loving and accepting who I was my actions were in synch with my thoughts and
intentions: to take the best care possible of myself and my body. I was ready for my first step.
I realized I did not have to journey alone—I could ask for help. This was huge for my independent, loner self to wrap my head around. How could I possibly share and acknowledge my failure to do this on my own? My daughter was twenty-one at this time and had joined Weight Watchers and encouraged me to join but I was skeptical believing they promoted dieting and that absolutely wasn’t for me. Ever again.
daughter’s success over the next nine months and her sharing the WW plan helped
me to see they were not about dieting at all—they taught participants life long
eating and exercise skills and habits. Their tag line says it all: Stop dieting. Start living. In December
2007 I did just that!
I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting with my daughter
and signed up for their
an eager student. I got it: calories in for maintenance/minus activity calories
burned= weight loss. I realized I’d
have to face my habits of emotional eating: eating when I was unhappy, happy,
excited, or nervous—all emotions
triggered eating. Over eating especially when I wasn’t hungry was a huge
challenge for me to tackle, eating late at night in front of the TV, and also
eating fast food instead of cooking.
All of these challenges stemmed from my fear of food and
being hungry. First I had to identify hunger; what did it really feel like and
what did my body do when it was hungry?
I became an observer of my habits and noticing what triggered
episodes of overeating or eating when I wasn’t hungry. My food journal became
my best friend. I wrote down every time I ate and what I was feeling and
thinking when I ate it. Soon it became easier to transition to writing about
what I wanted to eat instead of eating and putting my feelings on paper instead
of stuffing something in my mouth. Awareness was a step towards transformation.
The first two weeks I actually gained a few ounces instead
of losing—my self saboteur in action! I called my daughter for empathy. Instead
she asked, “Are you counting your points?” Well kinda, I guessed a few. “Uh
huh,” she responded. “Are you writing down everything? Even bites and tastes
off of Daddy’s plate?” I said I was keeping track in my head. “Momma, just do
the plan,” were her wise words. “It works.”
My resistance was high—my old habits of self sabotage were
already on red alert. My daughter was right I wasn’t following the plan I was
modifying it to fit inside my fat
life. The life I said I was committed to giving up! Since that day I have counted
points and measured portions for everything
I’ve eaten every day. Yes it was
awkward and time consuming at first. I acknowledged for the first time that my
serving size was often three times what an actual serving size was. I educated
myself and became aware of what I was putting in my mouth and why.
After almost two years counting points and recording what I
eat it comes naturally. It’s a habit and I do it after each meal without
thinking about it. I keep a little notebook at the kitchen table. There is no
cheating because I would only be cheating myself out of a life I love.
I haven’t gone crazy with rules but I do follow a few
guidelines: I don’t eat and watch TV or eat and read; I eat all my meals at the
kitchen table even snacks; I don’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime; I take
healthy snacks with me every time I leave home. Not eating at the computer or
on the couch helps to keep my physical location from reminding me of eating.
Focusing on eating and making each meal into an event filled with beauty and
atmosphere, (candles, flowers, place settings) enables me to be present to the
experience of eating and delight in every bite. Awareness was the first step to
transforming me into a conscious eater.