During my vacation, I cleaned out our spare bedroom. I found treasures galore, including…

$5 gift card to Starbucks, which still do not know where it came from
$3.32 to put in son’s piggy bank
My USC hoodie that I have not seen in a while
An old cell phone from 1995

I also found the Weight Watchers key chain above. You get one when you lose 10% of your body weight. Then, I got little medallions for every 25 pounds I lost.

This was my second set. They decided to give me two after I lost 200 pounds. They gave it to me two years ago privately after a meeting.

It is an amazing thing that I lost 200 pounds on Weight Watchers.

But I did.

My mom did WW a while back. My wife did not like it when she tried it years ago. Honestly, I have no idea why I even thought about joining.

But I did.

I signed up online in 2008. I walked into a Weight Watchers center. The place was empty. I looked around, and the receptionist was talking to another person. They were the only two people in there. I have no idea why I just stood there.

But I did.

Barbara, the receptionist, looked at me. She asked me if I was joining? I told her I already did, I just needed to come in to get some booklets. She told me I needed to stay for a meeting first. I looked around. I figured this was a bad idea. I looked at all of the WW foods plastered on the walls. I saw a flip board in the front of the room that said “Small Portions”. I felt awkward. Barbara told me I needed to weigh myself. I really did not want to see how much I weighed. What if it did not register my weight, like every other scale. Like the scale at the doctor’s office, where I was known as “Mr. 350 plus”.I really, really did not want to get on that scale.

But I did.

I went on. I got a number, 420.2 pounds. I told Barbara I was a quick learner, just please give me the books, and I would make a commitment to come each week to weigh myself. I guarantee she has seen many people like me. She might have thought my wife forced me to go, or my doctor did. I made the choice. The humiliating choice of being the guy at Weight Watchers. While friends are talking about beer and hot girls, I would see how many points are in a Lean Cuisine. She told me she would do it, but I had to come to meetings. It was our deal. I was hesitant.

But I did.

I was that guy. Every week I went and weighed myself. I sat in the meetings, rarely talking. I was in the back. I would learn that I could not “eat a Twix now and then” but others could. I learned that I was not interested in the foods they sold, but the foods they did not sell. The fruits and vegetables that my body has never had. I learned that I did not try every diet. I did things my way. I thought I was smarter than everyone else. Yet, realized that I was a fool. Every story I lived. I was the person who did not understand why I gained weight. I was the one that did not understand protein. I was the one that did not want to work out. I never listened to my leader speak. I heard the people around me. I listened to their struggles, and realized I was similar. And to think, I almost never went to a meeting.

But I did. Every Monday at 9am. I was always there at 8:45am. I did not want people to see my weight loss. I never got stickers. I got all of my “prizes” in private. They always wanted to make a big deal out of it, but I did not. Every week, people would ask me how much weight I lost. I would never say anything. I told them I was not sure. They looked at me weird. After a while, they stopped asking. I still did not speak, I listened to the members. After losing the weight, I still was scared.

I have lost weight before.I would not gain it back.

I remember being so angry that Weight Watchers would not publish my story. They would not let me tell people about my weight loss. I remember submitting so many pictures and never getting a response. I remember searching for their PR reps and telling them my story. I remember growing so angry with their corporate offices.

I was angry with myself. I never told any of those members about me. How I used to eat 10,000 calories a day. How I could not wipe my butt. How I struggled to get a hug from my wife. I kept quiet. I should have spoke, but I did not. I talked on here. I wanted to tell those members that helped me that it is possible. Strength is there.

But I did not…

That is how I am though. I do not give up. I will work so hard to get what I want. Sometimes I have no idea what I want, yet, I still fight for it. It makes no sense.

Neither does a 420 pound guy at a Weight Watchers meeting. I should have quit the first week. I am a cynical guy. I roll my eyes more than you do. You never have to tell me how people perceive me, I know.

To this day, I still do not think I lost weight the way Weight Watchers designed the program. I have no idea what it is about now. Unlike WW, I think that Sparkpeople does an incredibly amazing job at building a positive online community, and I think that the spokespeople Weight Watchers chooses is poor.

That is not what this is about.

This is more about the members. The people who struggle with their weight. The ones that have trigger foods. The people who think a “little” is really a lot. The people who eat 3,000 calories at 11:30 pm. The people who work so hard to make this possible. The people who care about themselves to make a change. The people who really care, although most people do not see it. To the people who do not give up.

Thank you all. You made me feel human for the last three years.

And for that, I thank Weight Watchers and it’s meetings.

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