March 12, 2004

on my own

Tomorrow marks a week since I unofficially left Weight Watchers and stopped counting points. It feels so strange; I donít write down every bite anymore and yet I still consider myself on a weight loss plan. Just a more idiosyncratic one. I find myself running tallies in my head, toting up the overall value of dinner, and then realizing, duh, I donít have that little notebook in my everpresent backpack anymore. Iím free!

Donít get me wrong, I think journaling your food intake is a very good idea. Without weighing and measuring my food, constantly adding everything up, Iíd never have lost twenty three pounds. But the point is to give myself a little more breathing room now. To see if I can do this without quite the same obsessive worry, that feeling I was always about to go over my points allotment, the guilt when I did go over even if it was planned and I still had flex points left. That feeling of being trapped inside a box that said Target: Twenty Points A Day. Instead of all that, I want to listen to my body and see what Iíve learned from the past six months. See if I can make this work on my own terms.

How did I do this week? Well, itís been interesting. Ironically, I think Iíve stayed within my points allotment (including flex points, that is). Iíve learned new eating habits over the past months and theyíve stuck. I eat broccoli with a sprinkle of miso dressing or air-popped popcorn or goat cheese on a Wasa cracker (ie: edible cardboard) for a late afternoon snack now, and that feels natural. When I crave chocolate, I eat a Haagen Dazs chocolate sorbet bar (two points). I eat a chicken thigh for dinner instead of thigh plus drumstick. I havenít fallen off the wagon yet.

I do give myself some freedom, though. Yesterday I had eggs benedict with smoked salmon and a lemony homemade hollandaise sauce. It was yummy. It made me happy. I donít regret it. But I was doing that on Weight Watcherís too; flex points are great for that kind of occasional indulgence. So I think Iím still good to go. Which means Iíve learned the necessary lessons. Or so it seems right now, though I realize Week One off the WW plan is early days yet.

One thing is different, though. Iím hungry a lot more. Ravenously hungry. Eat a whole horse hungry. Every three hours. I had to go shopping today to have enough stuff so I wouldnít accidentally gulp down one of the cats in my frantic hunger. Itís like Iím back at the beginning of the diet and my body hasnít adjusted to the lower calorie intake yet.

This is very weird. Either Iím pregnant (god forbid) or my now-daily workout is paying off. Lifting weights every other day, aerobics on off days. Building muscle, burning fat. I can feel firm bulges in my lower back now, on either side of my spine. I donít think Iíve ever had muscles there. Iím not sure what theyíre supposed to do, but theyíre kind of cool. I just hope the hunger subsides. Oh yes, and that my scale shows some new numbers. Lower ones. And soon. Next week would be good.

I like this, though. I like being on my own. Well, not entirely on my own, since Dan is also working out more now and eating better; heís my fitness buddy. But Iím without that corporate stamp of approval in my official little passport. I liked Weight Watchers because I had felt so lost without it, groping for answers in the dark. How much to eat, what kind of food was best. How to handle the cravings. Now I know. And the truth is, Iím not a joining-the-club kind of person. Iíd rather do things on my own or with friends. Not within a larger structure. So this suits me fine.

As long as it works.

Posted by Tamar at March 12, 2004 07:29 PM


Congratulations for your current success! I just stumbled upon your "notes" while doing a search on Weight Watchers. I liked reading your timeline of events. I am also attending WW here in NY and am on the verge of bailing myself, for other reasons. I have this love/hate relationship with this company, Weight Watchers. As a guy it was hard to walk through the front door! This company is geared to and advertises toward woman(no offense). And MOST of those meetings are PATHETIC! Way too much clapping and "Bravo" crap for me. The last leader I had seen would have given you a star if you told her you avoided stepping on 2 ants on the way to the meeting. It was like everybody HAD to get one! How FAKE! I don't need stars or stupid magnets! My reward is at the scale and the "sincere" praise I received from my (no longer employed) leader. I began in June of 2003 and I am down 70 lbs. to date. My Leader, Jenn, was forced to move out of state because her husband's job had been relocated. Jenn was/IS a "Leader". She was a powerful motivator and made everybody feel comfortable, male or female. She truely cared and it was obvious. I am ready to bail out myself as the other leaders I have met are just not cutting it for me. I have attended several meetings and looked at different leaders, but it just reminds me why I have avoided this company in the past. I was so focused. Jenn gave you solid advice/tips to use throughout the week. A no non-sense approach! I will tell you I have counted very little "Points" while being "on program". I never really thought of this as a diet. I went from somebody who did not want to be at WW in the first place, to truely missing Jenn and her meetings. How ironic! My best weight losses were when I attended weekly. Jenn kept the "push" I needed, going. She was able to get me to do what nobody else was able to do in 38 years! I was motivated enough to purchase a treadmill and have walked over 1000 miles! Thats the equivalent of walking from NY to somewhere in Florida! Have you seen this where you are? These pathetic meetings? It seems to be the norm here! I am still 100% focused but I am like a airplane without navigation. I am still flying level and I know where I want/need to go. I am just not sure exactly which direction to turn now. Even though I know I lost the weight myself, it wasn't Weight watchers that did it for me, it was the right leader. Good Luck to you!!!


Posted by: Rob at March 14, 2004 10:18 AM

Rob, 70 lbs down is a phenomenal success! And I completely understand the whole leader ickiness. My leader was neither wonderful nor terrible but a bit too much with the "bravo" stickers and the facile phrases. Maybe I should have checked out other leaders, but it was hard enough finding a meeting time that worked for me consistently. Good luck going it alone! I do think the good habits can carry over into non-WW dieting work.

Posted by: Tamar at March 14, 2004 09:45 PM