Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Little Background on me and my diet/exercise history

I've had weight problems my whole life. I started gaining weight when puberty started at 8 years old-

and maxed out at 180 when I was 13-

I managed to lose weight on my own, getting down to 150 at that time-

But at age 14 and throughout high school, it steadily went up. By the time I was 20, I was almost 200 pounds. (sorry no pics!)

By 21, I had lost 60 pounds and was at my lowest adult weight - 140.

Again, over the years it crept back up and by age 29, I had hit 204.

Once again, I joined Weight Watchers and lost 44 pounds, stopping at 160.

Did I learn my lesson? No.

At age 33, in 2004, I had hit my all time high of 208. (This was a very difficult time in my life)

My point: I've been through this more than once. I've been on and off Weight Watchers since 1989. I've never hit goal. But this time I will. And the difference between all those aborted attempts and this time is simple:

  • I finally understand that it really is a lifestyle change.
  • I finally understand I do not have to be perfect.
  • I finally understand that diet alone is not enough, I need to exercise.
I'd heard all of that before, but it hadn't yet clicked. Until last year. That's when I was so unhappy with how I looked and felt and when I was turning 35 I reminded myself how lucky I am to be healthy and have use of my limbs- and that I was still young- so why was I not embracing my youth and using my able body to make myself better? If I didn't do it NOW, when was I going to do it? And if I didn't do it NOW, how much worse would I be in a year?

I strongly suggest you spend time asking yourself the same questions. Or even write down how your current situation is helping vs hurting you. It might help you look at yourself more objectively and realize what you need to do. When it comes down to it- what are you scared of? You should write that down too- because it helps you to see it and also, I guarantee that you will eventually come up with solutions to all of those things.

As silly as it sounds, the reasons I put off Weight Watchers were because I didn't know how to handle Sunday Brunch, restaurants/take out and alcohol - but I've managed to fit all those things into plan and I will address that in a future blog.

Beside the fact that I enjoy blogging for my own sake, I hope that through these posts something will "click" for some of you and you'll find the determination you need to get what you want or at least look at things differently.

I want to
elaborate on the 3 revelations I mentioned above:Lifestyle Change: That term is used a lot at Weight Watchers. So much so that it may lose its meaning. But it's very important. These changes are very gradual, but to be successful long term, it's crucial to realize that it really IS a lifestyle change- it affects so many aspects of your daily life. It's not scary- it's just different and better than what you're doing now, and it's gradual so the adjustment is relatively easy.

Persistence, not Perfection: I'm a known perfectionist and tend to give up on something when I'm not perfect. Of course this isn't realistic and I finally came to terms with persistence being the key to my weight loss success. I've had weeks without tracking. I've gone over in points on occasion. I have not been perfect. But I did not give up. I put it behind me and move on. I will not give up this time. (I'm going to do another whole blog on this)

Activity & Exercise: I have never been physically fit or active. All previous attempts at Weight Watchers I had lost some weight without exercise. This time, however, I joined my Y simply because I heard that muscle burns fat faster. That's why I started working out. Seriously. My goal was simply to add a little more muscle just so it would help speed up my weight loss. What I had never expected was to enjoy how great the exercise made me feel right after doing it. And as I started seeing physical results, not to mention how it impacted my regular life, I was hooked! I was stronger, faster, and more energetic all the time. Exercise did more for me than I ever imagined! The trick is to start slow and find an activity you like. I can't stress the importance of that. There are so many ways to get fit/burn calories. Find something you enjoy doing so that you continue doing it.


  1. WOW, can't wait to read the blog on persistance and perseverance...
    My story is very similar to yours, BUT my problem is that I don't have pictures of those times I was over 160... And this is very sad, you know, entire years without any picture of me...
    Actually, I'm about 140... and this is great for me!!!
    I'll see what's going to happen...

  2. Hey Leti- good for you! And make sure you START taking pics right away- you don't want to say the same thing in 10 years. Anyway, I may do that blog next, so make sure you come back and see me!

    xo my Italian sister!

  3. Sure I'll come and see :D
    I'm sorry I made this blog of mine in Italian... But you know... It's the only thing I have in my language, and, if you want to know, it talks about my biggest secret. Nobody of my Italian friends have the link to my secret blog (well - 2 of them have the link, but I asked them not to let comments), neither Claudio has it.
    The big secret I reveal in here is that I come on the Earth with a mission they gave me on my Planet.
    I will never tell my mission.
    And the Planet I talk about is simply The Christmas Planet, since I declare to be a Santa's Elf, named Blinker, and I am about 300 years old!!
    It's hysterical and amazing, I'm an ELF!! Ahahahahahahahhaha!!!!
    hugs my Italian American sis ;D

  4. Not only did you add in exercise, but you've surrounded yourself with a whole group of people who make exercise a priority. I've seen so many ways that that's made a difference in my life, 'cause we keep each other accountable, and, moreso, motivate each other to keep it up.

    In fact, with you as my role model, I started taking my measurements, which I can keep track of on, but will also track on my own.

    AND, this morning, I thought I'd try on a few pairs of size 6 pants that didn't fit me a month or so ago & see how far they came up. They came all the way up & zipped, although, I still have a bit of work before they'll be comfortable to sit in. Again, on your inspiration, I took pics so I could see the progress.

    I haven't fit into a 6 since I was 28! 5 damn years!

  5. You're right. I should address that in another fitness blog. When I joined the Y, I didn't want to talk to anyone or be acknowledged. Yet a year later, I have met great people and have an impressive roster of friends who inspire and motivate me. It's a wonderful part of the whole experience that I never expected! Thanks poodle pants :)

  6. PS CONGRATS ON THE PANTS!!!! I am so proud of you- I honestly thought you looked smaller when we were at the Brooklyn Ice Cream place. I wish I had said it then.

  7. My story is similar -- I have done WW on and off with success for YEARS, but have yet to make it to goal. I really am determined to do it this time, regardless of how long it takes (and this time, it is taking longer than the past).

    Your blog is better than my meetings. This blog in particular hit home for me. I actually got a little emotional reading this! (In a good, positive way)

  8. Michelle, Hearing that reaction is why I am so glad I can share my story and my tips. Thank you so much for that wonderful feedback. And don't lose that attitude and determination!

  9. Thanks, kittenpants! Ya know, a big part of it is dressing my body to show off the progress, rather than trying to cover up the imperfections, which I did even a couple of months ago.

    I'm working on making my wardrobe fit my body, as well as my personality. A little at a time, but still. Why not reward my body for working hard to feel & look better?

    And I couldn't push myself as much as I have without the support of all my amazing lovelies!

  10. Well sign off, baby cakes- it's time for punk rope! See you in a few minutes!

  11. Wow, very nice documentation of your weight struggles. I'm sort of hitting the point of hating my weight right now, so I think this blog will be refreshing for me.