Being an athlete was my best life decision as a young adult because I was literally forced to exercise. Ballet, gymnastics, soccer, softball, volleyball, track - you name it, I tried it all. Maintaining a healthy weight was not a challenge since I was burning hundreds of calories a day - and yet could eat a little more than the average person.
College eagerly approached and the forced physical activity came to a halt. I realized I needed to push myself and make the time or else I would lose my athletic build. Trips to the gym were daily, but a nutritious and fit lifestyle in college was practically impossible. I despised the cafeteria food so I had to find other options. And who could neglect the 3-5 night drinking binge that always led to late-night snacks? I swear I woke up one morning junior year, stepped on the scale, and stunned myself as I had gained a whopping 30 pounds since freshman year.
My turning point is an embarrassing story that I now use as a motivating factor and reminder of why I started my Weight Watchers journey - I was at a house party and remembered my friends and I had our own stash of beer at our apartment. I began walking down the hill of the complex to pick up the secret 30-pack. There was a group of guys at the corner of our turn that were yelling over at me to come by. I tried to ignore it, but as I got closer one of the boys turned to his friend, laughed and said, "Nevermind, she's fat!" Was my 30 pounds really that noticable? After hearing this (and already being several drinks deep), I went back to the apartment sobbing, made sunny-side up eggs and toast, and swore to myself that tomorrow things would change. And this vow to myself began my path to weight loss.
But how would I lose this weight? I always read in magazines success stories of young women like myself joining Weight Watchers. My Grandma had all of the books and nutrition information, so I figured why not give it a shot for free? I began writing down my points each day in a notebook. It definitely wasn't the easiest decision - I was often tempted by my surroundings and getting used to a new diet can be a difficult transition. I stuck with it as best as I could and by the end of senior year, I was able to drop 10 pounds. It wasn't until after I graduated that I was really able to get on track.
I made the adult decision to purchase the mobile app about two years ago and I have never turned back. I think knowing that I pay $18.95 a month, pushes me to want to do better. You don't want to feel like a failure when you're paying for something. It is also very easy to stay on track when you have the access at your fingertips to track each day. Most foods are easy to search and the app is very simple in general. There are also great recipes where you wouldn't even realize they are Weight Watchers friendly. I search the recipe library on a weekly basis and have found some staple favorites that I cook almost every week.
I am not going to lie, there are times when I don't track every single piece of food I consume, especially on the weekends. But when I step on the scale every Wednesday morning, I have to hold myself accountable and if I gain a few, I just remind myself of my goals and that I can turn it around if I just stick to the plan.
It has been a grand total of five years out of college and I have been able to stay at a normal 133-135 pounds. We all fluctuate with water retention, PMS, and life in general gets in the way. Birthdays and weddings, restaurants and happy hours - you have to live and enjoy your life. The best part about Weight Watchers is that you can essentially eat whatever you want, as long as it's in moderation. I can still eat the cake-batter ice cream cake on my Mom's birthday - I just have to keep in mind my priorities and make up for it later in the tracking week.
I would recommend Weight Watchers to anyone who doesn't want to cut certain foods completely out of their diet. Man or woman, we can all do it as long as we keep the drive to stick to it.
Below are my before and after pictures - I use these if I feel like I'm slipping. I know where I was and I never want to go back there again.
This picture is me junior year - probably at my heaviest 160 lbs (don't mind the outfit, it was an "anything but clothes" party. I was literally wearing a pillow case and Christmas ribbon as a belt).
This picture was taken a couple weeks ago at my grandparents anniversary party. Since joining Weight Watchers, I have been able to maintain around 130-135 pounds (the fluctuation is normal and changes depending on my exercise regimen).