If you’ve been a follower of my blog or visit this website periodically, you know I’ve been a long-distance runner for years, last year completing my first marathon. I learned about value of friends and the importance of communities to do most everything, especially achieving goals and overcoming obstacles. My most recent endeavor is very personal for me, something I’ve struggled with most of my life as family and close friends will attest. It’s my weight. Since about age 16, I’ve always been moderately overweight, often well above the doctor recommended ranges.
Life most women my age, I grew up with unrealistic beauty standards in the era of “Twiggy” (remember her–good grief!). Weight and negative self-image issues have loomed over most of my life. So, when I talk about this, it’s not about adhering to crazy health or beauty-myths, it’s about achieving a healthy weight where I feel good about myself. As midlife women, weight control is particularly challenging as we get older and become less active, creating greater health risks. Over the past few decades, I’ve gained about 10 pounds each 10 years. At that rate, I can only imagine what I’ll weigh when I’m 100! (and I’ll probably get there, since my mom is 91.)
If you think all that running every week would take weight off–well, that didn’t work. So, I decided to focus on the other part of the equation–food. Last month, I walked alone into a Weight Watchers‘ meeting to begin this journey. Once again, I started their highly effective life-style food program. As a life-time member of WW, I know their program works. The program is designed for normal life styles, making good food and activity choices, based on the latest health studies, research and scientific nutritional data.
One of the most important components of their program is community. New, old, and lifetime members come together each week to hear an enthusiastic speaker (who has successfully lost weight and kept it off) share tips and ideas, as well as rewarding various attendees’ successes. We hear many of these wonderful people candidly share their stories, successes, set-backs and commitment to their health. So inspiring and heart-warming. I feel like I’ve found another tribe for this time in my life to help me overcome one of my biggest challenges. Everyone feels supportive and so encouraging of one another. There also is an online group which inspires me as I read their stories. Occasionally I share my journey and struggles, especially in the evening when I hear those cookies whispering to me. Being so vulnerable with such a personal issue isn’t easy for me.
Cheers my friends, stay tuned for more about this next journey for me. If you have similar issues with weight and food and self-image, please share them on this blog with our community.