April 2004: A heart-breaking dressing room incident with my mom was the trigger that set me on the path to Weight Watchers. It had worked for her, and I wanted it to work for me. I set my goal at 135, not even knowing if it was attainable. I already worked out maybe 3 times a week at that point even before Weight Watchers, and so I simply upped my workouts to 5 days a week and later to 6-7.
I went at it the way I do everything else, with 100% dedication. I had a totally excited, healthy mind-set. I wanted to lose weight, and was willing to make sacrifices to make it happen.
I stuck to my points values and learned to make good choices, thinking about how my points were like money: I could “spend” two points on a crisp Fuji apple with ½ T of all-natural chunky peanut butter … or have a mini pack of M&Ms for the same two. I learned to make the better decisions (most of the time). I discovered light cheeses and yogurts, and found that oatmeal fills me in the morning much better than a bagel.
And then something miraculous happened.
I lost weight. But it went beyond that—my body actually transformed.
Every week, except for weeks where my period was approaching, I generally lost a healthy pound, and between April 2004 and December 2004, I went from 175 (size 12) to 140 (size 6). Plus, I was toned all over from lifting weights and doing an hour of cardio 7 days a week.
As I lost, my entire sense of self changed. Though I was confident before, suddenly I was oozing self-love. It was like I’d taken a Vanity Vitamin. I found myself staring at my changing shape in the bathroom mirror at work. Walking into a store, I’d check out my butt in the reflective glass, proud of what I saw. In my head, I’d transformed into a fitness model cover-girl, lean and toned.
Me, the girl who walked onto the Metro with my eyes down, paper tucked under my arm, was suddenly making eye contact with fellow commuters and people-watching most of the ride.
While lifting weights at the gym, I’d admire my flexing biceps and triceps. Every lunge and squat toned my thighs; every dead lift chiseled my lower back.
As the months passed, there was a spring in my step. Guys were checking me out more than usual. My co-workers started to comment that I was shrinking before their eyes. I needed safety pins on a regular basis to hold my pants and skirts up. I was feeling pretty hot and high on myself.
Hell, I could see my shoulder-blades and my collar-bones … and one day, my hip bones emerged. I didn’t know I even had hipbones under all that flab!
I went home to N.J. about once a month typically, and my parents kvelled every time they saw me as I shrank before their eyes. My sister was proud, too, and couldn’t believe that I was almost her size! And when I tried on her Seven jeans and they zipped right up, I nearly cried with joy.
A few months later, in an Ann Taylor Loft dressing room, I felt a flash of nirvana as a pair of size 6 dress pants slid right on.
Staring at myself in the three-way mirror, I knew I was “there,” looking and feeling exactly like I always hoped to. This time, there were tears of joy.
And in case you’re wondering… I bought the pants in charcoal gray, espresso brown and black.