I remember the day I made a significant decision to change my life. Thursday, March 3, 2011. The morning began like most. Fresh coffee brewing…letting the dogs outside…checking e-mail…piddling around the house…I’m certain you probably get the picture…waking up sometimes is quite a chore! I turned the TV on, watching the Today Show. Listening to it, but not really caring what the broadcast had to say.
Since the New Year of 2011, I told myself I needed to lose more weight. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in early 2005, I reminded myself that even though I was losing, it still wasn’t enough. Jennifer Hudson sang on the TV. I listened…I simply love her voice. This time, I truly listened when she spoke about Weight Watchers and how she had lost 80 pounds.
“Wow,” I thought. “Maybe I should join Weight Watchers again. My mind drifted back to the first time I joined Weight Watchers…how humiliated I felt when the curtain was drawn so I could be weighed. I was mortified. I did not want to go back to Weight Watchers again, to feel the humiliation of “Oh goodness…did you see how much SHE weighs?”
I decided it was time for change…time to rejoin Weight Watchers, only this time, I would do it online.
“No,” a voice inside spoke. “You don’t do well alone with losing weight. But…I can’t feel that humiliation again…I just can’t.” A tear slipped down my face.
Time to research. I visited the website, Weightwatchers.com, reading all that I could about Weight Watchers and their new Points Plus program. One description echoed in my ears. “Confidential weigh-ins…” But how could that be? The last time I joined Weight Watchers, I remember them closing a beige colored curtain. The scale was on the floor, but still, people could peek through the curtains to discover ‘your little secret…how much you weigh.’
The more I read, the more I decided…If Jennifer Hudson could do this, so could I. After all, she was a world-famous celebrity. Quickly, I dressed, put my makeup on and made the attempt to look as good as I could. The meeting was in Mt. Pleasant at 10:00 am.
ENTERING WEIGHT WATCHERS
At 9:15, I parked the car as far from the entrance as I could, closer to Wal-Mart than the sign of Weight Watchers. My heart was pounding. My eyes watered. I touched my trembling hands. “You can do this,” I whispered. “Remember…confidential weigh-ins…”
Opening the door, I prayed that I would not recognize anyone. My head was low, no eye contact. Normally when I walk into a room I make an entrance. This time, I simply wanted to blend into the woodwork. A wallflower, again. Quickly I filled out the forms. Trembling, I stood in the line in anticipation of the dreadful weight check. I watched as many women got on the scales. No curtain. No privacy. My mind drifted back to the date I joined Weight Watchers, over 20 years ago. Perhaps longer. Just how could this be ‘confidential weigh-ins?’ I listened, never hearing any numbers or weight gains shared. I glanced as a woman stepped on to the small-scale. This scale reminded me of the one I had at home, in the bathroom. Digital, supposedly accurate, I waited while wondering if the weight would blink next to my feet, and if someone else would read how much I weighed.
Stepping on the scales, I looked down. The receptionist standing behind a receptionist area smiled at me, welcoming me to Weight Watchers. I looked down, looking to read the blinking light of the scale, only there wasn’t anything blinking. “Did I break the scale?” I asked. No lights. No digital readout. Nothing.
“No,” she smiled. “I’m the only one who can read it back here. No one else knows… It’s OK. It is confidential! Things have changed and Weight Watchers wants you to feel welcome here.”
She handed me a small booklet. Recorded inside was my weight. No one else knew, or could read it. “Confidential weigh-ins.” I read the number. “Thank You, God,” I whispered. My secret was safe…only the receptionist and I knew the number, and she appeared sympathetic…understanding. I felt as if I could trust her!
I inhaled. Exhaled. I sat down — in the back row. I did not want to connect eye sight with anyone. I did not want anyone to recognize me.
I inhaled and exhaled again. My fingers continued to shake. My heart palpitated. Never did anyone inquire as to what I weighed. No one asked me if I was new. I began to realize that everyone in this crowded room was a “Weight Watcher.”
“It’s OK,” I said to myself. “Everyone here has walked in the same shoes…You’ve made the right decision.”
Moments later, a friendly, attractive woman with beautiful red hair and a pleasant and warm personality walked towards the front of the room. She stopped by me for a moment. “What’s your first name?” She asked.
I wanted to crawl through the woodwork. “Barbie,” I whispered. She wrote my name on a name tag, handing it to me. I placed it on my shirt, still looking at my feet.
She smiled and walked to the front of the room.
Shouting so all could hear, she said. “Welcome to Weight Watchers. My name is Kathy. I’m your leader!”
Two years later, I still fight with losing weight. I have learned to apply positive feedback. Instead of thinking “But I’ve only lost 35 pounds…in two years…” I tell myself, “Hey dummmy…just think of where the scales would tip IF you hadn’t joined Weight Watchers and made a great lifestyle change. Think of the clothes you could not wear…because they were too little…all of those gorgeous cocktail dresses that you had to give away…simply because they were too big! No doubt my Goodwill store appreciates me. Weight Watchers has taught me not to save those ‘big clothes…’ and I donate them to charity, instead.
I hate to even think where those scales would be now, but they would steadily be creeping up, instead of down. Now, on Thursdays, I sit with a great group of women…all who have walked in my shoes…all who have lost only “.02 of a pound weekly…for many weeks…” We encourage each other by reminding ourselves that we are still losing…even when we only lose .02! I’ve called us the “Two tenths club!”
Some of the nicest words I have heard in a long, long time are “Welcome to Weight Watchers,” and Kathy’s affectionate, happy words of ‘HE-LLLL-O,” at every meeting.
Yes, I have joined Weight Watchers…and my journey has been two years long, but during that time I have achieved many accomplishments…not simply weight loss, weight gain…and back and forth… I am able to walk on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge in Charleston — with an extremely painful arthritic knee that doesn’t ache as much after losing 35 pounds! AND — I have accomplished walking on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes daily! Not bad for someone with asthma!
Like the slogan says, “Weight Watchers…because it works!”
I am a believer now. Every Thursday I have a group of encouraging friends at the meetings. No longer do I hold my head down. I smile. Head held high and I share my stories…Weight Watchers…because it WORKS!!!