When I got gutsy — and finally lost that weight

I wasn’t sure I could do it.

And I wasn’t sure I wanted to.

I’d grown used to being the curvy girl — the one with the “pretty face.” Even as my dress size climbed through my teens and twenties, I refused to give in to self-doubt. I didn’t want to focus on my weight — even though, in reality, I already was.

When I needed larger jeans, I bought them.

When I wanted to have a second cupcake, I did.


Christmas cupcake


I’d gotten listless, cranky, easily tired or sick. But I wasn’t a woman accustomed to depriving herself or scaling back. I was afraid to address the issue of my climbing weight because I “didn’t want to obsess about it,” as I told my fiancé. The idea of a weight loss program where I’d have to track points — and be held accountable for everything that passed through my lips — intimidated the heck out of me. I played it off as an annoyance, but the truth?

The truth was that I was scared.

The idea of joining Weight Watchers* had entered my mind years before, mostly as a method of control, but I shunned it because I was afraid my “last-ditch effort” to get healthy with the program wouldn’t work . . . and where would I be then?

I’d tried the gym, sweating miserably on a treadmill and bored out of my skull. I’d briefly embraced Zumba classes, trekking out on weeknights to dance with coworkers until an injury sidelined a friend . . . and I used her absence as an excuse to bail.

I went through a phase where I upped my veggie intake, tried to scale back on eating out, stepped away from my favorite hobby — baking — so we wouldn’t have so many goodies hanging around.

Nothing worked. After a while, I always slipped back into my old routines.

I just didn’t have the right tools.

Though I’m probably going to come across as a Weight Watchers disciple, I really feel passionate about the program — because it changed my life. WW became my new home-away-from-home in mid-January 2013, the day after a minor car crash rocked my world. No one was hurt, thankfully, but it was my first real accident — and it shook me to my core. Plagued by sudden “what ifs?” and anxiety, I suddenly knew it was time to get serious . . . about my life.

I’d been engaged for less than a month, heavier than I’d ever been, and suddenly dealing with two weddings to plan — mine and my sister’s. As I talked with insurance companies about my car accident and tried not to imagine what would have happened if the truck that hit me had been going just a little faster on a dark night, I began to process my impending move from my parents’ house while my fiancé and I simultaneously discussed guest lists and wedding venues.

I was overwhelmed. When Spencer started talking about weight loss, I felt emotionally exhausted — and not ready to even try. I almost let those little fires, those anxieties, keep me from ever stepping foot into Weight Watchers. But when my fiancé suggested going to a meeting “just to try it out,” something told me to go.

It took guts for me to walk into that first meeting — to finally admit I wanted to change. I was so afraid of losing confidence, of “admitting defeat” about my physical self, that I resisted the idea of needing to get healthy.

But I’d seen family members and friends felled by illness. I had my own health scare a month earlier — at a time when I should have been celebrating my engagement. At 28, I knew my body wasn’t going to simply “bounce back” from poor decisions.

It was time.

To everyone’s shock — especially my own — I embraced Weight Watchers with a vigor typically reserved for religion. From the moment I was handed the tools to make better decisions about my food and my life, I gained a sense of confidence. Instead of deprived, I felt empowered.

Tracking my food came naturally, lending a sense of control to an area of my life that had felt haphazard for so long. I rediscovered my love for fruit and vegetables, especially apples, and learned new ways to prepare them. I started (healthy) snacking.


Apple


I’d been worried I’d become “obsessed” with what I was eating, tracking everything to a T . . . and I did.

But it’s been awesome.

Where once I’d eat a sleeve of cookies and feel guilty all night, I learned to have two, track them and move on with my day. I hadn’t realized all the negative self-talk I’d been foisting upon myself, making less-healthy decisions and then berating myself for them.

Portion control became my best friend. I educated myself on smarter choices, on the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables, on all the little choices I thought were good for me that were actually a form of self-sabotage. In short, I’d been eating way too much — and out of emotion. Food was love, and food was comfort. I ate until I felt full to bursting because . . . that was just what I did.

I had to retrain myself. Retrain my body, retrain my brain.

It hasn’t been easy. It took patience, dedication, discipline. Food had been my drug—my crutch—for so long, and there were times it took a Herculean effort (and literally sitting on my hands) to resist reaching for the bread basket.

