Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

Living Life in the Country As A Writer, Photographer

Dearest Readers:

Yes, I Know I’ve Been Negligent About Weight Loss. Why? Simple. Life has a way of dictating and affecting my life, probably similar to your life. Days come and go. Since I joined Weight Watchers, I have devoted almost every Thursday to my meetings; however, after a bit of time, life really kicked in. I hit a plateau with my weight fluctuating up and down like a yo-yo. I grew despondent. I promised myself that I would not hit a plateau and I would not gain — again. That was not realistic for me, or anyone to believe. I suppose I was wearing rose-colored glasses, wanting to be different. The reality is — I am human! After that discovery, I got extremely ill with acute bronchitis. Trust me, no one wanted me around during that battle! I wanted to run away from myself!

Now it is fall. Today is a breezy day in Charleston. The meeting at Weight Watchers was wonderful and this leads me to the reality of discussing what we do at a Weight Watchers meeting. Yes, we arrive, grab our card and weigh, but the weigh-ins are confidential. Standing at the desk, behind the scale is a receptionist or leader. Every leader I have met is wonderful – definitely well-trained, professional and compassionate, along with encouraging. Like today. I think I was the first to arrive, so I jumped on the scale hoping for a weight loss. Unfortunately, today, I gained .02 of a pound. Grumble…Grumble! The scale does not show the number, or dare I say it – your weight. The blessed weight number is only revealed to the leader or receptionist standing behind the counter. Never does this person reveal what you weigh. She simply writes it on your card and gives it back to you. Nothing is shared. Let me repeat that, nothing is shared. When I read my card, I said, “Rats…a gain, but only a slight gain! At least I am still coming to the meetings and I have to remind myself that IF I quit, then I would be gaining again, and again, and again.” I am convinced I cannot do Weight Watchers Online, and I cannot quit! If I quit, I lose — not weight, but so much more, and I am not a quitter — not anymore!

If you have ever considered joining Weight Watchers, I highly encourage you to do it. Incidentally, I am not a receptionist, or a leader, for Weight Watchers, and I pay the same fees everyone else does, so there is no compensation here for me sharing my experience on my blog. My job as a writer is to share news, current events, stories and my life experiences with my public, and that is why I share and write about my struggles to lose weight.

To those of you who do not know, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2005. I was shocked to discover that I had Diabetes, but when the reality kicked in, I decided it was time for me to become pro active and do what I could to care for myself and to control Diabetes. I researched Diabetes, determined that I could control it without injections. I confess, I have a phobia about needles and whenever I see one coming near me, I squeal lightly and turn my head away. I behave worse than an infant or an animal does when I get a shot. Such a baby! I’m pleased to share that within three months, my A1C level decreased from 8.0 to 5.4. My doctor was amazed! I had lost fourteen pounds in three months — all by myself by changing my eating and health habits. In 2011, I stopped losing weight. No matter what I did, exercise, eating properly and lifestyle change — nothing would help me to lose the additional weight, so one morning while listening to the local news, Jennifer Hudson shared that she had lost 80 pounds with Weight Watchers. I decided if Jennifer Hudson could look so good, so could I, and that is the morning I rushed to Weight Watchers. At first, I researched the Weight Watchers website, and read a bit about the new Weight Watchers program. Dancing inside my head was the last experience I remembered — years ago, after joining Weight Watchers. Back then, a beige curtain hung by the area where the scales were placed. Although the scales were supposedly ‘confidential’ trust me — they were not! I remember hopping on them, like I was at the doctor’s office. I could see the number the last person experienced, and I was mortified! I am so happy to know that now, it isn’t that way. No dingy beige curtain hangs. Yes, the scale sits on the floor, but if anyone should pass by and look down, they see absolutely nothing but a scale without numbers! Confidential weigh-ins!!!

Today, our session discussed moving, and how much we sit. Sitting at a computer desk. Sitting watching TV. Sitting while talking on the phone…sitting. The reality is we should stand and move more. Oops…I’ll be back in five minutes…I must move again!

This week, I’ve been negligent, or as my son described himself once — a lazy lion. Insomnia captivates me at night and while I struggle to sleep, I grow exhausted. This week, I’ve used the treadmill once, due to insomnia…at least, that is my excuse. Sometimes our bodies dictate what we do, the actions, energies and exercise we get. No doubt, this week has been one of those weeks; nevertheless, I will get back on that treadmill! One major discovery for me at the meeting today was the times of the day I am active. For example, most mornings, I am active – busy with the demands of my life; taking my four-legged children for 30-40 minute walks three to five days weekly, then I jump on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes, and I end the work out with an upper body workout for about ten minutes, with exception of this week — my “Lazy Lion” week!

During our weigh-ins at Weight Watchers we are given a “Weekly Reader,” with good tips, brief articles, recipes and suggestions about how we can adjust our daily lives so we accomplish goal. Today, I discovered my laziest moments are after dinner. At this household that is 6:00pm. After dinner, I am busy with the clean up. Other households work this together – but my husband is not the cook at home. Heck, he doesn’t even know how to turn on the stove or the oven, and let us not even discuss him loading the dishwasher or cleaning up. He DOES clean the table, and hand me his dishes, and then he drifts away to the TV for his extensive hand workout of surfing on the TV, while I clean up the kitchen. After this routine is completed, I usually join him, or shower, then I rest. What I need to do in the evening is another routine at the treadmill. Tonight, that will begin!

I simply must get myself out of this “lazy lion” rut and continue my exercise routine. Now that the meditation and yoga, deep breathing tactics are helping me drift to sleep better, perhaps I will find the energy to get back to working out and walking my four-legged children. I swear, if I see Prince Midnight Shadow (my giant schnauzer) jump up at the hanging leashes again, I think I will scream from the guilt he is giving me. How is it a four-legged child can communicate so much to me, without saying or barking one word! It certainly did not take him long to learn that in this household our four-legged children rule! Silly me, I thought I was the adult here!

If you desire to lose weight and have been curious about Weight Watchers, I strongly encourage you to attend a meeting. Although I was 100% mortified when I entered the meeting, I can truly say, Weight Watchers has changed my life. Now, I don’t overeat, nor do I snack or neglect breakfast. I have learned to eat something in the morning, usually a Greek yogurt and toast with my coffee. I’ll eat a light lunch and a small dinner, and I drink more water than ever! I no longer freak out from the scales, and when, on rare occasion, I go shopping, I must remind myself not to head to the larger sizes. On one occasion I bought a dress two sizes too large. I gave it to a friend!

If considering Weight Watchers just remember — we are all wearing the same shoes. All of the members, and leaders, had to walk into a meeting – join – and reach goal. Although I haven’t reached goal — YET — I will, and when I do — I intend to celebrate while still counting the points, and this time, I’ll not feel guilty. After all, everyone is entitled to treat themselves — with Weight Watchers and with LIFE!

If you find these columns helpful, please contact me and share your story, or simply introduce yourself. After all, we are all in the same shoes, and we all want to Dance!

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