We’re so excited to welcome Lorelie to our blog today! Like us, as well as so many others, Lorelie has struggled with the ups and downs of weight loss. Today she’s blogging about rejoining Weight Watchers, and what it’s like being a weight loss addict.
Hi, I’m Lorelie and I’m a weight loss addict.
When I was somewhere between 11 and 13, I remember my dad looking at me in the kitchen and asking, “Do you really need that second glass of chocolate milk?”
It sucked. It stuck with me, one of a million tiny little things that reminded me I was an “overweight” child. When I was in high school, it was a “joke” in my house that I was always trying to get under 140 lbs, while my step-brother (who has cystic fibrosis) was always trying to get above it. At 5’3”, I was told over and over again that 140 was not within the “healthy” range. (Despite me swimming three hours a day for the swim team.)
Now? I’d adore being 140.
After the birth of my third son, I was “ready” to jump in and get skinny. I joined Weight Watchers online. I did their old Points system, but they way I did it…I wasn’t healthy. I constantly bargained with myself. It was a game to see how I could work the points so that I could still have the Coca-Cola I was completely addicted to. If I ate only chicken with broccoli for dinner, and egg whites for breakfast, then I could have two Cokes through the day, right? Except I snapped, unable to keep up that kind of eating for long.
I’ve had an incredibly up and down relationship with food in the years since. I have no middle ground.
I went back over and over again, doing essentially the same thing over and over again. Counting calories. Counting protein. Obsessively watching every single thing that went in my mouth, until it felt like food was the only thing filling my head. I would find a calorie loss calculator website and spent hours playing with the numbers—if I ate 1200 calories a day, and worked out of an hour five times a week, I should be at goal in X weeks and Y days. Or if I ate 1300, but worked out SIX times a week, I would be there in X weeks. I weighed myself every single day, because it felt like a magic talisman when it worked, when the things I had done the day before had an immediate response from the scale. I exercised to the point of injury.
God, that’s a paragraph of crazy.
It never lasted, either. I’d lose momentum, because there’s only so much willpower can actually do. Willpower is kind of bullshit. Then I’d pack the weight back on. Plus about five or ten pounds too.
2014 was not a good year for me. I spent most of it as caretaker to someone I loved. I felt responsible for making sure she lived through each day. The first half of the year, I coped through obsessive calorie tracking and exercise. The second half of the year, I coped through eating. I binged. There’s no real other word for it. I would have a reasonable breakfast in the house, where other people were with me, and then I’d stop at McDonald’s for a second breakfast. I’m not a damn hobbit. This is not a good thing.
By the time the holidays wrapped up, I couldn’t walk up stairs without losing my breath. When I finally got on the scale in mid-January, I weighed 202 lbs.
I have to end this.
Last weekend, I joined Weight Watchers again. This time, however, I’m trying to do it differently. I’ve opted for their Simply Filling plan, because with it you don’t track as long as you stick to their “power foods” list. Whole grains, lean meat, fat free dairy, and lots and lots and lots of fruits and veggies. Then you get 49 Points Plus for the week that are for tracking anything that isn’t on that list. The point is to learn to eat clean and healthy, while still not restricting within ridiculous rules. This is something I need to learn. (Obviously.)
I’m also going to the meetings, too. I went to my first last night. I nearly puked when I stepped out of my car, but I made it. We talked about the difference between a good goal and a great goal, and the message was that great goals are quantifiable and specific, yet not biting too much off at once.
So here I go. Here are my goals: I will go to my WW meeting every week. I will stop in here at least every month to blog about my Feels.
And I will do my best at this. That one isn’t quantifiable, but it’s all I can do. It’s all any of us can do.