Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Things That Save Us

Thank you to everyone for your comments on my last post, and your emails. You all made some good points, and gave me a lot to think about.

The thing is, ever since I discovered Paleo eating, it’s somehow lodged itself in my brain as The Superior Way Of Eating. I bought the hype, all of it. I bought it HARD. And my experiences with it were good, great even – especially with the Whole30, when I felt like my whole life had been transformed in 30 days.

So Paleo eating works for me … except when it doesn’t.

I mentioned in my last post that I lost 11 lbs on the Whole30 – and then proceeded to gain 20 as soon as I went off. Since discovering Paleo,  I’ve become a total yo-yo dieter, something I NEVER was before. And I can’t help but think that’s a very dangerous trap to fall into.

But do I blame Paleo for that? Shouldn’t I just try harder to make it work? After all, it IS The Superior Way Of Eating!

My beautiful and wise friend Enz sent me an email yesterday that said:

You’re drowning and you have to do something. It doesn’t matter if the lifesaving device is driftwood or a life preserver or a rescue boat with cute firemen – if you don’t grab onto something, you’re going to keep sinking and drown.

She is absolutely right. I AM drowning, in a sense. And Paleo is my raft of cute firemen, the one I keep waiting on to come and save me. But, like those years ago when I first started losing weight – I need to remember that I have to save myself. And if all I can reach is a piece of driftwood, then that’s what I’ll use to pull myself to shore. I can worry about those cute firemen once I’m in a position where I can keep my head above water, if I even still want to.

After mulling things over yesterday, and crying a little and feeling sorry for myself (not at Enz’s email, but at the truth of it), I did something else. I went back and read every gosh darned entry in my old blog. All 357 of them.

The vast majority of that blog is from my “Weight Watchers heyday”, as I like to think of it. I lost close to 100lbs on that blog, right there for the world to see. And, despite the tediousness of some of posts and the intense navel-gazing feeling I had, I LOVED rereading those posts.

You know why? Because I was so fucking happy.  

For some reason, I had convinced myself that I was miserable on Weight Watchers. “White-knuckling” I called it the other day. “Not a way to live,” I told someone.

You know what? A bad back and aching hips and gaining 20lbs in eight weeks is NOT A WAY TO LIVE EITHER.

Rereading those posts made me realize how much I truly missed that life. One post in particular really hit home for me – 10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Former Fat Self.

Reading that made me cry all over again, because although it was written to my “former” fat self, I also felt like it could have been written to my “current” fat self. But the thing I realized is – I want to be that person again. I want to be the girl who wrote that. 

You know, after the Whole30 was finished, I felt like I’d undergone a huge shift in my personality. It was amazing! It was revolutionary! It was proof that Paleo was the way to go! But reading through these old posts, and this one in particular, made me realize that I underwent the same (or a very similar) shift when I was following Weight Watchers and working out. It just happened more slowly, over time, so I didn’t even realize it was happening. But looking back over that blog, I can see it plain as day.

I don’t want to be this person anymore, this lump. I want to be that one. 

So where am I going with all this? Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, here’s one more clue:

I realized yesterday that my old Weight Watchers meeting still worked with my schedule and work location – and that it was held on Tuesdays, which was today! So it was either bite the bullet and go today, or give myself a whole other week to hem and haw and second guess myself. And the thing about me is, once I decide something, that’s it!!

So I’m going back to basics. Weight Watchers, and lots of blogging. Brace yourself friends – it’s about to get all Point-y up in here. :)

Probably some people won't agree with this decision -- and heck, I don't know if it'll be the right thing for me forever, but right now it is. It absolutely is. I can't even tell you how good I felt being back in that room today. Turns out my life-saving raft isn't filled with cute firemen -- it's filled with middle-aged women in polyester slacks, and I am so fucking happy to be back in that boat with them. 


  1. Good for you!! I'm so proud of you!! I've been thinking of going back myself. Maybe you just gave me the push I needed.

    1. Sarah my piece of advice would be to stick with one program.You flipflop too much with WW and MFP.

    2. Thanks Sarah!! You will have to let me know if you end up going back! :)

  2. I really love this post and well done for biting the bullet and going back to weight watchers. I was a very inspired reader of your initial weight loss blog and I read with jealousy at your success and faultless determination. I wanted to be you back then too! I have never been able to lose weight on a restricted calorie diet though and always felt like a failure, yet I have found peace (and weight loss) with a paleo-esque lifestyle. It is so odd how different things work for different people, but so so good when you find what works for you. Go hard and even though I was looking forward to following your next whole 30 I am still keen to support your new weight loss journey with weight watchers. Good luck!

    1. I really appreciate your comment, Alex! I'm so glad you've found something that works for you -- I guess I felt about Paleo the way you felt about the calorie-restricted diet. Like you wanted so bad for it to work and felt awful when it didn't. Nothing fun about that!! Thanks for your support!!

  3. Well I support your decision 100%.I am lifetime member that still weighs in every week.
    I think when you say that when you finished the whole 30 day diet you felt a shift in your personality,it's because you felt, like you were
    successful,well that's what WW will feel like after a while.

    1. Thanks Sarah!! I totally see the value in weighing in every week -- but did you ever get frustrated or feel judged when your weight loss slowed? (Especially as you got closer to goal and losses naturally seem to get smaller and slower). I'm just wondering because I know that was what made me quit last time. Have to figure out a way to get over that this time!!

  4. I think you made the best decision because it's one you're happy with. It will work because you want it to and because your heart is in it.

    Just keep plugging away. Stick with it.

    I love the fact that I blogged through my weight loss while doing WW. I realized how much fun I had with the program. I became a little more jaded once I started working for them... it made me resent the program and the company but it did work for me. 65 lbs later, I felt like a rockstar.

    You can do it!!!

    1. Thanks Allie! I think that's exactly it -- your heart has to be in it. Even though in a lot of ways I don't feel like Weight Watchers is IDEAL, I think it's exactly the right thing for me RIGHT NOW. And that's good enough for me!

  5. It sounds like you made the perfect decision for right now, Andrea!

    I am really, really struggling lately. I also feel like I have an idea of what the "superior way of eating is" is but I am NOT doing it at all. Maybe your WW posts will inspire me to go back in that direction instead??

    At any rate, I am very excited to see how it goes for you!! You're amazing!

    1. I felt the same way! I really wondered whether I could get back on the WW band-wagon, especially considering what I now "knew" -- but so far it's been surprisingly easy. In fact, I've pretty much totally embraced it -- I can eat pasta again without feeling raging guilt! I don't have to furtively cram Timbits down my throat because I'm "starting Paleo again FIRST THING TOMORROW!" I actually feel a total sense of relief being back at WW.

    2. I actually looked up meeting times here in Waterloo today... we'll see...