Goodbye 2013 … Welcome 2014!

With a new year among us there are many resolutions flowing and being shared amongst those of us who are on social media outlets.  Whatever your resolution/wish/goal is for 2014 I wish you happiness, success and a beautiful & cherished 2014.
What is my resolution? Well … I don’t make resolutions because in my mind a resolution is a rule and rules are made to be broken.  So I make promises to myself. I also make goals for myself to aim at conquering.
2013 had me at a very long standstill for a while (having surgery, ending up in physical therapy and on doctor ordered restrictions from doing really anything). That 6-month roller coaster aside, I ended 2013 on a high note – I’ve been back at the gym, going to my beloved zumba class at least 2 times a week, usually 3.  I eased into it slowly, doing what I could. I’ve been working out with some weight machines and last week I did my first total body workout class before zumba. I was so sore and could barely move for a few days, but I’m feeling better and can’t wait to smash another total body class on Saturday morning.
One high-note that I ended 2013 on was I went shopping at Kohl’s because I had some Kohl’s Cash to spend. I found a pair of jeans and decided to try them on. I find shopping for jeans can be a pain because my waist is one size, but my behind is another. I’ve been wearing 12’s for over 4-months now, so I pulled on a pair of size 10 jeans and THEY FIT! I was elated! They FIT PERFECTLY!  I’ve been doing a tango with the scale for weeks – for a while my weight was continuing to go up and up and up due to a medication I was taking. This just showed that regardless of whatever the scale says, hard work will pay off and show in other ways. Obviously, I’m losing inches thanks to my work at the gym … so I’ll take a non-scale victory any day! Speaking of losing inches … I should start measuring myself.
Now as for 2014 …I want to make 2014 the healthiest year for me!
I am aiming at hitting my goal weight this year. It’s been a long time coming, I deserve it and I’m going to give it my all to get there.  Now that I can use the gym as a tool to help me get there, I’m going to use that to my best advantage. There isn’t a secret to losing weight – it’s just a lot of hard work and dedication. I also realize that sometimes the scale will not be my “friend” so I’m going to focus more on how I feel (physically), how I felt my week went and if everything I did/ate was accounted for. If I’ve been dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s, I’m going to hope for the best but I’m also going to realize that sometimes the scale doesn’t reflect a good week and I will not let that get me sidetracked or down.  I also need to realize that I’m technically paying to look like this (meaning my monthly Weight Watchers membership, my ActiveLink and my gym membership) so eliminating one of those monthly payments in itself can help be a driving force to hit my goal weight.
Another goal of mine is to try to watch and perhaps even limit my snacking. I love snacks, always have, but I want to have only 1 or 2 healthier/low point snacks on hand at a time. Over the past 2 months I’ve slowly been depleting the snack stock by putting stuff out with company comes over, offering it out, giving it away, etc. I realize I live with others who eat what they want, but since I do primarily most of the grocery shopping I want to only purchase what’s requested not any “oh I think he’d like these” type of items. Truthfully I’d like to make my snacks healthier alternatives – onion & chive cottage cheese with crackers/pita chips, hummus with vegetables or pita chips, greek yogurt with fruit, deli ham rolled up with pieces of pickle, and I think it’s time to reintroduce sugar free jello back into my life.
I’m also looking into giving Weight Watchers Simple Start (Simply Filling) program a shot. To hold myself accountable, I think I’m going to follow the program BUT I’m going to track/weigh/measure everything out.  There was 1 week in 2013 where I was house sitting and followed a relatively simply filling sort of lifestyle. I didn’t have snacks on deck; I only had fruits, vegetables, lean meats and grains on hand. I was satisfied and lost a good amount of weight that week. The program would also kick my adoration for sugar and carbs.

As always I’m focused on maintaining positivity this year. Trying new things and pushing myself to branch out of my comfort zone more and more.

Here’s to making 2014 one of the best years of our lives!

