I cancelled my membership to Weight Watchers. I was not having the kind of success this go around as I did the first time I joined and it was senseless for me to pay $42.95 just for the accountability of weighing-in once a week.
Paradoxically, the focus on getting to a goal weight was stressing me out. While it is true that my weight loss has plateaued, being reminded of that every week by another person (the WW person wo-manning the scale on Fridays), made me feel bad about myself. I’m already hard on myself when it comes to my weight and overall body image. Having to answer to someone else was counterproductive. Yes, I need to accountability, but not to the almighty WW weigh-in. Which is SO odd as that is exactly what propelled my weight loss the first time.
I’m older now. I’m beyond family building and into family being. I am no longer cycling and my body will never again be a vessel to carry a baby into this world. There is SO much relief that comes with that. Sadness, too, as the scars of infertility and all it robbed me of continue to heal, but there is another kind of relief that is associated with my weight loss now: there doesn’t have to be an end goal. I want to look and feel better. I want to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. While I’d like my BMI to be in the normal range for my height, I will settle for being ‘overweight’ vs. obese. I am within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. I did my body measurements this weekend and my neck, chest, biceps, thighs and calves are the same or smaller than they were before I got pregnant with Baby G. What has hung around is an additional 2.50″ around my waist and my hips.
For a decade of my life, a full one quarter of it, all of my mental energy was focused on having a family. And, because we needed ART, it was also focused on research and planning and timing and the pursuit. Always, the pursuit. And when I’d finally made peace with never being pregnant again, I was able to shift the same focus to my weight loss. But, then, WHAM, it turned out that my body would be the vessel for completing our family.
Only this time, age and post partum depression have made it that much more difficult to lose the weight. And, you know what? I am DONE imposing deadlines on my body. I just can’t do it any longer. The journey I am on now is going to be lifelong. My relationship with food, eating and exercising, is part of who I am. It is a journey, not a destination. And, in cancelling my WW membership, I freed myself from the shackles of my weight loss being on someone elses time table.
It has revolutionized how I feel about myself, my body, my spirit, and my ability to lose and maintain weight loss. It is freeing, getting out of THE plan and settling into making daily choices that are going to fuel and strengthen my body. Yes, it is STILL a battle over hunger and indulging and eating too much of any one thing, but there is so much relief to settling in, giving into this as a journey than I ever got from being handcuffed to a weight loss plan.
The myfitnesspal app is my friend. It not only tracks what I eat and how many calories I burn from exercising, but it allows me to connect with other women who are on a weight loss journey, too. And, frankly, checking in with my friend, Jen, and my friend, Toni every week is a much better form of accountability for me. They have no expectation of how much I should be losing and they are supportive and offer tips and tricks.
But, you know what else? I am going to be 48. I have carried two pregnancies to term. I have hypothyroidism. I have depression for which I now take anti-depressants. These things alone make it harder for me to lose weight. Add to it that I am responsible for feeding 1 man and 2 boys (which is not to say that they should eat poorly but is to say that their metabolisms allow them to eat things that I can/should/not) and it is harder still.
It is going to take however long it is going to take. I am mindful every time I eat something. I work-out as hard as I can when I can. Perfection in any thing is no longer my goal. I am living my life, trying to figure out what is next for me, and as I’ve gotten older, hating my body or how I look is an exercise in futility. It does nothing to motivate me. What does motivate me is seeing consistent losses on the scale, seeing inches gone from my body, fitting comfortably into smaller clothes, and having enough energy for myself, my marriage, and my sons. I’m closer now than when I started last July and will be closer still come this July. In the meantime, my life is unfolding every hour of every day. I’m making a choice to just be the me that I am in THIS body right now. I am doing my best and I will no longer beat myself up for that.
“Free your mind and the rest will follow.”