Weight Watchers Wednesday

This will be a new series with tips and suggestions I've learned from the Weight Watchers program. I lost 35 pounds and have maintained that loss for three years (see my before and after pics) and am a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member.

Wednesdays are my Weight Watchers meeting day. Today we talked about successes and challenges with this month's routine related to being active.

Activity is not my problem. Even at my heaviest, I exercised daily. And usually I don't have much of a struggle maintaining my weight loss. After all, being vegan makes a large amount of unhealthy foods off-limits. But sometimes I slip. This weekend was one of those times, when I committed a Weight Watchers no-no: rewarding with food.

I was so happy and excited with my JASR 5K performance because I truly believed I wouldn't come anywhere close to my goal. When I missed it by six seconds, I was thrilled and proud of myself.

I had bought a sesame seed bagel the day before to eat after the race. I eat white bread only as a special treat because it's my greatest weakness. Having that bagel was okay, though. As we discussed at our meeting today, planning for and incorporating treats is very important because when you ban the things you really crave, you set yourself up for a binging failure. I always tell people that chocolate helped me lose weight.

My problem is that I ate the bagel...and then pretzels, and then candy, and then made two dozen Chocolate Mint Cupcakes, and then went to the grocery store and bought more pretzels and candy and...by Monday morning I looked like I was five months pregnant. I even showed my husband my big belly, and he said, "You're pushing it out." Well, I wasn't.

The bloat has gone down since then (and I was still within my goal weight range, though on the high end), but the challenge remains to not reward myself with food. In our meeting we talked about how celebrating with food is so ingrained in our society. When there's a birthday or holiday or any special occasion, we celebrate with food. My leader said, "When you tell people good news, they say, 'That's great! Where can we go to dinner to celebrate?'" They don't say, 'That's great! Let's go for a walk together!'" A mother pointed out that parents often reward their kids with food, so it's a practice started from a very early age and be very difficult to break.

So I have a new goal. For my next race, the Pittsburgh Marathon 5K, I don't just want to break 30 minutes. I want to do that and not binge all weekend in celebration.

Do you struggle with celebrating with food? How do you celebrate race and running accomplishments without food? 

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