Exactly twelve weeks after I start my new health kick, I unexpectedly reach goal. I am at least a week ahead of my own personal schedule, and I celebrate with a bottle of bubbly and confirmation that I can finally fit into my size 11 jeans again.
It is only a couple of weeks before I head to Ireland, and I am anxious not to lose track while I am holiday. Although I am at goal, I need to stay within a couple of kilos of my goal weight for a six-week period before earning Lifetime Membership. No amount of Irish sausages or European red wine will tempt me away from this goal: I am resolved.
In the week or so before my trip I have some time off, and I concentrate on my daily six-kilometre walk by the sea and plenty of healthy food. I look up the dates and times of the Weight Watchers meetings near my mum’s house and make sure I pack them along with my points book. I pack my flight bag with healthy snacks to tempt me away from the airline food. I am ready.
The day after I arrive in Ireland I attend my first Irish Weight Watchers meeting. They are a bit mystified as to how to record me in their system (we are still using books in Aus but Ireland is way ahead with little smart cards) but they make me welcome. I am still on track.
A week later I have managed to indulge a little and control myself the rest of the time, and despite a higher than usual alcohol intake I am delighted to weigh in at the same weight again. I have clearly managed to re-educate myself and not give in to the temptation of a half-pound of real Irish sausages every morning. Luckily my mum is herself a lifetime member, and she supports me every step while I am there.
Back in Aus, I start a new job and find a new WW meeting to go to. I find the new meeting not quite as welcoming as my old group, but that is just familiarity and I persevere. Despite a new routine I still manage to maintain my goal weight.
On Anzac Day Orlando and I go for a short bike ride that ends up being over thirty kilometres. Even six months ago if anybody would have told me I could do this, I would have laughed at them. I feel fantastic and full of energy these days.
A couple of weeks in and I go on a road trip with my boss. Red Cross regional meetings are like Countrywomen’s Association meetings – full of hearty homemade sandwiches, soup and cake. I resolved to learn from the Queen, and make a big show of taking food without actually eating much. A few days of my favourite vegetable curry when I get back, and I am still on track.
Six weeks pass, and I finally make it to Lifetime Member. Now I only have to go to meetings once a month, and they are free. Still, I decide to go about once a fortnight for a while so as not to lose the plot completely. My work schedule means that I will be able to visit my old group now and again too, which I am really looking forward to.
My next big challenge is to make it through the winter without falling off the wagon, and using the extra layers and cold weather to overindulge. I think I have the knack now or portion control, and how to make the healthy choice without feeling like you have deprived yourself. It is a great feeling to be slim and healthy again, and to know that my clothes look good on me. It has definitely been worth the effort, and I feel that I have learned a new life skill that will stand to me for the rest of my life.