But I kept with it, never missing a Wednesday weigh-in, because I knew I was working toward the best possible goal: getting healthy for myself, my family and my soon-to-be husband.

When I took a step back (and I did), I learned to be gentle with myself. To be patient.

When I gained some weeks, I chose to remember I was in this for a lifetime — and that rises and falls were inevitable.

That’s the beauty of Weight Watchers — and why it worked for me: I’m not on a diet. I didn’t start the program with a stopping point in mind, figuring at some mystical point I’d be “done.” Being healthy means you’re never “done” . . . but I didn’t realize that the tiny changes I was making were adding up to a complete reboot of my relationship with food.

Some folks assumed I was losing weight for the wedding, a natural thought in our “Say Yes to the Dress” culture. It was easier to let them think I was another image-conscious bride than to explain the truth: that my engagement was merely the wake-up call I needed to realize the rest of my life was waiting, and I didn’t need to bring all those extra pounds into it. It was about so much more than a white gown.


Hands and dress


I dropped 4 lbs. in the first month, amazed to see the number on the scale sliding down. I’d grown so used to cringing at the doctor’s office, the only time I ever weighed myself, that wanting to peer at those digits was a new feeling.

I tried on and bought a wedding dress in March, already 10 pounds lighter than when I’d started — but I’d have to leave it for alterations in August after losing three dress sizes.

On Dec. 11, almost exactly 11 months since I started the program, I officially hit my goal weight: a number that placed me below the overweight zone for the first time in my adult life. I’ve lost 34 lbs. since Jan. 16, which makes my fingers tingle as I type.

But that’s really just a number.


Weight loss grid

View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/megan-and-spencer-wedding


What have I really lost? My guilt. My awkwardness. My fear of having my photo taken and pasted on Facebook for all the world to see, wondering how much old friends and acquaintances are judging my appearance. Never one obsessed with looks, it pains me to admit how much I worried about what others thought of my body . . . but I did.

And what did I gain? Confidence. Swagger. Comfort. Peace. A sense of control that was so lacking in my everyday life—the idea that I’m not ruled by food, though I can still enjoy it (and do). If anything, I enjoy food more now — because I’m making better choices, ones that make me happy. Because I don’t eat pumpkin pie twice a week, my rare indulgence tastes sweeter than the sweetest thing in the world.

I feared weight loss would be all about deprivation. That I’d have to starve myself, get angry with myself, berate myself. That I’d feel so much worse before I’d feel better.

But I feel awesome. I’ve felt motivated and empowered from the beginning. For finally doing something instead of just talking, talking, and for committing to my health.

For committing to myself.

Standing here at the “finish line,” I know my journey is really just beginning — and I feel far more than 34 lbs. lighter. A weight has been lifted from my shoulders, literally and metaphorically, and if I’d known I could feel this good? Well, I would have done this years ago.

It started with a single step: acknowledging that I wanted to change. And with the encouragement and support of my husband, family and friends, I just kept taking tiny steps toward one happy Megan.

But it was a solitary journey, too: one I began for myself.

And I am proud. Very proud.

If you’re thinking about tackling a challenge and getting gutsy in 2014, remember that the time is now. Every cliché you’ve ever heard about committing to yourself and being worth it is absolutely true. You are worth it, and you can do it. It’s just a matter of finding what works for you.

Be your own biggest fan . . .

. . . and if you’re looking for a sign, as they say?


This is it


Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals. This is my entry in Jessica Lawlor’s #GetGutsy Essay Contest.
To get involved and share your own gutsy story,
check out this post for contest details.


*This post was not sponsored by Weight Watchers — I’m just very passionate about the program. All opinions are my own. Though I was not asked to nor compensated for sharing my thoughts, clicking on a Weight Watchers link and signing up for the program may grant me a referral credit.


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The last 2 pounds

As of Wednesday, I’m officially 2.2 pounds from my goal weight.

Though I’ve barely budged in months, I’ve tried not to get discouraged . . . because everyone said this would happen.

weight lossAfter going like gangbusters for months, completely revamping my diet and getting serious about every. little. morsel. passing through my lips, I took off more than 30 pounds in nine months. My progress was crazy. I felt so different, so much better . . . and just really, really proud.

Because I took off so much so quickly, I figured I’d be at my goal weight by now. I took it for granted. It’s been a little frustrating to see the scale barely move, but I’ve actually lost 3.5 pounds since writing this post near my birthday.

