“The Sparkler” by Weight Watchers Member Mary Brady


This was passed along to me by Mary’s leader. I wanted to share it with all of you. Happy Independence Day!


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

by Weight Watchers member Mary Brady


Last Thursday at our Weight Watchers meeting, our leader Lisa gave everyone a sparkler to light on the 4th of July. I was like, “Ooooooooooooo a sparkler!” My eyes lit up. I loved sparklers as a child. I still do as an adult. I know…I know…I was a excited. In the midst of all of this.I vaguely heard Lisa asking us to use it as a symbol that reflected our independence from being overweight  and wave it around on the 4th as a celebration for being on a path to a healthier life style. I heard that….but my mind was smiling at the thought of the darkness lit up with the sparks and me waving it around and writing the night’s darkness with bright images of nothingness.

I treasured that sparkler all week long…waiting for tonight to light it.

Tonight…I sat outside by myself in the buggy back yard. I hate bugs..they are so annoying….so I jumped in the pool and lit my sparkler.

I watched it…memorized…..lost in thought.

I know I have a way to go still, but I am on the path.

Unlike most people, I didn’t join Weight Watchers to lose weight. I know this now. I joined so that I wouldn’t GAIN anymore weight. That is the bottomline. I had a number I was seriously getting close to and that was totally unacceptable to me.

I’m really not sure why I kept going to Weight Watchers once I thought I knew the program. I think it was because I liked the idea of Weight Watchers even though I didn’t like the idea of change.

I am not one for change. I am very set in my ways. I have to think about adapting and how to make it work for me. In essence, it wasn’t too long ago that I played the PointsPlus value game so I could continue with my eating habits that I didn’t really  want to change.

In April, while I was still playing games wit the Program, I had almost quit. I had planned on it.  I just felt angry and defeated.

This is when, at my lowest emotional state,  I became strong. I started actually doing the Program. I started an intense workout program. I started to gain confidence and my way of thinking changed. I could not only SEE myself doing this, but I was DOING this.

Gone was juice in the mornings. I was so furious that juice did not count as a fruit. Sometimes I drink juice but mostly I drink water with my vitamins and eat my fruit.

When I think food, I now see the produce section of the grocery store. When I see the bakery aisle, I say, “no.”  As I push my cart by that section,  I no longer have regrets.

Now when I when I see “WW,” I no longer think whole wheat…I see Weight Watchers.

I actually now own a Sharpie. I never thought I would. I didn’t want to waste my time writing PointsPlus values on packages of food stored in my kitchen.. I mean…I KNOW the point values. I do have a memory. But, my Sharpie does more than that for me. Now when I open a cupboard door and see food clearly labeled with the correct PointsPlus value. I make my choices based on that number.  Maybe for right now a certain food will not fit into my daily food plan and sometimes the food I have my eyes on fits right in. Knowing the PointsPlus values helps me make decisions and not just grab something because I want it.

I now have theme nights. It makes meal times exciting. I pretty much know what I am going to eat everyday. I pour over cook books for something fresh and easy.

Sure, sometimes I get impatient–I want my weight loss to be as fast as I picture it in my mind. This impatience leads me to not eating enough and working out way to much. Neither of those are good things, either.

Sometimes…..I get scared.

Remember, before it all clicked, I never really cared what I weighed…as long as I didn’t gain anymore. Now..I want to lose….and then…

fear creeps in……

What if I hit goal, but then my body loses more?

What if I never hit goal?

What if I hit goal….and then GAIN?

I have to take deep breaths and think of my Weight Watchers leader.  I know, no matter what, she won’t abandon me. She will be there for me. I know she will. She was there for me even when I wasn’t there for me!

I have to realize that I have changed. I am changing. I am making decisions now instead of just doing things the way I had in the past.

Case in point: This morning my husband wanted biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I was surprised and asked him if he  KNEW how many PointsPlus values that would mean for breakfast? He said it was a holiday deserving of a treat. I reminded him that late lunch was when we would celebrate Independence Day. We’d have our treat then because I had already planned the extra PointsPlus values into my daily plan.  So, instead of biscuits and gravy we both enjoyed oatmeal, an English muffin and fruit for breakfast.

So…. back to me in the pool with the sparkler. After so much reflection on what transpired over the last year, I noticed that the sparkler I was holding had burned out. I stared at it for a moment, swam over to the side of the pool and  threw it in a cup of water.

Then, I floated around a bit longer.

This was my Independence Day, too!

It’s kind of funny, when I think of Weight Watchers, I see faces of my friends who are on the Program. I see faces of people that attend every week with me. I see Lisa, our leader.

And do you know who else I see?