My first professional post-grad job was a librarian at a minimum-security, all-male prison on the far west side of Cleveland.
(Just go with me on this one. I promise it applies.)
The majority of inmates were in on charges related to drugs or alcohol. They were sent to our facility on purpose as we had a strong substance abuse program and there were multiple Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymouse (NA) meetings every day.
Most of the inmates I met during my 2 years wanted to do their time and get out and AA and NA meetings were a way to start the long climb to recovery. Some went to meetings every single day and I often had to schedule my workers around their regular session, but I was more than happy to do it because I saw their commitment and desire to have tools that would help them succeed once they were released.
Getting sentenced to prison was their rock bottom. Mine was stepping on the scale Monday morning and seeing that I had gained thirty pounds since the beginning of the year. It was comparing photos of myself from six months and being able to see the extra 30 lbs in my face. It was realizing that if I didn't stop screwing around I would soon no longer be able to say I have lost over 100 pounds.
So Monday night I found myself at a Weight Watchers meeting.
I've attended WW Meetings before, but it was back in college and it's been almost ten years. When I started this journey in January 2011 I opted for the online version, both for convience and financial reasons. And it worked, obviously. Even the registration person at the meeting was impressed I had lost that much online.
But at some point it stopped working. Or, really, I stopped working. I stopped caring. I got lazy and sloppy. One bad decision would bleed into the next. I fell back on old habits and was doing the constant restart over and over instead of just committing and following through. I had, essentially, spent the past seven months yo-yo dieting.
Because of my half-marathon training I'm exercising 5-6 days a week and while I'm willing to concede that some of the weight gain might actually be muscle, not all of it is. Certainly not most of it, judging by my food choices. I was still following Simply Filling and really like it -- the problem was when I would eat non-SF foods and treat them like SF foods and essentially not track them. This was worst on the weekend when I turned all my food choices into a free-for-all.
It had become very very clear that I was no longer able to hold myself accountable and online only just wasn't going to be enough anymore.
But I also know myself well enough to know that if I didn't do something about it immedietely I'd lose momentum, so while the Monday night class conflicted with spinning, I was willing to give up the bike for one night if it meant getting registered. By purchasing the Monthly Pass I'm given unlimited meetings, so my plan was to at least start the plan now then check out other meetings this weekend that fit my schedule a bit better.
Of course, then I actually attended the meeting and found myself really liking the leader and the leader is key, trust me. It's one reason I stopped attending back in college where I was in a small town with limited WW meetings around.
So, instead of finding a new regular meeting I'm going to find a new regular spinning class.
That being said, because of a crazy work situation eventually I am going to have to find a new meeting, but not for a few months. So I'm not going to worry about that right now. Right now, all I'm going to worry about is staying on track, getting in my Good Health Guidelines, sticking to my Half Marathon Training, and making a plan for this weekend.
As my sister reminded me, the one thing I always tell her is One. Day. At. A. Time.
(Also, speaking of Sissy, it's her birthday today! Happy Birfday!)
Planning is so important to staying on track and cooking at home where you have more control is the best way to do that so when the leader announced all Weight Watchers cookbooks were 25% off, I may have made a couple of impulse buys.
The one on the left is their vegetarian cookbook while the Power Foods are the basis for the Simply Filling plan. Lots of the meals in that one uses meat proteins, but they also seem pretty adaptable and there is a vegetarian section. I've already found multiple recipes from both books I can't wait to try, starting this weekend. I've also gone through my cupboards and fridge and did a complete clean sweep. If it's not in my apartment I can't eat it. (Luckily there wasn't that much that needed to be pitched. Less than what I was expecting, which I think is a good sign.)
So this is me, waving the white flag. I tried for seven months to get back on track on my own and I couldn't do it. Meetings will hopefully give me the accountability and commrodarie I need right now. In fact, the Monthly Pass lets me weigh in only once a week but I can attend as many meetings as I want so maybe I'll take a page from those former inmates of mine and go to some others this weekend. As that's the time when it's most difficult for me to stay on track, that extra meeting may be just what I need.
While part of wishes I had found the courage to admit defeat and sign up sooner, I also know better late than never counts for something, too.
Congrats to Corinne, who won the signed copy of Chef Michael Symon's Carnivore cookbook! Thanks to everyone for entering!
Love from the ashes,