Haul: She Believed She Could So She Did Necklace

One quote I have truly fallen in love with while partaking in my lifestyle change journey is “She believed she could, so she did.”It truly solidifies everything in such a poetic, simple and beautiful statement. I always tell folks, regardless of what they’re trying to accomplish in life, that if you believe in yourself anything is possible.
I’ve wanted some sort of jewelry piece with this statement on it but had not truly found one that I liked. I’ve seen silver bangle type bracelets, but since I’m not a silver jewelry wearer it wasn’t something I was interested in.  I posted the quote on Instagram saying I wanted a jewelry piece and a few ladies told me to heck out Etsy. I truthfully had never purchased from Etsy before so after doing some scouring of the website I stumbled upon a beautiful necklace.  It’s not in the gold that I had hoped for, but it’s in antique bronze which fine with me.
If you’re interested in getting yourself a necklace, they come in antique bronze and silver. The seller I purchased from is Rosie’s Pendants on Etsy.  I placed my order and received my necklace less than a week later (ships from California).

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Haul: New Balance Sneakers

Since I attend zumba classes, I have always been on the lookout for a pair of sneakers that would be suitable for the class – but would also be suitable for my feet. Nearly 1 ½ years ago I was taking trips to dance shoe/accessories stores looking for dance shoes many folks who take zumba wear.  Low and behold those shoes are NOT made for me. I need a nice sole to my shoe or I’m going to injure myself or aggravate my bone spurs to the point walking is difficult.  After coming up empty handed time after time I essentially gave up my search and continued taking classes wearing my regular Nike sneakers (which I adore).
Unfortunately my Nike’s were not made for a gym class floor. The treads on my sneakers would grip the floor – which frankly they’re designed to do, but when I’m swiveling around and trying to do dance foot movements, it becomes increasingly difficult. I’ve twisted my knee a few times thanks to my sneakers gripping the floor and my knee going in the opposite direction.  So finally, after being afraid of breaking/tearing something I decided to get back on the zumba shoe train.
After extensive research for a few weeks I narrowed my shoe search down to a few specific pairs – Nike and New Balance. But after going to the Nike outlet I opted to look for the Nike Musique – which I was told was available on their website. Sadly, I could not find them anywhere … so I went onward with New Balance.  In town we have a New Balance store, so I went and browsed around. The women’s options were not available for me (not in stock and I’m too impatient to wait/order), so I went with the men’s department.
I picked up a pair of Revlite Trainers and I absolutely LOVE them! They’re comfortable, they fit and they’re just a great dance shoe. I’m able to move around without my feet sticking to the wood floor. The one downside… I need to find a good pair of shoe inserts that can provide a bit more cushioning under the pad of my foot, near my toes. Again, foot issues – but once I find those, I’ll be perfectly set!
BTW! Great news! My feet have gone down another WHOLE size! I had been buying the same ole size of sneakers because they were comfortable but now I know the true size of my feetsies!

Strong Confident You Giveaway Prize!

Last month I entered a giveaway on the Mama Love blog ( where a shirt from the Strong Confident You Etsy shop ( was being given away. The great thing was that when you won, you were able to choose any shirt of your choice.  I was e-mailed by Sarah advising that I had won and I was so excited! I don’t typically win a lot of raffles, so this was a great pick-me-up!
I browsed the website and the moment I laid eyes on this t-shirt I knew it was the one I wanted.  The shirt says “Earn your Body. Own your mind.”It’s totally a quote I believe in and live by. Obtaining the body I now have has been a lot of hard work over the last 3 ½ years. I still have a ways to go, but I’ve earned this and my mind is my own – no one can change my thinking or my thoughts.
I received my shirt in the mail and was very excited. I will say, the shirt runs on the smaller size, but the fabric is so soft and comfortable. I totally see this as being my new weigh-in shirt and even a new gym shirt.

Never say never … but not in this case

“I’m not losing weight. I’m getting rid of it. I have no intention of finding it again.”

