I’ve been working on this post for FOREVER.
To be honest, I’m not sure why it has been so hard for me to write. Maybe because it’s really putting my relationship with food on display or perhaps it’s just hard to talk about yourself while being vulnerable. The internet makes it very easy to curate a picture perfect life, but I think there’s something meaningful when you can share what’s really going on in your world while also (hopefully) inspiring someone else. Life is far to short to be hard on yourself, let alone allow someone else’s version of perfect make you feel bad. I believe this is really what the whole ‘body positivity’ movement should be focused on instead of what size someone is or is not.
This journey started long before I had this blog, but it’s where I found my passion for being creative in the kitchen. Weight Watchers encouraged me to explore ways of making recipes I love healthier, instead of just being restrictive like many other diet plans tend to center around.
Let me be very clear with those of you who are reading this post, my main goal is to always encourage and inspire you to find what works best for you. THIS IS KEY! Seriously, if you don’t get to the root of what keeps you motivated and focused on a healthy lifestyle/ diet journey, then it’s pretty much doomed from the beginning. Speaking from experience here!
My First Round of Weight Watchers Success = A 40lb Loss
I love food. I love eating food. I feel comforted when I eat food until i’m full.
Translation – I have an issue with portion control.
Ok, here comes the super vulnerable part I mentioned above. I suffered from binge eating disorder in college. Literally never wrote those words out or even said them to many people before, but here it is for you all. No, I was never clinically diagnosed, but I 100% know that’s what was going on for several years in college when I was at my least healthy.
The college lifestyle is so fun, but also toxic to my personality. Staying up late, drinking too much, eating at all hours of the night (curse you Jimmy Johns Delivery)… just took me down a path of destructive behavior towards food.
I think the moment when it all finally hit me was one weekend my senior year of college in the spring semester. I worked at a bar and typically got off work late. The bar was across the street from a McDonalds and I found myself not being able to resist the voice in my head that said, “Go through the drive through. It will be the perfect way to comfort yourself since you’re exhausted.” So I went through the drive through, ordered the double cheeseburger meal and ate it all in the car on the way home. I then threw the bag a.k.a. evidence into the dumpster outside my apartment before I went inside because I didn’t want my roommates to see the McDonalds bag. I didn’t think too much of it because this was honestly a weekend routine. The next night I was going out with some girlfriends. We all dressed in our horrid hoochy outfits, took some pictures and had a fun night out.
The next day when I was probably hungover and the photos started circulating showing our fun night, this one from above was posted to Facebook. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
Who was this person? That wasn’t me. It all slapped me BIG TIME in the face. I didn’t even recognize myself.
I immediately went into my bathroom and stepped on the scale. Actually, I probably had to go out and buy a scale because I just never thought to weigh myself before. So I stepped on and was devastated. I literally could not believe my eyes were seeing a number like that…. I had always been athletic, played sports and ate well. It was time to go back to that person.
Now, I can’t really tell you what made me turn to the Weight Watchers program back then (this was about 10 years ago now in 2010), but I am so glad that I did. It sounds silly to say, but it really changed the course of my adult life.
I used the app, tracked my food and found success in the fact that I didn’t have to ever stop eating foods I enjoyed, but also felt rewarded when I ate well. This combination really equalled success for me because when you’re used to eating like sh*t all the time, you can’t just immediately go to eating all lettuce and quinoa over night and expect it to stick. By making small adjustments over time I was able to completely shift the way I had a relationship with food. Yes, I could still have some chips & queso, but knowing that if I limited the portion and worked it into my daily points, then I didn’t have to be hard on myself for eating something “bad” because food is food.
Over the course of a year, I was able to completely shift my mindset, my eating habits and the scale in a positive direction. I lost a total of 40lbs and from these positive changes I was able to keep the weight off for the next 10 years.
Why Weight Watchers Works For Me
Keto, Whole30, Gluten Free, Macronutrient counting…tried them all. They didn’t work for me, but I am so glad I have explored each of them because I can see why they have great reasons for working for other people. I’m not dissing any other diet, I really want y’all to find something that works for you. If it happens to be Weight Watchers, then I hope you find this post helpful or motivating or maybe you just wanted to learn a bit more about the gal behind these healthier recipes, that’s ok too!
Here’s what I do know. Weight Watchers was successful for me and is showing to be successful again as I work to lose weight postpartum because it gives me boundaries without cutting out entire food groups.
I like that I can scan virtually any barcode of a food and it pops up in the app to track. Super easy.
I like that veggies, fruits and lean proteins are all zero points. This in particular helped someone like me who has an issue with portions. I could get full of zero point foods, get a self-check on those foods that are yummy but don’t do much nutritional wise and all of it works into my total daily point total. It’s like I can have my cake and eat it too… literally.
I also like that I can save meals and recipes that I create within the app. So if you frequent a salad place near your office and get about the same thing every time, you can save it as a meal and it’s a quick add on the app.
Finally, and maybe the most important thing I like when it comes to any of you reading this is that it has given me a reason to cook it healthier. It’s literally where this blog came from. I told myself all the time, “Ok, yes you can have XYZ, but just cook it healthier.” By adding in some zero point foods, subbing out things like “white tortillas” for “corn tortillas” then I found myself creating recipes constantly, but healthier.
Postpartum Weight Watchers : Month 1
Ok, so I plan on tracking my progress on this for you guys and since I forgot to take my pre-diet photo, I’ll just start now. Better late than never right?
So, I started this round of WW on January 1st and have done pretty good so far. There have been some days that tracking every point didn’t happen, but overall I have fallen back into just like I used to. And even if I had never done it before, it’s easy to do. Here are a few recommendations:
- DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU FORGET TO TRACK A MEAL. Yes, that is in all caps for a reason. Read it as if i’m yelling it at you, but with a smile on my face 🙂
- The less complicated a meal is, the easier it is to track and typically the fewer points it will be. So, eat fresh veggies, fruit, lean proteins and skip the sweats.
- Create meals that you eat frequently. Once you have a library built up, tracking will be a breeze.
- Use the barcode scanner! You can find me in the grocery store scanning the hell out of an entire aisle of food until I find the lowest point options.
After month 1, I have officially lost 5lbs. Here’s my photo after month 1. I’ll follow up with month 2 progress, so stay tuned.
If you are considering joining WW, feel free to use my referral code to get your first month free: http://bit.ly/GetFirstMonthFree_WW
I hope you guys enjoy this post. It’s a big one for me to put out there in the ethos, but I think it will only result in positive things, both for myself and hopefully for someone who is in my same boat.
Proud of you at every age, at every stage, and I applaud your honesty! You offer encouragement with your weight loss journey, as well as educate everyone on how to plan meals with a healthier mindset. That’s an amazing combination!
Thank you 🙂 Hope people can feel like inspired and that there can be a healthy path for them!
Great post Ashley encouraging progress over perfection and finding a balance with food❣️ Love what you are doing🙌🏻 Can’t wait to try more delicious recipes from your kitchen 😘
Thanks so much for reading and being one of my cheerleaders, Linda!! <3