumbled and stuttered my way through it at the start. That’s not at all like me! But I was just not expecting her to ask me to suddenly give a mini-presentation on my weight loss journey, and being unprepared totally flusters me. 😛

I honestly can’t remember everything I said, which is a bummer, because I think that once I stopped tripping over my tongue, lol, I may have actually said some things worth hearing. (I’m pretty sure I said a lot of crap, too. 😛 ) The leader, Glenda, asked me some leading questions, so that helped.  Glenda remembered that I am a marathon runner, and she referenced that few times. I know I told them that I used to be very lazy, but now I purposefully choose to get up at crazy hours to run before work. I even mentioned that just last week, I had gotten up at 4:30 a.m. to run 4 miles before I had to have my son and two of his teammates to football weightlifting at 7 AM. As you can expect, most of them looked at me like I was crazy. 😛 I told them how much I enjoy it, especially how much I love how I feel when I’m done.

When she asked me to offer some advice, I remember telling them that they need to know that when they get to Lifetime, it doesn’t stop being hard. You don’t just wake up one day at goal weight, and suddenly everything falls into place and becomes easy. (Oh, hell no!)  I used that famous quote, “You have to pick your ‘hard.'” Because we all know it’s true: being overweight is hard, and staying at maintenance is hard. But I definitely like the rewards of maintenance much better than I like the rewards of over-eating. That’s what gets me up before dawn 5 days a week.

Glenda asked me if I swap my activity points for food, and I looked at her like she was crazy.  “Of course I eat my activity points,” I answered. “I like food.” Everybody laughed, and I know at least a couple of them said that they certainly understood that concept. She then made sure to explain that she tells people not to swap their activity points most of the time, but that in the case of someone who is extremely active, like me, she believes that it’s best to eat the points to maintain the fitness level. I don’t know that I necessarily agree with that 100%, because I know I could probably lose this stubborn 5 pounds if I didn’t eat all my activity points, but dammit…I really do like food!

I talked about a bunch of other things, like the trip to Italy that helped solidify my decision to get healthy, where I climbed up to Tiberius’ leap and then had to sit for 30 minutes because I was so out of breath.  I even admitted my secret shame: very often, when I walk by a mirror (especially at work because we have full length mirrors in the bathroom), I look at my reflection and I mentally compliment myself on how I look. Yes, it’s very narcissistic, but dammit, I spent 30 years of my life walking by mirrors and hating what I saw.  Now, even after five years, I still marvel at the fact that I can look in the mirror and not feel a pang of regret or depression over my body image. I won’t say that I look great every day, but on those days when everything falls into place, it’s a pretty awesome feeling to like what I see in the mirror. 🙂

I also remember telling the group about how my healthy habits have helped me be a positive role model for my two boys. I mentioned that just last week, I ran a 5K with my youngest (one of many), and then I told them the story about my second marathon, where my then-13-year-old son ran the last leg of the relay with me, and we crossed the finish line together.

I wish I could remember the other things I said, but I just can’t. It was all a bit overwhelming, honestly. (I do remember at one point, Glenda asked me if I had ever thought about becoming a Weight Watchers leader. I just had to laugh…when the hell do I have time for that? 😉 ) Mostly, I just talked about my experience in losing 80 pounds and keeping it off for five years, listing some of the new, healthy habits I’d formed (like becoming a marathon runner!).  I felt like I was just talking way too much, and after about 15 minutes, I told Glenda that she needed to conduct her meeting, and I still had to go weigh-in.  Before I finished, they actually gave me a standing ovation, which got me a little choked up. 😮

One of the women mentioned that she would love to see my before picture, the one I always talk about where I’m in a bathing suit on the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, I didn’t have it handy, so maybe next month I’ll go back and show it to everybody. However, I did find another picture that I thought really illustrated the change that I’ve gone through in the last 17 years. (Read my full weight loss story to understand why it took me 12 years to get to lifetime.)

This is a picture of me in December 1999.

There are not a lot of pictures of me from that year, because I was at my heaviest, and I hated having my picture taken. Here is another one of me the same year, with my nephew.

And here is a picture of me from Wednesday night, holding all my Weight Watchers trackers from the last five years.

Because I hate that I look so terrible in that picture (clearly, I was not prepared to get my picture taken!), here are a few pictures of me from our vow renewal in April that I think do a pretty good job of showcasing how different I look from that girl above back in 1999.

I won’t lie, after I got over the initial embarrassment, as I was standing up there and telling my story, it felt really good to be a “success story.” When I first lost the weight all those years ago, I told myself that if I could make it to five years, I would never go back. It was kind of a joke before, but now that I’ve gotten there, I can honestly say that I won’t ever go back, because I know that where I am now is the true me! 👊🏻 It CAN be done!

Thank you so much for reading, and especially thank you for sticking with my blog, which is actually celebrating six years this year! Every person who reads my little corner of the Internet, whether they comment or not, is very much appreciated. I write this blog mostly just so that I can have accountability to myself, and I think it’s been an integral part of what helped me keep the weight off for five years. So thank you, truly, for your support!

4 thoughts on “Five Years and a Surprise

  1. Desiree Marshall

    Oh geez, this totally made me tear up! Congratulations on such a tremendous accomplishment and maintaining! You are proof for us that hard work and consistency DO pay off!

    Reply
    1. steph Post author

      Aw, thanks. 🙂 It really does feel good, and it helps me to remember on the days when I’m down that I HAVE accomplished some pretty great things. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *