Despite my promising weigh in on Monday night, I ignored my daily weigh-in ritual on Tuesday morning. I figured no matter what the number was (up or down from the night before), it would mess with my head all day, so I didn't do it.
I always try to wear something light on weigh in days. I also wanted to wear something cute for photos. You know, just in case...
I commuted as I usually do and took my daily photo in the Grand Central bathroom-
When I took that shot, I remember looking in the mirror and thinking "Is today the day? Is this really happening?" And at that moment I felt confident it would.
I tried to go about my day at work like it was any other, but who was I kidding?! This was not just any other day! I was filled with a nervous anticipation. My meeting and weigh in were not far from my mind.
I did my usual Tuesday workout - 120 flights of stairs. I used my two pound weights and actually had my best time with them yet (39 minutes even). Here I am before:
And after ("glowing, not sweating" - thanks, Nina!):
I didn't want to do anything to *try* to make goal. I just wanted it to happen naturally. I ate normally all day, drank my water and even TWIETed as I always do on Tuesdays. But in the afternoon I started to wonder if tonight was "the night". It just seemed so... sudden, if that makes any sense. Let me explain-
After being on program for nearly 4 years including a 2.5 year plateau, I only started to refocus and get recommitted at the beginning of the year. And right after breaking that plateau, I had a huge set back - my worst binge ever, which lasted over a month. I put on a lot of weight (8 pounds), but I slowly came out of that and refocused again.
Then, in the last 3 weeks, I lost nearly 6 pounds (that's a lot to lose very quickly at this late stage and with so little to lose), so I wondered if my body could really drop another 2 pounds this week (which is what I needed to get to goal). And that's when I began to doubt it would happen.
But regardless of the weigh in, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. If it didn't happen this night, it would happen soon - and I was ok with that. Afterall, I've never been in a rush to get to goal.
I left work, headed for Manhattan and started getting really nervous. I shouldn't even show you this, but I will :) I brought my favorite new chocolate bar with me. Because if I reached goal, I was going to eat a small portion of it. And if I did not, I would not eat it. Here I am on the train -
I stopped to take another photo at my 'morning mirror' in Grand Central because, well because I'm a little crazy-
I was also afraid of being the first one in the meeting room so I stalled for time by popping into Banana Republic when I arrived in Grand Central (they had a 30% off sale yesterday. How could I resist!). I bought a few things, including this outfit, which I wore today:
My ass looks fantastic!!!
Realizing I was now late, I took the 6 Train to get to my meeting as quickly as possible. That was the longest 3 minute train ride ever. I was a sweating, thirsty, nervous wreck. The whole time thinking "I can't believe I am about to get weighed in and might actually reach goal!" The thought alone was so surreal because as I've mentioned here before, I've never been this size (or in my 130's at all) as an adult until just a week or so ago. It was still all so new to me. I never had an idea what I would look like or feel like at this size or at goal, and I still felt like I was adjusting to my new, smaller, fitter body.
My heart raced as I entered the meeting room and I couldn't wait to just weigh in and get it over with. I finally got on the scale and waited for what seemed like forever. The receptionist, Charmaine, looked at me and said "You lost... a LOT!"
And I waited for it... I waited for the confirmation that I lost at least two pounds or that I had hit goal.
She looked at me and said: "You did it".
I immediately started crying and she came out from behind the desk to hug me. I was so embarrassed but I really couldn't hide it even if I wanted to (this is why I will never play poker, by the way). Ellen (the fill in leader, who knew how close I was) stopped the meeting to ask if it happened and I confirmed through my tears that yes, it did. It happened. I made goal. I MADE GOAL!!!!
(But It turns out I didn't just lose the 2 pounds I need to get to goal, I somehow lost FOUR POUNDS, which put my weight at 135 and my *total* weight loss at 73.2! Holy crap, I have no idea how I lost 4 pounds this week!!!!!)
The whole room clapped for me and I couldn't even look at anyone. I was just so overcome with emotion. I sat down, still crying, and texted and tweeted my status. I had no idea what the meeting was even about, I was so distracted by my own thoughts and the tons of replies I was receiving on my phone (sorry Ellen! I know that's rude!)
Half way through the meeting, my regular leader, Melanie arrived and I was so happy to see her and share my moment with her and give her a hug. She presented me with my "Weight Watchers jewelry" - a silver star charm to add to my Weight Watchers keychain, which I promptly did:
Then they made me sit in front of the meeting and talk a little about my journey. I can't even remember what I said but I know I touched on a lot of the things I've mentioned here:
- My lifelong battle with my weight, since age 8.
- That I've been on and off WW since 1989.
- Lost 50 (or more) pounds three times previously but always gained it back because I hadn't changed my life. I lost weight only by cutting down on the amount of crap I was eating. But I still ate crap and still being a lazy-pants, so the weight came back every time.
- My decades of food abuse, body neglect and gluttonous, slothful lifestyle.
- And how turning 35 made me suddenly aware of my own mortality and that I won't be here forever. I felt I had lost enough of my youth already and time was running out on my life. I finally wanted to live and enjoy whatever I had left, instead of feeling like I was waiting to die and just watching other people live.
Before leaving, I asked all the regulars if I could get a photo with them for the blog. They were nice enough to oblige. (l to r: Ellen, Charmaine, Nina, Melanie, Corinna, Me, Carin, Tamra) I'm just sorry Malaika left before I could ask her to join us! (And thanks, Cindy, for sacrificing yourself to get the photo for us)
I left that meeting elated. I couldn't stop smiling and was still crying a little. I ate the small piece of celebratory chocolate like I knew I would (I forgot to TWIET it, but it was 3 points) and was satisfied with that small amount. Stopping wasn't an issue anymore. I didn't even want more and *that* is such a victory!!!
