Category Archives: Weight Watchers

Dear Bathroom Scale,

I am just going to come out and say it, we need to break up.

Because we have been together for so long, this may come as a shock to you. However, our relationship has gone on for far too long at this point, and I really don’t see this going anywhere.

You have always been a presence in my house, but we did not make a true connection until I joined Weight Watchers, and you and I had our weekly Tuesday dates. There was another person there though, the woman who would moderate our relationship, praise me if your numbers showed a decrease of weight, and a “you’ll do better next week” if you showed a gain. However, no matter what the number said, I was never happy, determined to lose even more weight the next week.

Eventually, I stopped going to Weight Watchers, but you, my precious scale, stayed with me. You came with me to college, where you stayed hidden under my bed, because I feared what my roommate would think if she knew of you and how much our relationship had grown. I could no longer wait a whole week to see you, so weighing myself on you became a daily expectation, a routine that has continued to this day.

Last summer was when I felt my strongest need for you. As soon as you showed a number I approved of, relief would flood through my body. The rest of the day I would be in a great mood, yet would cling even more to my rigid food and exercise schedule so I could see this number again. And yet in the back of mind, I sought to lessen the number even more, something that you helped me to accomplish by being readily available.

Unfortunately, what results you presented to me were not always what I wanted. When these days occurred, my mood would deteriorate, restriction of food would occur, exercise would intensify, and I would be anxious until the next morning, when the number said “normal” again. I would get so frustrated sometimes, “why do you fluctuate so often?!”

You may have noticed, but since the beginning of this year, our relationship has begun to deteriorate. Yes, it is true that at this point I still see you on a daily basis, but I am finally taking the number I see with a grain of salt. Not going to lie though, when I first saw the numbers increasing, it was terrifying and almost led me to become further obsessed with you. But there have been outside sources of rationality that are helping me to understand how little the number that shows my “weight” actually means.

You do not properly weigh muscle, healthy fat, water retention; things I am working so hard at building up again because we both broke these down to an unhealthy level. I am understanding that what appears on your screen does not define me, it is a freakin number that means nothing.

Scale, we are done. It is time I met new people, tried new things, ate some food, and these things won’t happen if we stay together. There is so much more to life than you, and fortunetely I am discovering this now and finding the real joys that life has to offer.

Perhaps I will see you once in awhile after this point. Honestly though, I doubt it. It has certainly been a long journey with you, but one that has ended.

Best wishes from a formerly obsessed woman,

Tessa

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12 Comments

Filed under Below The Surface, Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Recovery, Scale, Weight, Weight Watchers

Product Reviews and Below The Surface- Fear Food: Cereal

Good morning readers!

I got in a nice run this morning, it was about 6.3 miles at a 7:45 pace, which seems to be my usual pace for runs these days. It used to be around 8:30 so diligence towards the sport really shows how much it is possible to improve. I ended the run at the Rec Center where I took a core class for 35 minutes. I am definitely feeling the effects of the routine now, I really need to work on my core strength, which has been proven to make you faster and more efficient while running. Fit Sugar explains this idea really well, check it out!

After I got back I showered and had a quick breakfast before my first class at 11:15. I had a big bowl of cereal:

  • 1/2 cup Blueberry Muffin Mini Wheats= one of my all time favorite cereals. This is a new-ish discovery and it tastes like a delicious blueberry muffin in a crunchy, wheaty, sweet form…yum 🙂
  • 1/2 cup Quaker Oat Squares (Cinnamon)= also amazing! I first saw these from Allie’s Blog, and have seen them appear more and more across the Blog world. Another example of its crazy influence!
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • Trader Joe’s Berry Greek Yogurt= this was really tasty! I have tried several different types of Greek Yogurt and this has been deemed one of my new favorites. It was pretty think, not too sweet, with a subtle fruit taste, and not too much $$, always something to consider, as I am a bit poor at the moment.
  • A sprinkle of slivered almonds
  • Apple

After finishing this breakfast, it made me realize how much my eating and refueling has improved on my road to recovery, but also reminds me of foods I once truly feared and am working to incorporate them on daily basis.