This quote is one that I’ve grown to love over the years. Why? Because I don’t have any intention of finding the 194+ pounds I have shed over the past 3 1/2 years ever again. I’m in it to win it and I’m doing it all for myself.
I’ve always struggled with my weight. In the past, I have lost weight for other people (primarily for family). My weight was unhealthy for a person my age (from 5-years old and on) and approaching someone to tell them you believe they need to lose weight is a hard and sensitive subject. I’ve heard it being said from a lot of people all throughout my life. But the thing is if the person you’re approaching isn’t in the right mindset it can do one of two things 1) go in one ear and out the other or 2) it can backfire and cause a confrontation OR send the person you’re confronting into a proverbial tailspin. In some cases that intervention may be the talk that sets the lightbulb off in a persons head, but for me it never was because I knew I was fat, I knew the world knew I was fat so you weren’t laying a big secret on me, your concern was only making me uncomfortable. My family would try to approach the topic but I didn’t want to hear it and I’d eventually turn to food for comfort, which only ballooned my waistline even further. Then after a while I’d give in, lose some weight and eventually gain it back because I wasn’t doing it for me, I was doing it for others. Back then, these attempts at health were done with a diet mentality. I personally didn’t want to change, but I was going to do it just because … and when times got tough I threw my hands in the air and ate myself silly.
There was a time where I joined Weight Watchers with my mother. My mom was joining and she asked if I’d like to join, so I hopped on board. I enjoyed seeing the scale move. I was following the program and it was working. But since the choice to join wasn’t ultimately one that I came up with when my mother stopped attending meetings, I stopped attending meetings. I left the program and the tools I learned at the wayside and ultimately gained all the weight I had lost back.
The difference between the journey I’m currently on and any attempt at weight loss in the past is that I’m doing it for me this time around. I joined Weight Watchers on my own. No one suggested I join, no one hinted I should join, I made the choice and kept that choice to myself because I didn’t want anybody to try and suggest it to me because that would’ve made me quit before I had the chance to try. What can I say? I have a very hard head at times. I’m stubborn. I don’t like being told what to do whether it’s for the best or not.
After joining Weight Watchers and shedding pounds week by week, I started to feel better about myself. My dad came to me and told me he was proud of me for taking the initiative to get healthy for myself. It was a very touching moment for me and it’s one I’ll always remember because it solidified the fact that yes, I was doing this for myself and those closest to me saw that.
Three and a half years later I am the healthiest and smallest I have been since grade school. I don’t ever recall a time when I was the weight I currently am (I can’t say size because I was not 5’6 in 4th or 5th grade when I was more than likely the weight I currently am now – which back then was obese for someone my age). Physical changes aside, my life is so vastly different compared to how it used to be. Four years ago, I was a human hermit crab. I never left my shell (home or my humble abode AKA my bedroom) and if I did it was briefly and only to do whatever I had to do (work, school, picking up food, etc.). I lived behind my computer playing games and RPG’s to pass the time and to take the focus off my life.

These days life is vastly different – life is enjoyable. I’m not ashamed of myself and do not mind going out. I still am a bit shy, but I’m working on coming out of my shell more and more. I don’t live behind a computer playing games to mask my miserable life. These days I use my computer as a tool to connect with others, to share my journey and to keep in touch with friends and family. But it’s merely a tool — it’s not my one and only. I enjoy life now and I most importantly know what happiness is. I know that I deserve the best and I will get it as long as I put my best foot forward. I have a bright outlook on life and feel I am utterly unstoppable. I can do anything I want as long as I set my mind to it. Positivity fuels me instead of negativity clouding my judgment.
I know the saying goes “never say never” BUT I refuse to allow any shadow of doubt regarding my weight loss and my eventual maintenance. I realize life happens and there will always inevitably be minor bumps in the road but I need to learn to cope with those instances, learn from them and as always keep it moving. It’s my life after all and I’m going to make the best of it.

