Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Last Tuesday night I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting. I always swore I would never set foot in the place. My old roommate Sarah joined Weight Watchers 3 years ago and we affectionately called it Dub Dub. Sarah and I had lived together for about 5 years when she started Dub Dub. I had seen her try many diets in the course of our friendship but she insisted this was not a diet. She has been heavy her whole life and even she would tell you that she was, cute-in-the-face-Sarah. That is what everyone used to tell her. She is gorgeous in the face but she is also a beautiful person on the inside. I have talked before about our discovery of totally different eating styles and how we both learned a lot from each other in that regard. After Sarah started Dub Dub we would watch The Biggest Loser and cry together over other people’s stories of success and failure in weight loss. I saw the determination in her eyes and there was no doubt that she would do it, she would be a success at weight loss.

The changes were small at first. Sarah started making breakfast for herself. No matter how much time she had, she ate every morning. It was usually an english muffin with peanut butter or an egg. Starting her day off with that extra kick of energy made a difference right away. Then she started planning lunch and dinner ahead of time. She was preparing so she would not splurge. In her previous life she had a long love affair with fast-food and I know that was a hard habit for her to break. She attended meetings weekly and stuck to Dub Dub’s plan. She dropped 40 pounds pretty quickly. There were plateaus and weeks where she would gain but she kept going. She portioned her food, counted her points and made a lifestyle change for herself. She learned not to treat herself with food but with other loves. For her first 25 pound milestone she bought shoes. It became a theme for her and it encouraged her fellow Dub girls to consider ways to reward themselves.

When I moved from Sarah’s house last year she was probably at 50 pounds lost, which was a weight I had seen her at before. She looked great but she was also still forging ahead in her weight loss. She had taken a job at Petsmart and was stocking shelves of 20 and 40 pound bags of dog food and cat litter. I didn’t see Sarah for a few months after I moved. When I did see her again, I hardly recognized her. She was absolutely stunning. She was confident. She was sassy. She was thinner than I had ever seen her. She was wearing clothes that fit! I was amazed by her transformation. She has a hard time with strong reactions to her weight loss because she is still the same person inside. While she sees the change, she is amazed every time at how others react to her. I think a part of one’s mind always sees themselves in a certain way. Time will show Sarah that she can let go of that old mind set.

Last Tuesday night Dub Dub asked Sarah to speak at success night. I wanted to surprise her and just show up and it worked out perfectly. Sarah’s mom also came to support her. There were about 8 speakers, all with heartbreaking and uplifting stories of their own. I always thought I would invoke daggers by walking into a weight watchers but I soon realized that there are no assumptions. One of the women who spoke was a size 6 with the greatest set of legs I have ever seen. When she pulled out her size 22 pants I could not believe my eyes. She has lost over 100 pounds and just recently rewarded herself with a tummy tuck. She was my proof that people of all sizes seek out support in weight loss. Maybe karma brought me here because of my fat people rant????

There were many more inspiring stories that night but none that brought out my waterworks like watching my former roommate tell her story. I feel almost like it is our story. She talked about what she learned. They were staples in her vocabulary for the past 3 years but hearing them out loud to the crowd was awe inspiring. She always says, “There are no bad foods, just bad decisions”. She basically spoke about everyone making mistakes and how you have to forgive yourself and let each day be new. She made a joke about losing her Dub Dub pass in an Entenmanns’s donut box, which was verified by her fellow meeting attendees. She showed off her 75 pound shoes and talked about rewards and staying the course. She was funny, she captured the audience and she inspired many. Her mom leaned over when she had finished and said, “Look how skinny her legs are” in my ear. I was bawling like a baby. I don’t think I could be more proud if I were her mother. I dare say I was more proud than her mother. I was with her during the bad times and I was so proud to be with her during the good.

Sarah has lost and maintained a total of 80 pounds in the past 3 years. She says there was no bigger moment than one night by herself at the Pmart, as she calls it; she was carrying two 40 pound bags of dog food. She was huffing and puffing along and then she stopped dead in her tracks. With this added 80 pounds she was carrying the weight that she used to be. That moment showed her how hard weight is on your body. She was now bending under the strain of what she used to carry with her daily. I firmly believe that Dub Dub is not a diet but a total change of life. Once you meet, and as long as you maintain your goal, you are a lifetime member. Many of those people continue to attend meetings for the support and understanding. They also serve as a great inspiration. I don’t know what Sarah’s ‘number’ is but I know she is getting closer and it gets harder at the end. I also know she is forging ahead. Once at goal I think she should become a Dub Dub rep. They already know how lucky they would be. I am not going to lie, Dub Dub impressed me but my friend Sarah impressed me more.


  1. :)

    p.s. why do u guys call it dub dub?

  2. Dub dub - Weight Watchers... Two WWs... Dub Dub.. (right?)
    and great job for you and your friend! :)

  3. Emily is spot on with the nickname. 2 W's in Weight Watchers in our minds made it Dub Dub.