This is me in 2009 on the left, and 2016 on the right. It’s not my “before and after” picture, rather it is my “before and now” picture. I was about 30 lbs heavier on the left. The funny thing is I hate this picture now, but then, I thought it was a good picture.
I was always at a healthy weight until my mid-20s. I can’t tell you what brought on the gain, it might have been medication-related, it might have been portions increasing, it might have been unhappiness, or it might have been a combination of all of these things that caused me to balloon up to 248 lbs. I just know that at 248 lbs, I didn’t like myself and was miserable. I joined Weight Watchers in 2009 and followed their plan until July of 2015.
I learned so much on Weight Watchers: proper portions, what “healthy” really means, the importance of support, where I could get it, the importance of drinking water, and so much more. I made many good friends, both online and in the meeting room. I treasure those that I met and the experiences I had.
I knew it was time to move on when I stopped tracking and the 50 lbs I had lost on Weight Watchers became 40 lbs, and I was skipping meetings and making excuses. To add to that, financial reasons were making it hard to come up with the monthly fee.
I had to do some kind of tracking, I knew that. Tracking is the number one thing that helped me lose that 50 lbs. I had used MyFitnessPal in the past and had a good experience with it. On top of that, it is free, so I decided to use it again. What I like about MFP vs WW tracking is this: we do a lot of cooking, and in WW’s eTools, if you want to enter a custom recipe, you have to search for each ingredient one by one and add them. If eTools doesn’t have the ingredient, you have to create it. In MFP, all you have to do is one of two ways: 1) if you got the recipe online, paste the url into the search box and it will pull the ingredients from the website that you got the recipe from. 2) If your recipe is in an email, Word document, or other electronic format, paste the ingredients into the box on the MFP website and it will search and find the ingredients. With both methods, you still may have to edit the quantity or occasionally change an ingredient, but it’s a lot better.
It is hard work to lose, nobody that has lost any amount of weight, whether it be 5 lbs or 100 lbs will tell you any differently, but if you are serious about it, you need to get over that and just focus on doing the work. The pounds will come off, one at a time, and in time you’ll get there, and so will I.
I’m now using Lose It! app and website. This is not due to anything negative about MFP, it’s just due to Lose It! being more visually appealing as well as having more community options.
TIP: what you can take out of my story is this: keep trying things until you find what works for you. Lose It! might not work for you, you may need Weight Watchers. Or, you may need a paleo diet. Who knows? I know I had to monkey around with a lot of stuff before I settled in.