There are several I can think of, today I will talk about cereal.

I used to be a cereal FANATIC. I literally loved every kind of sugary, fake kinds you could think of; Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Golden Grahams, Cap’n Crunch, Crunch Berries, oh my I could go on. I would have 2-3 bowls (not measured) every morning before school and then 1-2 when I got home and perhaps one for dinner 🙂

When I started Weight Watchers however, the point system helped to teach portion sizes and made me realize I was using about half of my daily points on cereal in the morning. Although portions are good to learn, WW once again made me obsessed with this and led to habit changes. I found healthier cereals, such as Fiber One, Kashi, and other Organic cereals, that I could have for much less points and were more satisfying. I eventually cut down to one, pre-measured bowl of cereal in the morning and none for the rest of the day.

As my obsession around WW, food and weight became more intense, I took a look at my breakfast and irrationality reared its ugly head. This small bowl of cereal was not satisfying me at all, leaving me hungry almost immediately after I had finished it. Instead of adding more cereal, healthy fats, or protein, I thought this food was just going to make me fat because it made me hungry. I then started to consume fruit for breakfast instead, as a way to fill me up for the lower calories (in my mind). Eventually I stopped having breakfast all together, but that’s for another post 🙂

I had this idea that the Carbs from cereal were the ones that caused people to gain weight, and fruit would prevent this. What I didn’t understand at the time that I was simply not eating enough and a balance of nutrients in the morning to sustain me.

Cereal is not the enemy and never has been, and it’s now once again, it is among my favorite foods! Any kind still: though I try to pick the ones with ingredients I can actually pronounce and that have a good amount of fiber and protein. Also, coupling cereal with fruit and a healthy fat, such as a bowl with a sliced banana, skim milk, and nuts sprinkled on top, will really help to keep me full.

I have so many other fear foods I am overcoming, including pasta, FATS, pizza, sweet treats, pastries, cakes, okay so alot. I will discuss these soon as well!

Has anyone experienced fears around certain foods? What have you done to overcome this?

10 Comments

Filed under Below The Surface, Breakfast, Disorded Thoughts, Favorite Foods, Fitness, Fuel, Product Review, Running, Trader Joes, Weight Watchers

I’m Just Sayin’ (Part 2) The Path to Weight Watchers

(I am naming my posts of disordered issues, “I’m Just Sayin,” because it is a phrase my mom and I use often, and it’s a way to express what I will be talking about 😀 )

There are several reasons I started this blog. My passion for food, nutrition, fitness, running, school, family, are just a few of the things I am constantly thinking about and want to share my thoughts/experiences with these on here!

This is my second post on the reasons I developed a strange relationship with food and my body, and the ways I am recovering, getting help, and making peace with myself. I hope you enjoy!

As I have mentioned however, there is an underlying issue I have been dealing with several years now, and one I am slowly (but surely!) over coming. I am speaking of my long battle with disordered eating, such as an intense focus on my weight, when/what/quantities I would eat, only consuming foods I considered “safe,” rituals and routines around meal times, meeting a certain amount of exercise per day (which I deemed enough), and pretty much focusing, concentrating on food and nutrition constantly, an unhealthy obsession.

In part 1, I discussed how my height, and being known as the “big girl” really bothered me, especially beginning in sixth grade. I referred to middle school as the “dark years” when kids were becoming more aware of their own and others physical features. After I recovered from first experience with an eating disorder (discussed in my last post) I entered into high school and was no longer focusing on height and the discomfort I felt within my own body.

There were many positive things in my life at this point. I used to be on a competitive swimmer for the local YMCA, committing countless hours to this sport and usually getting great results at meets. My favorite stoke was freestyle and longer distance events were my forte. Starting high school meant joining my high school swim team, which I was on simultaneously with the Y team with several of my friends.. Because of my past experience with swimming on another team, my friends and I were some of the best on the high school team. Even as freshman, we were regarded as people you should look to for help with swimming, and I loved the social connections I obtained from being a part of two teams.

