Yesterday was a day of mixed emotions. Looking back, I feel kind of ridiculous about the whole thing. I went to the gym after working Sunday night to meet my gym buddy and fellow Weight Watcher, Eileen. It was the big one week weigh-in. I was pumped! I just knew I had lost three pounds. I’d been good all week, using only an average of 30.2 of my 40 allotted daily points, had only had one “skinny” Texas Martini at happy hour this week and had worked out six days out of seven! I was walking tall and feeling good….until I stepped on the scale. It turns out I lost 1.8 pounds. I know, I should have been happy, right? That’s what everyone told me, and I was…sort of. Mostly I was disappointed and discouraged. I mean, I was happy I lost, just not happy with the amount.
I don’t know how many of you know how Weight Watchers works, but basically, you are given a number of daily “points” along with a weekly allowance of flex points. You can also earn activity points based on the type and duration of exercise you do. These points are then traded for food. Some foods are free (most fruits and veggies) and the rest have a points value based on the fat, protein, carbs and fiber content. Choose wisely, young grasshopper, and you can stay full and satisfied while staying within your points. This is exactly what I did. I made conscious decisions to eat healthy foods and chose not to have the indulgences I usually allow myself. I could have, for example, had a regular martini, or two at happy hour and definitely had the points accumulated for it, but chose to get the sugar-free option. I could have stopped off at Starbucks before work and had a grande chai soy latte, but didn’t. I only used my daily points and sometimes found myself well below them, albeit unintentionally.
My disappointment stemmed from a fear that if I ever did use all the points I’m allowed, that I would not lose, or worse yet, that I would gain! I felt a little defeated and couldn’t seem to shake it. The odd thing, is that where I might have given up and eaten something comforting (read bad for me), I instead ate almost nothing that day. The nurse in me knows that any time you start a diet, or in my case a change in your normal way of eating, where you consume less calories, you convince your body to hold on to its stored fat. I know this only lasts for a week or two before the ol’ body falls in line and realizes there’s a change in how it’s going to be managed. I know this, and yet, I was devastated.
I am so thankful for my Facebook friends. They, who have been cheering me on daily when I post about going to the gym or eating something healthy, were also there to pick me up yesterday and tell me to be strong and keep it up. I’ll admit I whined excessively and I needed to have myself verbally bitch-slapped out of my mood. So thank you to Eileen’s husband, David who told me I was done whining. That I didn’t put the weight on overnight and I wasn’t going to get rid of it overnight. Thank you to Frank, who reminded me what I already know about my body holding on to the calories that it thinks won’t be coming anymore (and they won’t, dear body, but we’re going to learn to live without as many of them). Thank you to every “you can do it” and every “don’t give up” because, even though sometimes we think we stand alone, it’s nice to know that we don’t.