Weight Watchers & Before Pics

Whew… it’s been a crazy week and a half. Sorry for the lack of posts, but it started with the beginning of finals week for my classes, then hopping on a bus at 11 PM last Thursday to head upstate for almost a week where I had one of the best, exciting and relaxing times off of work that I so desperately needed! This may be lengthy but at least it’s full of pictures!

Friday: After getting into Binghamton at 3 AM, I slept til 9-ish and headed out for a 6 mile run. I had just run 3 miles Thursday night before getting on the bus, and knew 6 miles 2 days before my first half may wreck my legs but I sort of had no choice.  I decided to rent a car for my time there (now that I’m at my old age of 25, I can! Woo!) and my only way to get to the car rental place was to run. I guess technically I could have walked, but I wanted to get there in about an hour so I ran!

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It was HOT and I quickly remembered there is a pretty big difference in the elevation between NYC and the mountains of upstate NY. I’m semi-exaggerating, but it was a lot harder. Friday night I went to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend, and one of our great friends Jordan. We had dinner at TGI Fridays where I carbed up with a black bean veggie burger and sweet potato fries. We then headed to get bubble tea (iced coconut milk black with honey no sugar) , another source of carbs for me, and hung out in the parking lot with a soccer ball. It’s those kind of theres-nothing-else-to-do-in-this-town nights that make me miss living upstate!

Saturday: Saturday was an early wake-up time so I could begin the greatness of this weekend. I was honored to be asked to speak at 2 Weight Watchers meetings by the woman who changed it all for me. I joined Weight Watchers a few times in high school and always had success, but would stop going to the meetings and gain it all back (and then some.) My mom and I would go on Saturday mornings and the woman who led the meetings was named Heidi. She has a contagious energy about her and she sparked a light in me 8-9 years ago that ultimately led me to success. Although it took me a few tries and years later, I finally lost the weight I needed to and started viewing food and exercise as an important part of life.

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At the beginning of each meeting, I shared my story and how Weight Watchers was the stepping stone for me. Due to an extremely hectic schedule during my weight loss (I worked 3 jobs and was a full-time online student) I wasn’t able to attend the meetings, but MAN- they are so extremely helpful and motivating. I was able to stay for the first full meeting and was in tears for the whole thing. I forgot the amazing energy and 100% support and love of complete strangers that you feel for those 45 minute meetings. It’s so real and honest, which I am huge on. There’s no talk of foods being ‘bad’ and they stress the importance of keeping a normal life- one which includes cake, pizza, champagne. Just in smaller quantities 🙂 If you are having trouble losing weight and staying motivated, I highly recommend taking a stab at Weight Watchers. They are always running promotions and it’s not a commitment of any length if you don’t want it to be. It completely changed how I saw food and exercise and trust me- I ate pizza, cake, and champagne all throughout my weight loss and continue to do so! Weight Watchers is truly not a diet, and a great leader like Heidi will stress that. She even broke down the thought patterns and things that “dieters” say compared to those who are accepting that this must be a lifestyle change to be effective and long-term.

Heidi went above and beyond by presenting me with a certificate of accomplishment for losing 100+ pounds. Even though I didn’t follow the WW program for my entire weight loss! She is an amazing woman and I am still elated from how speaking and motivating a group of people made me feel. Also included was an awesome coffee mug with a great quote, and a cute little celebration cake!

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It was truly the happiest I’ve been in such a long time. The group of people were all so different but we all shared the same common problem and were there to fix it. I never thought I would have the ability to make a room full of people cry inspired tears!

One of the main points she touched on in the meeting I was able to attend was the stigma of the ‘before’ picture. She held hers up and explained that she has kept it on top of her fridge for over 20 years, as a constant reminder to never venture back to that weight again. But what she admitted is that every time she looked at that picture, her thoughts were so negative. It was “ew” and plenty of other negative thoughts about the woman in that picture. But what about the fact that the woman in the before picture, is the woman who had enough courage and strength to come to her first Weight Watchers meeting? What about that woman who decided her health and future were important enough to her to get healthy and happy? That woman was strong, determined, and amazing. That woman is who she still is today. Just 70+ lbs lighter! It really got me thinking about my reaction to my old pictures and how I always feel the need to make a joke before showing anyone or before posting it on Instagram with a wise-ass caption. I feel sometimes grossed out by looking at them, and then remember that sometimes (honestly, often) I still look in the mirror, 100 pounds smaller, and still feel grossed out. It’s something I have to deal with daily, to know that I am super fit, strong, and healthy but still have extra skin in places that cover my muscle definition. You can see and feel the muscles in my arms, but underneath there is extra skin that doesn’t seem to want to tighten up. I have awesome definition in most of my legs, but extra skin on my very upper thighs that luckily only one person other than me and my gynecologist gets to see. Haha! I can feel strong abdominal muscles, but most of my extra skin is on my stomach- meaning NO ONE gets to see that (with the lights on, anyways 😉 ). It is by far my most embarrassing  self-conscious place on my body and I have absolutely learned to live with it, yes, but in no way should we be grossed out by ourselves! Heavy or light! We are really so much more than our outer appearance. I have always been a friendly, upbeat and fun person and have always had a good amount of friends because of that. I’ve had the ability, both when I was heavy and thin, to make people smile, laugh and feel better about themselves. My weight never determined that, me as the person that I am determines that. So why do I degrade that girl 100 bigger, with the same heart that I still have? If anything, my heart has grown with compassion, forgiveness, and love. No more beating her up.

