health

"One thing was always consistent, food itself was always the enemy."

Weight Watchers
Thanks to our brand partner, Weight Watchers

I have always had a difficult relationship with food. In my teens, I barely ate and lived off meal replacement drinks to maintain a size six figure. In my early twenties, I moved to London and quickly gained upwards of 20 kilos and struggled with portion control.

One thing was consistent through these contrasting times: food itself was always the enemy.

In my mid to late twenties, realising my weight gain had gotten out of control, I started to diet. You name it, I tried it. Everything from home delivered diet meals to cabbage soup to 5:2, and nothing seemed to work.

After visiting several doctors who seemed set on weight shaming me, I finally found one that listened to me. I told her how no amount of dieting or exercise seemed to shift the weight and after a few tests it became clear I had insulin resistance, often called pre-diabetes, which makes it extremely difficult to lose weight.

It was now more important than ever to lose weight because insulin resistance can easily develop into type two diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes.

Losing weight was no longer a want, it was a need. I jumped back on the diet merry-go-round and still nothing seemed to work, so when the opportunity to try the new Weight Watchers Program Your Way came up at work, I figured I may as well give it a go. I’d tried everything so what did I have to lose?

Yummy carrot noodles and beach walks? Sign us up. Images via Instagram @rubisaurus.

The Program had recently been reimagined and was far more holistic than ever before. The fact that fitness and feeling were ranked alongside food, is what really convinced me to give it a try. It wasn’t just my relationship with food that I needed to change, I needed to change my whole lifestyle.

I dubiously started a week before Christmas. Given my insulin resistance and the importance of losing weight I thought I ate pretty well and expected Weight Watchers would reaffirm that for me. I was wrong.

In the first two days of tracking my SmartPoints™, I ate all of my daily allowance, my weekly allowance and another 19 SmartPoints on top of that.

With a slew of pre-Christmas drinks and the big day itself ahead of me I wasn’t sure how I was going turn things around, but it was easier than I thought.

Sushi was replaced with bolognese sauce with carrot and my morning latte was swapped for a piccolo. Quickly I was able to manage my daily and weekly SmartPoints, which allowed me to enjoy a full Christmas dinner – duck fat potatoes and all.

Ruby with her sister over Christmas. Images via Instagram @rubisaurus/supplied.

As Christmas turned into New Year, I kept it up.  It was like I didn’t even really need to try, I knew how many SmartPoints I had per day and I started making better choices without needing to think about it.

The greatest change was how I was feeling about myself, as over the first few weeks I noticed my body changing – self-loathing was replaced with pride.

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My first official weigh in on New Year’s Day I’d lost two kilos. Seriously, over Christmas and New Year I’d managed to lose two kilos and I didn’t even feel like I missed out on anything.

I think that’s the secret to Weight Watchers success, you’re not cutting out entire food groups so if you want chocolate you can have it, you just need to allow for it.

eating healthy over the holidays
One of Ruby’s yummy dinners. Image: supplied.

Returning to work I synced my Fitbit up to the Weight Watchers app – I was now able to combine my daily exercise (walking to and from work) with my weight loss all in one place. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, there have definitely been days I have completely and utterly fallen off the wagon, but the great thing about Weight Watchers is every day is a new day and I just need to get back on the horse and be accountable for my actions.

The biggest test for me was if the new Weight Watchers Program was actually helping my insulin resistance. Last week I got a new glucose test done and went to see my doctor for the results and…drum roll… my glucose levels had gone down. This is huge, by making smarter food choices and exercising I can get rid of my insulin resistance. And taking part in the Weight Watchers Your Way Program has helped me towards that goal.

I am looking forward to what I can achieve with Weight Watchers over the next year. Food is no longer the enemy, I’m feeling better about myself than I have in years and the future’s looking brighter than ever.

How do you manage your health and fitness over holiday periods?

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