Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another one bites the dust.

So I'm officially down 4.4 lbs; for some reason, the ticker I use on the blog rounds up (perhaps for motivation? In my case it will doubtlessly lead to complacency because I'm wicked strong that way).

Give me a minute to complain about my WW meeting before I complain about my week of counting points and being hungry. Aside from the bevy of senior citizens who are there for the 4th or 5th time since the 1970's, there are two women about my age, both with little girls, who come to the meetings. Both girls are about 3 years old, and one of the moms has another little baby, too. One mom brings her little girl with piles of books and activities to keep her busy during the meeting. The other takes her little girl's coat off and then proceeds to ignore her for the entire 30 minutes of the meeting. She's busy bouncing the baby, leaving the meeting altogether to talk on her phone outside, and other things that clearly take precedence over keeping track of her daughter.

It annoys me to no end to watch this little girl roam the meeting, staring at people, standing over the other little girl (who for some reason doesnt' want to share any of her books or activities with this girl) and inching her way closer and closer to the other girl's belongings, hoping to be invited to join in. To have anything to do.

First of all, it's just sucky parenting. If you're going to bring a preschool-aged child to an adult gathering and expect her to be there for upwards of 45 minutes, bring something for her to do. Right? Common sense. Especially if you have no intention of paying any attention to her yourself. This is not rocket science. If you see the other little girl has a dress up doll and your little girl is all but drooling over them, howzabout you take a cue and bring some yourself next time?

Second of all, I'm not sure how I feel about having little kids, especially little girls, present in a meeting where the entire focus is on losing weight. Sure, sure, I hear you: But Sarah, the goal is creating a healthy lifestyle and learning how to eat healthy foods, and that's good for kids! blah blah blah.

Yeah. Sure. I get it. But even more than that? It's about losing weight. It's about taking account of every single bite you put in your mouth, and clapping for people who find a way to put food in their mouth and still lose weight. It's about seeing people who have spent the better parts of their lives struggle with weight continue to struggle with their weight.

Aren't these girls going to be subjected to enough body image confusion as they get older (and not much older--eating disorders are striking girls at younger and younger ages these days)? Is it really in their best interest to sit through 45 minutes of "eat broccoli and you'll be skinny!!! Yay!!!" rhetoric? Today, one of the little girls walked up to the meeting leader, hands clasped behind her back like Little Cindy Lu Who and said, "I eat all my broccoli," and the meeting erupted in applause. Yes, I know. It's great for a kid to learn how to eat healthfully. I get that.

But can't they just be little girls for a little while? I wonder what goes through their minds, after having sat through meeting after meeting, when they see their friends eating an M&M cookie? Is there a little part of them that has absorbed the WW meetings enough that they feel guilty for eating it? Or, even though they don't know how to count, assign a certain number of points to what they eat?

I don't think these moms are horrible for bringing their kids to WW meetings; I have no idea what their options for child care are, and I have no idea what their own psychological need for these meetings are. And yes, I suppose the damage done by sitting through months of weekly WW meetings is probably still better for them than having obese parents who pass horrific eating habits along to them. I get all of that. And hey, I'm sitting there in that room, too, so I guess I'm accountable to some extent for their indoctrination, too. I just wish the little girls weren't there--they're kids. They're too young to absorb this concern into their psyches.

And me? What has this week taught me about myself? Well, for starters I HAD lost more than 1lb. I stepped on the scale on Friday and was down 2.5lbs (home and WW scales are about dead on with each other). Then this weekend, I managed to rationalize my need for that chocolate chip cookie DIPPED in chocolate. Huh?! And last night, when I had a healthy stir fry on the menu, I managed to rationalize Husband bringing home buffalo wings and baked potatoes for dinner. So....when I stepped on the scale this morning, that 2.5lbs translated into 1lb.

So what's up with that? I'm not sure. Instead of motivating me to keep going, weight loss seems to lead me to weight gain. Makes sense, given my pattern over the past 3 years of losing and gaining back the same 10lbs. I am still unsure if it's as simple as me convincing myself that I can have a treat because I've already lost weight, or if it goes deeper than that. If there is some panic involved with me actually losing the weight and continuing to lose. What does it actually mean to me if I lose the weight, and keep losing? What am I afraid of?

