I finally did it. I came to the conclusion that “enough is enough.” (Now I’m channeling my mother.) I got tired of struggling to button my bigger jeans. After months of telling myself, “I’ll start next week” or “I’ll just cut out sweets, ” or “I can take more walks,” I realized that nothing was working, probably because I refused to work at it. I knew I had to take drastic measures. I joined, for the first time but probably not the last, Weight Watchers!
I’m pretty much chained to my iPad, so the online system would be easy for me. But I also knew that I needed accountability, so I signed up for a meeting in my neighborhood. Now, every Thursday morning —my day off, when I’m supposed to be able to sleep later—I put on my lightest weight clothing and go to church. The church that rents a meeting room to Weight Watchers, that is. I hold my breath as I step on the scale and wait for the check-in person to tell me the good or bad news. But it’s all been good. So far, since July 25, I’ve lost 11 pounds. Pants that I’ve only glanced at as they hung in my closet (mocking me?) now fit. I haven’t gone down a size, but I can now comfortably wear the size that was too snug or made me look like a sausage. That feels good.
It hasn’t been easy, nor has it been too challenging. The great thing about Weight Watchers since they’ve instituted the Points Plus system is that you can eat almost any fruit or vegetable and not use up a single point. Luckily, I love vegetables; I’m also learning to love fruit more. When they first told me I would be able to eat 26 points a day, that didn’t sound so bad. But when I discovered that my beloved nightly glass of wine was 4 points, I wasn’t so sure this would work for me. But now, I have wine only when we go out to dinner (once or twice a week tops) and occasionally at home. Last night I figured that I could have some wine because we didn’t go out at all this past weekend. And it was Kendall Jackson chardonnay, one of my favorites. But after the first couple of sips, my reaction was “Meh.” I could easily wait until the next dinner out to have it again. I prefer my ice water with a lime wedge.
There are also 49 extra points you can use at any time throughout the week. And the greatest concept of all is earning points through exercise (even slow walking) that you can add to your points allowance. I love knowing that a 30-minute walk will allow me to eat an extra something or other at dinner.
I got lucky with our meeting leader too. LuAnn is so beloved by veteran WW members that people come from other suburbs just to be in her group. She has a wonderful sense of humor and engaging presentation style. Once, when the meeting room was being used for a church-sponsored rummage sale, we had to meet in the sanctuary. After we had all weighed in and gathered in the pews, she looked out at us and said, “Now turn to page 753 in your prayerbooks.” (Maybe you had to be there.)
I’ve also learned from fellow WWers. We share recipes and inside knowledge of what brands of salad dressing are fewer points, and what restaurant sandwiches won’t set us back. I’m happy to know that a Babybel light cheese is only 1 point. And a Fiber One brownie is only 2.
The action I’m most proud of occurred in Wildfire restaurant. One of the specials, something I never pass up, was macadamia-crusted halibut. I love halibut, and I love macadamias. But I heard myself asking the waitress, “Can I have that without the macadamia crust?” I admit it looked pretty sad on the plate: A slab of white fish on a white plate—offset only by a side of asparagus. It was delicious. Especially with the glass of pinot grigio.
I have my struggles too. For example, one day I walked down the hallway at work and when passing the microwave area, I saw two boxes of Dunkin Donuts just sitting there and, I swear, calling my name. I picked up the pace and made it to my office unscathed. Then there are the birthday celebrations. Sometimes it’s not just a decorated layer cake. It’s also brownies, cookies, and sweet rolls (probably depending on how well-liked the birthday person is and how many thoughtful work friends he or she has). When it’s one of my department colleagues, I take a piece of cake. I ask for a sliver (with frosting). Otherwise, I try not to pass the area where the goodies are spread out.
Be assured this is not a paid promotion for Weight Watchers. I agree with Jennifer Hudson when she says, “It works.” But my main reason for writing this is to show that even the most stubborn procrastinator can have success at any age. And I apologize to my friends who are sick of hearing, “I can’t eat that. I’m on Weight Watchers.” I promise to practice smiling and saying, “No, thanks.”
(To those of you who want to see before and after photos: Before, I made every effort not to be photographed from the waist down. After, well you’ll just have to wait until I hit my goal…4 pounds to go!)