Fat my whole life…

My weight has been a constant battle since the age of 4 or 5. In the above picture, I want to say I was anywhere between the age of 11-13 and in the 6th or 7th grade – of course the photograph on the right is me a few weeks ago. Considering I have been overweight practically my entire life, I know the emotional torment. I know how it feels to be teased and made fun of. I know how it feels to feel hopeless and helpless.
Early on in life, I learned how to cope with food. I would eat when I was happy, sad, angry, hurt, etc.  I also learned that if someone made food for me, it was a way of them expressing their love for me – so I had to eat it.  My grandmother watched me for my parents while they were at work and she would ask me what I would like to eat that day. Regardless of what I told her, the food was delivered – and in abundance. If I wanted French toast, magically pile upon pile of French toast would be delivered to the kitchen table.  The same followed suit with any other foods my grandmother would cook – potato pancakes, fried eggplant, grilled cheese, etc., etc.
I learned that food was a means of celebration. Food (whether made for someone or being consumed) made people happy! As I got older, I then learned how to suppress my feelings with food. If someone said something to me that I didn’t like, I turned to food for comfort, to put a band-aid on my “boo-boo”. Food was and had become, essentially my best friend. Food never judged me. Food never told me “you shouldn’t eat that”, food never snickered behind my back, and food never did anything to “hurt” me.
I was also (and still kind of am) a picky eater. I did not and don’t eat certain foods. My parents always cooked – they’d only order out on Friday or Saturday.  It was never really a matter of what they were cooking; it was merely a matter of portion size.  I had my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 17 simply because I wanted to try it.  I admit, I was rather spoiled because if I refused to eat dinner I’d whine and whine and whine until, my mother (my father wouldn’t give in) would take me out to get my favorite food as a child – a hamburger from a fast food restaurant.
The cycle continued and into my teenage years, I developed a habit of having dinner before dinner. By this I mean eating something “quick” at a fast food establishment (usually hamburgers, tacos, etc.) before going home to eat the dinner that my parents prepared.
Fast forward into my adult life and I simply continued doing what I knew: emotional eating, eating dinner before dinner, eating in abundance, and merely eating just to eat because I’m also a boredom eater.  I don’t look back at my life and wonder how I ever got to nearly 400 pounds.  Sometimes I wonder how I wasn’t more than that.  For decades, I had a pair of blinders perfectly cemented over my eyes, which didn’t allow me to see what I didn’t want to see.  Me.
Before joining Weight Watchers in February 2010, I was able to remove the blinders and see myself for the first time. I, the emotional and boredom eater, was able to grasp hold of her life and decide that I needed to be healthy and happy. So far, it’s been the best decision I have ever made.  I needed to do a lot of work – physically and emotionally, and I am still working on myself today. Old habits die hard and sometimes those old habits or feelings can creep back up – but it’s up to me to decide how I am going to deal with them.  This isn’t an overnight revelation; it takes work – days and even years.  I found it takes a little digging deep down inside to find out why I do certain things.  Talking about them, getting things off my chest to an unbiased individual made it so much easier.  It’s not always fun diving headfirst into the deep stuff – but once you do, it gets easier and a weight begins to get lifted.
The difference in me today versus me years ago (and truthfully my whole life pre-weight loss journey), is that I have control and I know what I need to do to make my lifestyle livable. I’m still a work in progress. I’m not perfect; there isn’t a single person on the planet that is (well … aside from my beloved fictional Mary Poppins). I’m still learning every day – things about myself, about life and just things in general.  As I always say it may not always be easy … but it’s worth it.
190+ pounds gonebut not forgotten because I neverwant to become that girl again … and I won’t because I have control of my life now.

