I joined Weight Watchers in May 2002 and had my progress tracked by recording my weight once a week.
Seeing my weight loss every week really encouraged me: I lost 5 pounds after my 1st week and I can’t describe the excitement I felt! By sticking to my eating plan, I then lost 3 pounds the next week.
Every week, I left my weigh-ins happy until the week I lost…. 0.5 pounds! I remember calling my sister in tears because I’d lost only 0.5lbs. I felt like a failure. My achievements over the previous 4-5 weeks were totally forgotten while I dwelt on my almost non-existent weight loss for the week. After words of encouragement from my sister and friends, who reminded me about how far I’d come, I got straight back on it and kept eating right for the next week.
Guess how much I had lost by my next weigh-in? 7 pounds!! I was ecstatic! Although the team leader pulled me aside to ask if I was starving myself because 7lbs was too much weight to lose in a week.
After this, I consistently lost 2-4lbs a week until I’d lost a total of 40lbs.
I stopped attending Weight Watchers meetings because I was a cheap student and I felt I had learned enough to keep going on my own. This was true in a way but what I hadn’t taken into account was I needed to start eating more to maintain, and stop losing, weight.
I got addicted to losing weight and seeing the results… I can admit that now but then I just basked in the surprise and admiration from everyone at my hard work. I loved it all!
So I kept losing weight.
Then my Mum suddenly fell very ill.
I honestly can’t remember if I stuck to my diet, all I know is I got even skinnier… at one point I was told, “I looked like a lollipop” – Big head, skinny body. I can laugh at it now but at the time I got very defensive: why couldn’t people leave me alone? It seemed like I couldn’t win – when I was overweight, it was a problem; now I finally was slim, it was still a problem!
I can recognise now that not only was I slim… I was skinny.
I got bored of comments about my weight so I relaxed my eating a little:
My clothes slowly started feeling tighter… a pair of already snug (cheap) trousers I owned ripped at work! I joined a gym for a few months but fell into the trap of eating more because I was a regular at the gym.
I had completely shelved my Weight Watchers knowledge and lifestyle but the good thing was I knew what I had to do. I got back on Weight Watchers (a DIY version minus the meetings) which resulted in a little weight loss. (To be continued…)
What I learned from Weight Watchers, and still apply today, is:
● Always eat breakfast… always!
● Snack often… (healthy snacks of course) e.g. Fruit, Nuts
Breakfast – Snack – Lunch – Snack – Dinner – Snack
● Eat 5 portions, in total, of fruit and vegetables
● Bulk up meals with vegetables e.g. Double your portion of vegetables, treble if you must. This was definitely very helpful for me and helped me reduce my portions of rice, noodles, potatoes, etc.
Writer – Adura Odesanya is a Fitness Instructor and Trainer who works with Fitter London. Having been overweight in the past, she recognises the challenges that many people face in trying to overcome weight loss and fitness challenges.