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 to...well...my shoe size is the same.