I’m so close to being “done” . . . but I really know I’m just beginning.

When I started Weight Watchers (affiliate link) in January, the hardest part was accepting the changes I was making weren’t temporary — the goal is, of course, to get healthy for a lifetime. I was emotional in those early days, whittling down my portions to something the program would deem appropriate, thinking I simply could not survive on anything less than a bowl of pasta a day.

I’m serious.

I could, of course. And I have. I won’t say I don’t have my bad days — my crave everything, bring me lots of chocolate and don’t ask questions days — but they are few and far between. The best part of Weight Watchers has been gaining the knowledge that you can eat whatever you like . . . you just have to hold yourself accountable.

WW has taught me how to do that. Not to deprive myself or starve myself, send myself on endless guilt trips or get hooked on some kind of diet food . . . but to really live my life, and well. I still eat cupcakes; I just count them into my daily Points allowance. I’m so indoctrinated on Points values and high-protein foods and eating well that I really don’t even think about what I’m doing anymore — I just do it. I’m on WW autopilot, and that’s a beautiful thing.

But I haven’t gotten here alone. From the beginning, my fiance — newly-minted at the time! — has been endlessly comforting and supportive of my changes. I didn’t realize I’d slipped into a dark place until I saw the splinter of light my new lifestyle afforded me — and though I would stress Spencer certainly never pushed me into making changes, he has always encouraged me. Because he wants me to be happy.

In fact, Spence and I joined WW together — and have stuck with it together. Though never overweight, he was interested in adopting healthier eating habits and, of course, keeping all the bad stuff out of arm’s reach for me. We learned the ins and outs of eating well together, limiting our portions and getting endlessly creative at mealtimes, and I’m so thankful for his love and dedication to helping me be more.

That’s why he’s going to make an excellent husband . . . in less than four weeks!

All this is to say, if you’re thinking about making a change — with your weight, diet, exercise routines, whatever — well, the “buddy system” is far from baloney. Having someone really in the trenches with me, guiding me and offering advice made a world of difference.

And if you don’t have that buddy to make the first change or visit to Weight Watchers with you, have no fear — because you’ll make new friends in meetings. I guarantee it. Though it’s been months since I met up with our Wednesday night crew (shame on me!), we met so many awesome people of all ages and walks of life by sitting ourselves down with a leader once a week for inspiration and encouragement. I miss that group.

I joined Weight Watchers for Spencer, wanting to know we’d have as many healthy years together as I could grant us. Wanting to be happy — and not self-conscious — during our engagement. But I’ve stayed with it for me.

One of my biggest fears is the idea of being felled prematurely by an illness or disease I might have been able to prevent if I’d only lived a little cleaner, so I drink my water, eat my vegetables, indulge in the occasional treat and really savor it — and I don’t worry so much anymore. Losing weight has freed up so much of my mental space and given me so much energy . . . though both have been consumed by wedding planning of late.

But no matter.

Even if the last 2 pounds linger, if they refuse and refuse to budge . . . well, I’ve come so far that I could never go back.

I’m in the home stretch, and it will continue to be a beautiful ride.


Almost to goal: weight loss update

Weight loss


Well, it’s August 1 — a brand-new month! — and my weight loss end is nigh, friends. Really this time. With your kind support and encouragement in June, I decided to push myself past my original goal to lose 25 pounds and aim to get back in the “healthy” BMI range for my height.

As of Wednesday, I’ve shed 28.6 pounds since January and am just 5 pounds from my goal weight with Weight Watchers. After seven months of completely revamping my diet and eating habits, I’m thick in the middle of wondering “what’s next.” As I edge closer to going on maintenance, meaning I’ll be eating more to sustain my weight rather than actively keeping losing, I’m nervous — but excited, too. Because I did it! Well, almost. But I’m going to do it!

How am I feeling? Well, I’m feeling awesome. I had no concept of how heavy I felt until I became . . . lighter. Running errands last week, Spencer detoured to the fitness section of Walmart and handed me a 30-lb. weight. I could barely hold it, marveling that I could possibly have had all of that on my frame. For the first time in my 5-foot-two-inch life, I actually feel petite.


Almost 30 pounds


On a whim Wednesday, I ran into a department store for new pants. Little I own fits these days. I realized all the jeans I have are size 12 or 14, and I’m now . . . an 8. EIGHT. I wasn’t an 8 when I was walking six miles a day in college. I wasn’t an 8 when graduating from high school. I have never, ever worn a single-digit size, and I’m going to be honest: I’m REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT.

