Flash from the past!

When I was home for Christmas I decided to dig through the masses of old family photos, in search of some of my most flattering and unflattering of times. Note to self: belly-shirts look good on NO one, even those who have just dropped bunches of weight!

For those of you who have read my “About Me” section — new since moving over to my own domain earlier this month — know that I lost weight in high school on Weight Watchers. When I at my lowest weight, I decided to apply to be a Weight Watchers Success Story. Fast forward, I was chosen!

My mother-in-law must have thought something of me nearly 7 years ago to save the print-out ;). And with a little web address action, I come to find out it’s still online! Check it out here!

Weight Watchers Success Story

I later discovered that 117-lbs was not a maintainable weight for my 5’3 stature, so I am comfortably no longer a size 0. To the contrary, I’m looking forward to shedding a few pounds come 2010. Desk work and marriage have caused an unwanted scale climb, but I’m not worried. Just ready to get crack-a-lackin’!

I think I’ve gained (no pun intended!) insight between then and now; not only through weight-loss and weight-gain, but also through being a dietitian. Looking back to my Weight Watchers days, I didn’t eat dinner with my family…I ate turkey dogs and low-calorie bread pumped with preservatives.  I racked up my Weekly Points Allowance to completely let loose on the weekends. I avoided social situations so that I did not exceed my Points. I exercised so that I could eat more…lots more. Quite frankly, I was obsessive*.

Today I would shun any diet requiring you to “give up” or omit ANY food from your arsenal, or jeopardizing your family and friends so that you can reach your goals. Weight maintenance will never end, and so losing weight must also be adapted to fit the person and not the other way around.

Lastly, I think it’s important to understand that weight is not an absolute number. Most people do fluctuate weight. Going into 2010, don’t obsess about a number…obsess about YOU!

On a completely unrelated note, we had Christmas with Mark’s family last night and Mark surprised me with a NEW LAPTOP! So much for not exchanging presents after “giving one another” our new treadmill, huh? 😉 Not complaining…

My new prized possession has 4x the memory and 3x the speed of my current Dell. It also has the HD output thing. I’m excited, my ‘puter needs to be put to rest.

My new and improved laptop from hubby!

*Weight Watchers is an excellent, successful weight-loss program when followed appropriately. These comments are not indicative of the quality or methodology of Weight Watchers.

Question: Do you focus on weight or health? If you think “health”…do you know your cholesterol levels and blood pressure?

P.S. Have you entered your recipe(s) for the Prevention Cookbook? I am taking submissions through January 1st! Please check out the details here! You can not only win lots of loot, but also a cookbook written by this bloggie and dietitian! Oh, and all participants receive the cookbook filled with over 75 (and climbing!) bloggie-inspired recipes!


37 Comments

  1. December 29, 2009 / 10:12 am

    OOH fabulous gift from your hubby!! Enjoy your new computer!

    I couldnt agree more with obsessing about “you” not the “number”. I wish you a healthy, happy 2010! 🙂

  2. December 29, 2009 / 10:20 am

    This is definitely an insightful post. Restrictive diets like Weight Watchers help many lose weight, but it’s hard to keep off that weight when you’re so limited to what you can eat. Best way to lose weight…exercise and healthy, but tasteful foods, and moderate portions. Good luck!

  3. December 29, 2009 / 11:58 am

    I loved reading your story. I think it is so important not to get stuck with a certain number/weight you want to be.
    For me, it was more about health when I lost my weight. I had old bloodwork I had gotten done and after losing weight got everything rechecked. Seeing how much my numbers improved meant so much more to me than any number on the scale.

  4. December 29, 2009 / 1:23 pm

    WOW!! That’s awesome that you were chosen as a success story!! 🙂 I lost a lot of weight with Weight Watchers also and got down to around 115 pounds. Like you said, it wasn’t easy to maintain so it crept up a bit and was much easier to maintain around 125 pounds. Then I got married and soared up about 30 pounds – yikes!! I need to lose some also, but I’m definitely not going to shun any foods – just eat less, move a bit more and focus on HEALTH! 🙂

  5. December 29, 2009 / 2:40 pm

    You have SUCH a healthy attitude about this….very inspirational! I LOVE what you said, too, about obsessing about ourselves – not a number. Really, what will that number mean in 30 or 40 years? I don’t want to live my life and feel like I’ve missed out because of that stupid little number…ya know?

