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Lifetime: It’s A Long Time September 30, 2010

Last weekend we had a special meeting for Lifetime Members at our Weight Watchers center. Lifetime members are people who reached their goal weight then maintained it for a minimum of six weeks. Many Lifetime members have been at their goal weight for YEARS (one woman there has been at goal for 17 yrs!!!!!!!) and others for shorter amounts of time.  It was an awesome meeting. We talked about how exciting it can be to lose, and then, when you hit goal weight and maintenance, it’s: gain a pound. Lose a pound. Gain a pound. Repeat. You don’t get the same sense of celebration as “losers” do.

That is one reason that I jumped onto WW staff the second (and I mean the SECOND) I reached Lifetime. I knew it would be super challenging to maintain my weight loss. I knew I had to do it. And for me, to be on staff has been more rewarding and amazing than I ever could have imagined. I have gained an incredible community of friends who share the same healthy goals. I have the resources of this amazing organization. I am constantly learning new things: about health, and about myself.

People talked about feeling “invisible” in the mass of people who are primarily at WW to lose weight. On one hand, I know what they mean. But at the same time, I have to say that every single topic that we discuss in the meetings are JUST as relevant for maintainers as for people who are trying to lose. I personally reflect on every topic that we have, and each one is meaningful because they are all about living healthy lives. For good.

Another thing we talked about is this idea of maintaining being “hard.” Is it harder than losing? Yes and no. I think it’s hard when we realize that reaching a goal weight does not mean Immunity. Ha ha ha ha. You just have to keep doing what you’re doing, and do more of it, like, forever. I think it’s easy when we’re generally feeling better and healthier than we ever have. So it’s both.

I’ve made a personal vow to make sure the Lifetime members in my meetings feel just as welcomed and celebrated and honored as anyone else. They are inspirational! and awesome for what they have accomplished. And it also made me think hard about how important it is to constantly work to keep myself motivated. I have to keep changing it up.

On Sunday, we had the WW Awards event which was super amazingly awesome. It’s sort of like the Oscars of the WW world. I was proud to be part of some great accomplishments this year, especially for the Alameda Center. We also heard that the Northern California region, which was #14 in the country (for weight loss/maintenance accomplishments) last year – fantastic- has jumped to NUMBER TWO this year! Woo hoo! Go Northern California Weight Watchers!

I’m doing a bunch of things to change things up recently. To keep it fresh. I’ve made a new commitment to fresh produce. I’m going to go to the Farmers’ Market at least once a week (if not more). I’m going to keep reading new things and thinking about my health in new ways. Because there is no such thing as Immunity.

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9 Responses to “Lifetime: It’s A Long Time”

  1. Julia Says:

    My WW leader always acknowledges the lifetimers which is great, hopefully oneday I will become one :)

  2. Patrick Says:

    Maintenance is a ways away for me but I have wondered what will I have to do different to maintain when I get there? Or, just keep doing the same thing? I have to imagine it comes down to math to some degree. Whatever I determine I want my diet to be when there, i have to have the exercise included that is approriate to net out on calories consumed. Yeah, it can’t be that easy.

  3. This is such an important post and subject and I’m glad you address it the way you do here. It would be great if there were more emphasis on (and celebration of!) maintaining than there is on losing…

  4. Shannon Says:

    Anyone who attends your meeting would feel welcome. YOU make it that way. I agree that the lifetime members should be acknowledged for their accomplishments. Not only that like you said their stories are inspiring and could help others. Any time I meet someone that has lost weight and been able to keep it off I am amazed. That is true change for a LIFETIME and the commitment to ones self is huge.
    Every time you write about ww I want to run out and try it again!

  5. What I love about WW is that you are able to become a staff member after hitting Lifetime. Talk about accountability.

    And you’re right, hitting lifetime doesn’t mean the journey is over. In fact being a Lifetime member scares me more than being a curent member.

  6. Paolo Says:

    Cosigned on the no Immunity. Oh boy, how ever do I cosign on that.

    Learned that in September. Oh most certainly.

    Good luck with the Farmer’s Market!

    Protip:
    A lot of the merchants at the Old Oakland Farmer’s Market on Fridays are also at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market the following day…only without the 3 times mark-up on the same stuff.

  7. Kirsten Says:

    So true. For me it is (was) harder, not having goals to work towards. But I did okay for 9 months till i got pregnant and then miscarried, an then sort of okay for about another 9, till i got pregnant again. Elli is now 7 months old (and nursing as i type), and I’m back where I started after the last baby, with 19 kilos to lose. But getting back to it.

    Anyway, point being, this time when I get to goal I’ll need to learn how to make it stick.

    Great post.

  8. Karen Says:

    Years ago I reached lifetime with WW and stopped going. Big mistake. I would go back and change that in a heartbeat! Many yo-yo years later…

  9. Valerie Millsaps Says:

    I moved away from Alameda, and even though i found a meeting, and I am successfully losing weight… the meetings are not the same. They don’t have the same impact that my favorite leader EVER from Alameda had. Stan… Joe and I miss you leading our meetings!!!! I can not find Stan to say thank you, I keep the little Stan on my shoulder to remind me where I am hungry… my head, my heart or my stomach.
    I have been gone from Alameda now for 2 years, and I will keep that little Stan on my shoulder for as long as possible.
    Stan, you should teach leaders your secret, your style, your impact! You are amazing, and thank you for making a difference in my lifetime change.
    Love n hugs, Valerie and Joe (formerly from the sail boat “Denali” in Alameda)


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