This is the beginning of the chronicling of The Journey.
The Journey is my personal code name for my weight-loss journey. And one year ago this week, I started The Journey.
I started working on weight loss on my own, and tried--for the first time in my life, I believe--a fad diet. Some friends of mine that I respect a lot had been doing the GM Diet off and on for months, and they said it worked for them, so... The GM Diet is one where you eat only certain foods on certain days for a week, and it generally has the effect of...making one cranky. Oh, and you do lose weight...'cause how many bananas can one eat in one day? And I don't even drink milk normally! Why would I drink so much in a day? And that cabbage soup?...ick!
So you can see that I wasn't thrilled with the menu, but I was pretty interested in losing some weight. My push at this point was an upcoming visit to a family member who tends to "notice" one's weight. And since I was up about 10 pounds from the last time I had made this visit, I was anxious to get it off, quickly. And after two weeks on the crazy GM diet, I had lost 9 pounds...and had become cranky. It was time to stop.
Over the next few weeks, I tried just reigning myself in. I lost a little, but what I learned was that I had no idea how to eat appropriately. Seriously. And I was personally shocked at this revelation. I knew how to make healthful meals, and had been doing so for years. What I didn't know what what kinds of portions would be appropriate for me. And I had no idea, I would come to realize shortly, how many calories & grams of fat were in the 'healthful' foods I was consuming.
So, after considering the options out there, I narrowed down my list of requirements for a program:
1. It had to have real food. None of this, "Buy our $1000-a-week" food!" stuff. Just regular, grocery store items.
2. It had to be flexible. My life and schedule are too nuts to only be able to eat their frozen fake eggs. (I prefer to make frozen fake eggs on my own, thank you. Or, not really.)
3. It had to be real portions intended for real [read: permanent] weight-loss. I was not going on a 600-calorie diet. A lack of food makes me seriously cranky (and nauseous; I'm pretty sure I have blood-sugar issues here).
I was not really thrilled at the idea of going on a program of any kind. I was kind of a snob about this. I really thought it was for weak people who couldn't do it on their own. I didn't see myself that way; I just figured I hadn't tried hard enough. I have since had two realizations:
1. Programs are simply systems. You still have to do the (sometimes hard) work yourself.
2. I am a weak (and uninformed) person who couldn't do it without somebody teaching me how.
I decided to check out Weight Watchers: real food, a real system, and for many, real weight-loss. I was very unnerved by doing this. I was so nervous and embarrassed that I was almost in tears as I entered the building. And I almost certainly would not have gone at all if my (normal-weight) best friend had not agreed to go with me. Of course, I chose one of the largest meetings in the city... But by God's grace, that first week there was no one there that I knew or who knew me. That was very important, as I didn't want anyone to know what I was trying to do.
There were a thousand tiny reasons I started on my journey that day. I didn't have a straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back moment, as many do. I'll share more of those thousand reasons another day, but the one that came to forefront of my mind that Tuesday evening, the one that made me sign the contract, was...my girls.
I use the term "my girls" to refer to the five young women God brought into my life who opened their lives to me as mentor and discipler. I had just started formally meeting with the girls the month before, and here is what I wanted to accomplish: "Follow me, as I follow Christ (a la, Paul)". And in this one area, I knew I didn't want them to follow me. I knew that if I wanted to be a whole-life example to them, I needed to get this area of my life in order. Thinking these thoughts, and with trembling hand, I paid for a six-week membership.
So, that's the beginning. There is more, so much more, but I'll save that for another day. I leave you with this: Two days after I started Weight Watchers, I wrote this as I considered what I would soon term The Journey.
Isn't God good?
How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? --Psalm 116:12, NIV