Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How the weight creeps up

When I told my sister about how much I've been struggling lately, she suggested that I go back to my Weight Watchers meetings. She said it would make me feel so much better and in control. I've always gone to Wednesday meetings, and I hadn't planned on going today, but Jeanie sent me a text to remind me this morning.

So, after I got the kids on the bus and ate breakfast, I headed to Weight Watchers. I love my leader, and I knew there wouldn't be any judgement about my weight gain, but I still wasn't sure if I wanted to weigh in. I don't *have* to weigh in unless I'm at goal, and I'm certainly not at goal.

I sat in the car for a minute when I got to my WW center, thinking about what to do. I feel like I've hit rock bottom right now, and I really want to feel better. So I decided that I was going to weigh in today, and accept the gain. I also decided to make a big commitment--I would buy a 12-week pre-pay plan, so that way I would be losing out on a lot of money if I don't go to the meetings.

Glenda, my leader, was happy to see me. I started to tell her about what was going on, but I could feel myself getting choked up, so I just told her to weigh me and get it over with. It turns out there was a special on the 12-week pass... for $136, it would include 12 weeks of meetings, 12 weeks of eTools (the online tracker that I normally pay $18/month for), and a "Starter Kit", which included a cookbook, a bento box, and some portion control plates.



Paying $136 in one chunk is a LOT, but because I did it that way, I think I am much more likely to go to the meetings and follow the program. I hate to throw money away, so I am determined to put this to good use. When I did Weight Watchers in 2012 and finally reached goal, I only stuck with it because I was paying for it--and it's not cheap!

I weigh myself almost daily at home, so seeing my weight wasn't a shock. But in the box below, it shows +/- and lists how much you've lost or gained since you joined. Seeing +27.0 today was what shocked me. I know how to do math, so you would think I wouldn't be surprised; but seeing that number printed out on my little book took my breath away. I'm 27 pounds over my goal weight?!

This is how weight creeps up on me:

-I reach my goal weight of 133, and I'm very happy. I maintain 130-136 for a year by counting my Points and tracking my food.
-I decide to eat "intuitively" instead of tracking, and "live a little".
-Soon, I see 139, and I think, "Yikes, I'd better reel it in a little. At least I'm still in the 130's, though."
-Then one day, I see 141, and I think, "Woah! The 140's. Well, it's in the low 140's, so I'll just cut back for a day or two and be back in the 130's. I'm retaining water from eating badly."
-One day, I see 146, and I think, "Yeesh! I'd really better get back on track. But thankfully, I'm still in the 140's. I never want to see the 150's again."
-Shortly after, I see 152, and I think, "Holy cow! I swore I'd never see the 150's again. Thankfully, it's in the low 150's, though. A couple of days on track, and I'll be back in the 140's..."

...and so on. You can go through each "decade" of weight with that train of thought, and I could picture myself continuing on until I'm back at my starting weight! It's scary how quickly it can happen, and how hard it is to reverse. So, from now on, if I find myself thinking, "Well, at least my weight isn't in the _____'s", I know that I'm going to have a problem.

I felt relieved after weighing in and buying the 12-week pass. I feel like I'm finally taking control of something, and making a real plan to get there.

The meeting was pretty crowded, and there were a lot of people I'd never seen before (plus the regulars that I remembered from when I used to go weekly). It was a good meeting, and I was glad to be back. And now that I am prepaid through July 21, I am going to make it a habit to go once a week!

The next couple of weekends are going to be pretty tough to stay on plan, but if I can get through the next two weeks, then I don't have anything else going on anytime soon, so I'll really be able to stay focused. I'm going to come up with a plan for these two weekends, just like I used to when I was faced with challenges during my weight loss. And I'm going to attend my meetings and weigh in, even if I don't end up sticking with my plan, or if I fall off track.

I'm glad my sister convinced me to go back to my meeting! I feel like I can start fresh from here, and hopefully get out of this funk I'm in :)

52 comments:

  1. Id love for you to tell us more about the bento box and plates and even the recipes!

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  2. Katie. Thank you for this post. You seem to be a few steps ahead of me in weightloss, running and maintance. Your honesty is so inspiring. I've gained 7-8 pounds since my weightloss and maintenance. I stopped attending a Hiit class and boom! Instant pounds. Even inches. I can feel it. I can see it. But I'm not doing anything about it. Thank you, thank you for the guidance! Whether intended or not your successes, yes, I think today is a success, a step in the right direction, recommitment, dedication. You are awesome and inspiring!!!!

