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13 September 2002

Some weeks ago, I joined an e-mail group called "The Pointers." We're all people who are following the WeightWatchers program and we give support, encouragement, and recipes to each other. It's a pretty good group.

One of the things we do is to post our eating journals each day. That has several good things about it. For one thing, it makes sure you actually write down what you eat each day. For me, journaling my food intake is the thing that makes the most difference in staying on the program. Even when I overdo, I make sure I write it down so I can see by how much I overdid (or, conversely, to be surprised that it wasn't as bad as I thought). Also, "having" to post it publicly each day makes me sometimes make better food choices. And finally, reading other people's food journals sometimes gives me good hints for other things to eat that I might not have thought about.

(My WeightWatchers leader lost >100 lbs 11 years ago and says she still journals every day because she still gets those food cravings and finds that keeping a journal helps her make better food choices.)

We send each other notes of encouragement--congratulations when we've done well, sometimes a kick in the butt when we're struggling, a "cheer was only one day" sort of message when you've had one of those "million points days" and are feeling pretty bad about yourself.

The title of the e-mail that we send when we submit our journal lets folks see instantly how you've done "X-" if you've eaten less than your allotted number of points, "X0" if you are within your point range, and "X+" if you've eaten more than your the number of points you are allowed for the day.

My journal for last night read X+++.

Dr. G and his wife had a small gathering at their house last night, just for friends to be together, not to "celebrate" or even "commemorate" the events of 9/11, but just to be together on a day when it's important to reaffirm friendships. I was honored that we were invited to join this small group.

I had decided I wouldn't worry about points. Dr. G had said they would be barbecuing steak and beef is one of those moderately high point foods that you take in moderation (2 oz = 3 points in my 27-31 point range). However it was much more than just the steak.

First there were chips and salsa...fresh salsa made from fresh-grown things from the garden, and it was some of the best salsa I'd had. I probably ate half my points' allotment just on the chips and salsa (and it was almost gone by the time we got there!). Then the steaks. Oh my...the steaks. Each must have weighed a pound. They were about an inch and a half or more thick and barbecued with a delicious sauce. (1 lb steak = 24 points!) I ate every single bite. I also ate my baked potato, and had a liberal helping of the salad, again made with ingredients fresh from the garden. I limited myself to only one piece of baguette dipped in oil and vinegar (well...l had to have some semblance of control), but when the cheesecake appeared before me, my very favorite dessert, I wasn't going to be noble at that point. I enjoyed every wonderful mouthful.

There was no point in calculating points. I was so far over it wasn't even funny--and would be too depressing to calculate, but I did post a journal of sorts, explaining that my journal for the day was X+++...and why.

I received the perfect encouragement from a woman named Sarah Beth this morning. She says:

Good for you! It is good to give yourself a little time off here and there, as long as you jump right back in it! I do this on my vacations... I decide to enjoy myself and I do. I don't count points on vacations, and I NEVER will ... to much other fun stuff to think about! I figure that I will need to eat this way for the rest of my life so... it doesn't matter if I have one day with cheesecake and a 1 lb steak! Knowing you... you will just bike it all off this weekend!

She's right. I said when I started this program that this was going to be a lifestyle. In a diet, you stick with it until you lose the weight, and then you "go back" to whatever you've been giving up prior to going on the diet. But I'm on this for life. And what making this a lifestyle means is that 99% of the time, I follow a fairly consistent eating pattern, but there are going to come those days when you have a steak in front of you and then someone hands you a piece of cheesecake. The secret is learning how to have them, enjoy them, and then go right back to what you were doing the day before, with a clear conscience, knowing that your lifestyle just took a little vacation, but that it didn't result in your giving up.

Unfortunately, I won't be biking off the points this weekend--and may be having a couple of more "million point days" before Monday. Tonight is "Dinner at the Dump," a yearly event here in town where all the restaurants set up booths, you pay an entry fee, and you go from booth to booth getting "tastes." Most of what is offered is fried, sauced, or otherwise not-low cal.

Then I'm going to a bridal shower on Saturday (at the home of Michelle Phillips--she of The Mamas and the Papas fame [I just had to name drop abit--I've never met her before, but the bride to be, who is Walt's cousin's daughter, is her best friend]) followed by dinner at a gourmet Japanese restaurant prior to seeing Steve's new play again.

I won't go whole hog (literally), but I'm not going to beat myself up for having a piece of cake or an extra piece of sushi. I probably won't lose any weight this week, but the program is here and I'll be sticking with it as much as possible, knowing that when the weekend is over I'll be right back where I've been these past months, because that is now my lifestyle....and I'll pedal extra hard when I'm riding the streets with Cindy in the next few days!

Pass me the occasional cheesecake...just not on a regular basis.

Quote of the Day

Most people would like to be delivered from temptation
but would like it to keep in touch.
-- Robert Orben

Picture of the Day

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One Year Ago
A Year Ago
I'd give anything to take another trip, to have her feed me jelly bellies to keep me awake, to do some "power shopping," to float high above the mountain tops again, picking pine tree needles out of the top of a tree.
I miss you, my friend.

Two Years Ago
I'm Done!
We had never met before, but slipped very comfortably into the friendship that we've had on line these past two years. She's a delight. We had a gorgeous drive home, since it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I remember seeing in this area.

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Created 9/13/02