Another week of Weight Watchers. Here are some updates and thoughts.
Non-Scale Victory: I can fit into my Ooh la la sweater! I haven’t been able to wear this sweater in years. And my pants are fitting funky — ooh la la!
What I learned: When I am sick I have no self-control. I spent all last week with the flu and I am finally back to normal as of yesterday. And in that week I did not follow the program. In fact, I said yes to everything my body wanted. “Oh you want a soda?” YES. “Oh you want chips?” BBQ it is!
Surprisingly, I didn’t gain weight. I maintained. And I am okay with that.
We all have our off weeks. And the point of this program is not to quickly lose weight — but to make this a lifestyle. I am doing a marathon here with my health and I will take my time to the finish line. I don’t want to rush because I know how I do — it won’t be sustainable and I want to be healthy for the long haul.
So, I’ll take a week where I maintained my weight. I’ll take a week in which I ate more cookies than I should have (did I mention the cookies? Oh so good!).
I seem to live two separate inner lives: the one is my normal day-to-day existence filled with thoughts of work and ministry, whilst the other is a continuation of creating and building a story, a world, and characters that yet to exist. It’s trying to fill in plot holes, understanding motivations, and allowing characters to tell their own stories in the in-between moments of my regular life.
A non-scale victory is a goal reached, a surprise benefit of the program, or simply, a victory overcome that has nothing to do with the number on the scale. I had one of those this week. I FIT INTO MY FAVORITE SLACKS.
The Slacks Story
In 2015, I lost some weight and I purchased slacks that were fun and different. As 2016 rolled around I couldn’t fit into them that well — my tummy was definitely in pain when trying to button them. And by 2017, I was considering giving them to the Salvation Army because they were not even close to fitting.
Well, I tried them on today because I knew I needed a non-scale victory. I needed the encouragement to keep going as I had weighed myself at home and it showed me that I gained weight (I blame the three nights of drinking with friends). It was a gamble to try the slacks on but it paid off and pumped me up for my weigh-in.
More than a number
My weigh-in today was successful as I lost weight (whoohoo), but I realized for me this program is not about the number but how I feel. Am I comfortable in my skin? Can I wear the clothes I want? Do I have more energy? Do I enjoy the food I am eating?
I have learned to enjoy the food I am eating because the shame and guilt associated with food (the language of “bad” or “good”) has been disappearing. When I have used those words in the past (and don’t get me wrong, I am still using them), I have internalized it as “I am bad.” Yet, I must remember that my identity does not change by the things I put into my mouth.
Sure, some foods are more beneficial to my overall health; however, I am not a “good person” if I eat only healthy foods. I am still me — a daughter of the Eternal King whose value and identity is not defined by this world but by the Creator.
So, this week I am learning there is quite a lot of freedom as I remove these layers of guilt and it’s fantastic.
Oh! I also hit another milestone: 16 weeks of Weight Watchers Meetings (whooohoo)!
Whilst in Scotland,* God reminded me that I am a writer. He made me to be a writer, so I need to write. It’s that simple… yet I make it complicated. I allow myself to get bogged down by the responsibilities of my daily life. I allow guilt to pierce my creative bubble and rob me of a real joy that I have in my life.
So, I’ve made a commitment to give myself one night a week to write. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve set other items as a priority over my writing for too long. And it’s not like, “Oh, I watch tele every night, so I’ll stop watching The Crown one night a week to write.” (I wish this were the case.)
No, most of my time is spent either working too many hours at my day job or spending the remaining hours serving God and His Church. And don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining as I love it. I love that I am able to use my skills for His Kingdom — that’s what I pray for!
But it’s also nice to know that God has given me a desire, a passion, to tell stories. And you know, I am going to do just that.
In six months I have reached my 10% weight loss goal. What that really means is that I lost 23.6 pounds.
It’s a huge milestone for me as it’s something that I was aiming to hit since I started back in August. Back then, it seemed like such a formidable number. Now, it’s a goal achieved.
The Weekly is asking us to figure out “the why” behind our weight loss. Of course it changes as each season passes, so currently here is my why:
I want to lose weight to save money.
I am as surprised by this answer as you are, but it makes sense as I have a lot to save and pay off in 2018 for 2019’s events to happen (more on that later — like later, later).
Portion control equals budget control.
When I’m on WW, I eat less and I actually follow serving sizes so my grocery budget is manageable. I also spend less on frivolous and “high abuse” foods because I don’t want to waste my points on them, and subsequently, my money.
Also clothes! As I’ve lost weight, my old clothes fit me so I don’t have to buy new clothes, and well — plus size clothes are more expensive, so as I lose inches I am saving money on fabric. Also, there’s more clothes available in non-plus sizes at thrift stores and second-hand shops.
And ultimately, when I make Lifetime and maintain the weight, I won’t have to pay the monthly Weight Watchers fee, so that also saves me money.
