I’ve been on this ride more or less since May of 2003. I joined Weight Watchers and was delighted to see the weight come pouring off. By November, I was literally 15 pounds away from my set goal; I hadn’t looked that good since my junior year of college. (The weight I lost that summer almost immediately came back on once I was back at school.) At my peak weight loss period, I was down 38.6 pounds, and through most of the next year, I was able to maintain a loss of about 30 pounds. Not bad at all.
But then, the weight came creeping back. By 2009, it was all back on, and my confidence took a very big dip. (This was the same time that I was laid off at Hadassah, so that didn’t help much either.) I would try Weight Watchers a couple more times before we left New York City in 2011, but I felt like I couldn’t get my momentum going.
Jump ahead to 2012. Cheryl & I are in St. Louis, and we decided to give Weight Watchers another shot. This time, everything felt a lot easier and I dropped over 20 pounds. I was able to maintain that loss for about a year, when we made the transition from living with my mother-in-law and not having a job to getting our own house and having a job to pay the mortgage. But as my weight has a tendency to do, it found its way back to me.
In July of 2015, we were introduced to Paleo, and after a few days of adjusting to the new kinds of food and eliminating what was piling on the pounds, the weight started to steadily come off once again. I added running to my week thanks to the C25K app, and that helped even more weight come off. By September of that year, after being on Paleo for just two months, I was approaching a 40-pound loss! On the last weekend of that month, I competed at the annual Meet Me in St. Louis West Coast Swing Dance Championships wearing a shirt I couldn’t fit in since 2006. Take a look!
I looked pretty good, right? Well, what a difference a year makes.
Turns out that Paleo is very much akin to the Mafia. It’ll give you everything you want, but as soon as you betray it, then your life becomes – as Bill Murray said in Mad Dog and Glory, “a raging sea.” Once I loosened the chains a bit and re-introduced a lot of the food I used to eat before Paleo, the weight came back so rapidly, it scared me. My confidence bottomed out and, as of Sunday evening July 10th, I now weigh more than I have ever weighed before.
So, what happens now? Well, as I mentioned at the beginning of this, I’m back on Paleo as of yesterday, July 11. We have our menu figured out, we did our grocery shopping, and outside of some more eggs that I need to pick up on the way home for breakfast, we’re both mentally ready to re-capture the success we had last year. Plus, for Day One, I got to make dinner and I slept better than I had in weeks. This definitely helps me mentally as well as physically. And after my first couple of weeks back in the program, I’ll be incorporating my running back into my mornings. (During the time when I ran with our dog Eli, he dropped four pounds, so I’ll likely be bringing him along.)
Am I upset that I gained all the weight back and then some? Of course. But I know I have what it takes to do it all over again and do it right this time. Doesn’t matter how many Day Ones it takes, as long as I have these days to use.