Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Interview with Mayer Grashin, New Lifetime Member (and my nephew)

> Mayer, congrats on getting to goal! Tell us your stats: How much did you lose and how long did it take?

Hi Auntie Laurie,
 I'm proud to say that I've lost exactly 33 lbs. in just under 11 months.  Although, I did lose 32.5 lbs in 8 months, only to gain a few lbs. while in Australia for my brother's wedding. (in January)

> What was your original motivator for joining Weight Watchers?

I had a few motivations; probably typical of most people.  After a few trips with my wife, we were going through pictures to put an album together, and I realized that I didn't want any pictures of me in it- I was embarrassed about how I looked.  I also had less energy than I was used to, and I lost a few racquetball games to someone who I knew I could beat, but I just didn't have the stamina to keep playing for an hour like I did when I was in school. 

Also, as you know, we have a lot of weight and weight related problems in my family.  From diabetes to heart issues, I knew that now was the time to take charge of the issue, before I developed any "conditions"

> Did you "enjoy the ride"? Did you "treat yourself" as you were losing? How?

I actually did enjoy myself.  Instead of just eating anything, I got to concentrate on what was in front of me and enjoy things more.  A certain sort of food-based meditation, if you will.

I certainly treated myself; a big thing for me was being extra good all week, and saving all my bonus points for the weekend.  Between a big Friday night dinner, and a full-blown Sunday brunch (with egg whites) I splurged on my two favorite meals, and still stayed on plan.  I also tried to work in a glass of wine or beer or two every now and then.  MGD 64 was only 1 pt.... (before PointsPlus)

> How do you contrast how you feel pre-WWers and now?

I feel spectacular.  I have so much more energy, my immune system is working at full force, I feel younger.  Before I felt like a very old 28 year old, and now that I'm almost 30, I feel better than I've felt since I was 18.

> Are you still going to meetings at all?

Not very often- I started a new job right around when I hit goal.  The job has me keeping super-long hours, and, believe it or not, I actually don't have the hour or so it takes to get to a meeting and stay for it.  I have been weighing in once a week on my way to work, and that's been keeping me on target.  I think if I started going up in weight, I'd return to meetings, but at this point, I feel like the meetings have served their purpose for me- I feel self-motivated and educated enough to continue doing what has been working so well.

> How are you handling living in NYC, going out to eat- and maintaining your goal weight?

I actually haven't been having a problem.  I've been so busy, that I eat my meals at my desk.  My job pays for my dinner if I'm at work past a certain hour (which I always am) and I tend to get healthy options.  I have been eating a lot of sushi and lighter tofu dishes, and when I want to go all out, I get a chicken salad (dressing on the side, of course), with the very occasional burger when I'm just craving red meat.  The great thing for me has been the money I SAVE by being on WW- I order dinner, and almost invariably have enough left over for lunch the next day.

> What was the toughest part of losing weight?

Hmmmm... that's a tough one.  I know it's petty, but the biggest problem was clothing related- I simply couldn't afford to keep buying new work clothes- I dropped from a 36 waist, to a 34, to a 32 pretty quickly, and I'm wearing a shirt size that I haven't worn since high school.  I need to dress nicely for work, and there was awhile there where my pants were falling off...including the pants I bought 3 months into WW!

> What kept you going?

That's easy-   I liked what I saw in the mirror, and I felt great the whole time.  My wife was a constant source of motivation as well.  She didn't give me a hard time before I started, but she made it clear that she really liked the 'new' me. 

> What is your go-to breakfast? Lunch?

Breakfast most mornings for me these days is a Quaker oats lower sugar oatmeal and cup of tea.  (3 pts. plus).  I also am a big fan of the Morningstar veggie sausage patties, with high fiber bread, low fat cream cheese, and sriracha hot sauce.

Lunch varies- these days generally leftovers, but I also like salad with some kind of protein, either eggs or some cheese.

> How did you handle Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving was a bit of a challenge, but not insurmountable.  I had my little cousin in town, so we had fun cooking together for about 12 people.  We did some of our sides low fat, but for the most part we just went "traditional." 

The big thing that I did was an 8k charity run early that morning.  Which was actually pretty cool, since one of the big things I've enjoyed since losing weight has been the ability to run again without my knees hurting.  (I just checked my weight tracker...I actually LOST 1.2 lbs. over Thanksgiving!)

> What is your advice to people thinking of joining Weight Watchers but can't make up their mind?

Just give it a try.  I mean, I went to meetings and stuck out like a sore thumb- most of the time I was the only male in the room, and if there was another, he was 20 years older than me.  But it didn't matter, everyone was supportive, and I felt great, knowing that I was taking care of myself and proactively working on being healthier.

> Do you believe you will maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your adult life?

I honestly think so.  None of the changes I've made feel all that dramatic and my wife and I are both committed to eating healthier; we've made decisions about what works for us, and how we want to eat as a family, and how we'll teach our children to eat.  My wife didn't go on WW with me, (because there was no need) but we both apply the principles that WW has helped me learn to our everyday eating habits.  It's nothing dramatic, but we both feel gross when we don't eat right these days.   

> Are you finding maintenance easier than losing weight?

I'll get back to you on that one. ;)

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