All-caps kind of excited about it.

But it’s not about the size. Truly. I feel healthy, energetic, bold, confident. I feel better now, at 28, than I did at 22 (or even 18). Tons of fresh fruits and vegetables have become a way of life. I’m less careful about what I’m eating than how much I’m eating, though I’ve cut back or cut out some foods from my diet (like bread and pasta. Sigh). While I’ve always enjoyed seafood, fish are my new BFFs.

Desserts have been hard, but I can honestly tell you I’ve rarely felt deprived. All things in moderation, right? I still enjoy the occasional sweet, but I’m in control of foods and desserts . . . not controlled by them. Sounds simple, maybe, but I’ve gone from a woman with no self-control to someone who takes her health very seriously. I religiously keep track of what I’m eating (and how much), and I hold myself accountable. I’ve never missed a week of weighing in with Weight Watchers, and I don’t intend to.

What’s the greatest thing I’ve gained through loss? Freedom. I spent years worrying about my weight — gaining and feeling uncomfortable, having bridesmaid’s dresses let out, feeling awkward in unflattering photos (or refusing to be in them at all). After taking the first step to change that, I immediately felt relief — and have been released from so much anxiety and self-consciousness by making a commitment to myself. You hear these platitudes — you know, you’re worth it! — but believe me when I say . . . you are.

I was. I am.

Here’s to the last 5 pounds.


End goal

photo

Post Weight Watchers treat (frozen yogurt!)


My weight loss goal is in sight.

And that scares me a little.

I’ve started talking with the Weight Watchers crew about my end goal: where I really see myself. How much more do I want to lose? How am I going to know when to stop?

With 23.2 pounds lost and just 1.2 until I hit my personal goal, I have so many conflicting emotions about the next step. At this point, I really believe I’ve changed my eating habits — smaller portions; lots of fresh fruit and vegetables; way fewer sweets — and know I can’t go back to the way things used to be. Weight Watchers has retrained my brain, y’all; I can’t un-know what I’ve learned about eating better.

And, more importantly, feeling better. I didn’t realize how low I’d gotten — physically and emotionally — until I started really examining what I was doing. Since joining the program, my energy levels and confidence have soared. Instead of dreading photos, clothes shopping and running into acquaintances, I feel happy and buoyant and light. By modifying my habits and getting serious about what (and how much) I’m consuming, I’ve changed.

But how do I stop?

After losing 10 percent of my weight, I chose a new personal goal: I wanted to slim down to 150 lbs. At only 5’2″, that number was still 9 pounds more than the “high” end of the healthy BMI weight range for my height — so I’m still considered overweight. (Boo.)

All along, though, I’ve thought the “magic” number for my height — 141 pounds, depending on whom you consult — seemed unrealistic. I haven’t been that slim since high school, and I couldn’t picture myself more than 30 pounds lighter. Afraid of setting myself up for failure, I ignored that number. I couldn’t do 141, I reasoned, but maybe I could do 150. No problem.

Now at 151.2, I’m within sight of that goal. I can feel it. But now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t, for the first time in my post-college life, try to get back within that “healthy” range. It would feel great to be there, emotionally and physically, but I worry 141 is not a number I can sustain — not in the long term. Maybe I could drop another 10 pounds, but should I?

I don’t know.

I already have my lovely wedding dress that is currently two sizes too big. At least half of my work wardrobe is unwearable, and I’m not exactly in a financial position to buy all new clothes. Cry me a river, I know, but it is frustrating in its own way. I’m back to not having anything to wear not because my clothes are too tight, but because they’re too loose.

A better problem to have, yes — especially for health reasons. But frustrating.

Losing another 10 pounds would mean I’ve officially dropped three dress sizes, and absolutely nothing I own — or like — will fit. I feel like I woke up one day to discover all my favorite clothes had become unwearable . . . including my favorite jeans. Because I’m in such a flux right now, I have no idea what size pants to even buy. I’m left wearing and washing the same few pairs I bought on clearance at Kohl’s for the summer, though I know I’ll have to break down and invest in new duds soon.

It’s weird.

Weight is . . . well, a sensitive subject. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. And I’m not sure there’s an easy solution to this — just my general mental wandering over whether or not it’s time to quit. I’ll admit that it’s addictive, seeing that scale move . . . and I just hope I won’t lose momentum once I’m not actively dropping the pounds anymore.

