I wanted to check in here and make a general greeting before heading down-list to the 100+ forum.
Please call me DF. I live in the SF bay area of California, a fourth generation Cal native. I turned 44 last week, and I'm a single mom with two young daughters, ages 9 + 11.
I have joined WW three times in my life. I never really tried any other plan, because I am actually pretty nutrition-conscious and was never tempted to try any weight loss gimmick that didn't look healthy. I stand here before you as living proof that you can have a serious weight problem while eating only nutritious, wholesome food. You just have to eat too much nutritious, wholesome food. (Portion Control: my personal demon.)
The first time I joined weight Watchers I was, oh, maybe 16, and weighed a then-shocking 175 lbs. (Oh, how happy I will be to see THAT number again, I tell you.) This was 1980. Anyone remember the old exchange system? I lost about 25 lbs in about 2 months and, of course, promptly quit, cuz I was all better.
Fast forward two decades and I was 40 and rejoining WW at 247. Now I was loving the flex program. I lost 31 pounds in about 8 months, plateau'd hard and... quit. I had been doing so well that to suddenly not be losing weight, not be getting called up for my little gold stars felt like public failure, and I was ashamed.
One more fast forward and I'm 44. I am a fulltime college student, which means a lot of walking every day, with an overloaded backpack. My feet hurt so bad, my knees too, and I finally couldn't stand the fear of not knowing, of wondering how far things could go if I continued to cover my eyes and pretend I didn't know or care. So I bought a scale.
I begged/argued/dragged/cajoled some of my girlfriends from school to go to a meeting with me. To my old meeting, in fact, because, quit frankly, my WW group leader is da Bomb. So many people were still there from before, some smaller and on maintenance, some noticeably larger, everyone smiling and waving and welcoming me back and I suddenly felt very silly for ever feeling like I had to be ashamed in the first place. Probably no better place in the world for finding understanding of how difficult a process this is sometimes, and how easy it is to slip off your rails.
Sadly, begging/arguing/dragging/cajoling is a good sign that someone is not really that into it, right? That was a month ago, and none of the girlfriends that went to the first meeting returned more than twice.
And yes, I believe I'm in for life. Clearly, the flex plan is not difficult to understand, or complicated to follow, so the fact that I can't seem to do it without the meetings and support means that I must be getting something else from them. And I know what that is. A weekly push to be mindful. A regular refocusing of my ever-wondering attention. After 44 years I think I have pretty much proven that I have no functioning autopilot setting for my eating. It must be manually monitored. And when I stop doing that monitoring, regularly and deliberately, I gain weight. Every time. Guaranteed.
So... um, that was longer than I planned, but, er...hi, all!