A KICK IN THE
PANTS ... A SHOT IN THE ARM
30 October 2002
I feel like I'm back in St. Brigid's Grammar School, lining up by
height and being marched over to the church to stand in line and go to confession. The
difference is that I don't think I'll pee on the floor this time.
Yes, it's Tuesday and that means it's time to confess my sins.
I knew I would have gained weight this week. There were two parties
with big buffets, and atmospheres in which I was uncomfortable. I just don't do
parties. And I always end up spending too much time at the food table(s) because it's
something to DO and keeps me from wandering around aimlessly knowing I should talk to
someone, but too shy to approach a total stranger and strike up a conversation.
But the buffets weren't the real problem. The real problem is I've
come to "that part of the new plan" where it's all become old hat, the
excitement about getting into the new habits, enjoying exercise, etc, is fading. I'm
amazed that it lasted this long, as a matter of fact. This is precisely where I was back
in 1985 when I'd lost....80 lbs. I was looking good, wearing "off the rack," and
feeling good about myself.
Well, we can't let THAT happen, can we?
I can't let myself feel GOOD about me, can I?
So 17 years ago, I embarked on a program of sabotage that left me so
chastened...and so fat...that it took me 15+ years to get to the point where I was willing
to get serious about reversing the trend.
I am about a month into that same mindset now. It has been slowly
creeping in. First I stopped reading message in Pointers,
the group that is passionate about counting points. I stopped because there are over 100
messages a day in that group and we were going out of town for the wedding and I knew I
couldn't keep up. So I shut it off, intending to turn it back on again at the end of the
weekend, but then I got busy with work and thought I'd just leave it off till I get
through the crunch...then I just kinda never thought to turn it back on.
Thank goodness I have a Pointers guardian angel in my friend Joan,
who has been nudging me to come back. I turned the e-mail back on yesterday.
Then there was finding handy excuses not to exercise. Laryngitis
(like I couldn't walk on a treadmill with laryngitis?), Journalcon, the trip to LA, yadayadayada. Again,
thank god for guardian angels, in this case Cindy, who, as a dentist, has learned the art
of being positive. She never nags. She just doesn't take no for an answer, so I've been
continuing on with the biking, even when I didn't feel like it.
But the biggie is food. What is it with me and food? It is
truly an addiction. It's comfort. It's fuel. It's relief of boredom. It's something to do
to procrastinate. It's just always there, and unlike a bottle of gin that you can
vow never to touch again, you do have to eat. My alcoholic friend tells me that it's the
same thing. He has to drink too, but he chooses not to drink alcohol. I try to explain
that while you can totally wipe booze out of your life, your body needs all those food
groups. You can't give up bread and fats and sweets completely or you'll die. And as your
taste buds start to change, you have new trigger foods. Who would have thought I--balloon
bread lover that I am--could get turned on by whole wheat English muffins?
I said some time back that the key to this whole program is strict
journal keeping. Writing down every morcel that goes into your mouth which gives you a
gauge by which to know how much more you can eat during a day. If you stop weighing and
checking points and journaling, you start guesstimating and then you forget so you
guesstimate some more--and we all know that left to our own devices, we're going to guess
low on points and high on amount. ("That's about a Tablespoon, isn't it?" Yeah
right. More like 1/4 cup!)
And I haven't journaled in 3 weeks. Too busy. Not home. On the road.
All the excuses. And that's what they are: excuses.
But in flies yet another guardian angel. My friend Diane, who
started WeightWatchers strictly because of ME and who is doing fabulously, slow and
steady, just the way that has been proven to be most effective. She keeps telling me how
I've been her inspiration and how I can't quit. And behind her stand a whole army of
reader guardian angels who have been cheering me on for the past ten months. If there's
any good to come out of the embarrassment of never speaking your mind, this is
it--I'm too embarrassed to quit. All of you guys have been just too, too, too
supportive. I would not only be letting Me down, but so many other people. So it's back to
the journal today, seeing if I still remember how to do it.
Finally, I have to remember the reason why I started this in the
first place. I started this because I realized I had put my health at risk and it was very
important to me to become healthy, because I had things I wanted to do and wasn't ready to
face death yet. It's time to think about that once again.
So...bottom line? How much did I gain..... <cringing>
4.6 damn pounds. OK. I've said it. 4.6 lbs. That's scary. It puts me under 75
lbs once again, so I'm going to have to climb back up to that 80 lbs that I was so proud
of. Watch me go...there will be a loss next week. I promise. Me and you.
But I titled this "A kick in the pants...a shot in the
arm..." The shot in the arm came as I was slinking out of the WeightWatchers building
and a woman grabbed my arm and said "Are you Bev?" I told her I was. She rambled
on about how much she loved my letters to the editor, how she agreed with everything I
said, how she appreciated my opinions, and then went on to say that her son was the
president of the Gay-Straight Alliance at the high school and she really appreciated
people who were supportive. She then went on to tell me what a fan of Paul's her son had
been and how sorry she was about Paul's death. That was very nice, I have to admit.
So I've had a shot of self-esteem and a shot of reality and it's
time to put one foot in front of the other and start back on the road again. And hope that
I can at least get back to 75 by next Tuesday.
* * *
(And by the way, I want my mother to be very grateful that I did not
write a journal entry yesterday entitled "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead." ....and
all the family knows what I mean by that!)