You Can Always Sail Back “Home”

SailingSunset“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust.

Though I love to travel and see new landscapes … it’s one of my absolute favorite quotes.

In fact, this past winter, I used it in reference to going back to D.C. (I moved here to Michigan from there about three years ago).

But today, I am using it to announce that after months of agonizing and journaling solely on Sparkpeople, I am going back to my beloved Weight Watchers Points system (which more or less worked for me for the past four and a half years … any weight gain wasn’t the fault of the program but rather my lack of adherence to it).

On paper, it’s a generous program and it never made me feel like I was dieting, honestly. The disordered eating behaviors began long into maintenance; I don’t blame Weight Watchers for that.

The program taught me about portion sizes, making good choices … all things permanently ingrained in my head.

And yet even with this knowledge, I’ve been abusing my food intake on Sparkpeople … so I decided it’s time to go back to familiar territory. Especially with the newer program Weight Watchers came out with, Momentum.

I’ve been giving myself permission to eat more on Sparkpeople, eating at the high end — or above — my range every day. Weight Watchers works, and it worked for me before and it can work again.

Once I made the decision this evening, suddenly, just like April 13, 2004 when I joined the first time, I feel calmer about food. Saner. More excited about making a change. Ready to do this, with new eyes.

I’m a pro at WW. I know how to do it, how it works, why it works. I love it, I could have been their PR girl, I talked it up so much. And then our love affair ended as I fell deeper and deeper into DE behaviors.

And now, journaling on Sparkpeople wasn’t working because I was still eating too much. Now that I’m going back to WW — something super-familiar and comforting — I think I might actually get that resurgence of drive back. I feel it already.

I am going to try journaling just on paper for now, and then will re-open my online membership (which I let lapse in January in favor of my commitment to Sparkpeople).

For someone like me that doesn’t find journaling bothersome or stressful (I still journal in my personal journal and have almost every day since 5th grade), I don’t think this switch-up (minor at best) will do anything to instigate any disordered eating behaviors or thoughts.

In fact, I think going back “home” to something I’m so comfortable with will actually work in my favor. We’ll see. I feel ready to tackle this … and I love knowing I can always go back. I think in Points anyway most of the time; it just hasn’t stopped me from reaching for those Luna bar bottoms, and now it will!

You could argue it’s a marketing ploy: of course you can always go back; they want us back! Then they make money!

But the truth is, I know I function best within (loose) parameters; Weight Watchers worked for me before and I think it can do it again. And that’s why I’m going back, and I’m not looking back.

I am confident this is the right choice for me. Like Monica Seles’s dad repeatedly told her (and I’m paraphrasing here) “You only have one life to live, so make the most of it.”

Some may argue journaling or following WW isn’t living a life of true freedom or making the most of life, and indeed it’s not what worked for Monica (as I’ll talk about in my review tomorrow) … but it took her trial and error upon trial and error to get to that place where she fond calm, solace, and her sense of self. And she found it by listening to herself.

I know what worked for me, what helped me live my best life (a little Bob Greene for ya!) … and that’s why I’m sure this is the right choice. No anxiety here … just calm: fair winds and following seas.

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11 thoughts on “You Can Always Sail Back “Home”

  1. “true freedom”…its relative. example, for me right now journaling is a must to be FREE from anxiety! for you, maybe similar? journaling or following a program frees us from certain stress over our diets or intake amount.

    all the best!

  2. You sound so happy and calm about this decision…it seems like the right chocie for you right now 🙂 That’s wonderful. I completely understand the need/want to return to comfortbale territory. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about WW. Best of luck with this, Melissa!

  3. Thanks girls! Clare, what a good way of looking at it — true freedom is relative. So true!! For me, journaling rids me of anxiety. That’s something I did agree with my therapist on.

    I never stopped thinking in terms of Points, but using SP I was going over my range almost every day which means I was def. eating too much to lose. I just feel so calm!

  4. Yay! Great news! I am going to join you! We are moving to our new building next month and offer At Work meetings!

  5. Good luck! I also find that journaling/tracking reduces anxiety. I know it drives some people crazy but for me it helps immensely.

  6. Exactly, Lara. It makes some people nuts, but works for me. I’ve never stopped journaling, the problem is, I was still eating way too much to lose the past few months.

    Kind of like using a credit card carte blanche but keeping a record of spending … and suddenly seeing the huge statement.

  7. I really like reading your blog, it’s very upbeat and yet so very real. I love the Martha Beck’s “no choice”. That makes such sense!

    Thank you!

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