Yesterday (Thursday), I went back to Weight Watchers after about a year off. Those following this blog have seen me blast here something that was said in my last meeting, though I knew that it was an outlier event.
I didn't exactly go back to lose weight, though that will happen, I'm sure. I'm going back because I want to stop this weight creep that's been going on in the past year. I've tried being just mindful of my food and tracking calories in other ways but still the weight kept piling on. In talking with my partner on Wednesday night, our struggle was knowing how much I should eat given how much I exercise and all that and I kind of offhandedly said that that was actually all calculated for you or at least easier to figure out with Weight Watchers and then it seemed like a good idea to go back.
One key thing is similar as when I first started on Weight Watchers: I come with exercise already built into my schedule and routine. If the last 3 years have been any indication, it's that it's absolutely crucial for me to separate being active/exercising from losing weight, otherwise I just don't do it and it becomes a chore. So it used to be teaching 3 nights a week (and practicing once or twice more during the week) and now it's running and some dancing still. When I talked to the Weight Watchers leader, she said not to worry about my exercising because I'm likely doing enough in a week as it is.
Interestingly, when I talked to the leader and was saying how I used to teach belly dance and now I run, she said "It sounds like being active is something important to you." It was sort of a shock to hear that because I've never thought of myself like that. My perception of myself is quite the opposite thanks to many things throughout all my life. But also, oftentimes, these things are said more in terms of fitness or being fit and I just don't like that term at all... but is being active important to me? I guess that it is! lol
Looking back at last year when I stopped doing Weight Watchers, it's clear that it wasn't the right time for me. I had to move in a matter of weeks. I had to purge/pack/unpack. I had to get used to a new living space, new city, new job. But probably the most crucial thing was that my typical go-to foods for Weight Watchers when I was back in Indy were not as readily available (well, really, I needed to find new things and I knew that, but it felt frustrating at the time). And then they changed the plan and, honestly, I just couldn't deal; that was too many changes in a short time. I was maxed out. And then there was an outlier meeting that threw me off but also echoed where I was at so it felt pointless and I stopped.
The leader yesterday asked me what was going well, what I liked about the plan when I was losing weight the first time around and my answer was that I had a good flow going: I knew what to eat, how much to eat, had a routine, things were just going. It wasn't exactly easy but it just was flowing. That's what it felt like. And now I do feel like I have my own flow going on in this new environment and it also feels okay to tweak a few things to stop this weight creep.
I also actually think that the program having changed and having been a year not doing it at all was a good sort of washout period. I developed bad habits from when I was going through my divorce where I could eat pretty much what I wanted and not gain weight and I never really recovered from that, despite trying to correct course a few times. I think that trying to correct the course and not succeeding despite feeling like I was doing things like I was before was extremely frustrating and lead me to have issues following the program again. Now, it's similar enough yet different enough that it feels like I can use some of the principles that I used to do yet won't necessarily fall for the trap of thinking that I know what I'm doing, i.e., I'll pay more attention to things vs. trying to recreate something from the past, which I think is also where the time distance helps.
One of the other issues that I ran into last year right after moving was getting to the meeting. It felt odd to go over lunchtime... and I was getting the hang of going out during the day at work... and I was also getting the hang of all this walking... and it just seemed like there would be a work crisis that would inevitably happen on Thursdays or a work meeting would be slapped onto the Weight Watchers meeting time slot (at the last minute, of course). So it was hard for me to have consistency there. After I got back from the meeting yesterday, I blocked my calendar at work for the time around the Weight Watchers meeting from next week until indefinitely. I of course will be able to change things if we do need to meet at work over that time but it felt like fully committing by doing that. And I know that people here would be very supportive of me doing something important for my health.
And lo and behold, it actually felt good to be back at a meeting yesterday. And I had forgotten how much I liked that leader on Thursdays. I dreaded the weigh in but the result wasn't exactly as terrible as I was afraid it'd be.
I'm not sure yet how much I'll be "vocal" about my weigh loss endeavors in the future but felt like sharing the above for now.