Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

Living Life in the Country As A Writer, Photographer

Dearest Readers:

Today is another dreary, cloud covered day in Charleston, SC. We’ve had so much rain it is almost impossible to report how many inches our beautiful city has tolerated. I have lost count. At least my lawn is looking better and the zoysia plugs we planted appear to be growing a bit, this time. We also have a bumper crop of mosquitoes and ants. Ants have enjoyed snacking on my feet, so much so that I am hesitant to wear sandals much anymore. Such is the life of living in the South!

Last week, I did not write about my life as a Weight Watcher. I lost .06 of a pound, but I must say, inches appear to be falling off of me, and that is good! Yes, I am working out more, using my treadmill almost daily.

Last evening, I watched a program that is new to me. Extreme Weight Loss. For two hours, I watched the struggles and accomplishments of “Trina.” I could relate to her story in a small way, due to the manipulations I endured with my mother. When Trina lost weight, I cheered. When I watched her stuffing her face with unhealthy choices — cookies in the early morning with a large glass of whole milk — birthday cake — and so much more, I became curious if she truly had the strength and commitment to lose her weight. At the beginning of Trina’s story, she weighed 290.1 pounds. She lost down to 149 pounds on day 270, only to gain 32 pounds at her next weigh-in. Trina is truly addicted to food — especially unhealthy junk food. Fortunately, at the ending of the show, she met her goal of 145 pounds and she truly grew into a beautiful flower. The question at hand is — will she keep it off? Unless Trina truly deals with her food addiction, I think not.

When I joined Weight Watchers, I was not totally convinced that I would stick to the program, and that I would achieve my weight goal. After seeing “Extreme Weight Loss,” I am convinced that my determination with Weight Watchers will be successful. Why?

Simple. With the support and encouragement I receive at Weight Watchers meetings, I have learned that I am not in this journey alone, and I have made many new friends, just by going to the meetings. While it is true, I do not need a program such as “Extreme Weight Loss,” since I do not have over 100 pounds or more to lose, like the guests on Extreme Weight Loss, I have discovered I cannot accomplish my goals alone. In all honesty, I wish I had stuck it out with Weight Watchers years ago — back in the days when everything had to be weighed and fruit was not encouraged. I tried other programs, only to lose the weight and gain it back. So much for learning something back in those days!

I do hope the guests on “Extreme Weight Loss” manage to keep their weight off, and NEVER EVER gain it back again. Chris Powell, the transformation specialist, is a motivational expert who gets a bit frustrated when someone weakens, such as Trina did. After last night, I do believe I am a fan of “Extreme Weight Loss,” because it is the type of show that teaches those suffering with obesity that they can change their behaviors and lose the weight. OK…in all honesty, I think they lose an amazing amount of weight a bit quickly…Yes, they exercise and they are supposed to learn healthy eating habits, but someone such as Trina seems to be a loose cannon who might slip back into her old habits again — much to the credit of a cruel, domineering mother who teaches her that she is unworthy, and a husband and family that truly attempted to trigger her old habits. One of the children rushed off to get fast food and root beer on one of the sound bites, only to bring it home and eat it while Trina watches. So much for a supportive family!

My husband attempts to trigger me, at times, by suggesting pizza or fast food, and when I mention “Remember, I’m doing Weight Watchers,” he steps back. I suppose he sees my dedication. He certainly knows how slowly I lose weight. Since joining Weight Watchers, I have grown so much — not in size — that is shrinking! I have grown as a woman…as a person…I have grown into someone who truly thinks twice about what I’m consuming. I suppose one could say Weight Watchers has become my life. Now, that I am a fan of “Extreme Weight Loss,” I will probably continue watching the program since it is encouraging. I do have a problem with the sound bites of where the guests get surgical procedures to tighten the skin, simply because the program only touches on this segment of the show. The end result is either a handsome or beautiful makeover.

Nevertheless, I will continue my journey — the Weight Watchers way. I am reaching my goals and soon, perhaps — my star will shine for me — the Weight Watchers Way!

What I’ve learned during my journey:
Healthy eating works. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
Record everything consumed either in a journal, or on the Weight Watchers e-tools site. This certainly helps.
When falling off the wagon — my reference to when I’ve consumed something I shouldn’t have consumed — I hop back on. I no longer beat myself to death by feeding negative thoughts. I replenish by whispering positive feedback…and for me, that is truly an accomplishment since as a child, my mother ridiculed me, telling me I would never amount to anything. She reminded me that I would never lose weight because I was ugly and didn’t deserve to be beautiful or worthy of love. I believe in the power of positive thoughts and feedback and I tell myself that when I fall down, I have no where else to go — but UP! Achieving my weight loss is reassuring me that I do deserve better things in life…just like my dad reminded me, until the day he breathed his last breath.

A few weeks ago at the Weight Watchers meeting, we discussed “anchors” and how anchors help us to continue our pursuit. My anchor is a simple one – something I read and repeat to myself daily:

“Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be nearer when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worse, you mustn’t quit!”


The last stanza is what I whisper to myself daily:
“So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worse, you mustn’t quit!”

I hope you will continue reading my saga with Weight Watchers.
Weight Watchers — “Because it Works!”

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