Thursday, December 16, 2010

The journey lasts a lifetime. (Long, meandering thoughts) (very bloggidy)

Completely unexpectedly---and I mean COMPLETELY---as in, I had Burger King for lunch yesterday---I made Lifetime last night at my Weight Watchers meeting. "Making Lifetime" is shorthand for becoming a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers, which means I get to attend meetings for free as long as I stay within two pounds of my goal weight. Practically speaking, this means that I hit my goal weight, and then weighed in within two pounds of it after six weeks of maintenance.

With my fabulous leader Cami, who crowned me Princess for the Day (read Cami's Success Story here!). I'm holding up my Lifetime Card.

My journey to Lifetime was somewhat fraught...I hit my goal weight (136) at the end of May, after hovering two pounds above it for four agonizing months, and then promptly moved to a new city and started a new job, in which they paid for extravagant three course lunches DAILY (and cocktail hours...and snacks...and parties...). I started gaining weight and frankly didn't particularly FEEL like under-indulging in the goodies around me. I figured the summer was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I just sort of rode it out. That's not to say there was not anxiety. Oh no, there was anxiety. You can see it in many of my weight-related posts from over the summer. I wasn't just indulging; I was overeating on purpose. I'm still not quite sure why; perhaps I was rebelling a bit against being diligent and avoiding cookie dough, or maybe I was testing the waters, seeing how much I would gain and how fast. I'm sure I'll explore it more someday.

I gained almost ten pounds over the summer---as did many of my law school classmates---but I did my best not to freak out. I read several books by Geneen Roth and felt like I had a new perspective on my relationship with food. Of course, much of this deserves separate posts, and will eventually get it as I sort through my sometimes complicated---but increasingly less so---relationship with eating.

My clothes were uncomfortable, but I knew the weight would come off as my eating normalized. Every time I've tried to really "crack down" on myself, I've gone off the handle soon afterwards, eating much candy, ice cream, fast food and cookie dough (Phase I of the South Beach Diet, I'm looking at you). This fall, I was determined to normalize a bit, even if that meant that I often ate above my weekly points target (for those weeks when sticking to it strictly would have felt cruel for one reason or another).

Finally, FINALLY making Lifetime, not after six weeks but after more than six months, means a lot to me. My very, very long "maintenance" period helped me address new pieces of the weight loss puzzle: my fear of gaining weight back, the sense of deprivation that comes with even a sensible eating plan, and the feeling of entitlement to eat (and even overeat) delicious foods. Gaining weight back wasn't the end of the world for me, and it really showed me how much I prefer eating normally and feeling good in my clothes. One nice side effect of dumping so much money into Anthro: I want to fit into these clothes for a looonnnng time.

In the last few months, I've realized that my body seems to naturally hover about two pounds above my goal weight. I remember feeling like I was working SO hard to get down to 136; it was a real struggle despite the fact that I was so fit and eating so healthily. I couldn't even really enjoy my body because I was so occupied with hitting that number. I feel like most women in America have five pounds that they ALWAYS want to lose...the five pounds that never go away...the five pounds that are holding you back.

I didn't want that for myself. The first thing I did after making lifetime at 138 pounds was raise my goal weight. I set my new goal at 138...exactly where I am now. I feel good here. I'd feel good two pounds below this, and I'd feel alright two pounds above it (although a bit like sausage in some of my tighter pants). I can't imagine myself much skinnier than 136, and I can't imagine struggling to stay down there. I don't want this to be a struggle any more than it needs to be. So 138 it is.

Me at my heaviest - May 2009

One year later - May 2010. (PS: Those toned arms WILL be mine again. Jillian Michaels, I'm returning to you as soon as finals are over!)

24.6 pounds lost
From a size 10/12 to a size 4/6 (and sometimes 8)
From a L/XL to a XS/S (and sometimes M)
From a shoe size 9 shoe size is the same.


Kristina said...

I'm a lifetimer at WW too! Isn't it a great feeling? You look really good.
Kristina J.

Jewish Girl said...

Thank you! I am really happy to hit this milestone.

Mich said...

Thank you for sharing this, I really enjoyed reading it. I know it can be hard to talk about your weight, but hearing other people be honest and open always made me feel better when I was uncomfortable with myself. It's one of those things that's always an "issue", even when you feel comfortable with yourself. Congratulations on all your hard work, you look great!

Mandy said...

Congratulations!!! You look wonderful! A BIG BIG Congrats - you deserve it!!!

In my life, I've been everywhere from 125 to 210 lbs, and I relate to the weight-y issues very strongly ... you've inspired me to write a post about mine and be more open. You rock and best wishes in your journey! :)

Jewish Girl said...

Thanks, ladies.

Mich: I agree; I don't think I know anybody who doesn't have some amount of doubt or insecurity when it comes to their weight.

Mandy: Wow, that is amazing. You look fabulous; I would love to learn more about this aspect of your story if you choose to write about it.

frugalanthropologie said...

My goodness! You look great, and I can't believe how much you lost! Look stunning and fit which means more shopping!!! Just kidding.

Jewish Girl said...

Thank you!! Any excuse for more shopping is fine by me. :-)

Lola Nicole said...

I am so happy for you!! I should really join WW. Lord knows I need to lose 20 lbs.

And I know I've already told you, but you look FANTASTIC!!

Jewish Girl said...

Aw, thanks babe! I love's a really workable program as long as you don't develop a "diet" mentality about it (i.e., use all your points, eat cupcakes, don't get crazy, etc.). I joined with a friend, which really encouraged me to keep going with it when it became less fun.

Regardless, I think you are looked hot at Michelle's wedding. 20 pounds seems like a lot for your frame, but you know what is best for you. I initially thought that 136 was way too high of a goal weight (I was 125 in high school, after all), but once I got closer to it I realized that my body changed as I matured and 125 would be kind of impossible (and sickly) for me at this point in my life.

Lola Nicole said...

Thanks dearest! That means so much to me.

I've known so many people on WW who have been so successful. I really don't know why I don't just do it!

Anyway, once again, so proud of your accomplishments! You're definitely an inspiration. :)

Thirteenlbs said...

Wowzers, congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the spirit of this post- thoughtful, insightful, introspective. And you look incredible. I am so glad to "know" someone who has read Roth-- she's so interesting! Her books have made me weep and shout for joy! And finally figure this weight thing out. Well, kind of! Sort of. Maybe...maybe not?

And- can I say that the name of your other blog made me laugh out loud?

Anyhow- congratulations.

Jewish Girl said...

Roth's books really came into my life at just the right time. Her description of eating raw and baked cookie dough slices on a fine china plate definitely got to me...cookie dough is my weakness, and one of my real low points over the summer involved cracking open a tube of it on the walk home from the grocery store and eating it with my hands. The idea of putting it on a nice plate and having it for dinner was sort of a metaphor for the way I SHOULD have been looking at foods like this. I still try to keep her ideas in mind.

Teehee, glad you liked the title of the other blog. It seemed like a natural offshoot :)

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