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  3. I love your transparency. I do the same thing when my weight begins to creep up. I've actually never reached my goal weight (150, I'm 5'8") because every time I've gotten close, I get excited and relax a little on my diet. Now I'm almost 8 months pregnant and almost 200 lbs. It's totally depressing me. I can hardly walk or run but I'm trying so hard to stay on track with my eating habits - lots of produce, 3 solid meals and an afternoon snack, tons of water, low carb, low sugar. I'm hoping I'll bounce back a nit quicker at least. So frustrating that food is such a HUGE component of weight loss and especially maintenance. You've got this though! I'm excited to hear the updates!

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  4. Congratulations Katie! You just did the hardest part of all of this. You re-committed yourself. Everything after this is just a daily re-dedication to the commitment that you made today. You can't see me, but I'm over here in my corner cheering for you! You got this!

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  5. This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you!

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  6. Your honesty is so refreshing. Good luck. You can do it!

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  7. I've done that same thought process over and over. It sucks. But recognizing it is a huge step. You can totally get back to goal!

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  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Katie! This was just what I needed to read tonight (as I was stuffing my face with cookies). I lost 84 lbs. on Weight Watchers and was well on my way to goal when my mother died three years ago. Since then, I've regained over 25 lbs. using the kind of rationalizations that you described so well. In January I hit the reset button and was doing well. Then I got pneumonia in March and used it as a free pass to no exercise and eating what tasted good. The only problem is that I'm better now but still using that free pass! Thanks to you, I've put away the cookies and have a plan and a purpose for when I walk into that meeting tomorrow. I can't undo the damage I've already done but I can decide that it stops now. Good luck over the next two weeks... you are right, it's hard but it's doable.

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  9. I'm in the same place, and this is EXACTLY the truth talk that I needed to hear today. Thanks so, so much for sharing... it really does matter. And I really do want to get out of the easy slide!

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  10. I recognize that dialogue! I hit my low in November then hit a devastating setback. I saw it creeping back and I just couldn't/wouldn't stop it. I am getting myself back on track, but it sure isn't like the zeal of the early days. Way to take control :)

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  11. I think it is terrific to go back NOW (and terrific of your sister to encourage you). At one time, I got to lifetime (a low of 119 pounds at 5'4") and I slowly worked my way up, until there got to be a point where I just quit weighing. And, I hated to go back and be over goal weight (although I also had a great leader). I kept saying that I would go back when I had lost X pounds... (Yes, I gained it all back and more). It literally took me years to get back on track and go back and start tracking and going to meetings (the weigh ins are really motivational for me). I just wish I had done when I hand only regained 27 pounds! So, good for you, to go back now.

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  12. I relate to every word you wrote. I started meetings again on April 9th. I've gained back close to 30 lbs of a 95 lb loss. My heart pounded as I sat in my car before the meeting. It was so hard to walk in that WW door...but I'm glad I did. Tomorrow is my meeting day. I'm afraid of what the scale will say, but I'm going anyway, because I also bought a 3 month plan, and this is the *only* way I'll get back to goal. I'm proud of you!! Hang in there!!

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  14. Katie,
    First off, great job facing the truth about your weight gain and doing something about it!!!
    It's post like this one that have helped me so much and keep me reading your blog daily! I first stumbled upon your blog when I was looking for inspiration on people who've over come binge eating. I struggle with that too. The first of the year, I actually got to my goal weight, started running, and seemed to have kicked binge eating. I think I was in shock that I had actually met all the goals I had for myself. I have a hard time letting myself take compliments and being proud of myself so, I think I started to binge again to deal with the new feelings of praise and success. I've gained back 10 lbs and have just committed today to get my self back on track plus, ending my binging for good!
    Thanks so much for your blog!! I hope to meet you the next time you come to Portland :-)

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  15. Good on ya for going to the meeting and what a good sister you have to encourage you! I suffered from the same thing. We added a second vacation in a few years ago so we'd go on our 'big' vacation, gain a crap ton of weight, get most of it off before the next vacation, repeat. Instead of calling 3 years of gains a gain, we'd call it "vacation weight." Well, in 3 years, 20 lbs of "vacation weight" stuck and 30 for the Mr. Thankfully in 7 weeks, I've gotten 14 pounds of it off by cutting portions during the week and trying to watch it on high cal day. They're numbers I used to say there was NO WAY I could live off of but it turns out, listening to the hype of "if you exercise/burn this much then you should eat more" was a load...at least for us. The point is a gain doesn't have to stay a gain for any of us. Those of us in that 100+ lost club need to work even harder to be part of that elusive 10% that actually keep it off. We can do this!!

