There’s a lot to be said about losing weight in a public venue — believe me when I tell you it took a lot of courage to post that “before” photo I shared with our seaside community .
Or so I was told by many, many well-wishers! But I did it for a darn good reason — accountability!
If you’ve ever tried to get rid of a few pounds yourself, you already know it’s much more than simply laying off the tootsie rolls. It’s laying off the emotions that cause you to eat them in the first place.
Oprah (sorry, I promise I’ll only mention her just this once!) was the first personality that really pushed the whole emotional eating concept. I thought she was nuts (make that honey roasted nuts) because back then, I was a size 6, never missed a date with myself at the gym and most importantly, I didn’t have eight plates to pick the leftovers off of. If I was hungry, I ate — if I wasn’t, I didn’t —so simple.
Fast forward a good ten years, and now I finally understand what Oprah’s (oops, that was twice I said her name) point was. I mean what’s the harm in soothing a bad day with one or two Snicker bars?
As a stay-at-home mom for the past 18 years, I must confess that there wasn’t any problem my hot glue gun or Oreo cookies couldn’t solve. Each had a very valuable role to play — the glue gun kept things in the house from falling apart, and the Oreos kept me from falling apart. It was a total win/win.
Unfortunately, as the years went along, the hot glue gun started to fail me, and so did the cookies. With eight kids underfoot the glue gun was not able to keep as many things together, and the little goodies I had been casually munching on 24/7 were starting to “show up” — in more places than I care to mention!
So perhaps there was something to this emotional eating thing, and the first place I decided I needed to lose weight was in between my ears (oh, and my double chin). My top reason for wanting to shed the pounds is for my overall health, and just as importantly I'm ready to take charge of how I look and feel and stop blaming my role as a very busy mother as to why I own nothing but stretch knit.
My first two weeks of Weight Watchers have been a great learning experience, and it’s all due to the large number of points I’ve received. If you’re not familiar with the buzzwords associated with Weight Watchers, let me explain. The whole focus and success of this program is learning how to enjoy a healthy eating lifestyle based on their new and improved Points Plus system.
Their new motto is simply — Eat Right, Be Active, Repeat!
The points formula is based on how nutritionally sound the food is. You will need to know protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber content of the foods you eat, and keep track of them according to your daily point allotment—mine is 29 points.
In addition, treating yourself is encouraged because everyone gets 49 EXTRA Weekly Points Allowances! Can you stand it?
Truthfully, a person can eat a heck of a lot of food worth 29 points if she is making smart choices.
Truthfully, it’s still not as easy as I’d like it to be, but I’m making conscious, healthier choices (most of the time), and I have lost four pounds (yes, a whopping four!) in two weeks, so the scale is at least going in the right direction.
Back to that accountability factor that was my driving force behind posing for that very flattering “before” photo two weeks ago. I received a very encouraging, anonymous e-mail from a reader that I absolutely loved.
“Cheryl, if you have the guts to put that photo online, you have what it takes to lose those lousy 25 pounds and keep it off!”
Point well taken, and I will definitely remember it!
Want to be notified when Cheryl has a new column? Click the follow-up link below!