I’ll just have to recommit, this time with renewed purpose: staying healthy. Maintaining.

Both leading up to the wedding and far, far beyond.


Ten percent weight loss

weight loss

Who knew losing 10 percent of something could feel so good?

Losing 10 percent of your paycheck? No.

But losing 10 percent of your weight? Something to be celebrated. And after 17 weeks, I hit that milestone Wednesday.

In January, the idea of losing 17 lbs. was daunting. Though I didn’t doubt my commitment to getting healthy, I had a hard time actually visualizing the weight coming off. The scale going down. My energy increasing. It was all too abstract . . . in the beginning, at least. But then I did start slimming down and eating better. Losing dress sizes. Investing in new clothes. Changing my thinking.

In the last month, I’d hovered around the same weight — even gaining for the first time since starting — and was starting to think I’d hit a plateau. Though I wasn’t exactly goofing around with my eating, I have been slooooowly introducing little treats back into my diet. That’s not a problem because, you know, this is real life. If I want to eat a baby Snickers bar, that’s going to happen. No, the real problem was feeling myself backsliding into a “just a little taste” mentality.

Just a little slice of cake.
Just a little bowl of ice cream.
Just a few M&Ms.
Just a handful of chips.

And I would eat them. And I would enjoy them. And life would go on as usual because this isn’t some sort of war against snack foods, you know? But all of those “little tastes” add up — big time. And if I dance around enjoying “just a little” of this or that, I waste the calories I could have used to eat, say, a chicken breast.

Chicken keeps fills you up better than potato chips, y’all. An indisputable fact.

So I reigned myself in. Got myself back in a healthy mentality. Returned to politely demurring in the face of a mountain of sweets and reminded myself that an occasional indulgence is A-OK, but I can’t slip back into a “eat whatever you want when you want it” mindset.

After 17 weeks of Weight Watchers, I’ve officially lost 18.4 lbs. and hit that 10 percent weight loss goal! I remember sitting in our first January meeting, right after I’d been handed my personal goals, and wondering what in the world I would look like with 17 lbs. shed from my short frame. And now I know. And though I’m still going strong, just having hit that magic number feels awesome.

Sorry if I talk about weight loss too much. I swear I’m not becoming That Girl who goes on and on about her eating habits (er, am I?), but this was too exciting not to share.

I’m holding my 10 percent keychain in the second shot, complete with my 16-week charm for sticking with it for four consecutive months. It’s a tangible representation of what makes me feel so good: not the weight loss persay (though losing two dress sizes is fantastic), but the joy I feel at having kept a commitment to myself.

Even when it was challenging.
Even when I didn’t feel like it.
Even when it made me angry.

I did it. And I’m doing it. And I’ll keep doing it.

My personal pride? The real icing on the (low-fat) cake.


A healthy burger?

A better burger


When I transitioned to a healthier diet this year, I figured I’d never touch a cheeseburger again.

It was just one of many misconceptions I had before joining Weight Watchers — and figuring out how to balance the delicious, oh-my-God-I-need-“real”-food urges I have with building flavorful, better-for-me meals.

After stumbling across WW’s recipe for pepperoni pizza burgers online, I almost wept with relief. Red meat! Pepperoni! A real bun! And it was only 8 points? Well, then.

Spence and I made these last night and added a few of our favorite spices (like crushed red pepper and black pepper), plus added yellow peppers because . . . well, you don’t need a reason to add peppers, do you? Grilling the tomatoes, as instructed, lends some of the “pizza” quality to the recipe, though it’s really like a delicious Italian-style burger.

I’m leaving the recipe as-is, so as not to alter the Points content for anyone following Weight Watchers, but we lightened it up further with turkey pepperoni instead of regular. And we totally splurged with potato rolls instead of light wheat ones. And it was so good.

Mmm, burgers. I’ve missed you so. And we’ll never be parted again.


Pepperoni Pizza Burgers

Recipe from Weight Watchers


Ingredients:
4 sprays cooking spray
1 pound uncooked 93% lean ground beef
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
2 medium plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
4 light hamburger rolls or buns, toasted
1 oz pepperoni, thinly sliced
4 leaf/leaves basil

Instructions:
Coat a large griddle, outdoor grill rack or stovetop grill pan with cooking spray; preheat to medium-high.