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    1. So right Anele. Being in that 10% exclusive club is the hardest part....but I'm going to be one of the elite!

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  16. I can so relate to this post. Thank you for sharing it!

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  17. I needed this post more than you could know. I thought I was the only person who "reasoned" with the numbers on the scale. After reading this I am determined to get back to GOAL, because I'm not alone! Thank you so much for including us in the process, not very many people share their maintenance stories...it's real, it's hard and not nearly as exciting losing the same few pounds over and over again.

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  18. I really, really needed this today. I've lost about 55 pounds with Weight Watchers and been stuck in the same little weight range (high 150s) since around Christmas. I know it's because I'm not being as diligent with my diet and exercise, but I've almost convinced myself my body is just happy at this weight (I think you talked about this in an earlier post). But the high 150s is NOT my goal, and I'm ready to stop feeling sorry for myself and actually work hard, like I was in the beginning, to reach the goals I set for myself. Thank you so much for your transparency and inspiration, Katie!

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  19. I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago and I have to say it is the highlight of my morning. I have lost 60 pounds on WW and have 20 to go. I've been stuck in the low 170s for almost 2 years. I just can't seem to break that platue. I run (PR'd at a race Saturday!), do boot camp but it is the desserts at night that get me. I track but not as well as I should when it comes to desserts. I need to recommit myself to how I did things before. I've been telling myself this for the last year and a half. I need to be honest with myself about what I am eating and why. Thanks for the post. It made me think more what I need to do and it is nice to see others struggle as well. Sometimes I think it's just me that has all these problems.

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  20. I relate to the "Lower (decades)" weight argument so much. It's how I happened to gain 60 lbs when I moved back home after college. :-/
    Working to finally drop it all for good, but it's just so difficult!

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  21. Your list of "This is how weight creeps up on me" hit home. I could have written that word for word. Thank you for being so inspiring and truthful. It's good to know that others struggle too. Sometimes I want to throw in the towel, but I know I can't. I read your blog daily and it keeps me going. Once again, thank you.

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  22. Thank you for writing this! It is EXACTLY what I needed to read right now. Your "logic" on "well at least it isn't x decade" is the same type of thinking I use that gets me in trouble. I've been stuck in the 170s for a year and have been rarely attending my WW meetings. My WI day is Sat- I am going this week and I'll be thinking of you as I face the # and bring commitment back to my WLJ.

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  23. I don't know if you realize how much help you are with your honest posts like this one. I needed to hear that others have the same struggles that I do, and that it's hard. When you admit to your difficulties it makes me feel like I'm not alone. That's the best inspiration you can give -- that you keep trying and keep going even when it's tough. Thank you!

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  24. Katie, I think I need to join. I last joined WW back in the early 1980's, I know the program has changed drastically since then, but I need something to seriously kick me in the behind and get me back on track. I'm up almost 35 pounds from my lowest weight of 150, which I had maintained for over two years. It's so easy to justify each weight decade as the pounds creep back on, but now it's getting way too close to that 200 mark and I'm never going back there.

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  25. I am just finishing my 3 months on weight watchers. I lost with it a few years back and used it again to reign it in. I am about 10-12 pounds down right now we will see what Friday says. I am going to go off of it for a little bit and hopefully I continue to lose! It isn't so much weight anymore but developing more muscle that may or may not translate to a lower number and I am okay with that if I am getting toned. It is a slippery slope though gaining weight. I gained happy relationship weight (which I said I never would!) but now am way happier having less of that weight on me ;)

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  26. Our brains think a like when it comes to the numbers. I'm afraid to get back on the scale. I hate this whole process!

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  27. SUPER AWESOME Katie, I LOVE you and your blog, and I am so THANKFUL as well as APPRECIATIVE for you putting your life out there, the good the bad, and even the fugly, because it's REAL life, and helps so many of us who can relate.
    Im proud of you (for what that is worth, you don't even know me lol) for braving that scale and doing what you think needs to be done right now at this point in your life. Stay strong and true lady you GOT this!!!

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  28. I'm so happy for you, for catching yourself and taking back control NOW. Your outline of how the weight creeps on is so true. For me, WW is non-negotiable--even when our finances are tighter than normal, it is non-negotiable. My therapist said to think of it as an investment in my health (as well as throwing food away). Going to the meetings keeps me sane; there have been plenty of times when I planned on skipping the weigh-in, but I know that (for me) skipping a weigh-in means I'll just continue to gain. Anyway. I could keep going on and on about how much WW has done for me over this last year, but instead I'll just say--you've got this! It won't be easy, but your determination will get you to where you want to be.

