Almost five years ago, I announced to my loved ones that I was to become a Mrs. Naturally, I then began pondering the perfect wedding dress and the hope that I would fit in it. Even at the tender age of 22, I had gone through my share of dieting.
I am an emotional eater–whether I feel good or bad, food always works itself into the equation–and I knew that at 5 feet 5 inches tall and 180 pounds, I wasn’t at my healthiest. My mother had been doing Weight Watchers for some time and was rapidly seeing results without starving herself.
While I couldn’t afford to pay to attend meetings, I sought out my mother’s council and advice about Weight Watchers. She shared her books with me and explained the program: estimate your daily Points target based on your weight and other factors, write down everything you eat and move!
The longer I stuck to it the more I noticed a difference in the way I perceived food. I soon began to crave fruits and vegetables for snacks instead of chocolate chip granola bars and chips. My mother and I went on walks together and kept each other in check. Unsurprisingly, I lost over five pounds and looked amazing in my wedding dress.
Because I lived with my mother until the wedding, she bought healthy foods and prepared nourishing meals. Then, I moved out. Suddenly thrust into a shoestring budget, I began rationalizing that healthy foods were too expensive and bought things like boxed dinners, stopped journaling and exercising. Two years later, I stepped on a scale and watched it tip close to 200 pounds. Scared and furious with myself, I started over.
I now buy healthy foods and replace cravings with better alternatives (ice cream with frozen yogurt) and faithfully keep a food journal. I exercise on my Wii Fit and take evening walks. Because I have a hard time automatically reaching for something healthy, I bought a Weight Watchers cookbook and use it to prepare our meals. I use small plates and bowls to trick myself into believing there is more food than the serving size.
It’s been hard to retrain my mind to not use food against me. But when I find myself craving strawberries instead of a chocolate bar, I know it’s all worth while. And if I do slip up? Tomorrow is another day.