Positive thinking brings positive results

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One thing I learned early on into my weight loss journey as that as the old saying goes Positive thinking brings positive results!  As cliché as it might sound, it’s so very true.  The moment you can change your thinking, you can change your life. This saying has become such a staple in my life that I actually have a mini dry erase board behind my bedroom door with it written on it – so I see it daily as a gentle reminder.
At the beginning of my journey, the first 2-3 weeks were the hardest. It was a new routine; I had to be conscious of what I was eating.  Grocery shopping became a 1+ hour ordeal, instead of a quick dash and grab routine.  I actually had to give thought about what I wanted to eat, and then I had to figure out what the points were for those items that I wanted to eat.  It can seem a little overbearing and stressful but if you remember why you originally started this journey it makes all those things not so bad.
As I progressed in my journey, I found whenever I thought negatively (which was all the time – I was VERY negative) everything was harder. Nothing was easy, I’d get frustrated easily – but the one thing I can say is I never gave up.  The first 2-weeks were the hardest … declining temptations (like all you can eat cookies, cakes and snacks in the kitchenette at work), sticking with what I brought to work for lunch instead of ordering out on Friday (or in my pre-Weight Watchers day 2-3 times a work week), and eating portion sizes of foods instead of my normal “all you can eat” mentality.
After losing my first roughly 80 pounds, I felt more comfortable in my skin.  I had more energy and I felt comfortable enough to go to the gym.  I admit when I first walked into the gym to walk on the treadmill (I had been an active gym member years prior but as I packed on more weight I simply stopped going) I felt like everyone was looking at me thinking look at that one….  In reality, nobody was looking at me, but in my self conscious mind I turned my step into getting healthier into a negative experience.  It took me until my third trip to the gym to realize that no one was looking at me; everyone was too busy doing their own thing to care.  There was no WWE announcer announcing, “And here’s Shannon, 300 pounds, entered the gym, on her stalk to the treadmill. Let’s get ready to rummmbbbllleeeeee!!!!”
The gym is a common place – people go there to get healthy (whether that be lose weight, build muscle, train for an event, or attend a class they enjoy).  Once I changed my attitude towards the gym, it made going to the gym so much easier.  Eventually I got a bit bored with the treadmill and decided to step WAY out of my comfort zone and I went to my first zumba class.  I stood in the back mind you because I was the new kid in town and had no idea what I was doing. After dancing like a fool (I was legitimately born with two left dancing feet) I found I was really enjoying myself and I was sweating up a storm.  Even though I was very uncoordinated in the beginning and was off doing my own little versions of the steps, I learned I wasn’t concerned others were looking at me, because no one was. Sure there are mirrors on the walls, but no one can focus on the instructor bouncing around, focus on themselves bouncing around AND focus on me bouncing around.
In all reality, the instructor was the only one who paid me any attention.  They’re there to help you get a good workout but they also don’t want you to hurt yourself. I may have felt a little self conscious the first time the instructor came near me to show me the correct foot work (because it all starts at your feet), but she followed that up with a “great job” and I felt better about the experience.  The more I went to the classes, the more I picked up the routine and it eventually got to the point that I felt like a superstar and like I could help lead the class (in my mind – haha).  I taught myself, by training my brain, that the gym was a safe place and it was a place I didn’t have to be shy or make daunting.
I won’t say changing the way you think is a simple task, nor will I say it is something that you can change overnight.  It takes time, it takes work, but if you want it bad enough you’ll work towards that goal.  I find it was especially rewarding for me because once I began changing my attitude towards things and towards life, good things started happening.  The more my thoughts changed to a positive perspective, the happier I became (funny how that happens).
As my thinking began to change to a positive frame of mind, I began to pick up and recognize on the behavior of those around me. I quickly learned that if I was around someone who was genuinely negative I started to become negative.  Negativity is a vicious cycle, a leech, and it will latch onto anyone standing within arms reach.  Not liking the experiences I was becoming part of, I realized that perhaps it was best to remove myself from those situations.  That meant removing people from my life, distancing myself from certain people and remaining with those that were simply positive.  It is a difficult thing to do, but in the end, it had to be done.  At the end of the day, my happiness matters more than being around someone that brought me down.
Thinking positively isn’t always easy. It’s something that requires daily work because things happen. Stuff arises that we weren’t expecting and it may knock us upside the head and our immediate reaction may be a negative one. But the more positive I am, the easier it is to step back, take a breather and think “what can be thought positively about this situation?” Even in the darkest of situations, there is always some glimmer of positivity and if that glimmer is what’s focused on, things get bigger, better and above all easier.
Positivity has given me such a clearer and cleaner way of thinking. It’s provided me with endless possibilities. It’s allowed me to find happiness.  It’s allowed me to focus on me and filter out the toxicity I was surrounded by.  It’s given me encouragement during my weight loss journey because I’d look at how far I’ve come instead of throwing my hands in the air and saying “forget it” over something small.  It’s given me this ray of light from inside that makes me overall a happier person.  That in itself is rewarding because it truly shines on my face.
And without it … I would not be where I am today.

