Not quite a loser

Humph. I’ve been dieting for 17 solid weeks now and there’s never been a week that I didn’t lose at least something. In fact, the weekends when I went out to eat and indulge in alcoholic beverages with my friends typically produced the best weight losses, as I’ve been admittedly screwed the halo on way too tight when it came to how much breathing room I would give myself with my little diet.

And then tonight, after a “business as usual” week, I gained 0.4 lb. Which, meh. I have bigger things to be aggravated about. If I’d put 40 (back) on, that would serve to irritate me, and understandably so.

In case I’ve not made it public or obvious enough, I’ve been dragging mah pudgeh butt to Weight Watchers. Because I suck at the “eating-right” thing and they rock at the “helping you develop an eating plan for life” thing.

I’ve fought with the same 30 pounds for years. I lose it via one diet plan or another, and either get bored with the diet or simply learn that hey, being 30 pounds lighter still doesn’t solve all your problems. So, yeah. I got into a rut like, hey, what’s another 30 pounds to the world-size burdens I already shoulder?

But to look at it a different way, wow I’ve lost a giant sack of cat litter or rock salt. I never used to fidget — didn’t want the blubber to ripple and put someone’s eye out. 😉 But now I do find myself fidgeting (to burn calories, of course) and not being worried that someone’s gonna yell out “J-E-L-L-O!” It’s not a bad feeling!

I wore a skirt to tonight’s weigh-in. And my lovely, lovely meeting-mates — oh how I wait all week to be with “my people,” who serve as a 50-person cheering section (and my inner circle of about 12 of us who make it all worthwhile, even on a cruddy week like this when the scale went in the wrong direction). I guess I’ve been wearing a lot of now-oversized clothes and nobody really noticed what I’ve been doing.

But today my friends were all telling me I look awesome and, as usual, complimenting my style — as I’ve refused to dress in tent-sized flowered mu-mus like all the plus-size stores I shop (shopped?) in seem to think are flattering and fashionable. (Uh, no.) I’ve somewhat become the resident fashionista (since I haven’t quite achieved Skinny Bitch status, although that’s on my “to do” list).

And that’s what I love — even when we have a shitty week, we all (especially in my group) clap heartily as we discuss each other’s successes. We range in age from 16 to 87. We’ve (individually) lost anywhere from a tenth of a pound to 120 pounds. Some have been coming to meetings since 1973. Some are maintaining, some are just learning the rules, and some (and it’s where I fall) could use a jumpstart.

I did get that jumpstart, in a sense, as we got a new leader tonight. A man. Go figure. He seems to be a no-bullshit Brooklyn boy with high energy and high blood pressure. I love him already. 😉

Our old leader, Susan, retired to South Carolina after last week’s session. She was a picture of absolute elegance, confidence and motherliness in which she could chastise you with nothing but love in her eyes and voice. I walked into her meeting on one Tuesday night in June, and I even checked out other meetings with other leaders, but she was The One I could aspire to want to be like.

What’s kind of cool is that I’ve become a veteran, of sorts. I’ve endured as many mistakes as successes I’ve enjoyed. I’ve got my 10%-loss keychain and I’ve got my 25-pound donut displayed on my keychain. (OK, it’s not supposed to be a donut, but it looks like one.) Fifteen more pounds and I get my 50-pound-loss donut. (I want a real one!)

And I’m not kidding when I say we all root for each other. It’s hard sometimes, but when my friend Sandy lost 4 pounds this week after weeks of struggling, I was jumping for joy with her. Literally. I had tears in my eyes because Molly finished her maintenance period (i.e., she held her weight for several weeks) because she’s eligible for Lifetime (i.e., free) membership. I couldn’t stop congratulating Nancy for the fact that her last year’s winter coat wraps around her twice.

And when Joy looked at me and said, “Oh my God, I didn’t realize how skinny you’d gotten till I saw you in a skirt!” — I mean, wow. How can you ever look at another person, who is suffering and struggling the same way you are, and even think about resenting their success when the finish line is something we’re going to cross together?

We all have challenges that keep us from doing as well as we could. Physical conditions, emotional circumstances, money (or not enough) for all the healthy foods we need. One thing they beg us to do is to make dining an experience — to take the Smart Ones out of the box, put them on a plate / use a placemat and a cloth napkin / light a candle, etc. Never eat standing up. Oh really? My dining room is where other people’s shit goes to die. I spent my dining-room table fund on bills and oh well, who cares, ’cause there’s no room for it. And when have I not eaten lunch at my desk? By everyone’s standards, it’s a wonder I’ve managed to have any success at all with all the bad habits I am unable to break at this time.

I mentioned to a fellow friend who’s on the plan earlier in the day that I think I’ve taken a certain comfort in carrying around extra weight for the bulk (hah) of my life. I don’t think it made me a saint, by any means, but I’ve definitely had it harder than others in that respect (and many other ways that they may not have seen).

So, if people wanted to focus on my weight as a shortcoming and not the other thousand things I perceive(d) to be wrong with me because they couldn’t look past the immediate physical appearance, well, I guess I viewed that as a good thing. If I don’t let you get close to me, you don’t really know me. I can hide all my “other” flaws because people are too busy worried I’m going to accidentally sit on them or something.

And with that going away, even though it’s a stupid “comfort” to cling to, it does make you wonder what excuse you can use now for whatever you’re avoiding.

And that’s the point I’m working toward. The “no more excuses” point. The return to the young Goddess I once was who pretty much told the world, “This is me. Love it or lose out on it.”

My new leader, who incidentally trained under our beloved Susan, closed the meeting on the perfect note: “I look forward to seeing less of you next week.”

Amen to that.

2 Responses to Not quite a loser

  1. Pisco Sours :

    Well, I’m in another meeting in a different state, but I hope you know I’m part of your cheering section too!

    And a 0.4 lb. gain is aggravating. (Been there!) A summer-long plateau is even more frustrating. (Oh, lord, have I ever been there.) But you persevere, and pray, and try out new things and different menus and switch up your exercise program, and somehow, I don’t know how, things magically fall back into place again.

    It’s fuqn hard work, but you and I both know that anything worth doing is.

    *starts a slow clap, gets faster, eventually gets the whole audience into a standing ovation for you a la 80s movies*

  2. Lachlan :

    You have done an amazing amount of work and I, for one, am proud of you for it.

    I know it’s been rough, but keep it up. It is definitely worth it.