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4 June 2002

A friend of mine has just started WeightWatchers. At first it was with some fear and trepidation about her ability to stick with it, but as she enters week 3 and continues losing weight, for the first time in years, she's getting into the swing of things and has begun to get caught up in the enthusiasm I've been feeling since I started this program in January. She's doing so great and I'm so proud of her.

Her big fear was an upcoming reception she's expected to attend and how she can keep from eating all the goodies there. I've been giving her some hints on how she can avoid it. I remembered back to the first reception I attended early on, and how I did a sweep of the table, just to get the feel for what was there, then decided what I could eat, loaded up my plate, and then stayed away from the table entirely, concentrating on talking to people, not on the food. It was a struggle not to dive into the dessert table, but I didn't do it, and felt so very good about that.

I've been in several situations in the past 6 months where I've had to repeat that exercise— assess what food is available, what I can and can't eat, and then just do it and ignore all the stuff I can't have.

But I kind of fell apart this weekend.

Maybe it's that it has been six months since I began and haven't slipped once. Maybe it was that it was not one, but several situations I found myself in and I ultimately just decided to take the weekend off. It's not that I stuffed myself like I would have seven months ago, but I didn't stick with any plan and I don't feel good about that.

It started with the bike ride. I had a WeightWatchers Power bar in the car which I intended to take for a snack along the way, but I forgot to put it in my backpack, so when Haggie hauled out her Wheat Thins + craisins, and offered me part of her Luna Bar, I rationalized that I'd biked enough calories that a couple of handsful of food wouldn't be bad. And, in truth, it wasn't. I think it was all covered by the calories burned. It wasn't even bad when we walked through the Farmers' Market and sampled flavored tortillas and various types of humus.

There was nothing wrong with eating a small basket of yellow raspberries on the way home, since I hadn't had my fruit snack in the middle of the day.

And it was OK to have a humus and flavored tortilla for lunch when I got home.

What the problem was was that none of that was regimented. I wasn't journaling. I had no way of calculating the point value of anything, and that threw me off for the day.

When we went to a birthday party that night, most of the hors d'oeuvres were fine—hot peppers stuffed with tuna, sushi, and shrimp wrapped with prociutto, but once I'd had a couple—we'd had no "dinner," so this was dinner too—then I decided I could try one of the tiny little phyllo pastries stuffed with curried-something. They were small — have two. Or maybe 3. And the California rolls (sweetened rice stuffed with avocado, rolled in seaweed) tasted good--who knew how much rice I was taking in with such small bites?

By the time the dessert tray came around, I decided I could also afford to have a small dessert. In truth, the thing I picked up looked like meringue and I felt I was taking the least caloric thing on the tray. When I bit into it, it was a solid mound of whipping cream topped with a strawberry. Oh my was that good. Would it really hurt if I had two? or three?

So by the time we left, I was fairly certain that I'd shot the day. But this is, after all, a lifestyle change, right? And occasionally one can take a day off. The trick is to get right back on again the next day.

Only the next day we had an invitation to meet our Malaysian son's newborn twins in the afternoon. I had no idea it was going to be another buffet. I tried to be restrained. I had a taste of the things that seemed to be the least problematic—wheat and cranberry salad, lemongrass chicken, a couple of other grain-type salads. Small servings of each. But again, not possible to calculate point value.

And after all, I'd gone on a long bike ride in the morning, so had my exercise.

We went from the twins to another reception, this for friends who are in town visiting from North Carolina. Another table full of food, another table full of temptation. By the end of that reception, I'd had a couple of chocolate chip cookies, a handful or two of peanuts, some cream cheese on crackers, and I had pretty much totally ignored all restraint.

I'm not happy with myself for losing control. I thought I'd built up better discipline in the past six months. And perhaps if it had only been one event (or even two), it wouldn't have been so difficult. But four different opportunities in two days was just more than I was ready for, apparently.

However, Walt has now gone out of town for the week, and it's just me and all this diet food around here for the week, and I intend to make up for the "bad" weekend.

I will, however, be very surprised if I have lost any weight when I weigh in tomorrow morning. It might even be the first week when I gain weight, especially given that my larger-than-usual weight loss last week was partly due to the intestinal upset I'd had two days before.

The main thing is not beating myself up over taking a weekend off. I look at the photo of us with our Malaysian son and his wife and the babies and I see how far I've come and I know that I do not want to go backwards again, so there is only one direction to go, and that's forward. No "snacks" this week, for sure.

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Quote of the Day

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.

-Arnold Bennett

Picture of the Day

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Taken at the Farmers' Market
in Danville Saturday.

One Year Ago
Movies to Sleep By

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(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

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