Weight Watchers and Me
While this blog is primarily about running, I would be leaving out a huge part of who I am if I didn’t talk about Weight Watchers and how it affects my daily life, including running.
I’ve been doing Weight Watchers (mostly) off and on since college. Those of you know know me IRL know that it was quite some time ago that I first joined (and never reached my goal weight) and many others may be wondering why I’m still doing it if it’s such a great program. First, let me say that it is an awesome program that has changed a lot since it was first conceived and has made even more changes since I first joined. I think they are all great changes and are really getting members to focs on making healthy food choices rather than just eating a certain number of points per day. I’ve also noticed that in addition to tracking weight, the eTools also has a spot to track measurements and clothing sizes which are also important parts of weight loss – maybe even more so than the actual number on the scale! I firmly believe that Weight Watchers works if you work it!
Why am I a weight watcher? Simple. It keeps me accountable and keeps me from getting out of control with emotional and mindless eating. To some degree I think that I’ve always had issues with food, but an unhealthy relationship several years ago really caused them to rear their ugly head. I’m now in an incredible and supportive marriage, but I still carry some pieces of that baggage, for lack of a better term, and not so great feelings about myself so I’ll turn to food when things get a bit stressful or I just want a darn piece of cake!
Last spring/summer I found out that I have high blood pressure and hypothyroidism and knew that I needed to make some serious changes to my eating behaviors and that I needed to move more. Right around that same time I picked up a copy of Clean Eating Magazine at MIL’s house. That magazine totally changed the way that I looked at food and why the things that I was eating on a regular basis weren’t healthy. I think I spent way too much time being upset that I couldn’t “eat whatever I wanted when other people can” and realized that eating crap isn’t good for the body period.
C and I adopted clean eating last July and we loved it! It was so refreshing eating yummy foods that were actually good for us and we amost stopped eating out completely because everything that we had been eating at resturants wasn’t nearly as good as the fresh stuff that we were cooking and making at home. When school started in late August it was a bit more difficult to maintain all the cooking, but we tried it for a little while before we let it slide a bit – and then we completely fell off the wagon and started eating crap again. It’s hard to erase more than 20 years of bad eating habits, which is still something that I struggle to remember some days!
To try and regain some accountability C and I rejoined WW and were successfull for a few weeks, but then Christmas came and went and we didn’t get back on the bandwagon. So while we weren’t eating all that well, we were exercising because we started running. I quickly found that the type of food that I put in my body really made a difference in how I felt during and after a run. I realized that carbs are my friend (especially before, during and after a run!) and that protein is what keeps me from getting hungry during the day. While we came to this realization I was still in denial that the amount of food that I ate really made a difference. Running made me hungry and I just wanted to eat all the time and while I was getting smaller and losing inches I wasn’t losing weight – this is when I finally found out that a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same (which I already knew), but that the muscle actually takes up less space than fat.
C and I “recommitted” to WW four weeks ago and while I still struggle with food sometimes, I know how good I feel when I eat mostly fruits, veggies and whole grains. We do eat meat, but it’s mostly chicken and turkey. Tonight I asked C if he would ever consider going veggie he didn’t seem too excited about it. I, on the other hand, would be totally okay with it and may seriously consider it in the future. I do know that once my serious marathon training starts (in just a few weeks now!) I may not be able to do WW because I will need to be fueling my body a little differently. I’ve already talked to my doctor about this (who is also a sports medicine specialist!) who will refer me to a sports nutritionist so that I can make sure that I’m eating properly.
Anyways, while this has turned into quite a lengthy blog post I thought it was a very important one for me to document my feelings about and to share with those of you who read my blog and are struggling or have struggled with weight loss in the past. It was also spurred on by a blog post that I came across from one of my favorite foodie blogs, Healthy Tipping Point, where she was talking about how horrible and damaging “Fat Talk” is and can be to our lives. There is an incredibly moving YouTube video that, while old, brought me to tears when I watched it. The statistics are startiling and completely eye opening.
Since I can’t figure out how to embed the YouTube vide, click on the “Fat Talk” link to watch it.
Do you use “fat talk”? What are some things that you think you can do to keep yourself from being negative about your body and self image?