Today marks one year exactly since I signed up for Weight Watchers and began my now-successful journey to losing (almost) 75 pounds (okay, 73.6). Here is my overall loss chart, with near-daily weigh-ins. On May 28, 2019, I weighed 213 pounds; today, May 28, 2020, I weighed in at 139.4 pounds. My BMI dropped from 36.6 to 23.9. I’ve lost almost 35% of myself from where I started. I must thank WW, Couch to 5K and LoseIt! for being my essential tools along the way towards success.
I also still have some pounds to go until I start adding back in calories towards maintenance, but I don’t think it would be a stretch to say I have completely changed my life this past year.
I began running. I used to get winded and have to start walking after barely a lap around a quarter-mile track. I now run five milers on the weekends, and 5K’s and four milers regularly during the workweek. I never thought I would be the person to run a Thanksgiving morning 5K. I used to laugh at the fools who spent their mornings getting in a jog; now I know that once I get my morning exercise in, I’m happier and have much more energy throughout the day. That endorphin release is real!
I discovered an entirely new way of looking at food. I began cooking for myself and found that “healthy” food can still be delicious and give me pleasure. I aim for a rainbow on my plate at every meal. I used to think avocados and mushrooms were disgusting. Now, that creaminess or umami flavoring gives heft to a dish. I have so much respect for the food I eat, and I over the course of this year, I am proud to say I never ate anything I didn’t find delicious.
I also still made time for major, major indulgences. In January, I went to Japan for 10 days, where I threw any sort of portion control or moderation out the window. I ate pretty much nonstop and loved every minute. Guess what? The 11 pounds I gained after that trip was gone in the course of the next two weeks. I had plenty of birthday cake, glasses of wine, sushi, and celebratory indulgences over the course of this past year. This was not a year of deprivation. Rather, I learned that treats are just that – they’re treats. They’re special, and I can make the special moments, even more so by not needing that little bit of dessert or this or that every day.
Is this all a brag? I guess. But I can hardly recognize myself some days. I still see the girl who was pushing 220 pounds in the mirror, and in the way that I still want to binge sometimes – how easy it would be to just give in. I have control over myself now – not perfect or iron-willed control (mistakes will always happen), but I now have a sense of how best to honor myself by filling it with delicious, filling, and wholesome foods that make me happy. Food used to be my emotional crutch; now, I respect the food – and myself – a hell of a lot more than I used to.