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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weight Loss

In mid-May of 2011, I went to the gynecologist for my annual well woman visit. My weight had once again increased by 10lbs since the prior year (as it had been doing for 4 years straight since moving up to Connecticut). My doctor immediately ripped up my birth control refill prescription, told me to get dressed and meet me in her office.

When I joined her, she was on the phone to her physician making me an appointment for the very next day. After taking my blood pressure a few times, she said I had hypertension. I believe the reading was 160+/100+. She suggested I lose at least 30lbs and recommended Weight Watchers.

After meeting with her physician the next day, I was placed on high blood pressure meds twice a day (Labetalol 100mg) and was told to lose weight. I was both pissed at the doctors for pressuring me to do something I wasn't ready to commit to but also scared for my health.

That was Day 1 of Weight Watchers.

I followed the Points Plus Program for about 5 months. I stuck to my daily and weekly points (29 daily points is what most women get + 49 weekly points to use whenever). I chose not to attend meetings as that's just not my thing. Instead, I entered everything I ate into the Weight Watchers online program. It was $54 to sign up for 3 months and then $18/mth after the 3-mth period. I also used my iPhone to calculate points in the grocery store and enter points when I was away from home or work.

In the first six weeks, I dropped 10lbs. I had weeks where I gained 2lbs and weeks where I lost 3lbs. I started walking 3 times a week in my neighborhood for a period of 30 mins. When it turned cold outside, I walked on my treadmill. I was down 20lbs by Labor Day and it felt great.

With Weight Watchers, I started measuring and weighing my food. I learned what a portion looked like. I developed skills that kept me cognizant of just how much food I was putting into my mouth. I realized that 2 glasses of wine each night plus high fat dinners were the culprits. And I love my red wine! But I had to make some changes. I had to find food substitutions (light cheese, light sour cream, applesauce instead of vegetable oil, etc.) and learn to cut back on the nightly wine.

In October, I found another website where I could track my food for free and not have to count points. Myfitnesspal.com has a larger food database and did I mention it's free?! By Labor Day, I wasn't losing the weight like I had been in the beginning. My body was used to the caloric/point intake and my exercise routine. I was still losing but it was only at a rate of .2lbs/week.

Since joining myfitnesspal.com in October, I've lost another 6lbs. My goal is 40lbs total, but I would be thrilled with 30lbs. I'm really grateful to my husband, Don, for all his encouragement with my journey. We've both learned better eating habits and he knows that sometimes we need to pause our nightly shows so that I can get a workout in. He even measures my wine for me when I have it (about once a week).

I've had some great health benefits from dropping the weight. Although still on my meds, my blood pressure is in the normal range now. I no longer have intestinal issues during the day. I also have more energy and more confidence in my appearance. I sleep better as well and don't take my allergy meds as often.

As for physical benefits, I can once again shop at stores other than Old Navy and Gap. I actually like clothes shopping now. I look forward to my daily outfits and no longer resort to big girl jeans and sweatshirts.

I've included some before and after pics below. I'm not crazy about showing these. I knew I was gaining weight but didn't realize the extent of the weight until I saw it in photos.

At Clearwater Beach, FL checking out our wedding venue in 2010.


My heaviest. This was at my sister's baby shower in May 2010. Mom is on the left, pregnant sister on the right. Good lord my legs were huge!



I took this last night after a workout. See the treadmill in the back? Still have about 10lbs to go, but things look much better.
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