Several years ago, I completed a couple “Vitality Challenges” on this blog, but never accomplished the major one I set out to complete. The challenge is based on Lauren Wardell’s book: Pathway to Vitality: Losing Your First 10 Pounds. The ebook is available on for less than $3.00, though I, personally, received a free copy directly from Lauren for review purposes.

I, randomly, thought to pull out my copy of the book and attempt to complete all 27 prompts as I start to dive into my next weight-loss attempt. It’s a familiar path, but there are some major changes involved this time around, and I am unsure if I am more excited or apprehensive.

I suppose I will get into that later though.

What is *your* story? Where are you coming from? How did you get to where you are at? How does this story make you feel? Does it make you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like you should have somehow prevented this weight gain? What do you think caused you to gain weight in the first place? What positive things have you gotten out of your weight gain (more on this in prompt #3)? How can you shift the way you FEEL about your story so it is more empowering and motivating?

If you’re familiar with this blog, you already have a glimpse of my story, but I’ll take you back to basics just in case.

I’m Lissa Kristine, as you should have figured out by the name of this blog. I’m 24 years old, born on June 29. I’m 5’5″ and, at present, weigh somewhere between 184 and 190 pounds. At my heaviest recorded weight, I topped the scales at over 203 pounds. In recent years, my lowest weight was around 153 pounds, but that was nearly five years ago.

I’ve lost weight before, and gained it back (and then some). In one of my more successful runs with Weight Watchers in 2010, I lost over 31 pounds between June and the end of November- only to gain 18 pounds back during the month of December. Since then, I haven’t been nearly as successful. It seems like something is managing to get me off track- whether it’s inconsistencies with my eating schedule due to work or social obligations that make tracking difficult.

However, over years of trial and error, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that I don’t think I can lose weight simply making small changes to my eating habits. Switching to whole grains and cutting out liquid calories is not the solution to my problem.

I don’t like measuring or counting calories, but I’ve never lasted more than a few days on South Beach or any clean eating/real food diets. My Paleo attempts lasted all of 5 days in the past. Sure, I lost weight here and there, but without the ability to consistently follow any of these diet plans, the weight came right back on.

I like diets. I like bright, shiny, new diets. The problem is, a few weeks in, I ultimately veer off track. I look for something better. If I’m counting calories on Sparkpeople, I start wondering if MyFitnessPal is a better choice. I start wondering if my deficit is too large or too small. I start rereading books and articles on intermittent fasting and intuitive eating. Rarely, are my questions a result of poor results on the scale. They are simply the result of my boredom. I jump from plan to plan to plan without ever really giving any particular plan a chance.

In the past, Weight Watchers was the one exception. Even when I rejoined right before the holidays in 2013, I had a semi-successful run. In four weeks (leading right up to Christmas Eve), I lost 10 pounds. Even with switching to calorie counting temporarily soon after, I was able to lose close toΒ 20 pounds in around three months. Then, I got a new job, and I was never quite able to get myself back on track afterwards.

Fortunately, I did not put back on ALL of the weight, but I did regain about half of it.

I still have the same job, but perhaps, it’s more of a blessing than a curse. Sure, my eating schedules might not be very stable, but it keeps me from mindlessly snacking all day. If I pack a lunch, I can at least make sure it’s within my goals for the day- even if I don’t necessarily get to eat it at an ideal time every day. I also stay pretty active on work days, and I fully plan on letting that activity work for me in the way of Activity Points.

I’ve gone through some pretty major changes over the past few months. In many ways, my life got turned completely upside down. Monday nights are now spent hanging out with a friend and her three kids- not pigging out on fajitas and butter cake with a former friend. For me, “eating out” isn’t something that happens two or three times a week. It happens a couple times a month. I’m more likely to go over to a friend’s house for dinner than sit in a restaurant. Maybe some of these changes will make things easier for me.

I used to feel some kind of pressure to keep up with my former friend. He was able to eat a lot more than me. Not only did he have more calories or Points to work with, but he was able to “hoard” them. I might go to dinner with 15 points left; he would have 34. Trying to fit his plan into my plan was like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.

I’m free now, and it’s my chance to see if I can do this my way.

I found out that my favorite Weight Watchers leader has Saturday morning meetings- which I can definitely attend if I go to the 8am meeting. Sure, if I have an 11am start time at work, the 9:15 meeting is also doable, but I don’tΒ always start at 11. Some weeks, I start work at 10, and I want to be able to weigh in around the same time every week.

Let’s just see if this time will work. Right now, I’m thinking I may have lost my mind.