    Congrats for getting picked for the success story – that is so exciting! AND congrats on the lap top, too. Santa was good to you, I see. 😉

  6. December 29, 2009 / 3:02 pm

    I tried weight watchers when I was in college and from what I remember I did the same thing as you described in your post. I excercised and focused on calorie lost so I can gain a few more points to eat couple more things. I also ate things that were lower in points but now thinking about it no neccesarilly healthy. Now I have a couple co-workerst that are doing WW and I get sad when I see what they are eating.. I guess if they were cooking at home and staying within their points it would be fine but its the frozen dinners that I don’t agree with.

    I focus on my HEALTH. I do know both my Cholestrol and BP, as over the past year I have worked hard to lower both 🙂

  7. December 29, 2009 / 3:23 pm

    Oh how neat!! I didn’t know you did Weight Watchers, and were featured as a SUCCESS story!! Congrats to you. And, an even bigger congrats to you for figuring out you did it the wrong way. I think you are not alone (I KNOW you are not alone) as I know many people who save their points all week and then pretty much binge on the weekends (wrong way to do it!).

    Thanks for sharing your story, and I’m happy that you have found a happy medium.

  8. December 29, 2009 / 3:42 pm

    I totally know what you mean by the scale climb due to desk work and marriage. Previously I’ve been focused on the weight loss but now I’m really working on the health factor when losing/maintaing weight.

  9. December 29, 2009 / 4:51 pm

    Wow, great story! I definitely agree with you about not obsessing over a number.

  10. December 29, 2009 / 5:11 pm

    Great post!

    I think a lot of weight loss programs focus on calories (or points) and not so much on the quality of the food. And I think it should be the other way around. Calories are certainly important, but I think eating mainly nutritious, unprocessed foods is most important.

    For me health is much more important than weight. And yes, I know my cholesterol levels and blood pressure. In fact, I had high blood pressure for a while and was put on medication. I was determined to get off the meds (even though my doctor told me there was little hope), and I made some serious lifestyle changes, including making a career change and focusing on making healthy choices every day. And I was able to get off the meds. Today my blood pressure is well controlled without meds. In the process of getting healthy, I actually lost quite a bit of weight.

    Also, I love your point that any diet/permanent eating plan has to fit into your life. It’s just not realistic to never go out with friends or never have a “treat.”

    Congrats on your new laptop! Have fun! 🙂

  11. December 29, 2009 / 5:32 pm

    girl SUCH great advice and wisdom! you are awesome..great story!

  12. December 29, 2009 / 5:41 pm

    Congrats! You have a wonderful story… so inspiring. I hope you are proud of yourself.

  13. December 29, 2009 / 6:18 pm

    oh its fun to look through old pics our past shapes us and teaches how to keep doing things better LOL

  14. December 29, 2009 / 7:34 pm

    At first, when I was 305 pounds I did focus mostly on weight. Sure I knew that my health was in jeopardy – but quite frankly, I wanted to be lighter. As the weight came down I realized all the health benefits I was reaping from weighing less.

    Now, all these years later it’s really not so much about the number on the scale, but how good I feel.

    By the way – congratulations on all you have accomplished!

  15. December 29, 2009 / 8:45 pm

    Great post! I hate it when people think you’ve got to be healthy if you’re skinny…that is just not the case! I think weight and health goes hand-in-hand, but they are NOT the same.

  16. December 29, 2009 / 9:22 pm

    A new laptop – how fun! Sounds like you have a much healthier attitude about weight now. Of course your mom saved it, mom’s are like that!

  17. December 29, 2009 / 11:01 pm

    I’m trying really hard to focus on my health rather than weight. I was pretty obsessive too. I think when you start avoiding social situations is when something is really wrong. I can’t decide if I’m happier as a size 8 or a size 4. Either way, I’m trying to remember the idea is to be healthy.

  18. December 30, 2009 / 7:32 am

    Great post. Funny that you can still find it on the internet. I have the same thoughts on WW, but you actually went through it so your view is probably different. I spoke with some employees once and we discussed how this works if you have limited health problems, since you can eat crap but stay within your points. It certainly doesn’t account for diabetes, heart disease, liver failure, dialysis patients and things of that nature. My issue was that a friend on this coule eat cake use all all her points for this and other junk, never eat a vegetable for the day and this was acceptable if she lost weight. Not sure if it is different now or she just followed it wrong, but I found she and others didn’t actually get nutrition education out of this and really focussed on points even months after stopping the program. They couldn’t take what they were doing and apply it to the real world. But I know other’s who really do benefit and learn, so I wonder if those people just went the extra mile to really learn about food. Ok, that’s it from me on WW.

