When you ignore something long enough – it’s only a matter of time before you are forced to deal with it whether you like it or not. I hope that in sharing my story, it will help someone else realise it’s never too late to rewrite a chapter in your life.
Start where you are
I will always remember that moment when the nurse asked me to step onto the scales. I hadn’t weighed myself in a year, so I had no clue what weight I was. I stepped onto the scale with some trepidation, I watched as the number appeared in front of me – 162.7 kilograms. I burst into tears – how had I let this happen? No wonder I had felt disconnected from my body. As Mike comforted me, I felt ashamed of myself. I left the appointment, overwhelmed. You can read more about sleep apnoea in these two posts that I wrote here and here. I was confronted by the realisation that I needed to stop burying my head in the sand and sort my shit out and address the weight. I knew I could turn this around as I had with my relationship with exercise, I just had to start now and make some small changes, and over time it would create significant changes in my life. At 49 years old, I knew if I didn’t start now, I would spend my 50’s feeling fat and frumpy. Damn it I wanted to be 50, Fit and Fabulous & fierce.
I knew I couldn’t do this on my own, and I needed help. I talked to Mike about the different options. I had checked out several options. Although in the past, I had said I didn’t need an eating plan, I didn’t want to count points or restrict what I was eating or be on any diet. My weight gain indicated that I couldn’t self-moderate what I did eat.
I decided that out of the options I had explored that WW was the way to go. I joined up for three months to see how I would go within that time, and if I saw some progress I would keep on doing it, and if I didn’t then, I would try something else. WW had changed a lot since I last did the programme 25 years ago. You can now do WW online, which is what I chose as the meetings times didn’t suit me, and to be honest, the shame of my weight made me feel embarrassed about attending a meeting.
On the 22nd of February, I downloaded the app, entered my age, weight and height, and how much exercise I do, and it came up with my daily points and weekly points that I would start on. The app was pretty amazing as I would find out. It tells you the points for foods and meals and recipes on there. It has a barcode scanner where you can scan products from your pantry or freezer or in the shopping aisle of your supermarket. If the food doesn’t show up, you can calculate the item, and it will tell you how many points per 100-gram serving. You track your weekly weigh in using the app, and you can enter the type of exercise you have done and for how long and it allocates points for your activity. There are also exercise plans you can do on there as well. I track my activity; however, I don’t do it for points, I do it because I need to move every day whether it is doing housework walking or yoga. The app also has an online place where you can connect with other members online and be inspired by their stories, progress and ups and downs of their journey and share recipes and tips etc. I learnt a lot by reading other members posts. The only downside of not going to a meeting is having someone explain how it all works. It took me a few days to work it all out and realise that I could create my eating plan and how the elements of the app worked. However, they send you regular emails about topics that they discuss in meetings, and they have an online shop so you can buy WW products, recipe books etc. However, you can speak to an online coach if you have questions or ask a member on Connect.
I found the first week relatively easy. I never felt hungry or that I was going without as the end of the first week approached my first weigh-in was looming. I was curious. My first weigh-in, I lost 5.1 kg. I was in shock! I hadn’t expected to lose so much in the first week. I wasn’t hungry at all, and I ate well.
It not always about the number
There were weeks where my weight stayed the same, and I would become frustrated; however, during those weeks, I would remind myself of the non-scale victories that I had that week. Over the last nine months, I have had many NSV’s to celebrate, such as;
- A two week cruise holiday in which I lost 200 grams
- Dropping clothes sizes
- Being able to sit in chairs and not worry if I will hold my weight
- More energy
- Exercise is getting easier to do
- Back pain that had been there for a year has gone
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Letting the cleaners go and cleaning the house myself
- Spending more time in the kitchen cooking recipes from scratch
- Not gaining or losing weight on a one week holiday in Hawaii
- New habits
- No longer seeing food as good or bad – it is food
- My body shape changing
- Falling in love with myself again
This health and wellbeing journey is the longest I have been active and the most weight I have lost, what has helped me to edit this chapter of my life, is focussing on small steps and putting one foot in front of the other. Getting clear on my WHY at the start of my journey was helpful. It gave me focus and was always in the back of my mind. I journaled how I wanted to feel during my journey, and I would refer back to these notes regularly. Instead of looking at the big picture I focused on losing 5 kilos. Mikes support helped as well as reading other members posts on Connect. I realised that WW is a lifestyle change.
Where to now?
Another part of my success has been the people cheering me on from the sidelines. Initially, the only people I told about my weight were the people I saw for my exercise. I didn’t mention to friends what I was doing as I still felt ashamed. I am not sure how or when or what caused the change. However, I began to confide in a few friends that I was doing WW. As of this Friday, I weigh 123 kilos. I am no longer pre-diabetic. I have asked to be referred back to the sleep clinic for a sleep study so see where my sleep symptoms are sitting. I have a weight range I want to get too. It is somewhere between 85 to 95 kilos. According to the BMI, I will still be obese, however, I don’t give a crap about that. I need to be realistic about a weight that I can maintain. According to the BMI to be a healthy weight, I have to get down to 55 kilos. The last time I weighed that I was in my teens. Being 55 kilos is not realistic for me. My focus is my next goal-reaching 40 kilos. I can’t think that far ahead otherwise I will get caught up in overwhelm.
The appointment on the 20th of February, 2019 was a turning point for me. I had a decision to make. I could keep ignoring my weight gain (look where that had gotten me already) or I could make changes that would benefit my health and wellbeing. I told myself when I was ready I would share my story and hopefully, it may help someone else who is struggling with something in their life, to show that small consistent steps/actions can create ripples of change in your life. It’s never too late to start.
Thank You, Monica Ferguson, for the gorgeous photos you took of me. If you are looking for a fantastic photographer check out Monica, she will guide you through the shoot and make it fun for you. Let her capture your magic in an image.