My History with Weight Watchers and the decision to Rejoin

When I first began my journey to wellness, it was all about curing my Diabetes and losing weight.  I had a lot to lose, and the weight was clearly one of the contributing factors for my Diabetes.  So I was determined to do something about it!

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So the first thing I did was join (or should I say rejoin) Weight Watchers.  I lost 40lbs on Weight Watchers back in the mid 1980s when I lived in Maryland.  I made it to my goal weight and after maintaining it for 4-6 weeks, I received my gold key.  It was a positive experience, but once I reached my goal, I promptly forgot everything I had learned.

So I knew that it worked, and I knew that even though the program had changed a lot since 1986, it was still working for thousands of people.  So in May 2010, I jumped in with gusto!  Luckily, my office was hosting an 'At Work' program so my meetings were during lunch time every Tuesday.  Later that year, I attended meetings near my home.

It worked well for me!  I lost almost 50lbs in 2010, which then spurred my doctor to clear me for exercise (beyond the occasional evening post-dinner stroll).  So January 2011, I started exercising (walking, strength training, resistance bands, and eventually running).  By September 2011, I had lost over 100 lbs!.

In 2012, I ran my first Half Marathon and was bitten by the running bug.  I jumped in with gusto!  And because I was running so much, I had to adjust my eating to make sure I was fueling properly.  So I stopped using Weight Watchers (i.e. going to the meetings, tracking, etc) but I still followed the lessons in portion control, food choices, etc.

Well, that was great from a running perspective.  I ran over 1000 miles in 2012 and completed 20 races, including my first Full Marathon in Chicago.  On the weight area, however, I found that I was not really losing any weight.  I was doing very well at maintaining my weight, and my body composition (fat-to-muscle percentage) was certainly improving.  So while I was not gaining any weight, and gaining muscle, I wasn't fulfilling my goal to continue towards my goal weight.

So I wanted 2013 to be the year I refocused on weight loss.  I still have running goals for this year, and I will work hard to reach them, but I also wanted to lose the remaining 40 lbs.  Well, the first four months of 2013 were following all of 2012 -- feeling great, running well, but not losing any weight.

So, I decided to return to the discpline and accountability of Weight Watchers.  Most importantly, to return to the daily tracking of what I eat so that I know I am staying on track.  This time, however, I am going to try their Weight Watchers Online for Men program rather than the weekly meetings method.  It fits my lifestyle better, and it is half the cost of the in-person meetings format.

I think making the decision, and paying the $19/month, makes a difference for me.  It makes the goal 'real' and spending money forces me to take it seriously (I hate to waste money I worked hard to earn).  I am finding that the tracking habit is easier to fall back into than I had expected.  And I have already lost my first pound in the past few days (and it is not water weight because I have been drinking 8 cups of water every day for the past six months).

It is interesting that I rejoined Weight Watchers almost exactly three years from the date I started it back in 2010.  Hopefully, that is a good omen!  I want to experience the same weight loss (40+ lbs) that I did back in 2010.  Doing that would be amazing!

Oh, and beyond the health benefits of losing all that weight, I can only imagine how weighing that much less will impact my running.  I mean, with 40 less pounds to lug around, it stands to reason I will get faster (and expend less energy) and my running form will improve.  Wouldn't it be great if by the date of the Marine Corps Marathon (October 27th), I weighed 20+ lbs less than I do right now?

I think what I am going to do this time around, is to post my weekly weigh-in results on this blog.  I may create a separate page for that chart.  That way, I can keep myself accountable, and you all can follow my progress (ups or downs).  And if I get too lazy, you can post a social media 'kick in the pants'!

Of course, getting a few 'at-a-boys' wpuld be equally motivating! :)

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