Thursday, January 13, 2011

The First Day Of The Last Year Of Elastic Waistbands

I’ve done a lot of weight loss programs. A lot. I mean a lot, a lot. Let’s put that right out there so it doesn’t appear that I have just arrived on an interstellar transport and the whole “gravity” and the “too much food plus sitting still equals weight gained” concepts are new to me. This isn’t about what I don’t know regarding nutrition, cooking, exercise and common sense. It’s about what I don’t Do.

At 56, somehow, the “don’t do” part of this equation has finally moved to the front of my consciousness after pushing it’s way through the cheddar cheese and sour cream Ruffles, the comfy lap blanket and the channel changer to get there.

I live about half a mile from a Weight Watchers center and I drive right past it all the time- (I know! What?) . The huge sign has always hovered in my peripheral vision as I pass as if it said something about tractor repair so I just deleted it from my need to know stuff in my head.

A few nights ago I was collecting the dozens of catalogs that showed up in my mailbox in the past few months and out fell the one and only copy of Weight Watchers magazine I have ever bought. I had also never even opened the cover. It disappeared the same time I stocked my pantry with all the things I would need for my Michigan winter like a bear would stock up on things to survive hibernation until spring. I opened it and the magazine randomly fell to a page with a story of a woman who realized she needed some real help when she heard the NFL draft pick statistics and she weighed more than most of them. I’ve had the same revelation while hearing our University lineup as these gigantic kids run onto the field. I guess the old adage is true: you can’t see it when you are it.

My friend, who is a WW member, had told me that same day that she had decided to rejoin this month. My cousin, a long time member said to me, again, after hearing me whine about my weight, again, just go check out a meeting; still the same day. The next day I showed up for a working lunch meeting and the woman I met with laughed as she realized she still had her name tag on in the restaurant; her Weight Watchers name tag. She had just come from a meeting at the “tractor repair shop” near my house. OK Universe. Message received.

I went to the WW center when I left our lunch and was greeted by two very friendly, funny, helpful women. They had none of that evangelical-food-zealot vibe that usually sends me directly to Mickey D’s for a fish sandwich (because it’s “healthier”).

I went to my first WW meeting on Saturday morning. The room was pretty full with more than 50 people and my friend had saved me a seat. Unbeknownst to my friend, that empty seat was right next to one of my neighbors and I also saw several other faces I recognized. The big open space held none of the cloistered, secret shame or the “we staff members could be super models because we have always been skinny”, ambiance of so many other programs connected to hospitals that shall remain unnamed. I listened. I liked it. I went home and signed up for the monthly pass online.

Today is my first Points Plus tracking day and so far, I’m finding things in my bear cave that fit this program just fine and though I am referring to the tracker online like a tourist does their map in Moscow, I am finding my way. Wish me luck!
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