Ready for a bit of a shock?
I cancelled my Weight Watchers subscription last night.
I have spent the last few weeks contemplating whether or not to continue with Weight Watchers. I have barely tracked since the beginning of the year. I have also only attended a handful of Weight Watchers meetings. I’m paying almost $45/month for something I’m just not using. I haven’t gained weight back but I also haven’t been losing any more. I felt stuck the last few months, so I’ve decided it’s time to change things up.
I’ve lost 32 pounds and dropped two clothing sizes so far. I’m extremely happy about what I’ve accomplished, but I’m still about 15-20 pounds away from the weight I think will be best for me. I’ve decided on my ultimate goal at the end of all of this: I want to be in good shape. I want to be fit. I’ve put so much focus on eating and losing weight, but I have neglected this aspect of healthy living in recent months. Other than walking, I wasn’t doing exercise that would actually change my fitness level.
Lately I’ve been struggling with which matters more: what the scale says or how my body looks? If I’m happy with how I look but never reach an arbitrary “goal weight,” isn’t that OK? For now, my answer to that is a big YES.
I’m still a huge Weight Watchers advocate, but I look at it as training wheels I desperately needed at a time when I was out of control with my eating. It helped me rein in portion sizes, form a healthier relationship with food and my body, and in general give me a lot of structure to lose 32 pounds. Weight Watchers changed my life and put me on a path toward better health. I can’t stress how much I have gotten out of it. But I feel like for the next phase of my journey — getting in great shape — I need to try something else. I’m going to take the valuable lessons and fundamentals I learned from Weight Watchers and apply it to this new phase of my journey.
For one, I can’t rely on Weight Watchers for the rest of my life. Between not tracking my food diligently and skipping meetings, I’ve already proven that Weight Watchers isn’t a sustainable plan for me — despite it working for me for 6+ months. If I’m truly changing my lifestyle, I need to do it in a more self-sufficient way that doesn’t rely on one particular program. This means I will need to periodically evaluate what is and isn’t working and tweak my nutrition and fitness accordingly. What I do today will probably be different than what I am doing in a year or even 6 months, and that’s OK.
My biggest issue with Weight Watchers is it makes me obsess over the scale (this is true for any weight loss program). I had started gaming the system, too. The day before my weigh ins, I’d be perfect. I wouldn’t eat or drink anything before heading to my Saturday morning weigh-in. Then I’d usually be lax throughout the weekend and spend the week “making up for it” so I’d be all set for my weigh in.
I still feel an imaginary finish line looming in the distance. I have to hit that number, or else I have failed. Honestly, it is a little scary to get closer and closer to my goal weight. My big fear about finally getting there is I will obsess about maintaining or I will gain weight back.
At the same time, I do know weight is a tangible measurement of progress. But I’m either on the scale every day or I’m hiding from it. I know this isn’t healthy. I need to wean myself off of using my weight as the ultimate sign of success. By focusing on my fitness, I think it will help me be less obsessed about my weight. In fact, it seems like when I maintain an exercise routine my nutrition falls into place because I don’t want to undo my hard work in the gym.
In my next post, I will share my new plan for getting fit and getting to my goal weight. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I’ve joined Orange Theory Fitness, so that is a big hint. Stay tuned…