Sunday morning in the Weight Watchers meeting room one of the things we talked about is how you aren’t determined by the number on the scale or in your clothes. Those numbers don’t define you and shouldn’t be the cause for you to “wait until you’ve reached that so called magic number”. My leader caught me agreeing to all that she said and put me out there. I responded with some painful truth for me. When I hit my goal weight in 2010/2011, I didn’t find that pot of happiness at the end of the journey and at the time I couldn’t tell you why. I couldn’t tell you why until just recently.
Now don’t get me wrong, I had some other things going on around this time that added to my misery but my weight loss “let down” was from other choices. I’ll roll back to the beginning. My original “weight loss why”, the reason I started my journey was “To do something for me, put myself first”. Nathan was born in the summer of 2008 and he was a tough baby and then I went back to a job I was unhappy in. But at the time my husband’s business was still in its infancy and it was necessary for me to work outside of the home and carry a steady income and medical benefits. Come January of 2009 I had still not lost any of the baby weight and celebrated my 30th birthday. I was drained and felt horribly about myself. I was wearing size 18 pants to work and felt disappointed in myself constantly. I joined a gym and that wasn’t working for me. I just continued my poor eating habits. My job then offered Weight Watchers in the office. So I figured I’d try it. So I began in April of 2009. I lost 25 pounds by July and was feeling great. That fall I was really starting to feel confident, people were starting to notice my weight loss and my physical transformation. I began thriving off of those comments. I began to depend on them. I hit my lifetime status at Weight Watchers the following June (2010). I was still seeking out the compliments and the “how’d you do its!”
I kept the weight off for the remainder of 2010, all of 2011 and most of 2012. During this time I placed all of my happiness into other people’s hands. I felt if I wasn’t receiving accolades for my successful weight loss or the way I looked then I wasn’t doing something right. I felt like I must look horrible if someone wasn’t saying something about it. I was obsessed with the number on the scale and in my clothes. Instead of focusing on the fact that I was the healthiest I had ever been. I was physically fit and eating clean. I was wearing size small and single digit pant sizes.
(I used this as a before and after reminder.)
Towards the end of summer in 2012 things had settled down in other areas of my life and I seemed to be happier there. I changed jobs at work and home life seemed smooth. I started to gain some weight unexpectedly around this time but attributed it to enjoying summer too much. Then we decided to have another child so I really threw my healthy lifestyle to the wind.
Since James was born in 2013 I’ve been battling the weight loss along with Hashimotos. But I’m happier. Even though I’ve lost some and gained some over this time, I’ve remained focused on trying. After James’s accident I decided to try Weight Watchers again to have a little something for me each week (attending meetings), but my “why” changed. My why became “To be an example to my children and to be more active and involved with them. But also show them it’s ok to put yourself first sometimes”.
So what I’ve taken away from all of this is something that has been said to us so many times. Your worth is not determined by the number on the scales. But your happiness also shouldn’t be placed with someone else. I believe that you and only you should be in charge of your joy.
The pictures of myself from 2010/2011 are hard to look at for me. I see so much sadness and narcissism in these photos. I was so focused on the look at me, don’t I look great because I felt like it masked how miserable I really was. In 2017 I think I’m getting closer to total happiness, one that I am in charge of.