In fact, I still had a ways to go. A long way to go, actually.
I’m talking about #55in2015—the weight loss goal I set for myself in 2015. Here’s the backstory. I had started Weight Watchers in 2014 and, after changing my routine to include weekly meetings, began seeing results. I started 2015 having lost 20 pounds, but I wanted to hit a total of 75 pounds lost by the end of 2015, hence #55in2015.
Ask anyone who knows me, however, and math has never been my strong suit. I actually lost 18 pounds in 2014, so we’re talking a goal of 57 pounds. I realized that misstep a couple months in, and I was already moving full steam ahead with the #55in2015 hashtag to track my progress—and my hardships. So, I kept things as is.
Throughout 2015, I lost 14 pounds, bringing my total to 32. For reference, my ultimate weight loss goal is 100 pounds. Comparing those two numbers—32 pounds (actual) vs. 75 pounds (goal)—sparks a poignant mix of emotions: elation, pride, disappointment, anxiety, and, in the darkest recesses of my mind, that devious scourge of even the best-laid goals and plans: failure.
I may have missed my goal, but when I look back on what I accomplished this year, a surge of pride pushes the doubt and negativity away. Highlights include:
- Completing 4 5Ks (Stars and Stripes, Rock the Crossroads, DashKCK and Mustache Dash), bringing my number of completed 5Ks to 5 since I ran my first one in October 2014.
- Finishing four swimming competitions for Corporate Challenge as part of #TeamDSI: two 50-meter medleys (freestyle and backstroke) and two 50-meter individual races (freestyle and backstroke).
- Scored a spot on the #TeamDSI weightlifting team for Corporate Challenge and placed 7th in our division with a bench press of 125 pounds.
- Earned my Weight Watchers 25-pound weight loss charm.
- Went down 1 jeans size and 1 clothing size.
- Set—and accomplished—several micro-goals to help me address certain problem areas. Ex: Complete 5 workouts in a week, truthfully track all of the food I eat in the Weight Watchers app, try 3 new healthy recipes in a week, make lunch at work instead of eating out, etc
What I Learned—and What’s Next
Before I get into the (kinda) mushy stuff, here’s what I’m going to accomplish in 2016:
- Train for and run the Trolley Run, a 4-mile race, in April.
- Take swimming lessons to improve my freestyle and backstroke form.
- Work with my trainer, Cheryl, to increase my bench press to 145 pounds for this year’s Corporate Challenge.
- Participate in the following Corporate Challenge events: 5K, weightlifting and swimming (individual and medleys).
- Train for and run the Plaza 10K in September.
- Lose 43 pounds, bringing my total to 75.
I’m happy with what I accomplished in 2015, but that doesn’t mean I’m not constantly fighting the demons of negativity and self-doubt. I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be with my weight loss goal, but I learned many, many times this year that health and fitness is so much more than a number on the scale.
Another poignant lesson? It’s just as important to take care of your mind as it is your body. I hit too many obstacles and plateaus and challenges to count, but I made a huge change this year. In the past, I would have hit any one of those stumbling blocks and simply given up. This year, I took some time to assess what contributed to the problem, then made a plan to push past it and continue with my journey. Oh, and also? A good cry can work wonders!
Lastly, I learned the power of sharing and community. I labeled my posts with #55in2015 in the spirit of transparency, accountability and celebration. Sure, it’s been amazing to look back on them while writing this post to relive my triumphs and struggles. But I’ve also heard from several people that they’ve been inspired to join Weight Watchers as a result of what I’ve shared, for which I’m deeply grateful and humbled.
No matter your weight loss or fitness or other health-related goals, it takes a village to achieve them, something I know firsthand from being inspired by my best friend, Jamie, who achieved her Weight Watchers weight-loss goal earlier this year. I wouldn’t have started going to meetings if it wasn’t for her, and they’ve made a critical difference in my weight loss results. Whether you vent your frustrations and celebrate your accomplishments with a bestie, a co-worker, in a group text or online, I encourage you to find your own little village that can help you get to the finish line. I’d love to hear your journey, if you’re so inclined to share. Tweet me at @KatyWrites and let’s cheer each other on!
It’s been a heck of a year, and I’m even more excited for 2016. Before I go and get to work, I’ve got some much-deserved shout-outs. To Jamie, Jo and Sarah—thank you for being such integral parts of my weekly WW experience! Jamie and Jo, those group texts are often life-savers. To Cheryl, my incredible trainer—we’ll celebrate 3 years this year, and I think it’s going to be our biggest yet. Thank you for listening, for celebrating, for commiserating, and for most of all, pushing me to do things I never thought I could do. To Rob, the best husband in the world, and my amazing family—thank you for your unwavering support, much-needed fuel when my spirits are lagging. And to Andrea, Keri, Karen, Amy, Claire, Meghann, Sharon, Adi, Lilly and all of you fellow Weight Watchers, thank you for inspiring me, for listening and for sharing. I’m so excited for what we’ll all accomplish in 2016!
And with that, a new hashtag is born: #AllGoals2016, in recognition of everything I want to accomplish this year. Let’s go to work!