Back in the Habit – Weight Watchers!

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? Our family breaks off into smaller groups for Thanksgiving and it was nice this year because my cousin from Wisconsin (who now lives in New York) came with his girlfriend. It was a day full of family and LOTS of food.

Speaking of food! After much deliberation I have decided to rejoin Weight Watchers.

Now I am not saying that I think I am fat….far from it. What I do think is that I need to refocus the way I eat. I have a LONG history with Weight Watchers and with my weight in general. I joined Weight Watchers for the first time in high school.

I had always been a heavy kid. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight.

Weight Watchers Young

I always did activities like softball, swimming and cheerleading when I was younger. My problem wasn’t that I was inactive. It was that I didn’t eat properly. In high school my only activity was marching band. It was a pretty intense workout for most of the year, but again I did not eat right. After friday night football games I would go to IHOP with my friends and I would order and entire appetizer sampler for myself!

My junior year of high school my parents decided to go on a family cruise. My mom, sister and I decided to join Weight Watchers before the cruise so we would feel better about ourselves. I lost about 20 pounds on Weight Watchers and felt ok in a bathing suit (and shorts) on our cruise.

Weight Watchers Cruise

Unfortunately I ate SO MUCH on the cruise and gained back every pound I had lost. Once we got back instead of going back to Weight Watchers I quit and kept eating like I always had.

Weight Watchers

When I graduated high school I was overweight again and headed into a downward spiral. I went to college and just ate WAY too much. I was already the overweight one of my friends and pretty sad about it. I just kept eating my feelings until it got out of control.

Weight Watchers

My sophomore year I was so depressed and hated how I looked. I started going to the campus gym and working out, but again I didn’t eat the best so working out didn’t really help much. Even though my food choices weren’t the best, I was at least trying to fix it. My weight fluctuated drastically in college over the years.

Weight Watchers

When I graduated in 2007 I still wasn’t happy with the way I looked, but I vowed to try and do more. After moving home I started to run with my friends from high school. It was great exercise and practically free! I hated running at first, but I loved how it was starting to transform my body, so I kept with it.

Weight Watchers

In 2008 I ran my first ever half marathon! It took me 2 hours and 21 minutes which wasn’t bad for my first half marathon. That was also around the time that the running and not eating properly sent me to a stalemate. In January of 2008 Cheryl and my mom had rejoined Weight Watchers. I didn’t at first because I was trying so hard to save money. Towards the end of 2008 though I realized I needed help. I had lost about 30 pounds with all the running I was doing.

Weight Watchers

2009 was a great year for me. I fell in love with running and started training for my first marathon. I ran the Philadelphia half marathon again, but this time finished it in 1 hour and 57 minutes! I felt really great about myself and realized the exercise and eating properly was really paying off.

Weight Watchers

I reached Lifetime at Weight Watchers in the beginning of 2010 at my goal weight of 130 pounds. 2010 was my best running year ever. I ran my fastest marathon, the Suntrust National Marathon in 4 hours and 21 minutes. I also ran my fastest half marathon, the Philadelphia half in 1 hour and 56 minutes. One of my favorite things of the year is summer, because I love the warmth and sunshine, and I wore a bikini on the beach without shorts and felt comfortable for the first time ever!

Weight Watchers

Summer of 2010 Cheryl reached her Weight Watcher goal and also became a Lifetime member. We both felt the best we had since forever. We were exercising and running regularly and we could share clothes! Clothes we liked to buy finally!

Cheryl and I kept consistently going to Weight Watchers for all of 2010. In 2011 Weight Watchers changed their program. They went from a points system to PointsPlus. It seemed like basically the same system at first. One exception was that you no longer had to count fruits and vegetables. Most of them were 0 points anyway so we didn’t think it would be a big deal. You also got MORE daily points. The system started to not work for me.

At this point I was eating VERY healthy, but also balancing going out and enjoying myself. Once the points system changed I was having difficulty maintaining my weight. I was fluctuating like crazy, especially when I was training for a race, and I started to get frustrated. I don’t know if it was my body changing as I got older or what. I tried switching to Simply Filling, where you eat as much as you want of specific foods, but that didn’t work either. I eventually started to count calories and my weight started to even out again. After a while I was no longer using my Weight Watchers app to figure out my daily food intake, so I decided to cancel my membership in late 2012.

Weight Watchers

Now I hadn’t gained a lot of weight, maybe 10 pounds, but I just didn’t feel as good as I had been feeling.

2013 was the year of Disney. We ran the marathon in January, the Princess half in February, the Tower of Terror 10 miler in October and the Wine and Dine half in November.

Weight Watchers

Disney was a great experience and I would not trade it for anything. The one thing I did do a lot in 2013 was travel and eat. I ate so much in Disney I felt like I had to start from scratch every time I came back. My dad also passed away in 2013 and that was a very rough time for me emotionally. Some people can’t eat when they are sad, but for me that is all I want to do.

Since 2013 I have been at around the same weight, about 20 pounds more than my Weight Watcher goal weight. It’s not A LOT, but it is enough that a lot of my older clothes don’t fit anymore and I definitely cannot run as fast as I used to. I have been in a constant up and down trying to get my weight under control.

This past Sunday Cheryl and I headed back to Weight Watchers to try and get our eating back under control.

It was nice going back to the same location we were at before. Our friend from high school now goes to the same meeting! We also saw a lot of familiar faces from before. Our old leader is no longer there and I am not completely sold on the new one. She just seemed very disinterested about our struggles and very structured. She told us about the new 2 week quick start program called Simple Start, but that was it.

I am already struggling with Simple Start. It is kind of like Simply Filling where you eat as much as you want of specific foods, but the app they designed for it sucks. They have meal builders with only certain items to choose from (even though I know I am allowed to eat other items) and no way to account for the 7 PointsPlus you are allowed to use on other foods. I am now tracking my food 3 ways: with the Simple Start app, with the regular Weight Watchers app and counting my calories with My Fitness Pal. I think I need to be a little intense about it at first though so I can try and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Anyone else ever been on Weight Watchers? Any tips would be appreciated!

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