#8 – Get on a scale.
#9 – Set a realistic and healthy weight loss goal.
Damn. Goal #8 was rough.
Confession – I had not been on a scale in at least three years. It is the truth. I knew that I had gained weight. I knew that I was eating too much, drinking too much and not exercising enough. I quit going to the gym regularly two years ago when I lost my front tooth in a bike accident. I was wearing larger sizes. I knew that I was overweight, I just did not know the number!
And while I knew that I was overweight, I always thought that I was eating fairly healthy food. I avoid highly processed foods like nothing else. I never ever eat fast food. I love to cook…a lot! And while I almost exclusively cook with natural, organic and unprocessed ingredients, those ingredients include butter, cheese, wine, bacon…all the very best stuff.
Last weekend I got on a scale, and knowing the number is a reality check.
Making the decision to set a weight loss goal is not so much about the number, but about leading a healthier life. I want to live a long and active life. I want to be available for my family and friends. I want to reduce my risk for things such as cancer and diabetes. And when Dave and I start our own family, I want to teach our children the fundamentals of living a healthy lifestyle. You can not preach, however, what you do not practice. And I have proven, by three years without getting on a scale, that I need to know the number to keep things in check. It is one thing to say that I am being healthy by eating natural food, but I need an external gauge to let me know if I am right or wrong.
I also need structure in a weight loss program. I need to relearn the discipline of making daily choices that are really healthy, not just natural, and I need a way to measure the process and the progress.
So, the big news is that I have joined Weight Watchers. My goal is to be at a weight of 150 lbs. (You would be crazy if you thought I would post my starting weight on the internet!) I was at 150 lbs. just over three years ago, and this number would put me back in a very healthy weight range for my height.
I have signed up for their online program, instead of going to their traditional meetings. This will provide the structure that I need, while fitting easily into my busy schedule. Basically, I keep track of the foods that I eat on a daily basis and work to keep my food intake within a certain point range. I also keep track of my daily activities and earn points towards food with various exercises. I weigh myself every week. The Weight Watchers website provides a wealth of recipes and tips for keeping within your points. While you are allowed to eat anything on the program, making the choice to eat an apple (1 point) instead of a slice of pizza (9+ points) keeps you better within your daily and weekly point goals and starts the process of making healthier lifelong choices.
I have been on the program for a couple days now, and things are going well. I have enjoyed the challenge of cooking healthier, while still making things taste good. I have been surprised by tracking my food exactly how many calories I am used to eating. And by making better lower fat choices, I have not been left hungry.
As you may imagine, this has not been an easy choice to make and has been an emotional issue. Dave has been amazingly supportive through this decision process. He has been by my side and willing to talk through all of this.
Based on last night’s dinner, however, I do believe Dave draws the line at cooked spinach!
Wish me luck.