I’m having trouble starting this because all I can think of is how tragic it is to be a newly-minted foodie and simultaneously be on Weight Watchers.
Understand: this is not meant to be an indictment against Weight Watchers. I’m quite happy with their program to be perfectly honest with you. Turns out, Jennifer Hudson isn’t lying. But I think I just need a moment to rant about the surreal feeling of wanting to eat more decadent things in a way that I had never experienced and be essentially forbidden from doing that.
1. Not gonna lie, IT BLOWS. Like seriously, it sucks.
Everyone who makes a life-changing decision about diet and exercise will regale you with stories about how good they feel, how much energy they have, and how happy they are that their clothes are fitting better. All of that is true. While my weight loss is occurring slower than I’d like, I can say that I have felt the benefits of making a dietary change.
What nobody tells you though – changing long-held bad habits is more than just the inconvenience of learning a new way to do things. The cravings…oh holy crap the cravings you guys. Not only do the cravings suck, but they bring up feelings of…well…pure, unadulterated ANGER.
I went to see Alton Brown do a reading at Books, Inc. in Mountain View last year. He told the crowd about how he changed his diet some years back and lost a bunch of weight. One of the changes he made was to give up Diet Coke. I thought, “Okay, that makes sense…soda is bad…so that’s good“. He then told everyone how he was pissed off all the time and I totally didn’t believe him. I thought, “oh come ON“. I figured he was exaggerating for the crowd. You have to tell a good story at a book signing, right?
So I spent the entire first week on the program in various stages of pissed off. I wish I was kidding. My poor husband had to steer clear of me that first weekend, as he ate whatever the hell he wanted and I was subsisting on celery. Okay I wasn’t really subsisting on celery…but it sure felt like it.
2. Do I tell people I’m on Weight Watchers or don’t I?
You’d think that it would be easy to just tell people, “oh hey there [insert name of close friend or family], I started Weight Watchers“. Nope. Not easy. There is an unspoken element of embarrassment that happens for a lot of people. Sure, I know that I shouldn’t be embarrassed. But I totally am.
Given that I didn’t want to tell anyone, it made it suddenly difficult to be around those I’m closest to. If you’re thinking I mean I didn’t want to tell friends or family, you’d be correct…excepting for the fact that I didn’t even want to tell my husband. Yep, you read that right. Stupid. Totally stupid. We share bank accounts for heaven’s sakes, and Weight Watchers isn’t free. So it was maybe the stupidest thing that I thought I could just keep to myself. I ended up breaking down and telling him the day after I signed up. But not because it dawned on me that he would totally see my payment for the program. It was because he wanted to make his decadent nachos for dinner. Yeah, I know.
3. The greatest tragedy of them all: Manresa in Los Gatos
My husband had made reservations for us to have dinner at David Kinch’s famed restaurant, Manresa. For foodies, this place tends to be near the top of the list of “must go there” places. So I was pretty thrilled that he surprised me for my birthday. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I was just going to have to be okay with chucking the whole points system right out of the window. True, the tragedy isn’t that it stopped me from going there (I mean, come on, like I would let my changing food habits stop me). The tragedy was having the points system so ingrained in my head even after a few weeks that I was silently tallying up what I was eating…and it kind of took a bit of joy out of the experience. Let’s just say that I spent extra, extra time at the gym that day.
Anyway, I’ve managed to stick to most (but not all…not yet) of the changes I decided to make. Little by little, I’ll get there.