Each year of high school got better and better- I was incorporated into a fabulous group of friends, with a seriously perfect ratio of guys to girls 15:15. I was close with each of the people considered to be “part of the group.” Swimming continued to go well, my grades were consistently good, and I looked forward to school each day to see my friends. I also had my first boy friend my Junior year, who I can say, I fell in love with. Life seemed pretty darn good!

Although like a normal female I did sometimes focus on what I was eating, and my looks, I was not too concerned because I knew the 2 hour long intense swim practices would compensate for any extra calories I consumed. And it did, I stayed at a relatively stable weight until my senior year of high school and was, for the most part, comfortable with myself. The amount I would eat when I was swimming was almost absurd, but I was SO HUNGRY all of the time from the demanding practices. Some things I used to eat:

  • 4-5 bowls of cereal at a time (breakfast and sometimes after school too). I am talkin the sugary kinds, Frosted Flakes and Cinnamon Life were among my favs!
  • Half a bag of either Sunchips, Goldfish, Chex Mix, usually after school
  • A crap load of bread, bagels with butter, creamcheese, sometimes pb (Skippy, NOT NATURAL all the way 🙂 )
  • And a bunch of other things, usually in large quanities and portions.

I was somewhat aware of choices that were better than others, Sunchips as opposed to friend potato chips for example, but my portions were completely out of control.

After about 12 years of swimming, I really could not imagine doing it anymore. I was so sick of the whole dang sport and the passion I once had for this sport was gone. At this point, it was February of my senior year, I had an idea of the college I would be attending, and I knew I would not be swimming there, so i quit.

I still have no regrets with this, as it did eventually lead me to become a runner, but it also caused me to gain weight. I continued eating like I was when swimming and I gained fairly quickly. It is not as noticeable on me to others because of my height, but I was certainly aware of it, especially when I was purchasing a pair of pants in a large size I never thought I would reach. After this shopping trip, I was even more conscious of the amount of weight I had gained and decided I would do something about it.

One day in April of 2008 (still senior year of high school) I was feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and complaining to a friend about it. I knew she also struggled with her weight and body image so she suggested we try to lose a few pounds together. I was all for it, especially when she suggested we sign up for Weight Watchers. I had never even considered this option, but she said her mom had great results when she was on the program and it taught her a lot about proper nutrition, portion sizes, different exercises, and it made you stay accountable with weekly weigh-ins.

After talking it over with my mom, who didn’t think I needed to lose weight btw, she agreed to let me sign up and even pay for the first few months. That very day after school, my friend and I drove to the Weight Watchers center, signed up and were each weighed. I am not going to post numbers, in case this could potentially trigger anyone with ED related issues, but it was a number I was NOT expecting which led me to be even more gung-ho for the program.

However, little did I know at the time that Weight Watchers was the beginning of the end so-to-speak. It sparked the obsession in my mind concerning food and fitness that has plagued me ever since.

*Next part- Weight Watchers, friend or foe, and how the combination of the program and my compulsive mind led me to a road of destruction in countless ways.

7 Comments

Filed under High Schoolo, I'm Just Sayin', Swim Team, Weight Watchers

I'm Just Sayin' (Part 2) The Path to Weight Watchers

(I am naming my posts of disordered issues, “I’m Just Sayin,” because it is a phrase my mom and I use often, and it’s a way to express what I will be talking about 😀 )

There are several reasons I started this blog. My passion for food, nutrition, fitness, running, school, family, are just a few of the things I am constantly thinking about and want to share my thoughts/experiences with these on here!

This is my second post on the reasons I developed a strange relationship with food and my body, and the ways I am recovering, getting help, and making peace with myself. I hope you enjoy!

As I have mentioned however, there is an underlying issue I have been dealing with several years now, and one I am slowly (but surely!) over coming. I am speaking of my long battle with disordered eating, such as an intense focus on my weight, when/what/quantities I would eat, only consuming foods I considered “safe,” rituals and routines around meal times, meeting a certain amount of exercise per day (which I deemed enough), and pretty much focusing, concentrating on food and nutrition constantly, an unhealthy obsession.

