INTO EACH LIFESTYLE
SOME CHEESECAKE MUST FALL
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 up...it 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.
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.