    Funny you should ask about weight vs health (or not since RD minds work alike). On my post for tomorrow I mention this. I would have freshman (I taught undergrad where my freshman were 18-19 year olds, versus now at Kaplan they are all ages) tell me they can eat at Mcd’s and other burger joints and that they have a fab metabolism so they can eat whatever they want and if they gain weight they will just fast. I then explained that’s great they look good on the outside, but they can be skinny and still have clogged arteries. It is hard for a young person to see this, and ultimately can damage their health. Even with a good scale number you can be unhealthy, and even being overweight (based on BMI) you can still be healthy. You will see this on tomorrow’s post on my blog!

  19. December 30, 2009 / 7:37 am

    wow, congrats on being one of their stories! That’s great!

  20. December 30, 2009 / 8:04 am

    Amazing story. Very inspiriational! It’s cool that you’ve made your health not only a priority, but a career!

    Awesome gift! Lucky girl!

  21. December 30, 2009 / 10:15 am

    OH we have that in common! I also lost around 80 lbs on WW! But I gained some of it back through the years…sad panda but I know that I can do it again if I focus =)

    Conrats on the weight loss and the new computer (so hating right now ha)

  22. December 30, 2009 / 10:45 am

    I love the new look of your blog and the color is my favorite!!! I need to figure my new template out, but I am a computer retard. Yay for a new ‘puter!! 🙂 I need to get crack a lackin too (love your term), but for now I am enjoying it. I definitely like to focus on overall health and not just a number 🙂

  23. December 30, 2009 / 12:37 pm

    I love reading success stories!! You have such a wonderful, inspiring attitude. Eating right not only makes us look great, but it helps us power through the day with great amounts of energy. Who wants to feel bloated and sluggish with over sized portions and junky ingredients. Not us!!! Did u go to SU? I did. I see u r wearing a shirt from there in your “before” photo. Congrats on your fab new laptop!

  24. December 30, 2009 / 1:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!

    I try to focus on my health more than my weight… I’ve been going in for a yearly physical now for the last 10 years, and I can proudly say that I am healthier now (according to my numbers) than when I was 24 years old! My doctor said that I have the blood pressure of a teenager. Woohoo!!

  25. December 30, 2009 / 1:32 pm

    I completely agree that is is important to focus on your health and not weight! In college I lost a ton of weight because I obsessed about calories and ate tons of diet foods that were artificial. I now focus on eating real foods so I might consume more calories but feel healthier overall.

  26. December 30, 2009 / 3:04 pm

    Great post girl! And so jealous – I’d love a new laptop 🙂
    And yeah I’m totally with you on the whole student thing – I want actual Holidays please – working all week during this sucks…

  27. December 30, 2009 / 3:51 pm

    love the post..i completely agree…my new years resolution is going to be something similar to this…health is more than a number!
    -Lena

  28. December 30, 2009 / 5:31 pm

    I am not aware of an Oklahoma bloggers group. A person to contact about that might be Ree Drummond http://thepioneerwoman.com/. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you will come again. I host a weekly blog event called Crock Pot Wednesday. Perhaps you could join me for that sometime. Happy New Year!

  29. December 30, 2009 / 9:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this story, You have done it before you can definately do it again! You may think you were a success story but you still are one.

    Happy New year!

  30. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    December 31, 2009 / 12:41 am

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I’m looking forward to reading yours too!

  31. December 31, 2009 / 1:12 am

    Loved this post. Really struck a note with me as I lost a TON of weight but gained a bit back since it was waaay too hard to maintain. I did the same things, avoiding social situation and ate seperately from everyone else. Now Im way more comfortable and am eating healthfully and working out more sanely. So a little weight has come back but Im ok with it cause I feel super! Thanks for sharing this. Really was a great read. Have a wonderful evening!

  32. December 31, 2009 / 8:11 am

    I totally agree not to obsess about the numbers! If you focus on the health benefits, the numbers will usually follow….although it is way too easy to get caught up in a “number” that may or may not be realistic at all. My goal in life is to help people feel better, live better, love themselves…it sounds like you are doing the same!! Great story and Happy New Year!

  33. December 31, 2009 / 9:23 am

    I think focusing solely on weight is a recipe for failure. I focus on health. I will probably never be a beanpole, but I want to be a healthy weight for me. I am almost there, but not quite yet.

  34. January 3, 2010 / 6:58 am

    Even though I have never had problems with weight, your story is still touching–it shows you go after goals, which is a great quality to have. I have blood tests/physical twice a year and all my levels are normal for my age! I just need to gain about 10 lb for my height supposedly, but I have a wicked metabolism like my dad hah

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