I know the psychology behind it--in my years as a teacher, I saw many a struggling student make headway in my class, earn a B+ on a test where before they'd been pulling D's, take momentary pride in themselves and then head right back down to the land of D's. It wasn't just that the B+ test was on material that they "got" and the rest of it was too hard; it was that getting that B+ opened up a whole new set of opportunities for them and what if they couldn't keep it up? Getting D's wasn't good, but it was comfortable--it's what they knew. And continuing to get D's meant that no one was going to really notice the next D, or the next one. Getting a B+ suddenly created new expectations--you should continue getting B+'s, right? If you did it once, you can do it again! But what if their next test scores an F? Think of the disappointment. Better to just skulk back to the D's, so that no one is let down by that F. Better to set those expectations low and meet them than to let everyone (and yourself) down with mediocrity in the face of great hope.

So maybe I seek out the chocolate chip cookie because losing another 3lbs in one week would set the bar too high? I don't know.

I don't know. For now, I'll kiss that 1lb goodbye and be happy with it. It's a lb I never want back.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I thought I dropped a blog around here somewhere...

Ah! There it is!

So you'll never guess!! I'm still fat. Shocking, yes? Let's just get down to business, shall we?

The move? Fantastic. Except that I am a world-class stress eater. So, awesome, I lost about 5lbs before the move really got underway, and then in the past month or so I've managed to pack about 7lbs back on. I am like a tightly wound yo-yo people. I once worked with a woman who lost something like 75lbs one school year and then the next school year added it all back on and then some. Not me, folks. I will gain and lose like a champ, but only in 5lb increments. I have weighed the same, more or less, for the past 3 years.

Now that we're in the new house, in the new city, in the new part of the state, I am feeling the call to get back at it. I realize of course how hard it is to take seriously a weight-loss blogger who's lost no real measurable weight in 3 years. Talk about the world's most boring (and depressing, hello!) blog.

But there's a low point that I think everyone gets to that is their "rock bottom." Fortunately for me, "rock bottom" is not a pit of despair where I wake up with my hand in a super-sized carton of fries and powdered-donut sugar all over my face, not remembering how I got there. It isn't impulsively buying a bag of Oreos, then guiltily throwing them away when I get home, only to dig them out from the bottom of the trash can hours later. I've heard those stories. Thankfully they aren't mine. My "rock bottom" is when my current pair of jeans is too tight and I cannot bear the idea of going up to the next size. Because I've been in the next size up before and it's where the slippery slope of "what does it matter anyway? I might as well just give in and be fat" starts to come into play. I've done that before, with almost all of my 20's.

I can't do it again. I can't go through any more years of hating the way I look in pictures unless I am standing just so, with my head angled in just the right way. I can't live with "next year we'll do family portraits--I'll be thinner then" any more. And I'm not so interested in having to buy anything with an "X" in it's size.

So the first thing I did when we moved here was find a Weight Watchers meeting. And joined. And tracked my stupid points. And guess what? I lost 3.4 lbs the first week!!

Okay. okay. In the interest of full-disclosure, the first week I weighed in I was wearing a pair of jeans and a sweater. This week I wore a summer-weight flowy dress. Chances are I could have gained weight and still showed a loss given the difference in the clothing, but STILL. To hear, "you lost 3.4lbs this week," was truly motivating, even if it is an illusion.

And aside from the weight loss, the meetings are a freaking hoot and endless blog fodder. I am NOT one of those girls who can hear "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels!" without laughing. All I can think about are the SNL parodies of the '80s where Julia Sweeney coos "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail," and other Weight Watcher axioms until she goes face down in a cheesecake. And sure, I'm the only person there under the age of 70, and the group leader bounces up and down gleefully at the sheer thought of the fish risotto she's going to make for dinner (I do love her, though; she's further proof to me that I can indeed listen to anything as long as it's presented in an English accent).

So I'll continue to go to the meetings (this morning I even forgot to take off my name tag and walked around Barnes and Noble for a good 20 minutes wonder why all these perverts were staring at my chest. Oh. Oops.), and I'll join in and clap like a giddy little lemming when Bobby-sue sitting next to me loses her next 5lbs.

But for me it's baby steps. Last week I made a solid effort to avoid Ethan's left overs (and believe me, there are a lot of them), and discovered what an absolute grazer I am. So this week, the goal is no grazing. Writing everything down makes grazing a logistical nightmare--I'd be calculating points all day if I actually popped something in my mouth every time I walked through the kitchen. So in the interest of accomplishing anything else with my time, no more grazing. Next week I'll tackle something else.

For now I'll take my 3.4lbs and be happy. It's a start. Again.