Friday, February 5, 2016

My Weight Watchers journey, revisited

Hello!

I'm not even sure if people read this anymore, but I felt like I had a few a-ha moments this week and I love writing them down in this place.

I've joined Weight Watchers again.  I actually joined two weeks ago and the whole reason for joining was because their literature indicated that they've changed their approach.  Beyond The Scale is their marketing campaign...and truth be told, I think that was a lot of the challenge that I had with it before.  If I focused solely on weight loss, I felt like I wasn't addressing the bigger issue.  The tagline of "I'm more than just a number" is cheesy...but true.

Today's topic was about whether we treat or reward ourselves with food.  What does that look like?  Why do we do it?  Does it sabotage our journey?

Here's what I LOVE about what was discussed...there were the typical people saying things like "oh!  I pick non-food related rewards and treats because if you don't, you'll gain the weight back!" And yes.  That's probably a correct answer...kind of like when a pastor asks kids during a kid's sermon any question, you're probably safe to answer "Jesus."

But one woman said something along the lines of how there isn't anything wrong with making a reward or a treat food related...it just depends on what your relationship with food looks like.  To say you can never have a reward that is food indicates that food somehow falls into a good or bad category.

I LOVE THAT.

That is exactly the kind of stuff that I would bring up in my old meeting and people would look at me like I had two heads.

To be clear, I rejoined WW not because I had mindful eating down pat and because I had not only kept my weight off but had continued to lose more.  I rejoined WW because I had gained EVERY POUND back (and more).  So I don't have the best relationship with food.  And it's in my head.

It very much surrounds the ideas of food being good or bad or of the concept of me "deserving" food because I was tired, my daughter was up all night, because she was throwing a temper tantrum, because work is stressful, because I was adulting and I didn't want to adult.

I don't have the answers.  I don't even have a stance yet on her questions.

But I love that it got me thinking about things.  I love that while I'm getting smaller I can be changing my brain to be more flexible about several different ideas surrounding food, weight loss, being thin, and anything else in between.

So the other thing that I at least wanted to write down is that the last two weeks, I have had an interesting thing happen during my attempt to lose weight.

Each of the last two weeks (and yes, that even means the DAY I joined WW again), I have blown WAY past my points targets on Friday.  Like both days, I went past the daily target and eaten all of my weekly points.  And more.  No really.  The first week I did all that completely on Friday.  I told myself that it was because I was still trying to get all the high calorie/fat food out of my house.  But last week, that overeating of high point foods lasted until Tuesday morning.

I was so upset with myself on Monday morning.  I was up three pounds since my weigh in on Friday morning and I had almost gained back everything I had lost my first week.

The reasons I overate are still not 100% clear to me...but I did recognize I was trying to feed something in myself.

So I woke up, ate some higher point items and realized I didn't want to be responsible.  I dropped Ellie off at day care and called in sick.  I went back home, watched a few episodes of Parenthood and then took a 5 hour nap.  I went to the doctor and got a prescription for the sinus infection that I had been fighting for the last few weeks.  And then I decided that even though I felt like eating more junk, I would go ahead and get back on plan anyway. I did.  I turned the cart around and was able to lose all the weight I had gained.

The fact that I've struggled so much in the first two weeks of this plan kind of gets me down.  It's easy for me to think that I won't be successful if I keep blowing it in the first few days of each week.  I said as much to the leader during my weigh in.

She invited me to think about things a bit differently.  She said something like "you can't be perfect all the time.  No one can."  At first I wanted to pooh-pooh her statement like "of course, I'm not saying THAT." But I stopped and thought.  That is exactly what I'm saying.

The phrase "progress, not perfection" has been bandied about in many WW meetings I've been to.

I've heard those words, nodded gravely in agreement, but inside my head have thought "sure...for YOU.  But I am capable of better.  I can do it perfectly...so I should."

I think I'm starting to get it.

Ironically I think it's my daughter who was taught me this lesson (or is at least showing me this).

When I decided I wanted to be a mom, I just did it.  I had been thinking about it for years, but I just knew I could.  When I told people and they looked at me like I was crazy and told me how hard it would be, I thought a similar thing as what I wrote before.  Maybe it's hard for YOU.  But I'm made of tougher stuff.  I can do it.

Know what I found out the first few months of being a mom?  It's not hard.  It's damn near impossible.  WHAT WAS I THINKING? was probably my most prominent thoughts during that time.

So some nights because she would scream and cry every hour, I just put her in the baby swing and slept next to her on the couch.  Was that perfect? No.  Was it what my mom had warned me to never do?  Yes.  Was it like what movies or pictures or books say you should do? No.  But did I get sleep?  Yes.

Sometimes you have to do what works in the moment.  Sometimes you just have to do the best you can and let everything else go.

I couldn't live up to being the perfect mom I thought I'd be.  I couldn't even come close.  I had to lower my bar.  And as I did that, I realized that I didn't miss the judgement of myself as a mom, of other moms or other single people.

I have not been the mom I thought I'd be.  And yet, my daughter is a happy, loving, confident, and willful kid.  So I must be doing something right. In fact, having her see me get ruffled in situations or even times where I've cried right along with her for MY mom, I hope I've shown her it's okay to not have your shit together all the time.

I'm not the mom I thought I'd be.  I'm a different person.  I'm a better person.

So if I apply that same logic, perhaps I don't have to be the perfect member.  I don't need a perfect linear chart that shows steady losses.  I don't need to be the perfect weight loss blogger where I have something that has any sort of point each time I write.

I just need to do what I can, when I can and let the rest go.

Epiphanies for you?  Probably not.  But I wanted to write down these thoughts and feelings so that I can remember that "progress, not perfection" isn't a loser's battle cry.  It's just real life.  Real people.  Setting real expectations/standards.



5 Comments:

Lyn said...

So happy to read a little about what's you've been up to! Sounds like you are being a great mom. Hey, I spent many a night asleep next to the baby in the swing... and they are adults now and turned out fine! There is no right way. Love is what's most important and you've obviously got that. :)

Jams said...

You know I love you... You are an amazing woman, mom, and friend. I think that these epiphanies are very important in your quest to be the best you. Remember along the way to love yourself... as you are. We tend to treat ourselves better out of love. :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!!! Would love to hear an update on the toddler! It must be hard to lose weight while working full time and being a single mom -- go easy on yourself.

Sam said...

Still reading! :D Write more!! Thanks for the food for thought...

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