Last year, I got tired of being a slave to the scale and feeling bad about always being above my original Weight Watchers goal weight. I achieved that goal weight in 2011 and was able to maintain it for about a year. Each year after that, my weight went up by a pound or two so that by last year, I was 7 pounds above my goal weight. But I was happy with my body overall. I was wearing shorts for the first time in my entire life. I’d reached a level of not just acceptance but love of my body—flaws and all—that had eluded me my whole life. I realized that I needed to focus on how I felt about myself instead of the number on the scale. So in May of 2016, I stopped weighing myself. I instead focused on how my clothes fit, and they fit the same all summer while marathon training when I was eating a ton to fuel my hard training regimen. I decided to quit Weight Watchers because I was maintaining my weight just fine without using the program.
And then I reached taper. And I kept eating like I was still running 50 miles a week. By the time I crossed the start line of that marathon, I felt heavy. I knew I’d gained weight but had no idea how much because I wasn’t weighing myself. Immediately after the marathon, I had no appetite and couldn’t eat. I had to force myself to eat a banana. By the evening, my appetite was back. By the next day, my appetite had ballooned and stayed like that. My eating was out of control for a full month.
So by the beginning of this year, I knew I needed to lose weight. I thought about needing to lose weight for a few months but didn’t do anything about it. Finally, at the end of February, I got serious about it. I started the food habits I did when I was successfully losing weight—limiting sugar and candy, stopping evening snacking, and reducing alcohol. I added more strength training; when I was at my leanest, I was doing mostly strength training and little cardio.
I lost a pound. And then another pound. And then the next week gained them back. Then I lost a pound. And then another pound. And then gained them back. So I decided to try something different. I followed guidance from the Racing Weight book that said to eat more protein and less carbs when you’re trying to lose weight. Because I didn’t want to eat a ton more beans and mess with my digestion, I decided to start eating eggs and fish. Eggs (hardboiled or scrambled) became fairly easy for me to eat. But fish—not so much. I never liked fish even as a non-vegan, and trying to eat it now is very hard. I don’t love the taste, and in a lot of fish you can see the silvery scaly flesh–eeewwww. I tried but couldn’t do it. The only fish I am able to eat–and the only one I really liked as a kid–is canned tuna with a heavy dose of vegan mayo mixed in to cover the majority of the fish flavor–which obviously isn’t too healthy. And when I reduced carbs—not cut out, just reduced—my energy level took a major hit. And when I started eating less carbs and more protein, my weight plateaued and I did not lose or gain a single pound for more than a month.
The result is that four months into this year, I haven’t lost any weight. Most of my running clothes are ill-fighting and uncomfortable, and my shorts are too tight. Thank goodness for stretchy tights and skirts, because that’s all I can really wear now. Running gear isn’t cheap, and I refuse to buy a whole new wardrobe. With warm weather here and marathon training soon to be here, I need to lose weight.
I can’t expect different results by doing the same thing, so I joined Weight Watchers again this past week. I was thrilled to find that all my old data was there (I guess they bank on members returning and keep your data), but was shocked to see that I’m 15 pounds above my last recorded official weight in May 2016. YIKES.
I know many people think weighing yourself regularly isn’t healthy because your self-image fluctuates with the number on the scale. I agree that’s not right. But I also know that one of the biggest habits of those successfully maintaining a weight loss is regularly weighing themselves. I’m positive that if I’d been weighing myself all along, I never would have let my weight creep up so much. I’m confident there’s a way to keep my weight in check with the scale without being a slave to it. So from here on out, the scale is back in my life!
I have always been successful with Weight Watchers and am very optimistic that this is what I need to be running again in shorts come summer.
As for continuing to eat non-vegan, fish is out. Vegan mayo is not low WW points, and I just can’t eat anything besides canned tuna. (I even tried the non-healthy breaded fish, but then the breading came off and I saw the scaly flesh and it was all over.) As for eggs, well, they’re low in points. The main reason I’m vegan is because I don’t want to support factory farms, and I can order eggs from local farms through our local CSA program. So I might still eat them occasionally.
Jessica mentioned this recently, but I feel like it’s so much harder to lose weight the second (or third) time around. Anyone else feel like that? Has anyone else not lost weight by reducing carbs or am I the only one? And has anyone joined or rejoined Weight Watchers recently? I am loving the new interfaces on both desktop and mobile app.