Friday, September 07, 2007

The weekly weigh in, week 52

This week marks one full year of following Weight Watchers for me. It doesn't feel like a whole year, primarily because it doesn't feel like a diet. I really have learned a better way to eat. I've had rough days and weeks. I've lost rapidly, slowly, plateaued and I've seen my weight rise temporarily, but despite all of that, My weight has gone down a lot, and my health is better.

I started this diet last year after I woke up on my bathroom floor. I'd fainted from high blood pressure. I had never had high blood pressure, shocking more than one doctor who couldn't believe that a fat person didn't have high blood pressure. That was a real wake up call that I could no longer take my health for granted. My doctor, as doctors tend to do, said that you need to lose weight. Since I started dieting at the age of five, there haven't been a lot of diets that I haven't tried. Sick of the hassles and harassment that come with being fat, I'd already mentally capitulated and thought bariatric surgery was my only option. Before my insurance would greenlight surgery, they wanted to make sure that less extreme measures would work, so I went to Weight Watchers.

My first few weeks this was my attitude: I'll give it an honest go, but I know it's not going to work. I'll lose some weight, get fed up with all the restrictions and then I'll just regain what I lost and more. After all, it's what I've done my entire freaking life. I yo-yoed my way to nearly 400 pounds. Incredibly saddened and overwhelmed by own size and the limitations it was putting on my life, I lost 50 pounds by making small changes in my life in the two years prior to starting Weight Watchers. After a few weeks, I started seeing some noticeable results in weight loss, but beyond that, this program had nothing that I had hated about previous diets. I didn't feel like foods were forbidden. I didn't feel like portions were ridiculously small. I didn't feel socially isolated. I could eat out, drink, and have appetizers and desserts if I wanted them. Honestly, most of the challenges I've faced have come from my own disordered thinking. What I did have to do was think rationally about food and plan what I would eat. Well, a year down the line, I'm still working on that.

Let's talk tangible results. What have I got for the investment of one year's time, a good bit of energy, a lot of good thinking and an equal share of obsessive compulsive thinking? The biggie is that I have lost 78.4 pounds, 23% of my starting body weight. That translates to 6 clothing sizes smaller than I was this time last year. I was too much of a chicken to take my measurements when I first started the program, but in the last six months, I have lost half an inch off my upper arm, which is also noticeably firmer. I'm down four inches in my bust. Since I had it to spare, this is very, very good news. Down, 4 3/4 inches in my waistline, 3 1/4 in my hips and 4 1/4 in my thigh. That's 16 3/4 inches lost in six months.

Those are the superficial measurements. What about the more stringent measurements of health? It was after all my blood pressure that got me started. The day I passed out, it measured 190 over 160. I was seriously scared. Two weeks ago, it measured 135 over 95, high enough to keep me on medication but I'd still call that a serious improvement. My cholesterol has dropped from 240 to 208, and since I hadn't fasted prior to the blood test, I wonder what the results would be if I had. My triglyceride count was 130. My favorite accomplishment of the past year though came the day my daughter showed off how she could reach all the way around when she hugged me...for the first time in her life.

This is an anniversary for me, and I will celebrate it. I am damn proud of what I've done.

This entry originally posted at Taking Off.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now, you're asleep. It's 5 in the morning. I want to tell you that you've been beautiful throughout my life. I'm glad that you're finally starting to feel that way.


September 08, 2007 5:14 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

I am touched, deeply touched. Cynthia that one year mark is amazing and what all it has done for you is something to be very proud of. are a wonderful daughter to have noted the words of great encouragement and love.
I am smiling...
Love TJ

September 08, 2007 6:22 PM  
Blogger Rev. Dulce said...

What a wonderful comment by Claire. Our lives are blessed by their love.

I have always heard alot about weight watcher's but I don't know if I could handle the weekly weigh-in. How did you get over that?

Plus, congratulations on the great accomplishment.

September 08, 2007 6:46 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I can't stress what a major accomplishment this is and you are doing it for all of the right reasons! 23%????? WOW!

Keep up the INCREDIBLE work!

September 09, 2007 8:46 AM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

Cynthia, you are an awe-inspiring example. And Clair is no doubt absolutely right -- but how wodnerful for you to know it,too.

(I meanwhile, have started taking a dieuretic, lost 7 pounds, walked my 3 miles religiously nearly every day despite miserable bursitis -- and today my BP was the highest of my life. Sigh.)

September 09, 2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger gigi said...

Congratulations, Cynthia. This is an incredible achievement. :)

September 12, 2007 3:20 PM  

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