Thursday, February 04, 2010

The longest road.

I have been on the Weight Watchers Momentum program for three weeks, and according to Erin, it's time to blog this thing. So here goes.

Tonight, our meeting leader Nancy asked the group what our "fed up" moment was. When did we know we couldn't take it anymore? One lady said it was when she had to alternate between two pairs of jeans, washing them every other day, because they were the only ones that fit her. Huh. I've been doing that for years. Heck, I'm down to one pair now. Another said it was when she had a hard time getting up from the floor after playing with the children at the day care where she works. I can definitely identify with the awkward struggle to get to my feet, but it's never been embarrassing enough to spur change.

There's no pressure to share during the meetings, which is good, because I couldn't bring myself to say mine, the moment in which I knew I could not gain another pound. The moment when I'd reached my limit. I couldn't say it out loud, but I'm going to write it. Just typing it into this Word document has got my heart racing. Never mind that I'll be copying and pasting it onto blog for all the word, if it so chooses, to see. That will be another hurdle. Anyway.

I don't know why I decided to step on my bathroom scales. They've never been my friend. But for some reason and with much trepidation, I did step onto them about two months ago. And when I did, that little red hand -- I kid you not -- swung completely around the dial. All the way from zero to 300.

Surely my eyes had deceived me. The little adjustment wheel must've been tampered with. I stepped off, made sure it was set exactly on zero, and stepped back on. No change. Three. Hundred. Pounds. There it is.

Okay, maybe I've been in denial. Or maybe all this time I've been under the wrong impression of what 300 pound looks like. But when I envision a 300-pound person, it doesn't match up with what I see in the mirror. I mean, I know I'm fat. I always have been. (Except maybe on the day I was born. That was a very acceptable 7 pounds and one ounce, thank you very much.) It wasn't that I was shocked I had gained the weight. I was never under the impression that I was losing or even holding steady. But me? Weighing 300 pounds? That dark number that is definitely the unspoken barrier between overweight and Fat, with a capital F? Apparently so.

So when my teacher friend Sarah came up to chat with me while I was doing my morning hall duty and mentioned that she was going to join Weight Watchers and asked if I would like to join her, I knew what I had to do. She said that, of course, one has to have the right mindset to make this sort of commitment. This is normally where I would hem and haw and say, "I don't know…" Not this time. No. I had already done all the thinking I had to do. I was ready, and here was my opportunity to make a change. The change.

Mind you, I've been looking for this opportunity all my life. I've never been a dieter. I did try a Christian weight-loss program for a while when I was in high school and there was that freak accident in which I lost 30-something pounds while in Honduras for two months, but other than that, my life has been a steady weight-gain from Day One. I've always been too skeptical of diets and programs that I know aren't going to become lifestyles. I mean, who's going to eat only grapefruit every day for the rest of her life or never eat bread or potatoes again? Not me, that's for sure. Why try if I know beforehand that it won't be for real? You may go ahead and translate my skepticism as an excuse for laziness. Even if those so-called plans don't really work, it's not okay to pack on pounds day in and day out like I have for 26 years. So I admit it. My logic wasn't altogether flawless, but I did have a point.

In Weight Watchers, though, I've found something I think I can handle. This is just three weeks in, so I know the program and I are still in the honeymoon phase. I know things will get more challenging. I am learning, though, and that's everything. I’m learning to see food differently, to make better choices, to cook, for heaven's sake! (Talk about giving a man a fish and feeding him for a day versus teaching him to fish and feeding him for a lifetime.) I also know that I need to learn to see myself differently. That's where I need the most work.

So I know I've made a big deal about the number 300 (300.6 to be exact, according to my Week 1 weigh-in), but as my friend Jenny frequently tags her tweets: I am not my weight. If and when I lose the pounds I need to lose, I will still be me. Being thinner will not make me a better human being. Being heavier than I am now will not make me an unworthy person. But what I've decided is this: I may not be my weight, but my weight reflects the way I see myself. If I care about myself -- because if I don't, who will? -- I cannot treat my body the way I have been. This unhealthy and uncomfortable state I've gotten myself in shows how little good I've expected for myself. And I'm learning that I have to expect good things in my life. Again, if I don't expect them, who will?

Stay tuned to read more about where I've come from, where I'm going, and most importantly, where I am. I will have successes, failures, revelations, breakdowns, and certainly oodles of stories about navigating the POINTS system, learning to cook, and getting active.

It's going to be a long road, but if I've learned anything from experience, life is about the journey. I'm not looking for shortcuts.

Today's victory: I found out that I lost 2.6 pounds this week for a total of 11.4. That means I earned my second 5-pound loss sticker. I now weight 289.2, which puts my new daily POINTS target at 37.


elizabeth said...

i am SO proud of you, cass, and i will be following along with every step. can't wait to see more successes!

Anonymous said...

second try: You are bad ass Ms. Ma'am. Can't wait to read more.

holly said...

echoing cawein and niaz: you are bad ass and i am SO proud of you. your support system is vast and we can't wait to be here for you as you make this journey.

<3 you forever, /.

Miss_Tammy said...

You're right, committing to the program is the hardest part. Once you start discovering bones you've never knew you had before and slipping into jean sizes you never thought you would see again, it gets easier.

Good luck! I know you can do this!

Adrienne said...

Cass. Couldn't be prouder of you. Like everyone here, can't wait to hear of whats to come and know that you can lean on all of us who are here for you.

Tons of love.

washedup said...

thank you, all of you. this was not easy to write, especially for my friends to see. but i knew i could and that you would not judge me, but support me. that is a compliment.

as holly said, my support system is vast, and for that, i'm thankful. i appreciate all of your encouragement. i'm going to need it.