THE DANGER OF GETTING
9 February 2002
I've now been on this new eating program for a month, and the exercise regime for more
than a week. Faithfully for both. I can feel that my clothes are looser. I don't have to
move the front seat of the car back after Walt's driven it. Some old clothes are starting
to fit again.
In fact, I'm feeling so "thin" that it's a surprise to look in the mirror and
see this fat person staring back at me.
Now that it's all becoming routine, there are pluses and minuses, and some warning
signs when I start getting too complacent.
In the plus column is the feeling of being in control, having more energy, feeling
better overall. This afternoon I parked on the second floor of Office Max and then
discovered that the elevator was out. I walked down the stairs and then back up the ramp
when it was time to get the car back. The ramp was steep enough to get me from side walk
to second floor level. I walked it steadily and while not exactly zippy, definitely
faster than I would have taken it a month ago--and was barely winded when I got to the
top. That's when I realized that my time on the treadmill is already paying off. When I
began the exercise program, I started out at a speed of 1.8 and am now up to 2.4, I
started with a level surface and am now walking at a 5% incline. I started out at 5
minutes, I'm now doing 20-25 minutes.
Also in the plus column, it's nice to take things that I haven't worn in years out of
the closet and discover that while they might still be a bit snug, they are approaching
"wearable." Soon I'll have a whole new wardrobe of things I haven't worn
The minus side of that is that I went looking for a coat to wear in Rochester today.
Macy*s XL sizes were way too small, and the fat lady store's 2x wouldn't button across the
front. When I found one that would, it made me look like a sack of potatoes with a
gunny sack stretched to its limit.
So much for the "thin" illusion!
On the eating side, I am proud that I have not gone off this program once. I have been
within my point range, or under it, every single day.
The thing about Weight Watchers, though, is that a lot of the meetings and written
material talk about how you can replace high fat things with lower fat things. I rarely
have dessert in this house, because it's not an important thing for Walt, and it's a very
bad thing for me. Now, I'm having dessert every day. And sometimes in the middle of the
afternoon. Oh it's all OK, according to the points range, but it begins to trigger that
"stuff your face" mentality.
Those little flavored rice cakes are good for diets and if you buy the mini kind, you
can have six for only one point. So I bought some Nacho cheese ones. I love nacho cheese.
And six just didn't do it. So I had more. The bag that was going to last me a week lasted
two days. It was all within program, but it was the old eating getting out of control and
that's the bad thing.
I discovered "Skinny Cow," which is a wonderful ice cream sandwich which is
95% fat free and only 2 points. That's very nice. But I was having one or two in the
afternoon and another one at night. All within the program, but again, more dessert than I
should have. The things are also quite expensive, at about $1 each.
So I tried the other treat that everyone is raving about. Take cinnamon low-fat graham
crackers and pile on two tablespoons of low fat Cool Whip and top with another graham
cracker. Put them on a tray in the freezer for a couple of hours and then wrap each
individually. What you have is something that tastes very similar to Skinny Cow for only a
fraction of the cost.
But today I had one this afternoon and that led to another one. And a third has been
calling me all afternoon and it's only been by sheer force of will that I've resisted. I
have plenty of points left over, so that's not the problem, but I recognize that my manner
of eating is just as important as what I eat. When I got very hungry and really really
wanted that other sweet sandwich, I pulled out a bag of mini carrots and a jar of salsa.
Zero points for both. I ate about a cup worth of carrots dunked in the salsa and it has
filled me up so that I don't have that craving any more.
I think it's wonderful that people have found ways around the high fat, high calorie
snacks that we all know helped us get in this shape to begin with. But when we fill
ourselves with low fat empty calories and give in to the craving for more, more, more, we
aren't learning anything. We're sticking with our diet, but we aren't learning habits that
will last us for the rest of our lives.
I think I need to go and buy more carrots.