In 2010, I started to put on weight quickly. The job market was rough, we were still feeling the effects of the 2008 recession, and my finances were in the dumps. During most of my Dark Ages (May 2009-June 2013) I put on 40 pounds that I just could not shake for the life of me! 7 weeks ago (from yesterday), I joined my fellow Penn Stater, friend, and blogger, Toi from ToiTime in signing up for Weight Watchers! ?? All I knew about Weight Watchers was that Oprah had weight loss success with them and had financially invested in the company. Now I love me some Oprah but that did not make me run towards Weight Watchers! It wasn’t until Toi, business woman, wife, blogger, and mother of three, had huge success with the program that I decided to give it a try. Come to find out that a couple of my mommy friends had loss weight with Weight Watchers after giving birth to their children. Many did not like exercising nor dieting so Weight Watchers seemed perfect. I was a little skeptical but since Toi had been blogging about her weight loss journey from the start of the new year, I got inspired and determined! I decided once I hit the 20lbs down mark I would publicly talk about my journey. Well I started Weight Watchers on April 02, 2016 and as of today, I am now 17lbs down! ?? And I eat quite normally with very little time to go to the gym! ?? Here are the 5 Things I have learned so far about weight loss: 5. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH GETTING HELP! Whether it’s Weight Watchers or another program, there is a program out there for you! In the past, I tried to lose the weight on my own and the most I could lose was 10lbs! I don’t know about you but I needed the structured discipline AND I needed it to be an easy system! I work at many locations in the city. Thus, I am on foot (this ended up being a blessing) most of the time. So food prep was out for me! I cannot lug food with me on the subway and all over the city! No way! My pocketbook alone is weighing me down as I trek all over the place! But what I decided to do was buy fresh fruit and vegetables throughout my day at any fruit stand I saw and build it into my routine. Now this can get pricey but so is obesity…which is more pricey in several different ways! So pick your poison! If a program can work for me…it can work for others because I’m extremely busy and lazy at the same damn time! Lol. So if you need help…get it! Currently, I am doing the Weight Watchers online program only because that’s what works for me. Toi’s program includes meetings etc. Pick the program that’s good for you! 4. IT SHOULD NOT FEEL LIKE A DIET! When I thinking about signing up for Weight Watchers, I asked Toi if she was hungry on her program all of the time. If so, please do not recommend it to me because I like to eat (clearly). She replied that she was always eating and that’s why she loved the program! Soon I learned that I could still eat ice cream, snicker’s bars, and go to my favorite restaurants while losing weight! That’s what the program teaches you to do…it teaches you to have a better relationship with the foods you love. Thus, I just make the healthiest choices at my favorite restaurants plus make sure I eat clean for the rest of the meals I have for that day! If I had to eat grass with a dusting of seaweed all day long…7 days a week…I would not have made it! ? 3. AS YOU LOSE THE WEIGHT, YOU MUST ALSO TEND TO YOUR MENTAL! Initially, I wanted to wait until I lost 20 pounds before I began blogging about my weight loss. I mean…what if I started and then quit…running for the fastest fried chicken buffet that I could find…taking a nap under some thighs and legs?! ? Oh the shame! ? I had to know I was seriously dedicated to this process before I spoke a word of it to you! Today, I’m 3lbs shy of the first half of my goal but I’m blogging because it dawned on me that I never ever made it over the 10lb mark of weight loss in all the years I was trying to lose! NEVER! So every pound over 10 is a miracle and proof the program is working for me! One thing I struggle with is accepting that mentally I’m losing the weight. I feel healthier and lighter but I’m still ordering clothes online that’s my old size! ?It’s like a part of me thinks that I can go back to the Dark Ages again…even though my spirit knows this is not true! When you have been struggling to get fit after years, any progress is exciting yet scary. We, humans, are creatures of habit but somehow it seems the bad habits are easier to pick up than the good ones! ? So as you lose weight, celebrate feeling better and keep telling yourself that you came too far to turn back! You are in it to win it! ?? 2. NOT FULLY CLEAN EATING! Now I know folks say you have to 100% clean eat to get healthy. I would say this is a short term weight loss strategy since most of us are not willing to give up some of our guilty pleasures forever to only eat fruit and grass 24/7. ? If you can do that and stick with it, bless your heart but I know I won’t! I love chocolate and fried chicken way too much for that! ? I do know that because of serious health scares some people permanently gave up processed foods. Once again, you have to do what’s good for you and your health. But for most of us, who are just aiming to get more fit, cleaning eating forever is just not doable! Lucky for me that I can’t 100% clean eat! What I do do is make my breakfast very healthy (50% clean eat and switched from omelets to egg whites), lunch is whatever I want to eat but a very small portion of it, and dinner (which I use to skip) is 100% clean eating. Now this isn’t a science…it’s just what has been working for me. Also, thanks to city life, I naturally walk 2-3 miles a day! ?? So even though I haven’t been able to get to the gym as much as I would have liked…exercise is still built into my day.? 1. NO COUNTING CALORIES! The best part about Weight Watchers is I do not have to count calories! ?? For example, a can of Pepsi is 250 calories but Weight Watchers assigns that same can of Pepsi 10 points! I only get 30 points a day with 42 (started off with this) or 35 (5 weeks into the program it got reduced to this) weekly cheat points! What they do is instead of giving food a point value based on calories…they assign points based on the nutritional value! ? This is extremely helpful for me because it forces me to treat the points like it is money which resonates with me so much more than counting calories. If I only have 30 bucks in my pockets to eat for the day…I damn sure do not want to start the day off with spending 10 bucks on a Pepsi! Like what will I be able to eat for my 3 meals that day if I splurge so much at the start of it?! In the past, I use to try to count calories through the My Fitness Pal app but failed to lose weight. Reason being…I filled my 1,400 calories a day up with empty calories such as brownies and cookies! When one is focused solely on nutritional value…it’s hard to do that. I still use the My Fitness Pal App but only to compare the results with Weight Watchers. What I’ve found is Weight Watchers is much more strict but leaves me feeling full with more energy! ?? I have a friend that’s been very successful with My Fitness Pal but for a junk food addict like myself…I just could not discipline myself enough to count those calories! Weight Watchers gave me the structure that I needed. ? I will continue to keep you guys posted on my weight loss journey! And let me know what you guys have been doing that works for you! Lastly, if you have been wanting to lose weight but feel discouraged…take a small step today! Several weeks later…several small steps could lead to big results! ?? ~KJM on Charm School Monday! Thank You to Toi and Weight Watchers for giving me the support I needed to start my journey! ?Here’s to a fit and sexy summer! ?