In part 1, I discussed how my height, and being known as the “big girl” really bothered me, especially beginning in sixth grade. I referred to middle school as the “dark years” when kids were becoming more aware of their own and others physical features. After I recovered from first experience with an eating disorder (discussed in my last post) I entered into high school and was no longer focusing on height and the discomfort I felt within my own body.

There were many positive things in my life at this point. I used to be on a competitive swimmer for the local YMCA, committing countless hours to this sport and usually getting great results at meets. My favorite stoke was freestyle and longer distance events were my forte. Starting high school meant joining my high school swim team, which I was on simultaneously with the Y team with several of my friends.. Because of my past experience with swimming on another team, my friends and I were some of the best on the high school team. Even as freshman, we were regarded as people you should look to for help with swimming, and I loved the social connections I obtained from being a part of two teams.

Each year of high school got better and better- I was incorporated into a fabulous group of friends, with a seriously perfect ratio of guys to girls 15:15. I was close with each of the people considered to be “part of the group.” Swimming continued to go well, my grades were consistently good, and I looked forward to school each day to see my friends. I also had my first boy friend my Junior year, who I can say, I fell in love with. Life seemed pretty darn good!

Although like a normal female I did sometimes focus on what I was eating, and my looks, I was not too concerned because I knew the 2 hour long intense swim practices would compensate for any extra calories I consumed. And it did, I stayed at a relatively stable weight until my senior year of high school and was, for the most part, comfortable with myself. The amount I would eat when I was swimming was almost absurd, but I was SO HUNGRY all of the time from the demanding practices. Some things I used to eat:

  • 4-5 bowls of cereal at a time (breakfast and sometimes after school too). I am talkin the sugary kinds, Frosted Flakes and Cinnamon Life were among my favs!
  • Half a bag of either Sunchips, Goldfish, Chex Mix, usually after school
  • A crap load of bread, bagels with butter, creamcheese, sometimes pb (Skippy, NOT NATURAL all the way 🙂 )
  • And a bunch of other things, usually in large quanities and portions.

I was somewhat aware of choices that were better than others, Sunchips as opposed to friend potato chips for example, but my portions were completely out of control.

After about 12 years of swimming, I really could not imagine doing it anymore. I was so sick of the whole dang sport and the passion I once had for this sport was gone. At this point, it was February of my senior year, I had an idea of the college I would be attending, and I knew I would not be swimming there, so i quit.

I still have no regrets with this, as it did eventually lead me to become a runner, but it also caused me to gain weight. I continued eating like I was when swimming and I gained fairly quickly. It is not as noticeable on me to others because of my height, but I was certainly aware of it, especially when I was purchasing a pair of pants in a large size I never thought I would reach. After this shopping trip, I was even more conscious of the amount of weight I had gained and decided I would do something about it.

One day in April of 2008 (still senior year of high school) I was feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and complaining to a friend about it. I knew she also struggled with her weight and body image so she suggested we try to lose a few pounds together. I was all for it, especially when she suggested we sign up for Weight Watchers. I had never even considered this option, but she said her mom had great results when she was on the program and it taught her a lot about proper nutrition, portion sizes, different exercises, and it made you stay accountable with weekly weigh-ins.

After talking it over with my mom, who didn’t think I needed to lose weight btw, she agreed to let me sign up and even pay for the first few months. That very day after school, my friend and I drove to the Weight Watchers center, signed up and were each weighed. I am not going to post numbers, in case this could potentially trigger anyone with ED related issues, but it was a number I was NOT expecting which led me to be even more gung-ho for the program.

However, little did I know at the time that Weight Watchers was the beginning of the end so-to-speak. It sparked the obsession in my mind concerning food and fitness that has plagued me ever since.

*Next part- Weight Watchers, friend or foe, and how the combination of the program and my compulsive mind led me to a road of destruction in countless ways.

7 Comments

Filed under High Schoolo, I'm Just Sayin', Swim Team, Weight Watchers