I wrote the title of this post MONTHS ago. I was thinking about doing a commentary on obesity in schools and completely forgot what inspired that decision. As I was going through drafts and came back across this post, I realized it applies to something completely different…myself.
Last week I joined Weight Watchers. A while ago my doctor told me I needed to shed a few pounds to help my heart health (I have a heart thing. It’s not serious. We don’t think.) and the things I tried at home weren’t working. So I gave in.
The program is simple. Using a top-secret algorithm based on your age, height, and weight, WW gives you a number of points to spend on food every day. Veggies and fruits are free. Carbs have an inflated cost. So does wine (sad face). The website has meal ideas, recipes, and helps you keep track of all the points you’re working with. It’s pretty great.
What I’ve noticed is this: being forced to write down what you eat is enough to change your eating habits. If you want to lose weight, start there. If you write down all the foods you eat for one day, you’ll be surprised. You’ll feel guilty about eating potato chips or going out for burgers. With that alone I could completely change my diet. But that isn’t all of it. It’s the pride in noticing the good foods. This week I’ve had five servings of fruit or veggies every day. I don’t know that that’s ever happened to me. Pair that with five trips to the gym this week and suddenly you’ll not only feel better, but look better too. More annoying clichés, I know.
I’m lucky that being overweight has never really been a huge issue for me. An errant 15 pounds has chased me around since I graduated from college. Those last two years were probably the most stressful in my life (hence the heart issues). But beyond that I’m a pretty active person. That isn’t always enough. Looking ‘good’ and being healthy are two completely different things. I love my curves, but I haven’t been healthy. Changing my bad habits was surprisingly easy. Eating better is not only good for you, it feels amazing too. I lost nearly three pounds this week. It’s a small hurdle, but a hurdle nonetheless. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud to have cooked some tasty, low-fat chili. I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked out. The pride helps with weight loss too. Celebrate all the small steps and suddenly being healthy is a habit and not a diet. It’s not a chore, it’s enjoyable. It’s wonderful.