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  29. I'm in the same boat and many of the other commenters. Lost weight, relaxed and gained. Continued to gain the past year. Finally, took control, went back to WW on March 24th and bought the 3 month pass too! I knew I had to commit fully or I wouldn't continue to do it. It is slow progress but it is progress in the right direction and that is what matters. I need to lose 25-30 lbs and I know that I will.

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  30. Thank you for this post - I really need to get back to my meetings. I've put on 15 lbs since September and I am so close to having the scale start with a 2 again, something I swore I would never see again. Once i was back in the 190s I thought I could easily get back to the 180s and here I am at the top of the 190s. I hate the feeling! I've just got to get back in the meeting room.

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  31. You just described my life to a T. My goal weight is 130 and I feel great when I'm there, but I am currently at 150 and need to stop the slide. I have often thought of trying Weight Watchers, but I've not done it before, so I'm a little apprehensive about it.

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  32. I can totally relate. I was at 138, and now 143. :) Thankfully learning a lesson right now!
    It happens to us all. We, want to start living, as you said.
    Guess, this process dies with us! (In case we want to stay on the slimmer side)

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  33. I hear your struggles Katie, and appreciate the courage, honesty, and vulnerability with which you write. Thank you.
    I don't struggle with weight issues, but I do struggle with depression and not being able to run as I would like. A torn hamstring followed by a torn meniscus have kept me out of running for almost a year now. It's frustrating, disappointing, and depressing.
    One of the ways I have dealt with that is by being part of a group called No Excuses Workouts, led by Jonathan Roche, Eric Haier, and Stephanie Louden. These are three of the most positive, encouraging people I know, and help me to keep my head in the game. If you do a search for Jonathan you will find his stuff, and can try it out for a week to see if its a fit for you.
    If nothing else, please know that I appreciate your writing and hope that you are able to partake in things that are life-giving for you. Peace and prayers for you.

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  34. You don't even know what an encouragement it is reading this post! I could have written it word for word (the weight gain part AND our weight numbers are almost EXACTLY the same!). My lowest was 135 in 2013 and my weight has crept back up to 160 from the exact same mental process you're talking about. It is so discouraging but to see you honestly write that it could just go on and on if you don't change *something* is a wake up call for me too. Thank you for being so honest (even when it's hard) - you don't know how many people you're helping through your transparency. I'm ready to get back to accountability as well. Thank you!!!

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  35. I’m sorry to hear you are feeling so lousy, and I hope things begin to look up for you! You deserve a happy life Katie.

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  36. Katie, your posts are so well timed with my life that sometimes I think we're linked psychically (haha). I lost 50 pounds last year relatively easily (ha). That is, I stopped eating crap and started eating real foods and tracking everything I ate (more or less). Then summer came. I started running regularly, but my weight plateaued. It's still the same, though I fear it might have increased a couple of pounds permanently.

    What I need to do to get back on track (before my current 280 turns back into 330+ ugh):
    --track my food. Seriously
    --meal plan (at least a little, so I'm not like "whelp, no more yogurt so let's substitute ice cream!")
    --get rid of all the trigger foods in my house. My nutritional therapist reminds me that there are no "bad" foods. I know there are ones (Nutella, Ben & Jerry's) that do me no favors being close at hand. So I just need to walk by them in the grocery store.
    --Get back to exercising. I was a sloth in a prior life. Get my butt in gear and wake up 20-30 minutes early to get some movement in!
    --Focus on the positive, not the negative. I've gotten into a head space where I don't appreciate the work I'm doing and only focus on the negative. Or how much weight I still have to go (which is overwhelming at times).

    Thank you, Katie, for being so honest in your blog.

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  37. I think you spoke to a lot of us Katie, I had a similar conversation with myself of how did I gain so much weight? It came in such short bursts that it seems silly to say but it just sort of snuck up on me! Maybe I had my head in the sand as well. I cant wait for your what works post. Keep it up, you are an amazing person and I appreciate your courage to share this with us all!

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  38. Thank you, Katie, for telling it like it is.

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  39. I was weighing in but not staying for the meetings. Last week, I went stayed for the meeting. This week, I stayed for the meeting. The meetings make all the difference for me. Other people going through the same thing that I'm going through -- it felt good to be back at the meeting and helped me refocus on what I want to do!