Why I don’t believe in cheat meals

“Cheat meals” is one of those phrases thrown around amongst folks who follow regimented plans (counting calories and only allowing X-amount of calories a day) and even folks who are on Weight Watchers.  I’ve never understood the concept of a cheat meal.  I’ve learned with Weight Watchers food is food and I can have ANYTHING I want as long as it’s in moderation and I correctly (or in the case of not being sure – guestimate [and I usually try to aim higher than lower just to be on the safe side] the points for it) the points plus values for it. I personally know the damage I could do in a day and I know that one day or even one meal of unaccountability would allow me to have multiple days of “ohhh I’ll be 100% good tomorrow.”  It’s just the way my mind works.  I’ll tell myself I’ll do better tomorrow and tomorrow comes, something out of the ordinary will happen and it’ll end up the next day.  The natural born procrastinator and stubborn teenager in me comes out, sticks her and extended fingers in the air and says “neener, neener, neener.”
Why don’t I believe in cheat meals?  Well, I believe in accountability and I know that life happens.  I wouldn’t be able to have a day where I don’t count points all day OR for a single meal and have a good week thereafter.  Life happens, unexpected plans arise and I would hate to be sent into panic mode if my pre-planned dinner of BBQ steak turned into Chinese food with the family.  I could see myself say “but I just ate this, that and the other on Sunday … I just, I can’t go.” Doing that a few times over would essentially make me throw in the towel because it would make portions of life unmanageable and I’d have to face the scale as it crept up and up and up.  I realize that there isn’t a solid meal on the planet that I cannot have.  I can have anything I want, anytime I want it, wherever I want it.  If I can’t find what I want at a restaurant, I can go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients and make it (or as closely to it) at home.
Am I completely 100% strict with my Weight Watchers meals? Of course not. Why? Because this is a lifestyle and there are things that I enjoy and without them I’d be miserable and would simply stomp my feet on the ground and give up (again, stubborn child coming out again).  I am a natural born snacker, always have been and probably always will be but I’m okay with that.  Why? Because I’ve learned that I can eat my favorite snacks, but I’m aware of portion sizes, points plus values and I know what is worth it for me.  It may not be worth it to everyone, but if it’s worth it for me, that makes me happy and makes the plan work for me – as it should for everyone.  For parties and events where I know point values for foods are higher than I’d normally consume, I am allowed 49 weekly points to allow myself to engage and enjoy myself without having any feelings of remorse or guilt.  The points are there and they are built into the plan to be used – but it’s up to each member to have their own system on how to use them, or if they are even going to.
Another reason I don’t believe in cheat meals is because I’ve calculated that in my pre-Weight Watchers life I could very easily eat 114 (more or a little less) points plus values IN A SINGLE DAY.  That 114 only includes breakfast, lunch and dinner and does not include any snacks, or extra goodies I may have consumed while at work or at a family event.  My coffee alone, pre-Weight Watchers was 8 points plus (to be honest, it’s more than 8 but I can’t figure out the exact points because I always ordered a large ice coffee with extra, EXTRA cream and sugar).  A day filled of “cheat” would send me into a literal free-for-all.  Nothing would be off limits. I’d eat things purely just to eat them. Not to enjoy them, but just because “I haven’t had that in a long time.”  That one day would cause me to pay for the rest of my week – needless to say I’d feel sick as a dog for 3-days afterwards.
I do go out to eat and when I know ahead of time I check the company’s website for nutritional information.  If I can’t find any, I look at their menu and try to decide what I want before we even get there.  Once I’ve decided I look up similar meals online, compare them and get the points plus values for that similar meal from a company that does offer nutritional information.  Granted, the ingredients may not always be the same so I do add a few extra points towards it to be on the safe side.  I rather estimate over than estimate under.
Eating out is a treat because I don’t do it very often. I’ve never been a big restaurant person – even pre-WW, so when I do eat at a restaurant it’s nice and it’s different  My “eating out” has typically always been fast food establishments and ordering pizza and sandwiches because it was quick, easy and generally on my way to whatever destination I was heading to.  I admit, being so far into my journey I do sometimes become a points plus value snob.  I look at something and think “I could make that at home for so many less points and I’d have so much more on my plate.”  I love to cook (which is completely a new thing to me because 3+ years ago I could make a pack of Ramen noodles and a frozen pizza and thought I was Chef Shannon).  I love to experiment with new dishes and new flavors, but what I love the most is taking some of my favorite dishes and cutting back on them, making them healthier and making them point friendlier.  All of these allowing me to be accountable and allow me to know exactly what I am putting in my mouth.  I’m not saying in order to be successful you need to cook your own meals, etc., I’m just saying that in order for me to be successful I need to be accountable to myself.  I need to find what works for me and what doesn’t and always keep those in mind because old bad habits die hard and they can creep back up on me at any given moment.  I was overweight for 25+ years of my life and that mentality can creep back up on me and I just know the damage I could cause in one single un-tracked meal.  But I also know that once I’m “off plan” it takes about a week to get back on plan.
Needless to say cheat meals aren’t my thing. They never will be because they’ll only get me going in one direction… back peddling.

