Watching your weight go down!

Thanks to my wife, several people from my church, a nearby neighbor in Tiger, the 2011 Celebrate Clayton festival and one particular person, Robin Welch, who has lost 91 pounds since I originally knew her, I was introduced last April to the local  Weight Watchers group.

Losing weight is so hard.  I had tried for years. Twenty years ago I did lose and keep off 10 pounds. In the days just before going to my first Weight Watchers meeting I lost another 5 and then in the year I have been going to and loving the local Weight Watchers group I have lost 20 to 25 more. So I’m feeling good knowing there are now about 35 less pounds of me today.

If you are interested in trying Weight Watchers you can call our leader, Karen Trombley, or you can just come to your first meeting at the Bethel Baptist Church in Tiger. Meetings are each Tuesday morning at 9 AM and Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 PM.  Every week like clockwork 75 to 100 people come to one of these two meetings. And the first thing each person does is to step up onto a very accurate scale and learn the good or the bad news – the report card on the past 7 days.  –

          Last week I met for the first time a man from the afternoon group who has lost 117 pounds (from 357 to 250 pounds).  He is completely off his meds for hypertension and no longer needs insulin for diabetes.  He is still going down.  He has learned so many approaches to losing weight. I asked him which single thing he has learned was the most important.  I will tell you his answer later in the article.  What do you think his answer was?

Several weeks ago a friend told me about an article in the New York Times in 2008. It included a description of the 11 best foods that people like to hate (don’t like to eat). She pulled out the list that had been in her pocketbook for four years. Thinking of our Weight Watchers group at the Bethel Baptist Church I dutifully wrote them down. I will present the list to my Weight Watchers buddies and see what they have to say. Here they were:

  1.  Beets
  2.  Cabbage
  3.  Swiss chard
  4.  Cinnamon
  5.  Pomegranate juice
  6.  Dried plums (prunes)
  7.  Pumpkin seeds
  8.  Sardines
  9.  Turmeric
  10.  Frozen blueberries
  11. Canned pumpkin

Oh yes, the gentleman who has lost 117 pounds says the most important thing he has learned has been portion control. “I used to eat two 16 ounce steaks and a huge potato covered with butter for dinner.  Now it is an occasional 8 ounce steak!  Portion control is a part of every single Weight Watchers meeting and does seem to be the single most important take-home message in the program. Group support would a close second. Did you guess that portion control would be his answer to my question? By the way, this gentleman’s wife has lost weight in Weight Watchers too, a total of 73 pounds!  

Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH
Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia