Weight Watchers, we meet again. As Rafiki said to Simba in The Lion King, “It is time.”
When I got divorced 10 years ago, I decided to re-assume responsibility for my postpartum state of health, and I lost 60 pounds on Weight Watchers. Even though I was uncertain about my future as a single mother of two small boys, I felt comfortable in my body again, and that was a great thing.
Now, I’m happily remarried and I’ve had four more kids in five years. The latter does a number on your body, I can assure you. My knee makes a squeaky sound when I go upstairs, and my feet ache. Admittedly, I’m older and more lived-in; my ligaments and abdomen are like a tired collection of weakened rubber bands at this point. But I am sure that losing the cumulative weight from the pregnancies wouldn’t hurt.
I used to be somewhat ashamed about telling people I am on Weight Watchers—after all, that would be admitting that I am less than perfect. Well, kids, things have changed. Because:
1. I’m definitely much less than perfect. I’m 42 years old. I’m comfortable in my own skin, if not in the number size clothes I’m wearing. I can own the idea that I’m not perfect and that I have the power to change things and live a healthier life.
2. With that knowledge, I can use what other people think of me to my advantage. I post on Facebook when I go to Weight Watchers. This is more than just needless overshare—it’s about accountability. If everyone in my life knows I’m on Weight Watchers—even casual acquaintances—I reduce the “risk” of someone foisting a piece of birthday cake on me at a 4-year-old’s birthday party. It keeps me in check in my daughter’s Mommy and Me classes at B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, where I could casually dip my hand into the bag of pretzels served to the kids for snack.
3. There is a huge benefit to community. No one is in this life alone. Doing a “program,” for me, is a good fit—it offers guidance and guidelines as well as a tracking system where I write down everything I eat. I can talk to other people on the program about what they find works and what they don’t. And hopefully some friends feeling similar things to me will join me.
4. As mothers, it’s so important to try to be healthy. I’m not only talking about setting a good example for our kids—I actually believe that kids should gather ye rosebuds/cookies while their metabolisms say they may—but also about hopefully living a long, healthy life so that we can see as much as we can of the lives of our kids, and hopefully our grandkids, too.
And so, I go spinning at SoulCycle a few times a week (my oasis of alone time!) I try to walk and bike as much as weather allows with my kids, and I am trying to get back to my old self.
I’m sure a lot of us are in the same postpartum stretch-marked boat. Let’s encourage each other.