Weight Loss Gains

3+ years into this journey and it’s true I am physically smaller, I am literally half the girl I used to be, but with my weight loss I have gained SO much.  With this journey I have gained wisdom, self love, happiness, confidence, determination, motivation, control, understanding, patience, and an ability to inspire.  I’ve also gained the confidence to conquer my fear of public speaking by speaking at a Weight Watchers event, I’ve also gained the ability to accept a compliment AND give one in return.  I could go on and on for days as to what I’ve personally gained over the last 3+ years.
It’s amazing to me to think that by focusing on me and my health that so much in my life would change – and for the better.  Every day isn’t always easy, but it’s SO worth it.
I have so much to be thankful for.  I am happy (this is a big one because for a very long time I never knew what happiness was), I am healthy, I have energy to do things and all along I have been doing it for me! My niece and nephew will not grow up having their nearly 400 pound aunt sit on the couch and watch them play. They have an aunt who’s active in their life and will willingly get on the floor and play with them.  I have control over my life and my destiny and I love knowing that anything is possible if I want it bad enough and if I am willing to work for it.

Meetings make a difference

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While sitting in my Weight Watcher meeting I was struck with inspiration and decided on a few topics to blog about – this being one of them.
Being a Weight Watcher I’ve quickly learned that meetings undoubtedly make a difference!  I understand there’s a price differential between online vs. weekly vs. a monthly pass.  Many people find success solely using the online program – whereas others find success with meetings.  I’m in the success with meetings category.
When I joined Weight Watchers three years ago, it never crossed my mind to be solely an online member. I know me. I would end up winging it because at the end of the day I’d be weighing myself and nobody but myself would know my successes/failures.
With meetings I find they give me a sense of accountability.  I know every Thursday I am going to have to step on the scale and I am going to be faced with whatever number is on that scale.  Up, down, or the same – it’s going to be presented to me and I am going to have to take that and keep moving. I’m also going to have to swallow the fact that someone else (a Weight Watchers employee who isn’t going to judge me) is providing this information to me.  Once again – I get that sense of accountability.
The meetings themselves are extremely helpful. With being a monthly pass member, I can go to a meeting every day if I wished, but I typically stick to my Thursday night meeting only.  Each week I learn new tips and tricks.  Yes, I’ve been doing this 3 years and I still learn new things. Listening to what fellow members have to say can truly change your way of thinking and it can completely lift your morale.  Considering we’re all different, we all think differently and we all do things differently.  There’s a lot of understanding, relating and even finding humor in the topics being discussed – at least in my experience.
I know every week on Thursday I cannot schedule to be anywhere or do anything between 5:30-6:45. If someone wants to go to dinner, we’ve got to schedule that for after 7pm – if not, then we’ll need to pick another day.  I am a stickler with my meetings.  I’m quite positive everyone I work with and everyone that’s around me knows about my Thursday meeting.  One time at lunch at work I mentioned how traffic was annoying because it almost made me late to my meeting and my coworker said “Meeting? What, like, AA?”.  Close … but no cigar!
After being a member 3 years, I have only skipped out on probably 4 meetings because of prescheduled travel plans.  When this happens I make sure I find another nearby location to at least weigh-in to have that accountability for the week and to pick up a Weight Watchers Weekly.  One time my boyfriend and I were considering going to South Carolina and I found a Weight Watchers location nearby where we were considering staying in South Carolina so I wouldn’t have to miss a meeting.
I love meetings and even once I hit goal and then lifetime (because that will happen!) I’ll still be attending meetings. Why? Because meetings work.
Do you like attending Weight Watchers meetings or are you considering joining meetings?