I've been struggling with trying to figure out an idea for a blog post over the last few days. And then I remembered an essay I had written for a Weight Watchers contest back in September. I didn't end up winning or anything, but I'm still glad I wrote it. Basically the essay was to be about what inspired you to lose the weight. This is what I wrote:
I first went to Weight Watchers 15 years ago, when I was 20 years old. I weighed 177 pounds and lost about 30 pounds. I felt great. I thought I had this thing beaten. I had it all figured out.
But I didn’t have it all figured out. I stopped counting points and I stopped going to meetings. So, the weight came back on.
In 2007, I gave birth to my twin boys, Daniel and Benjamin. They came into this world a whole 10 weeks early. That’s not just early. That’s scary early. And they were sick. Scary sick. They spent 8 weeks in the hospital before coming home.
As the first year went on, we noticed that Ben was not developing like he should. He wasn’t rolling over, sitting up, or crawling. And I started eating. Eating like I’ve never eaten before. I worked tirelessly for him. Calling doctors, asking for referrals, and running him to appointments. I focused all my energy on him and none on myself.
Finally Ben was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. I had no idea that he had something so serious and life-altering. And with that diagnosis, I ate even more.
But with a diagnosis, came some peace. I finally knew what was going on. I could get Ben the help he needed. I could do research and reach out to other moms dealing with the same issues.
It also meant that I started looking at myself. And I knew I needed to make a change. A big change. If Ben wasn’t going to be able to walk, then I needed to be healthy and fit so I could help him. And after a few months of thought, I finally made the plunge. I joined Weight Watchers again.
And the weight came off. 37 pounds came off in 6 months. But it’s been a different journey this time. The weight came off slower. This time was about learning habits that will last for a lifetime.
I made one commitment to myself when I walked into that Weight Watchers meeting in January. I will go to meetings forever. That’s it. Because I know how inspirational they are. I know that during those 45 minutes, I am able to reflect on the past week. I think about what I want to do different next week. And I leave re-energized. Ready to take on the world.
It's now 7 months later. I no longer "attend" meetings. I lead them. But I pretty much feel the same way about the meetings as I did then. The members are (mostly) so inspirational and keep me motivated to keep this weight off. Plus, I have Ben. And he needs me. He needs me to be healthy and fit so that I can do whatever it is that he needs. And yes, he will probably walk someday and I won't need to carry him around so much, but family and kids require energy and a happy mom. And by doing this thing for "myself", I am doing something great for them.
Are you taking care of yourself?