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  40. You can do it! You have done it before and you will do it again. Everyone slips up and thats ok because it is life. You have a great support system with so many people to lift you up.

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  41. I love how honest you are. I've been stuck in a plateau for years, even after I started running, but last fall it all clicked for me. Things going great, I was happy, my nutrition was a lot better. Then the holidays came along plus my relationship was coming to an end... a complete recipe for disaster in so many departments! I had the talk with myself about getting myself happier again and got my nutrition back to the good side for the most part. Great job for recommitting! I'm rooting for you!

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  42. Look at all these people who understand just what you're going through! I'm in a bit of a funk myself that I keep unsuccessfully trying to pull myself out of because I'm not doing what, deep down, I know I need to do--get back to tracking, planning my meals, getting structured exercise more regularly and stop avoiding the scale. I have more than three years of maintenance under my belt and I'm not willing to let it slip away that easily! Looking forward to seeing you work your way back to where you feel your best and coming along for the ride. We got this!

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  43. This winter was so brutal for me. We moved to Rochester, NY 3 years ago and I'm still adjusting to weather and culture. It's snowing right now!! I find any major life changes effect my weight and attitude. Focusing on yourself and not your surround is my attitude these days. I plan on joining WW for 12 weeks, thank you for sharing your real life stories:)

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  44. I've never hit my goal weight, but I completely identify with the self talk of "oh at least I'm in the low (insert #)." And then it creeps up. And then I'm left to rationalize the new higher number. My husband just went through gastric sleeve surgery last week, and it has jump started me back onto healthier choices. I rejoined WW for the 34th time (it feels like that many!), and I have my second weigh in this Saturday. Feels good to be on track, but hate that I'm starting from a much higher place than ever before. Having to put that part of it out of my mind. It is a little easier to eat healthy when I'm watching my husband eat nothing but broth and yogurt as he heals!

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  45. You are not alone in the little fibs you tell yourself to justify a gain. My favorite? Well it must be muscle... it weighs more than fat! :-)

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  46. Reason number elebenty-zillion I am so proud to be your teammate and your friend. You are as much a role model when you are struggling as you are when you are right in the groove.

    And you got this. You know that already, but I'll say it anyway.

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  47. Katie,
    The timing was perfect. I lost 32.75 pounds last year with the help of OA. People noticed and complimented and I didn't like the attention. I started eating more than what was on the plan for the day and a pound here, a pound there, and its now up 6. That might not sound like much, but it is up when I still have about 70 pounds down to goal. Reading your post was a wake up call to me as well as a time to again say thank you for your honest, telling it like it is posts.
    We've never met, but I (along with so many others who have commented) are right there at your side and we will do this.
    Pat

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  48. I enjoy reading all of your posts, you are such an inspiration!
    This post really hit home for me, as I've been struggling as well. I've been back and forth to WW for the past few years. I feel better when I have a plan and regular exercise routine, but finding a balance in our crazy lives can sometimes be a challenge.
    In all the times I've been to WW I've never gotten to the point where I set my goal weight, at 10% of total weight lost. I've come pretty close, but then fall off the wagon. I am determined to get back on track and stay on track this time around, so I went back to WW this week as well. I have a similar relationship with my leader, he is awesome. He used to run the Thursday night meetings that I would go to a few years ago. I had to switch to Wednesdays, and I missed him terribly. In the time since I've switched meetings there have been 2 other leaders running them that I loved, but when I went back a few months ago and he was there I was THRILLED!!!
    He weighed me in last week. I was a little embarrassed that it had been so long since I was there, and that you can see in my booklet the gaps between meetings. He said that doesn't matter, what matters is that I was there now! Boy did I need to hear that. And the topic of the meeting couldn't have been more perfect - "Turn your 'why' into 'how'?" The discussion that followed was exactly what I needed to hear, and exactly when I needed to hear it. I could not have picked a better week to start back!!
    Best of luck to you!! :)

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  49. Good for you! You are right on how weight creeps back up on you and how you can excuse it when it happens steadily. I have seen myself do the same thing, thinking, "Well at least I am still under ___ pounds..." Good luck with the 12-week program - I could really use some of those portion control plates!

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  50. I know I am still at a healthy weight and I shouldn't panic about such a small gain, but at my height even a small amount of weight gain makes a huge difference. My pants feel tight and (to me) it looks obvious in the mirror and in photos. And worst of all, I can feel the extra weight when I go running. Thanks for this post, this can help me a lot.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)