Living the Lifestyle

The continuous journey that is weight maintenance. My tips, advice, struggles and how I live life and still maintain!

Mar 20, 2009

Time for an "Official" Introduction

So now that I have put up a couple of posts, I think it's time for me to actually introduce myself officially! Yes, right now all of those who know about my blog know who I am...but I know there will be others that come across here throughout their internet travels and I want them to know me too!

Of course, my name is Lindsay and I am 27 years old. I live in Mississauga, Ontario - but was born & raised in Stoney Creek, Ontario. I live with my wonderful boyfriend and his son, with visits by his other son all the time!

My journey with Weight Watchers began originally back in October 2002. At that time I was with the now ex-boyfriend, and was inspired to join the program after seeing the amazing success of his friend Diana. She was down about 50lbs and I thought - WOW, that's motivation! If she can lose it, then I can too!

I joined my first WW meeting the week before Thanksgiving weekend. It was at a Lion's Hall in south-west Mississauga. I knew that over the year and a half I had been in the relationship, my weight had crept up on me...but I never imagined I had ballooned to the 227lbs the scale was showing me that Wednesday night.

I was in denial all those years. I thought, "yes, I'm a bit chubby...and big-boned" but never had I imagined I was that weight!

I did great my first week on the program, and I remember losing almost 5lbs in my first week! I called my boyfriend right after I weighed in before the meeting started and told him the great news - his response? "Oh, well it's probably just water weight". Needless to say the support was not there, and only after a few weeks on the program and down about 12lbs I realized that I was not happy and would continue to be unhappy if things didn't change. Well, along with picking up a new healthy lifestyle - I also picked up a newfound confidence and left him at the end of October 2002. I always say, easiest 180lb loss in a week! haha. I haven't looked back since.

Then I thought "I can do this on my own, I don't need meetings", and that didn't last long at all. I found myself getting back into the old habits and not following the program. A talk with a co-worker back in March 2003, someone who had followed WW successfully and lost/maintained 40lbs encouraged me to go back. I will never forget her words that night, telling me what a strong and motivated young woman I am and how I can do this if I believe I can do it.

I rejoined meetings 2 weeks later at the YMCA on Ottawa St. in Hamilton March 2003, since I had moved back in with my parents and that was the best location for me. Saturday mornings it was! The leader was June, an amazingly energetic, spunky lady who you could tell had complete love of the program. She had lost 60lbs herself and I thought "wow, what an inspiration!" and it continued from there.

I am not going to ever say I was perfect, I have yet to meet the perfect WW member. Yes, I had my weeks of great losses...very SMALL losses...but I also had my fair share of gains. And everytime I gained, I knew why it was. When I followed the program, I lost ...even if it was "only 0.2" and if I didn't then I gained. It was simple. I never stressed out when going to WI and I think if I did I would've fallen off again.

Enjoying the lifestyle and the single life for the next little while, I managed to lose about 50lbs by August 2004, where I went on a short trip with some of my family and met the amazing guy I am with today! After getting into the new relationship, finding a guy who loved me and saw past the weight...I guess I can say I got comfortable, and then fell off the wagon officially in March 2005 when I thought I could stop going to meetings again. I can now see that a big thing that derailed me was a trip to Australia/New Zealand in January 2005, as I never fully got back on track after that. We went back to the cottage in August 2005, as a couple with his son and after seeing the pictures when we were done I realized - that I needed to finish what I started. Yes, I looked MUCH better and felt a million times better then the day I first walked through those doors..but I wasn't where I wanted to be.

I rejoined meetings in October 2005, with my original black WW tote and what had now become a "collection" of weigh-in booklets, ribbons, paperclips etc. & committed to getting my butt to goal. Meetings went well, losses were decent since this time around I knew I had to do it. No more messing around. I knew that tracking, weighing, measuring, exercise and staying POSITIVE is what got me to where I was now...and it was going to get me to goal too.

The good thing between all of my "breaks" was that I managed to maintain my weight. I had 30lbs to go this time around.

