You can do it!!

For the third week in a row I’ve lost weight. Each time I’ve been shocked.  Shocked! I say. I don’t know why I’m losing weight. I’m less than a pound away from my first 5lb star. But I feel like I need to apologize every time I get on the scale. I didn’t join WW to lose weight. I joined because I started a book and I’d forgotten how the whole thing worked, what the meetings felt like, how people talked. I needed dialog.

I assumed I would gain or stay exactly the same when I signed up.  I’ve barely tracked points since the first week. When I do track points I don’t track the fats. I’ll track the bacon, but not the bacon grease I cook the eggs in. I don’t track the milk (whole fat of course) in my coffee. Hell, I don’t even track the coffee. I could say I haven’t eaten any sugar, or bread so that’s why I’m losing. But it was Pie Day last Friday for god’s sake and I partook fully (which made me kind of ill honestly), and I eat bread almost every day. I didn’t get much exercise last week either.

I think I actually want to stay the same when I get on the scale. That would make sense. I could link my behavior (and really isn’t that what it’s all about? That’s sarcasm, btw) to what happens on the the scale: I’m not doing the program so I’m not losing weight, or I’m not eating low carb, so I am not losing weight. But I am losing weight, so it makes NO SENSE.

I feel like I’m cheating. The women who come to meetings are struggling to stay on track, and if they don’t, they lose nothing, possibly gain. I’m not supposed to be losing weight, according to anybody’s theory. I’m assuming it will stop soon. But I’ve discovered I kind of like going to meetings.

When I’m at meetings, everything seems possible. WW meetings are really about self love, which is the #1 principal for the self help addict. They’re a self help addict’s dream. They talk about putting yourself first, asking for what you need and want, dreaming big. There’s constant encouragement from the leader and others who’ve lost weight, are losing weight. Basically the whole vibe of WW meetings is an infectious “You can do it!”

But there are still the drawbacks. The little sayings that dig deep and stay there. One of the women who got a star for losing another 5lbs, said “this isn’t a diet” which is WW’s tagline, “this is the way I’m going to eat for the rest of my life.”  Then she added, “I’ve realized, ‘Oh this is the way normal people eat.'”  People nodded. One, do people honestly believe that this is the way “normal” people eat? Normal people don’t measure every single morsel they put into their mouths. And two, in order to believe that this is a way of life, that this isn’t some temporary diet, you have to believe that you’re not normal.  There was also another round of “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”

Feeling normal, feeling good because you’re thin is about two things: feeling fit and feeling acceptable. The feeling fit part I get. Although for me it’s not necessarily true that I feel more fit when I’m thinner. I’m smaller now than I was about 5 years ago when I was doing triathlons and biking a lot. I was definitely more fit then than I am now at a lower weight.

Second, a lot of the good feelings about being thin is really being desperate to fit in, being desperate to be “normal”, to be one of the accepted. But when I extend this thinking to other issues, I don’t like what I come up with. There are so many “normals” that I don’t fit, most of which I’ve tried to fit into. Most black women straighten their hair to fit in, to have “normal” hair. Strict timelines, large budgets and limited activity all devoted to trying to get “normal” hair.  Skin, teeth, eyes, boobs. What lengths will people go to seem normal? To be accepted? To feel good about themselves because they’re accepted, instead of just feeling good about themselves, period?

I’m not sure how this will end. I assumed I would go for a month or so and then stop, not losing any weight, but I think I’m going to be going to WW meetings for a while. I think it may be the best self help book ever.

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February 13, 2010. Tags: , , , . Weight Watchers Experiment.

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