In a large bowl, combine beef, salt, garlic powder, oregano and crushed red pepper; divide mixture into four balls and then gently press each one into a 4-inch patty.

Place sliced tomatoes on grill; cook until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from grill; set aside.

Off heat, recoat griddle or grill pan with cooking spray. Place burgers on hot griddle or grill; cook 5 minutes per side for medium (or to desired degree of doneness). Sprinkle each burger with 1/4 of cheese about 2 minutes before fully finished cooking on second side; cook until cheese melts.

Serve each burger on a toasted bun, topped with 1 basil leaf and 1/4 ounce pepperoni. Yields 1 burger per serving.


Scale and non-scale victories

Blackberries and yogurt


I had my 12-week weigh-in this week — and I’m officially down 14.4 lbs. Aside from the blinking number on that scale, this loss has translated into . . .

• Losing almost two dress sizes, resulting in the acquisition of all-new pants;
• Wearing my skinny jeans with startling regularity (and buying another pair);
• Buying jeans in a size I haven’t worn since my sophomore year in college;
• Lookin’ awesome in the maid of honor dress I ordered for my sister’s wedding;
• And generally feeling great.

Continuing with my weight loss goals has been both harder and easier than I expected. I’m still gung-ho on Weight Watchers, utilizing all the tips and tools they offer — and I’m definitely in a rhythm. I don’t have to think about Points values and “good” foods and portion control . . . I just know it. And do it. Though I still reach for desserts at office parties and family gatherings, I’ve learned the necessarily skills to simply dial it back. To take control of my eating — something I didn’t realize was so out of control until I got a reality check.

Though I don’t have any full-body shots to share (and am not sure I’d be brave enough even if I did!), I think you can start to see the weight loss in my face. And I’m smiling pretty often these days!


December 2012

April - us


Also, that red coat is super loose now — and it barely zipped back then. Progress!

That’s how I’m really measuring the journey . . . by the difference in my clothes. I feel like I can “shop” in my own closet now, digging out pieces I haven’t been able to wear for years (or ever), and it feels so encouraging to realize that for every new item I must buy (like those aforementioned jeans), an older item can be re-entered into the rotation.

And as for my habits? The biggest changes have been . . .

Eating breakfast. Where once I scarfed down a granola bar and sipped a Diet Coke as my morning “meal,” I now take the time to eat low-fat Greek yogurt (I love the 100 calorie Yoplait varieties) with my own added blackberries, strawberries or banana slices, and often drink hot tea in the morning. On the weekends, I eat low-sugar oatmeal and fruit. I also eat a mid-morning snack — like low-fat mozzarella or cottage cheese — to tide me over until lunchtime, which brings me to . . .

Eating lunch at my desk. If you asked me what my single biggest hang-up regarding joining a weight loss program would be back in January, I’d have unequivocally shouted “HAVING TO EAT AT MY DESK.” Before January, I went out to lunch every. single. day. And no, I’m not exaggerating. Friends teased me about my constant runs to Panera, Noodles & Co. and Einstein Bros. Bagels, places that have probably shuttered in my absence. I supported the local lunch economy single-handledly, y’all.

But now? I make myself a healthy sandwich (bagel thin, lean turkey, fat-free mustard, low-fat Swiss cheese), eat Progresso Light soups or pop open healthy leftovers from last night’s dinner. If I go out to eat, it’s typically on a Friday — and it’s a real treat. I wait until someone is free to go with me, then make it a combination social outing/lunch treat. And yes, my wallet and check book — and wedding budget — are thanking me.

• Watching the sweets. This has been tough, but I’ve managed to enjoy small, simple portions of desserts rather than the big ol’ honking slice of something I’d preferred to have before. In the past week I have chowed down on my mom’s birthday cake, a friend’s Smith Island Cake and chocolate chip cookies, though, so really: it’s all about moderation. I’m still eating what I like — I’m just eating less of what I like.

In another three months, I plan to be on the same healthy track I am now . . . and if I lose another dress size, I will officially be the thinnest I’ve ever, ever been in my adult life.

That’s not my focus, though — my focus is all those “non-scale victories,” as our Weight Watchers leader will proclaim. It’s the happiness. The pride. The energy. And the conversation topics! Who would have ever thought I’d have something to contribute to chats about healthy eating?

I’m loving it.