Track your points…
Weigh in weekly…
All the fruits and vegetables you want…
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
Rewind to May of 2005: I had just finished my freshman year at Villanova University and was loading up a UHaul trailer with my dad as we prepared to drive up to New Hampshire where I would spend the summer. Entering my freshman year, I had grand visions of landing an internship my first summer where I would make money AND gain valuable financial experience to set me up later in life. Unfortunately, as you may know, internships are pretty hard to come by, let alone after just your first year of undergrad. Being internship-less left me with a whole summer to spend time with my family at our summer home in New Hampshire.
“This was the summer,” I told myself. “This was the summer that I would lose 200 lbs and come back to school skinny and trim.” Supported by my parents, I decided to join the local Weight Watchers, where I would be tracking points, paying $20 a week, eating $4 bars and shakes, and weighing in weekly. You will hear me talking about accountability and support networks throughout my posts-- luckily my parents joined me in the quest to lose weight that summer. Wanting to return to school without a hole in my resume and earn a little cash for “school supplies” (aka $10 vodka that comes in a plastic bottle…), I applied for a job at the local Walmart, stocking shelves overnight. Every night at 10pm, the managers would lock us in the store and divvy up the departments for stocking. I met many very interesting and hard working people that summer, and learned exactly what I did not want to do for a career.
Day by day and week by week, weight slowly but surely came off. I would sleep during the day and be on my feet at work all night. If I had the energy, I would go to the local Planet Fitness and hit the weights and elliptical machine. Week after week during my weigh-ins, I would see the number on the scale drop 3-4 pounds. As a “reward”, I would follow up my weigh-in with a celebratory burger and fries. By the end of the summer I had dropped about 35 pounds and felt great. I enjoyed meal prepped lunches, I ate snacks, cheated a bit, and even stopped at Taco Bell on the way home from work every now and then.
Weight Watchers had “worked” for me if you define success by only seeing the number on the scale go down, but I still hadn’t changed my mindset, I didn’t make lifestyle changes that would last long term, I wasn’t truly living a life of health and wellness.
Returning back to school would eventually prove to be a challenge. I kept some of the weight off, but with temptations of beer and wings and wanting to fit in, it slowly crept back on. I will cover that in a later post. What I didn't realize that summer was the real reason for my weightloss success: I was in a routine, constantly on my feet moving, and had accountability. My success was definitely not attributed to $4 meal replacement bars and shakes. There is something to be said for fitting a good amount of activity into your day and having consistency. Not one diet may be right, but many times, it is how you apply the principles and framework of that diet where you see results.
Are you struggling to figure out which diet is right for you and still not convinced which one you want to try? Stay tuned next week for part 2 where I will get into all of the diets that I have tried and maybe even which one I think is the best for you… The answer may surprise you.
What other topics would you like me to cover in my posts? Let me know! Until we meet again, catch me in the comments.