Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weight Watchers, Count Me In.

So, in my infinite state of crazy obsessive-ness in regards to my body and my weight, I joined Weight Watchers. I’m still not sure why, or what I thought I would learn that I haven’t already implemented in my life, but my tax refund was burning a hole in my bank account and half a bottle of wine told me this was the way to go.

I thought maybe counting points rather than calories would help me rationalize my food intake. I thought the fact that I could chow down on fruits and veggies all day and not have to use the points I was saving for that piece of cake after dinner would make this more palatable.

In reality, I only end up more confused, always hungry and very gassy. Like seriously, after 2pm don’t even think about walking by my office without a gas mask and a can of Febreze.

Don’t get me wrong, this system definitely made me re-evaluate what I was eating and the quantity in which I was consuming things. And when I weigh in tomorrow, if the scale has dropped by even a couple of pounds, I will rescind every horrible name I have called Jennifer Hudson in this past week (being that I hate her, and she is the face of WW, she was an easy target). But I am seriously mind fucked about this “eat-all-the-fruit-and-veggies-you-want-as-if-they-carry-no-nutritional-value” thing for two reasons:

1) When I was tracking my diet on, you had to count fruits and veggies. And even though their caloric value wasn’t substantial, it added up quickly. Especially fruits, which carried at least double the calories of most veggies. I would see every calorie, fat gram, carbohydrate and protein I ate in a day, so I had an overall sense of how I did, and what I needed to do differently tomorrow. With WW, I see how many points I have used, and how many I have left, but I have no true idea of what I actually ate in a day.

2) If the whole point of a “diet” or “lifestyle change” is to learn how to eat smarter, and fruits and veggies don’t “count” as far as WW is concerned, then shouldn’t we fill ourselves with something that has more nutritional value? Oh wait, you can’t without using your fucking points.

According to WW, for my old age, my short stature and my current weight, I am A-OK. It says I am the ideal weight. Which is a crock of shit. In any case, if I want to lose, say 5% of my current body weight, I can eat 26 points worth of food per day and I should be able to lose the aforementioned 5% in 7 days. Riiiiiigggghhhhttt. If it were that easy, don’t you think I would have already lost it without having to pay $55 for a three month membership??

At this point, I have two incentives to drop the 10 pounds that only I apparently think I need to lose. (Ya’ll haven’t seen me naked, so don’t judge!). First, I won’t be able to hide underneath hoodies and bulky sweaters for much longer, so unless I want to hibernate for the summer or sweat my ass off wearing Spanx under my tank tops, I need to drop these 10 pounds. And most importantly, Weight Watchers and Jennifer Hudson conned me out of the $55 that I could have used to buy the Spanx I would need, so I have to see this through and conquer this confusion.

This whole thing is making me even more annoying and obsessive than I normally am on any given day. I spend hours a day on my mobile app and my computer making up fake meals just to see how many points are in it. I think of the worst thing I could eat, and then see how long I would have to work out to earn the points back, even though I have no intention of eating the naughty food. Last night, after a 40 minute workout, I used the 6 points I earned along with the 44 “extra” points I have for the week to polish off a bottle of Sutter Home Zinfandel/Muscato (they really should make those bottles big enough for two people). It’s become a game. A challenge, if you will. I will beat the system and drop the 10 pounds, if only to justify the money I spent to drive myself insane. Game on Weight Watchers, game on.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's Fat Tuesday and it's just my size

Generally speaking, most people have good intentions when they make stupid comments. I get this, and try to compartmentalize and rationalize their indirect meaning, but all too often, I dissect them, tear them apart and make them into something detrimental to my overall mental health.

For instance, when I lost all my weight I was pretty damn skinny. There were bones and excess skin and shoulder bones protruding from everywhere. And everyone was all “You’re too skinny, you need some meat on those bones”. To which I replied (in my head, of course) FUCK YOU. I mean really? I shed 180 pounds of “meat” and worked damn hard to do so.

When I looked in the mirror back then, I felt beautiful and accomplished. I saw all of my imperfections and embraced every single one of them. I wore shorts for the first time in 15 years. I wore a bathing suit that didn’t have shorts or a skirt attached for the first time since I was a teenager. I could order a cheeseburger and not wonder if the waitress was silently judging me. I could wear pants whose size didn’t have a ‘2’ in front of it. I was no longer considered plus size, but the all American, average sized woman. I felt amazing.

But as it usually happens in my life, the rain that I thought was watering my flowers in life, was really just the Gods pissing all over my happiness. Over the past year I have gained 10 pounds and gone up a pant size. And there it stuck. For all the world to see and judge. And I tell you this for two reasons:

1) It’s relevant to the whole “people speak with good intentions” theory

2) I am going to use it as my platform to get off my fat ass and do something about it

Weight gain is a slippery slope. You start out gaining a couple pounds and thinks it’s no big deal. You can lose that by taking a morning constitution. You think you can put in a few more laps on the treadmill or make that extra loop on the digital display on the elliptical machine and work it off.  Eazy peezy.

Then you gain a few more and think it’s still ok. As long as you don’t go past that weight. That magic number that makes you give up and say fuck it, pass me the Ben and Jerry’s, throw out all of my skinny jeans, and load up the sweatpants and baggy shirts.

That’s where I am ya’ll. In the land of loose khaki pants, Victoria’s Secret oversized sweatpants and “flowy” shirts. Because I am on the verge of giving up and giving in, but still not so far gone that I could stop making excuses for myself, get my shit together and do what I know needs to be done.

I need to throw out the comfort clothes, the comfort foods and the backup clothes that hide my stomach, and take my ass to the gym. I need to sweat and swear and hate it all, and then put on a pair of skinny jeans and know that I worked my way back into them. I need to set my pride aside for a minute and remember where I came from and what a shit storm it was to get to where I am. I need to stop making excuses for myself, cork the wine (and the whine), put down the latte and make a change.

Because I can’t stand for one more second to hear something tell me I look “fine”. Or for them to say “You look perfect now. You were way too skinny before.” Because, this tells me they can tell I have gained weight. And while I appreciate the support and enthusiasm, it’s these half truths that got me to 317 pounds in the first place. No one wants to tell their sister/daughter/wife/best friend that her ass is spreading like the continental divide. And I appreciate that to an extent, but fortunately for me, I know the harder truth to swallow and I need to digest it and move on with life.

I think what bothers me most is that when I look at women who look just like me, or my more curvy and voluptuous friends, I envy them.  Because I think their bodies are beautiful.  I think they look like women and mothers and human beings with a story and that is magical to me.  So, why can't I see myself that way?   Why can't I accept this body that I have been gifted?  I think it's because I am afraid the minute I stop obsessing and worrying is the moment I let it all go and end up right where I began.  And to me, that was not beautiful or magical. 

So, where is the balance between sane and insane?  Where do I draw the line between acceptance and criticism?  When will I look in the mirror and see myself the way others see me?  I guess I will have plenty of time to figure that out as I strap on my sneakers and begin my next chapter.