21st birthday (4 years ago)
21st birthday (4 years ago)
5 years ago, summer 2008
5 years ago, summer 2008

The other aspect of the ‘before’ picture she talked about was related to her husband, and how he fell in love with her when she WAS her before picture. It rang so true to me because of John and I. Having been together most of the last 7 years, I can say that he has always been my #1 supporter in EVERYTHING I do, but he never acted differently towards me when I lost weight. We are closer now than ever before just from our willingness to work on our relationship even when it’s been really bad, and never giving up. I don’t think he’s anything special BECAUSE he was with me when I was heavy, and I really hate when people try to put an emphasis on that. He loves me for the person I am and that person is still (mostly) the same crazy, annoying, loud, outspoken person that I was 100 pounds ago! Okay, I may be questioning his love for me with those adjectives. He doesn’t get a gold star for loving me at my heaviest. He definitely gets a gold star for always believing in me even when I had no faith left. And hearing me talk about food and exercise 24/7. And loving me even though I’m always missing a toenail from running, and I’m generally sweaty or exhausted from said running. He has such a big heart and I am so lucky to have him and even more lucky he has stuck around through everything I’ve put him through- let’s just say it’s a lot, mmkay 🙂 I’m so thankful for him because I don’t think I could have done it without him and his constant support.

New Years Eve 2008
New Years Eve 2008
OC, Maryland Summer 2010
OC, Maryland Summer 2010
OC, Maryland 2010
OC, Maryland 2010
Visiting NYC months before we moved- Fall 2010
Visiting NYC months before we moved- Fall 2010
NYC- January 2011
NYC- January 2011
Our birthdays this year- March 2013
Our birthdays this year- March 2013

I also could not have done this without my family and their constant support, and my amazing best friend Brenda. Not to mention the hundreds of people I just know, not even close friends with, who have supported me via Facebook. Support is something you absolutely need while losing weight. If you find you can’t get the support you need from friends and family (which why would you choose unsupportive friends? Kick them to the curb! Trust me, I had to with a few!) Weight Watchers is such a great choice because of the huge support group you are stepping into.

Tomorrow I will have my half marathon recap up!! 🙂

Have you ever tried Weight Watchers? Were you successful? If not, why did it not work for you? 


11 thoughts on “Weight Watchers & Before Pics”

  1. I have tried weight watchers and it was working for me however I would forget to track a majority of the time and skipped a lot of meetings. Eventually I just stopped going. Your post today was beautiful and hit very close to home. Today I weigh what I did in high school which is a weight I am so miserable at. After highschool I lost 50lbs but now I am 67lbs heavier. I remember when I was thinner and being disgusted looking at photos of myself. However now I look back at those pictures thinking… Why weren’t you happy with yourself then? You were beautiful. Now, the sight of myself makes me feel terrible. But, I am slowly learned to take things one day at a time; One meal at a time, one extra step at a time. You’re post was amazing and I can’t thank you enough for sharing it.

    1. Thank you so much for reading! Consistency is of course what is most important and hardest for weight loss to be successful and long-term. You are completely right that you have to take it day by day, meal by meal! I hope you change your thinking of yourself because I guarantee you are beautiful! But to feel beautiful it definitely requires becoming healthier both physically and mentally. You will get there, just dont give up!! 🙂

  2. Jen, you are always so inspiring. I love all your tips
    and advice. You make me so happy. I miss you and Brenda a lot. Just know you inspire so many with this blog!! xoxo Kerrie P.

    1. HIIIII KERRIE! Thank you so much for reading! 🙂 We miss you so much too! Would love for you to come down and visit us sometime girl! xoxoxo ❤

  3. Hey Jen! Just want to say u look absolutely amazing! I need tips on how to lose my middle! I don’t have alot of time to work out. What are some foods, different stuff and what do u think the quickest way is that I can lose my middle. I have a sweet tooth as well that gets me! Thank you!

    1. Thank you! Well there is no such thing as targeting an area on your body to lose weight. It would be great if that were true 🙂 My stomach and arms are my trouble areas too but to lose weight/fat anywhere it just means losing weight in general. Sticking to healthy foods and not eating more than your body requires. EVERYONE can find 20 minutes in their day to fit in some exercise. Trust me, I lost 100 pounds in a year working 3 jobs, being a full time student and still having a social life haha It can be done. Jillian Michaels dvd’s are cheap, extremely effective and less than 30 minutes. All you need are a pair of weights, or even heavier soup cans! You have to combine eating healthy and exercise to sculpt the body you want. I also have a sweet tooth (newly adopted, since I lost weight! Ugh!) and eat a HUGE dessert almost every night. I create my own with super healthy ingredients, such as “ice cream” made from frozen almond milk. Check back in my posts to find the recipes! Good luck! 🙂

  4. yeahhhh baby girl I love this and you! I love love love seeing your before pictures even though I’ve seen them all from creeping you… why didnt you put prom hair in there though?!?!

    miss your face wahhh

  5. this is JUST the push I needed. I’m a senior in college struggling with about 10-15 pounds (I know, insert cliché here) and have been going back and forth about weight watchers. this post inspired me to sign up for a meeting! thank you for your blog, jen!

    1. SO happy to hear that this inspired you!! 10-15 lbs is what I have been struggling with the last year, and it comes down to counting calories (not obsessively) or points to keep yourself accountable. Let me know how your meeting goes!!

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