On my way home, I got a dozen pink roses -
I barely remember the commute home from that point. I was experiencing such a huge range of emotions - happiness, giddiness, disbelief, shock, pride, amazement, confidence - so many things. The weird thing is I don't know what was projecting on my face, but so many strangers (I counted ten) called me "beautiful" on my way home. Now, I get a lot of comments/compliments from strangers every day, but even this was more than usual. And the fact they all used the same word made me feel I must have really been exuding something pretty special.
When I got home, I found a note taped to my door from my neighbor, Jaci, who wanted to celebrate with me and had a wheat beer with my name on it. I told her sure!, but after a bike ride. I changed -
and rode over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan -
I saw a woman and her daughter watching me take photographs in the middle of the span, so I asked them to get one of me. Just look at my smile! That's the look of a woman who did something pretty significant and exciting!
I didn't have anywhere specific to go when I reached Manhattan, so I just rode from City Hall through Chinatown and headed over to the Manhattan Bridge to get back to Brooklyn.
I had never been on the Manhattan Bridge at night (I don't like riding anywhere in the dark!)
Back in Brooklyn, I rode home -
Jaci greeted me with congrats, beer and hugs. And we hung out for a while and talked in my apartment. I got no photos of us last night, but you might remember her from a previous blog (where we met Neil Patrick Harris!)
And I went to bed way too late and way too drunk (thanks, Jaci!) but I really enjoyed my post-goal celebrations! It was an unforgettable night and it was made even more special by the people I was lucky enough to share it with - on Park Ave, in my apartment, on my phone and everyone online. Thank you all so much - not just for yesterday but for all of your ongoing support via your friendships, comments, emails, tweets, and texts. Sometimes I don't know how I got so lucky to have so many people rooting for me. It really overwhelms me when I think about it.
I would also like to thank the following people:
- My ex husband: Since he moved from Brooklyn over a year ago, I haven't been in touch with him at all and I doubt he follows me online. But if it weren't for meeting, marrying and divorcing him, I don't think I would have ended up in Brooklyn (something I am so thankful for) and if not for that, I don't know if I would have rejoined Weight Watchers and I'm certain I would not have joined a gym. He also was responsible for finding and obtaining my sidekick, my Hello Kitty beach cruiser. I am so thankful for him coming into my life, even though he is no longer a part of it.
- My Dad (if I don't thank him, I'll never hear the end of it): Thank you Dad for supporting my choice to be a vegetarian at the age of 12 despite the fact that you cut meat for a living. And thank you for continuing to believe in me and be proud of me as I've made dramatic changes in my life these last 4 years. (He left me this voice mail yesterday, before my weigh in.)
- Tim Haft, from Punk Rope: Tim approached me very early on in my journey. I was probably 180 pounds. And he convinced me to give Punk Rope a try. After a great deal of hesitation, I did. And over 3 years later, I still go to class. But his friendship, encouragement and support have also been so generous.
- Jordana (aka 'my friend who ran the marathon'): She inspired me to not only start running but to try a new class at the gym last summer, Interval Training, which I loved (cardio & weights). But that only lasted a few months because the schedule changed and that time slot went to Total Body Conditioning. This class was all weights and nearly killed me the first time I did it (closest I ever came to tears in that gym). But I stuck it out. That brings me to...
- Aynsley: She works at the Y and remembers me from when I first joined the gym in 2006. After seeing me lose 50 pounds in a year, she asked to include me in their brochure. But more importantly, it's Aynsley who instructs both of the classes I mentioned above. If it weren't for working out with her and the free weights weekly, my arms would not look the way they do today. I give her all the credit for making my arms and legs stronger and better looking than I ever could have imagined.
- Sherry: I've thanked her before but can't overlook her. She understands my needs and quirks in relation to food and activity. And she supports my veganism in a way I think most meat eaters wouldn't; she's given me more books about vegan and healthy living than I can count and she's one of my favorite relay partners in Punk Rope and I'm proud to call her a good friend.
- William: He knew me at my heaviest, now, and every weight in between so he's been in my life for a long time. Even though he occasionally tempts me with food, he has been so supportive of me and it was actually his idea to join the gym by our job. He even motivated me to go the few times when I considered not going.
- Tamra (one of my friends in my Tuesday night meeting): Tamra is an inspiration all on her own having taken off about 75 pounds already and changing her life with her food and activity choices. But it was her "pre-tracking" suggestion that really started the ball rolling for my journaling 4 weeks ago, and ultimately led to me reaching goal last night. I had heard other people mention pre-tracking before and even used it myself a few times but for some reason it just really clicked for me and worked this time. I know for a fact if I didn't track these last 4 weeks, I would not have reached goal last night. So thank you, Tamra!
- My Hello Kitty Cruiser: She might not be a person but I do rely on her and am not kidding when I refer to her as my BFF. I have seen more of this amazing city and accomplished so much while on that bike. Riding has become one of my greatest sources of pleasure and is the most pure, simple joy I've ever known. I can't tell you how often I am on that bike and just suddenly become really aware. Aware of everything: where I am, who I am, what I'm doing, how I'm breathing, what's around me; and I feel SO ALIVE. It's so magical when that happens.
- Melanie: Oh, Melanie! My adorable, marathon running, energetic, funny, beer loving, talented, athletic, super inspirational meeting leader, Melanie. I am so glad I got to goal with you as my leader. I have had some serious ups and downs (emotionally and on plan) in the short time we've been together (since December 2009) and you always knew what to do - hugs, postcards, genuine words of concern - you even read my blog! I know you really cared and believed in me. And that felt more amazing than I can tell you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.