Today, I choose hunger.

Disclaimer: what I am about to say is in no way, shape or form against the incredible and effective product that is weight watchers. Seriously, I love WW. Like, a lot.

This morning, in an act of desperation, against all evidence pointing to: DOES NOT FIT IN OUR BUDGET, I attempted to reactivate my weight watchers membership. I have arrived at the point that brought me to WW the first time: knowing that without shelling out a lot of cash for it, I’m incapable of helping myself figure this out.

I am known for being successful at weight loss if I’m spending money on it. I was AWESOME at weight watchers ($35 a month), lunch-hour workouts ($26 a month) and the occasional race training ($30-50/race) and DietBet ($10-25/bet). Now? Well, because we are on budget lock down for the next foreseeable ever, every choice I make has to be worthwhile.

Don’t get me wrong, WW is totally worthwhile. But with a million and 1 tools out there for free and with the knowledge that I pretty much already have to know how it works and how to do it, I find myself arriving at a place where, whilst discussing whether or not I should hit the payment button for WW or not with my husband he kindly reminds me that I don’t need WW, I need to Nike-up and JUST DO IT.

It’s true, I’ve been whining for months about something I know how to do because I’ve already done it and I did it well. To the point where I was just living it, no real tracking and counting required.

And the first thing I remembered from my first few weeks on WW was that I was hungry. I got to the end of my first few days having eaten all of my points, borrowed from the extra points and I was still starving. Why? Because when I ate the correct portions of food for a (then) 27 year old woman, I found that my body was used to so much more and it was craving the overeating I had always been doing. I had to learn to just sit with my hunger. I knew I had all of my caloric and nutritional needs met after planning balanced, fresh meals with tons of whole grains, lean meats, proteins and oils. But I was still hungry and I had to learn to fill up on fruits, veggies and water. Once I got the hang of that, not only did the weight start flying off, so did my cravings and my hunger pains.

But I can never forget that feeling of hunger those first 2 weeks. Knowing full well, I didn’t necessarily need more food, especially if I hadn’t worked out. I just thought I needed more because emotionally, I didn’t feel all that satisfied. There was no over-the-top sweetness or fatty flavors. Over time, I found ways to satisfy those feelings with healthier options. I learned how to detach my emotions from my nutritional needs. I found ways to really “save my points” for the meals or celebrations that mattered and I learned how to re-prioritize my diet and be more intentional about my choices.

That’s what was so great about weight watchers, it provided me with the structure I needed to LEARN HOW TO EAT and also plan and find balance. Now, I would argue that I need that structure once again, and if I pay for it I will have it but we all know that that’s now how it works. But I know how to do it, it’s there, the skill to do it, it’s still all on paper and in the books and bookmarked websites and the places I learned to turn to create that structure all on my own.

What I need now is the will to do it. I have to have the desire to do it. I have to, for lack of a better word, be hungry for it.

So today, I choose hunger.

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