Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Critical Mass

When I decided to come back and work at the bank there were many factors to be considered, including the fact that I no longer fit into any of my old work clothes. All kidding aside I have exactly three pairs of slacks and two dresses that are both work appropriate and fit without making me look like an over-stuffed sausage. Its sad times y'all. I guess working around food for the last eight months and being able to wear casual pants and t-shirts to work ended up being a bad thing as far as my figure is concerned.

So when faced with a wardrobe crisis AND the knowledge that TheBoy doesn't think "I'm too fat to wear a bikini" is an acceptable reason to not go wakeboarding I decided maybe, just maybe, it was time to get re-established on a diet and exercize routine. I dusted off the old running shoes, dug some weights and DVDs out of the closet and decided to join Weight Watchers. I have known several people who have lost amazing amounts of wieght on WW including a friend's fiance who has lost more than 30 pounds so far and my best friend's mom who has lost 60 (!) pounds, so I know that the system works.

At first I joined the online only version of WW because with the hectic summer schedule setting in I couldn't figure out a good time to go to any of the local meetings. I entered my info, signed on and started counting points. Now, as a long time calorie counter I found the transition from counting calories to counting points to be a little difficult, especially when eating out. TheBoy and I eat out a lot because for awhile I was cooking for a living and didn't feel like doing it when I got home from work and also because TheBoy can not cook. At all. Except maybe canned soup or Top Ramen. I'm just saying. But since we go out a lot, and we generally go to the same places over and over, I had figured out what on the menu I could order that would be low cal AND delicious. But these items did not necessarily translate into being low in points. For example, two grilled fish tacos at a local Mexican place here in town I had calculated as being about 500 calories. Imagine my dismay at discovering those same tacos were 14 POINTS!

WW and I got off to a rough start but I was determined to give it the old college try because I know it works and have seen it work for tons of people with my own eyes. The first week I gained two pounds (I blame those damn 14 point fish tacos!) but I was still not discouraged... I was slowly getting the hang of the system and I was getting better every day. The second week I lost those two pounds I had gained the previous week which while somewhat exciting (woo hoo 2 pounds!) basically just meant that I was back at my original start weight. But still I was not discouraged! I didn't gain this weight in two weeks so I can't expect to have miraculously lost it in two weeks right? So I trudged on, measuring out my 2 point glasses of wine and trying to eat things that were WW approved. In the third week I lost a half a pound. ONE HALF OF A POUND. Now I was getting discouraged.

But! My friend's fiance (the one who has lost 30 pounds) goes to meetings! So I looked up when the next meeting was I could go to and scheduled myself in. That meeting was last night.

So the meeting was held downtown and I managed to get there, even with traffic, the required 30 minutes before the actual start time. I parked my car and followed a group of other women who obviously knew each other around to the side of the building to the enterence. Y'all there was a LINE out the door to register. For some reason this made me feel better because while I hate strangers and would pretty much do anything to avoid speaking to people I don't know I figured all these women must be at this meeting because it works right? So I took my place in line and tried not to look like I was evesdropping on the women chatting around me. That should have been my first clue... all the women there seemed to know each other and were super chatty and friendly with each other but no one said anything to me, the nervous looking new girl in line. Not even a friendly smile was offered in my direction.

I finally made my way up to the main table where there were three women sitting. I assumed these women were the leaders of the group as they were stamping some sort of books that everyone seemed to have and welcoming people to the meeting. I went over to the woman on the far left when it was my turn and said to her that I was new and had been using WW online but this was my first meeting. She sort of looked me up and down and announced, very loudly, "You don't need WW! You need a treadmill!"

Um... excuse me?

So I laughed it off and kind of smiled since I wasn't sure if that was a compliment or an insult or an invitation to tell her my stories of exercise woe or... After a brief pause (which felt like AGES and also like every woman in the room was staring at me) she stood up and said, "Well I guess we can weigh you in." Now, on the WW website it says that during meetings you will have a confidential weigh-in each week. If your definition of "confidential" means the scale is in the corner of the room and not in the center and that there is another meeting monitor (or whatever they are called) standing right behind you waiting to weigh some other poor woman then I suppose yes, I had a confidential weigh-in. Also, I was a good 4 pounds heavier than I had been on Monday when I weighed myself at home which made me feel awesome. AND the woman waiting to be weighed behind me wasn't even subtle about the fact that she was checking my weight out because as soon as I stepped off the scale she announced to the room, "Wow! Your start weight is my GOAL weight!"

I have never prayed so fervently in my life for the floor to open up and swallow me whole. Now not only did I FEEL like people were staring at me, I could hear a few of them whispering... I was literally fighting back tears as I followed the monitor lady back to the table. I don't know what I was expecting of the WW meetings exactly but I think I was hoping for a more positive sense of community... You know, a place where we could all go and share stories about how hard it freaking is to lose weight and encourage us all to not give up or something. I certainly didn't expect to find myself in the biggest clique I've seen since High School and one that I was decidedly NOT invited to join.

The woman who was supposed to be helping me get started was even trying to talk me out of joining! She keep saying things like, "you know WW is really for people with significant weight to lose." So now I'm not fat enough for WW?!?!? Seriously? She sort of half-heartedly showed me a few different packages I could purchase and waved a hand towards a table loaded down with various WW cookbooks and then left me standing alone near the door, presumably so I would have time to make my decision. Well I did. My decision was to leave, I stopped just short of running, and to never, never go back.

Folks, it looks like WW and I have to break up. I guess I'll just go back to counting calories. Though I think I might take that woman up on her advice and look into buying another treadmill. So the evening wasn't a total waste afterall.


Michele said...

That isn't at all what I'd expect from WW!! I think you should try a different meeting.

Liz said...

I agree I think you should try a meeting in Palo Alto. What Fat mean bitches! You should have responded to the one making comments about your start weight as her goal, that you would have shot yourself if you had let yourself get that fat!

Anonymous said...

that is the craziest thing i've ever heard. there are tons of "skinny" people at ww meetings who are maintaining weight loss or learning how to eat healty, small portions. that's what the whole thing is about. i can't believe they made you feel that way. they suck. i'd say try one more meeting elsewhere before giving up.