Those Thinner Feels


As you may know, or hell, as you may not know, Matt’s been doing a lot of biking this past year. Like, a LOT. And to that, I say good for him. He looks good, he feels good – and this weekend, he’s doing a 2-Day, 100+ mile ride to benefit Multiple Sclerosis, for which he raised $320.

I’m proud of him. One of the benefits of all this hard work is that he’s becoming the Incredible Shrinking Husband. While I am inflating faster than the Michelin Man.

So, it occurs to me that I could/should go on a diet.

On Monday, I was training a guy whose wife has lost scads of weight quickly using Atkins. So I started doing a little research, reading up on it and I thought, “Hmm – eggs, bacon, cheese, steak? Yeah, I could do that." And so I started looking at the material, which advocates a foundation of low carb vegetables in addition to the cream-laden, cheesy-topped beefy goods. So, yeah – I could do that.

Problem is – I could do that, but could I subject Matt to that as well? We eat a LOT of pasta. A lot. Like. Tri-weekly. Which, apparently, if you’re biking your ass off is great, but if, like me – you’re eating a boatload of pasta, but not burning it off. Which means, maybe it wasn’t the dryer that shrunk your favorite pants…

So then I thought – well, South Beach isn’t restrictive like that – and I’ve done it, or a version of it before. But…you don’t get much to eat, and it’s time-consuming and expensive. And still, no pasta. Well, I already spend what feels like too much time in the kitchen, and that’s not my bag. Or, it is – given an unlimited supply of money and time.
Of which, I have neither.

So. That leaves me with (and you’ll pardon the pun) the white elephant in the room. Which is to say, Weight Watchers. Now, back before I started blogging, in fact, back in the dark ages of 2001, I joined Weight Watchers. I lost, at my best, about 57 pounds. I then plateaued, crept back up, and I now weigh more than when I started Weight Watchers back in 2001. Soooo.

I know I can survive WW, I know the drill, I have a good idea of the foods I can eat, the ones that work, the ones that don’t.

Plus – pasta isn’t verboten. Nothing, technically, is verboten.

Here’s the rub.

I’ve started Weight Watchers three times since moving to Nashville. It did not stick. And here’s why First time, I met mid-day at a church near our newlywed apartment – lots of little old ladies talking about being derailed by dessert at Cracker Barrel (I’m no expert, but chocolate cobbler sounds nasty). I was working from home, I was eating too much, I was bored, anxious and lonely. And I got a job outside the apartment on the other side of town, so I quit after, what, three meetings?

Second time and third times I lasted a few weeks apiece. I met at the Main Center in Nashville, and I found the group meetings to be annoying and poorly run. Stan was one leader, and he spent lots of time talking about Stan. He also sounded like Mr. Garrison from South Park meets Richard Simmons. Frieda was a fossil who couldn’t understand why we were using convenience foods. She cooked everything on her stove every day. While dinosaurs roamed her back yard.

You see, my success in Atlanta had little to do with me personally, and more to do with my tendencies toward revenge and redemption (at least initially).

I started a meeting at a YMCA (and later moved to a Church) that was led by this lovely, energetic woman named Stacy. She was a suburban housewife with gorgeous hair, great clothes and a Long Island accent. She wasn’t so beautiful that you didn’t relate to her, but she had a nice aura. On my first visit, I found her too perky for words. I went home, followed the first week to the letter. Midweek, I received a postcard from her telling me that she’d missed seeing me at meetings and that I should come back – clearly, she sent the card to the wrong person. It pissed me off. So I thought, “Oh, she’ll start to remember me, alright!” Revenge.

So the next week, I got to the weigh in and had lost 1.8 pounds. After a week of what felt like total suffering. I began sobbing uncontrollably. One of the other ladies, who usually worked the scales table, Carole, was leading the meeting, and she did her best to console me – but I ended up getting a Kleenex from a nice woman who had lost 100 pounds and understood that I was grieving a loss that only the fat can comprehend. Carole, bless her heart, was a kind lady, but losing 15 pounds from her petite frame 15 years prior hadn’t left her totally prepared for a weeping twenty-something foodie.

Of course, I was mortified. I resolved that I had to keep going back to save face for my outburst on Week Two of Weight Watchers. Redemption.

I kept it up until I got married, but I really half-assed it for the last maybe 2 years that I went. By then, it was a social thing – I’d become attached to the women in the group who ranged from a Lesbian couple to an 83 year old woman named Margie who once announced to the group that she understood it was hard for me to lose the weight when I wasn’t getting enough sex. This was her getting me back for something I’d said the week before – she’d asked how Matt liked me in all my new clothes, I told her he preferred me out of them! She loved it. I met Lane there, who got me an interview at her company, InView, where I worked and made tons of nice friends before moving to Nashville.

Carole and Becky (a blond, southern cream puff in her 50s) manned the scales and were some of the sweetest most encouraging people I could imagine. Stacy was a cheerleader and drill sergeant rolled into one. The people in our meeting were always fun, kind and encouraging.

How can anything compete with that?

I’m going to try either a new center (there’s one nearish the new office), or online. But the fact is – it’s time.


Starting Monday.

Because right before the holidays is an awesome time to get started, no?



Erika said…
Go, Allison! Dylan goes to the meeting on Wednesday @ 5:30 on Thompson Lane - too early for you? I know you work kinda late...