Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One year later

One year ago today, I felt dragged down by the extra weight I was carrying. I was a runner, but I wasn't as energetic, confident and strong as I knew I could be. I had been running for about a year but could not seem to get a handle on nutrition. I seemed to think that running meant I could eat whatever I want. And for some people, it does... but not for me. I was gaining and gaining and I felt sluggish and miserable.

After years of yo-yo dieting and trying everything in the book, and after some encouragement from a friend at work, I decided to give Weight Watchers a thought. I liked the concept of lifestyle change - it seemed flexible and manageable. I went to my first meeting and weigh-in on December 10, 2007 and I firmly believe it changed my life.

I spent the next several months learning how to make the program work for me and my lifestyle. The most important factors for me have been accountability and balance. I was accountable because I had to weigh-in regularly and report to my leader and fellow members. I gradually learned to balance proper nutrition with an active lifestyle, leaving room for life's little indulgences. I have never had to give anything up.

By July I had reached my goal weight and in August I became a Lifetime Member (by maintaining that weight for six consecutive weeks). I struggled a little through September and October and developed what I like to call the Marathon Bulge, resulting from the pre-race taper/carb-loading and post-race binge! Thankfully, it was only about 5 lbs and I have since lost all of it. As of this week, I am officially below my goal weight and 30 lbs lighter than December 10, 2007.

Now that I am Lifetime I only have to weigh-in once a month (and the program is free as long as I am no more than 2 lbs over my goal). I still attend my meeting and weigh-in almost every Monday just to keep myself in check. It's become an important part of my life and I intend to keep it that way.

Sorry for rambling, but my hope is that this experience may inspire someone who has struggled in the same ways I have. This has been a non-stop learning experience and I know it's far from over, but I am happier and healthier than I have ever been and I just want to scream it from the rooftops!

And incase you haven't seen enough of my face lately, here's a little Before and After for you.

Dec. '07



Dec. '08



Thanks for reading. :)

35 comments:

Marci said...

You look terrific Marlene, beautiful. Very inspiring!

*aron* said...

you look amazing!!! congrats on such a great accomplishment :)

Road Warrior said...

Amazing. Simply amazing. What a difference a year makes. Wow.

I too used Weight Watchers, but the web site instead of going to meetings. When you change your approach to eating, it makes all the difference.

You should be so proud of your accomplishments! You look like a new person!

Carly said...

You look fantastic! I love to see WW success stories...especially when I am looking for motivation. You have done awesome this last year.

Julianne said...

I love the before and after photo! You look beautiful then but even more radiant and fantastic now! Congrats on your accomplishment!! You look great!

BeachRunner said...

Congrats. You look fantastic!

Janice said...

OMG! You were gorgeous before, but you look happy and healthy now. Congrates and You are truly and inspiration to me. I am working on getting this 10 off I have gained over the last 12 months. UGH..... I have thought about WW, have several friends that have/are doing it. Maybe it's time to give it a try.

Runnergirl said...

You look fabulous! That is such a great accomplishment! Congrats!

Jess said...

You look great! Congrats on acheiving the weight loss you desired and for maintaining it!

Dando said...

No way that is you. No way. I don't believe it. 2007 has to be someone else. Great job!!

D10 said...

You look so good! Your story is inspiring. You have accomplished so much this year. Well done.

Run Mommy said...

What a great post! I love that you put before and after...very inspiring. I feel a lot like you in that I am a runner but I definately could shed some excess weight to really increase my abilities. I'm properly inspired and will actually consider trying WW. Worth considering!

Very impressive and you look beautiful - before and after.

joyRuN said...

Congratulations on an accomplished year! You look awesome :)

yumke said...

It's great to hear about how you've succeeded. We all know that's it's a constant battle to balance diet, exercise and life.

Marcy said...

OMG MARLENE!! Wow! You look FANTASTIC!!! You totally kick butt! Losing weight is soooo not easy.

J said...

WOW you look great in that second picture!! Congrats on taking off the weight and keeping it off!! That is quite an accomplishment!

AddictedToEndorphins said...

MARLENE YOU LOOK AMAZING!! Absolutely beautiful:)<33

lindsay said...

what a great story to be able to share; you will inspire many people! the photos are terrific - you look great!! congrats on your accomplishments. you are awesome!

The Happy Runner said...

You look great! Congratulations on setting and achieving your goal.

RunningLaur said...

You look great in both photos!
Your haircut in the more recent photo is particularly flattering.
Congrats on keeping with your goal and feeling great!

Blyfinn said...

WOW what a change. You look terrific! It's amazing what a year and a little motivation can do.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

WOW! You are radiant in the recent photo. You just really look happy and glowing. :-)

Frayed Laces said...

WOW!!!!!!! That is one smokin hot runner!

Brian said...

Awesome! Congratulations! My mom is a lifetime member as well and she is who got me to drop the lbs. Keep it up!!

Nitmos said...

A fantastic year. Keep up the momentum! The wind is at your back.

tfh said...

I actually didn't know you lost that much weight-- 30 pounds is TOUGH, especially while running (I find it hard to have self-control after challenging runs). You look beautiful! And oh my goodness, my "word verification" word is honestly "pound". That's pretty funny. Maybe it's one of the ones you lost? ;)

M*J*C said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! What a great accomplishment! You should be SUPER proud!!!

Nikemom said...

You look AWESOME!!!! Congrats to you. Run on!

Denise said...

You should be SO proud of yourself. You look great! Keep going to the meetings, it's the best thing you can do. Great job!!

Runner Leana said...

Marlene, you look terrific!!!!! I'm so glad to hear that WW has made such a positive impact on you. Congrats on reaching your goal and maintaining it!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I'm a little late to the party, here, Sister, but I wanna add my CONGRATS to you.

I have a younger sister who has struggled with weight problems her whole life. She recently dropped over 75 lbs and seems to be keeping it off this time.

I can't say I know firsthand how hard what you accomplished is; I do know secondhand - a very close secondhand.

Great work! Keep it up!

littlesack said...

Good for you! I understand your struggle. I've been an athlete/runner since I was 10. I played soccer in college--but I could never get a handle on my weight, despite all the running!! It really is all about the foods you eat.

You look fantastic. Keep it up!

Sonia said...

great journey! You look fantastic =)

I did the same as you with weight watchers in January 2006 and lost 60 lbs by January 2007. However, I put 40 lbs back on now and it is really hard to deal with. Once the running stopped I lost all my nutrition motivation... I am still searching for it.

Vickie said...

You must be very proud of your accomplishment! Not only have you reached your goal weight but have gone lower and maintained and in the process have become a successful athlete and marathoner! What a great year! Congrats on your accomplishments!

Laurel said...

Wow! Seriously, you look super-foxy! What an amazing transformation, no only physically, but also emotionally, and health-wise. Awesome job!