So what’s “Your Why?” Why are you wanting to lose weight?
One of the coolest things I’ve learned whilst doing Weight Watchers is the repeated patterns of my body.
I’ve learned that the week before I start my period (yes, I am talking about menstrual cycles on here, folks), my body does not want to give up any weight. It’s like, “Hold on! We may get pregnant. Hold everything we have!”
And then I don’t get pregnant and then it’s “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!” And I subsequently shed the weight.
In the beginning of my WW journey I was so down on myself the week before my period. At weigh in, I would see the increased number and think, I worked so hard. I tracked. I exercised. Why am I not losing weight? Fine, I’ll go get some Starbucks (my go-to comfort calories).
And then after doing this program for months, I started to see the pattern — the week before my period I don’t lose weight. And that’s okay!
I’ve learned to give myself grace the week before my period, though honestly, I should give myself grace 100% of the time — but I am still working on that part.
How about you? Have you learned any repeated patterns?
Sitting on top of a mountain with my Bible and journal in hand, I look down onto the valley that stretches for miles. A rainbow disappears as the sky clears and the only noise is coming from my own breath — I am a Chicagoan who doesn’t understand altitude — and yet, this breathlessness is more than just exertion. This moment is overwhelming.
I am not overwhelmed by this view (though it’s worthy of adoration in its own right) but it’s everything that has led up to this very point in time. A mixture of past, present, and future possibilities; an integration of hope and fear; the known and unknown; an assault on all of my senses.
My 32nd Birthday
My favorite number is 32, so it comes to no surprise to my friends that I wanted to do something memorable for this birthday. Set it apart from the rest. As God would have it, I was going to spend my birthday in the Highlands of Scotland at a lovely cabin. Yes, a cabin in December, far from the city — my introverted haven.
I had expectations of this trip. That not only that my experience would be filled with rest, but also answers. Answers to questions that I had for months but was consistently told to wait. So, I did. I waited. I anticipated. And then the day came when I knew that God would reveal and share some of His Will for my life. So, I put on my sneakers and took a walk.
Without going into detail as some things are not ready for the public and some may never be told, I wanted to share some of my experience.
I am not one to be outdoors. I’m a comfy chair, tea, blanket, with a good book, type of lady. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good walk. I love commuting by feet and train to work, but me and nature have never been on the best of terms. I appreciate it from a distance.
It’s not that I don’t like trees — I love them. I would hug them if I could. I don’t like insects and creatures that can bite, sting, or eat me. I am also not a fan of the sun as my skin likes to burn. I also lack coordination and will fall. And falling on carpet is much better than falling down rocks — just sayin’.
So the ultimate irony of my life is spending my 32nd birthday outside in the Highlands climbing a mountain. Although it was in winter when everything that I am afraid of is fast asleep, dead, or hidden. (Except for the sharp objects to fall on.)
Don’t worry, I didn’t fall.
Climbing a Mountain with God
I spent my birthday on a journey with God. After praying over with God on some things, on some questions I’ve had for a couple of months, God had me take a walk with Him. The walk turned into climbing a mountain.
As I went up this hill, He reminded me of everything I had learned in the last five years. The people I have met. The grace that had been given. The love shared. The community created.
With each step also came fear. Fear of what was before me. Where was I going? How far was I going? What would I experience on the top?
Also, the fear of what was behind me. Knowing that soon I would have to turn around and climbed down the mountain. Afraid of slipping into old ways.
Overwhelmed by emotions and just the exercise, I would stop and yell to God, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t.”
He would tell me stop and to turn around. So I would.
And I would see a valley before me. It’s beauty indescribable. And I would weep.
“Do you trust me?”
“Then keep going.”
So I did. I continued going up the mountain unsure of what was before me but knowing I was with my Lord. Seeing what He just brought me through gave me the courage to continue on.
When I finally got to the finish line, I saw a rainbow stretched across the sky covering all that I could see.
Honestly, tears were just flowing.
You know how there are just those moments where you are so overwhelmed by God’s love that words or even pictures can’t do it justice? Well, I tried taking a photo my face to always remember this moment.
At the Top
When I arrived to the top, the answers flowed. I had to be real with where I was at, what had transpired these last years, and how I felt before I was ready to hear answers. I spent hours up there cherishing each moment.
I even talked to an older gentlemen who climbed the mountain too and he was heading down. I laughed at the situation — this man, in his 60s, having no issue walking up and down which was a momentous hill for me. I realized that our maturity in Christ has a lot to do with what we can handle. This was a mountain for me. A nice afternoon jaunt for him. And yet that doesn’t discourage me at all because I know anything is possible with Christ.
And how do I know this?
BECAUSE I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN.
I had the best 32nd birthday.
An adventure for the soul and the body.
A time of rest and restoration. A time of resetting my heart, mind, and body.
I am incredibly grateful for a God who answers prayers and who knows me intimately — and it’s my heart’s desire to know Him intimately.