I pushed and followed the program, and then start of February 2006 the losses started to stop. I would lose, gain, lose, maintain, gain and this was the last 5lbs. When they say those last pounds are the hardest - they're not kidding! I was stressing, and I realized that the stress was probably a big factor in why I was not seeing the numbers on the scale go down. I told myself "I've lost 87lbs at this point - what's the big deal about a few more" and needless to say 2 weeks later I reached GOAL!! I felt weird that day pulling into the meeting, like something was going to happen. I got on the scale and saw 134.6 staring me back in the face. My goal was set to 135 at that time. It took a couple of seconds to register, and then I started crying. Yes, crying. :) I was just so impressed...speechless, I did it. Here I was, almost 3 and a half years later...92lbs down and at goal.
My leader Koren was and is still the most amazing leader! She came just a few weeks before I reached goal, but she has been my biggest cheerleader since the day I met her. She had me go up in front of the class and speak...but I couldn't. I was nervous, and cried.

In April 2006 I acheived Lifetime and that was the last time I ever paid my weekly fee to WW. :)

I submitted my Success Story to WW online, thinking "I'll give it a shot, see what happens!" Well, they got in touch with me and my story was featured in August 2006! You can visit the story here.

Then the coolest thing happened - I was featured in the July/August 2008 issue of Weight Watchers magazine! To me, that was the ultimate success! Here I was in PRINT - it was crazy! This is a scan of the article:

It is now March 2009, and I am proud to say that I have successfully maintained my weight loss for 3 years. The struggle doesn't stop when you reach goal, you're not "cured" as I like to say and you can't go back to what you used to do just because you're there now. What got you to goal is going to keep you at goal, and I know that if I stopped tracking, paying attention to portions and just going back to how I was in 2002 - that I would be rejoining WW again with the weight to lose again. I am now a Leader for WW and do 3 meetings each week, with the occasional fill-in on Saturday mornings. I absolutely LOVE what I do, and still makes me amazed that I do it! I used to hate speaking in front of others, I had no confidence and thought that no one would want to hear what I had to say anyways - who wants my opinion? The confidence that this lifestyle change has given me is amazing, and the fact that I can help and motivate others to have the success I have makes me feel wonderful! I had some issues to overcome throughout the training process of being a leader, but it definitely helped me and shaped me as the leader I am today.

My words of advice are no matter what kind of day you had, just remember that the next day, meal and even minute is your next chance to get back on track. Just because you mess up once, doesn't mean it's over. You can and will do this, just believe in yourself. :)

Labels: , , , ,

Something I have noticed as a Leader... just how much a lot of people can let the scale affect their mood and determine how their week went.

I have lost track of the number of times I have been at the scale, about to weigh a member and while they're disrobing, I ask "how was your week?". I can honestly say that 7/10 members will answer with the "I don't know, let's wait and see".

Why do we allow the numbers on the scale to be the sole judge of how we did that week?

Don't forget, I was and still am a this is something I am familiar with.

Yes, we want to see the numbers on the scale go down...but at the same time, what if they went up? You tracked all week, exercised, stayed OP and the scale goes up. Does that mean that all of your hard work and effort that week was a complete waste?


It means that you just need to keep pushing! The scale to me is just a partial judge and reflection of our success on this program.

The biggest part of this to me is the emotional changes and habits we have to change in order to see the results at the scale. When you have weight issues, it's not just a matter of losing the weight and all of a sudden you're "cured". It's about overcoming the emotional issues and habits you have also formed while you have been dealing with being overweight. To me, if you can overcome such things as low self-esteem, binging, etc. that is so much more of an accomplishment than losing the weight.

Think of that the next time you get on the scale. When you are going to your meeting, or even doing it at home -don't put off how you're feeling or how you're going to judge your week until you get on that scale. Think about all of the other positives that have changed since you started this journey, and keep focusing on all of the other changes that will come down the road.

Jumping on the wagon

It seems no matter where I am these days, there's a mention of a blog. I remember years ago when I first started using the internet, I started blogging...wasn't a super popular thing to do at the time and it kind of just fell by the wayside, I couldn't be bothered.

I have decided to jump back on the blogging wagon, but this time I am hoping to use this as another method to get out there what an amazing program Weight Watchers is and what it has done to completely change my life! I will post an introduction, brief history of my journey..and hopefully start sharing tips, advice, etc. that I know helped me in my success with reaching my goal and continued success of maintaining my weight!

Stay tuned...hopefully I can figure this site out soon!