Things would be different if I were more into cats

scaleI got off the scale the other morning and let everyone know I’m carrying around an extra six pounds.

“That’s like a whole baby,” I said.

“Not one of our babies,” Mike said. “Maybe a good sized house cat.”

If a shoe had been handy, I’d have thrown it at him. I’m not into cats.

I’ve rarely had any kind of problem with my weight, other than that time during my teens where I wished my thighs wouldn’t brush together and bunch up my gym shorts when I ran laps in PE.

Still, around here, I’m the designated person in charge of everybody’s diet and exercise regimen. The boys need regular prodding and reminders to eat properly in order to keep from turning into puddles of goo. Mike’s a total grouch if he doesn’t take care of himself. This ends up being my problem by virtue of my bossiness and the preference I have for not living with crabby slugs.

When Mike and I were first married, neither one of us paid attention to our health. We worried whether there was room in our budget for beer, and for once in a while eating something that wasn’t a chilidog.

That whole “eat cheap crap and drink all you want without consequences” thing is a physiological miracle of one’s twenties, which is something no one wants to believe until reality smacks them in the face a decade later, if not sooner, which is when I started noticing the needle on the scale move in teensy increments. Each increment was by itself almost nothing, but lumped all together, they got my attention.

When Mike started running regularly, he started paying attention to his own numbers on the scale as well as to the fact that a few extra pounds meant a propensity toward a running injury. He joined Weight Watchers, and later encouraged me to do the same so I’d stop pitching a fit about insisting on pizza and beer the night before a weigh in.

In retrospect, suggesting your wife join Weight Watchers may be one of the crazier braver things a husband can do. I could very well have taken it the way I think most people would, and thrown a shoe at him.

But he’s smart, see? And very tactful.

“I could use the encouragement you could give if you were coming to meetings with me. Besides, you’d have access to all the online recipes.”

Which is Mike’s kind way of saying I’m a pizza bully. He also knows I’m a sucker for recipe resources, and that I had an extra 15 pounds at the time that I didn’t want to take with me on my own runs.

That’s why, for the better part of the last three years, I’ve been getting up early for Saturday morning Weight Watcher meetings, calculating cheese burgers and miles run in terms of points instead of calories, and letting my OCD flag fly with a phone app that helps me track everything.

Here’s the thing: even with the little phone app and all the meetings, and going without the pizza on a Friday night, losing even something as minuscule as fifteen pounds, and then keeping it off in my forties turns out to be freaking hard.

I know. I’m stating the obvious. Don’t throw that shoe at me.

Here’re a few other things I’ve learned at Weight Watchers:

I can’t eat whatever I want just because I run. I ran a half marathon this very weekend. That’s two and a half hours of pretty grueling activity. It got me just enough points to have one cheeseburger, half an order of fries and half a beer. That’s it.

Old me (or, er …. younger me) would have used that kind of activity as rationale for a burger and fries every day until the end of time.

I’m totally into the chotskies Weight Watcher ladies dole out when we make milestones. Whip out one of those babies and I’ll channel Tonya Harding on my way to the front of the class.

Oh, those people, they have my number when it comes to the bling.

Microbrews are my biggest handicap. I eat well enough. I don’t snack or let my portion sizes get out of control. I don’t eat to manage stress. But who can say no to a good IPA?

All would have been well and good had the industry just stuck with the Coors and the Millers and the PBRs. That’s all fine for stuff like camping and fraternity parties, but bring out something with a little hop bite to it and I turn into a junky ready to trade in one of my kids for a growler. I tell myself if I cut out enough pricey beer during the course of a month, it effectively pays for my Weight Watchers meetings and the phone app.

And yes, I’m aware, with all this conversation about cutting back on the beer, I should probably be going to a different kind of meeting. You’re not the first to think of that.

You never know where someone is coming from. At first I wondered if it was weird that I was joining this group, when I didn’t have the same kind of weight to lose as the typical member. Then I realized there is no typical. There are people on those Saturday mornings who are dealing with all kinds of crazy baloney, and still plugging along on their journey. They could have lost 100 pounds or ten or nothing yet. We share stories, laugh a little and then get on with our week.

The conversations we have are all about living with intention and purpose, about focusing on a goal, forgiving yourself for cheeseburgers (or microbrew) and staying positive. Resolving to do better, making a plan, celebrating accomplishments, moving forward.

Probably the most important thing I’ve realized since making my goal weight last year is I can’t goof off all week long, and expect to compensate with a fruit fast the day before a meeting. I’ve tried. Someone had to. For science.

So, you know, you’re welcome.

Six pounds. They’re not much, but they’ll invite their buddies. It’s time to buckle down, get back with the program, put my game face on, turn over a new leaf, throw the baby out with the bathwater, kill two birds with one stone, er … whatever. I’m resolved to get rid of this extra poundage.

Because I’ve never been a cat person.


Don’t hate me if you’re a cat person. I’m sure I’ve got some latent cat loving ability inside me. Just let it all go.

But not before you vote. I love your votes. They’re like Weight Watcher’s chotskies. Seriously.



Drowsiness_bookAnd, if you haven’t done so yet, check this out! Motherhood: May Cause Drowsiness is finally out! ManicMumbling is part of a collection of hilarious tales (in retrospect, I mean, sleep deprivation is rarely funny when it’s happening, except in that crazy, they’re-coming-to-get-me kind of way, right?), with some of my favorite bloggers.

Let me know what you think!


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  1. I\’ve been exercising and \”eating better\” for months now and am down abut 6 ounces. Momus, meanwhile doing the same (plus a bunch of chips) is down 10 pounds. The jokes about \”crossover day\” aren\’t so funny any more.

    I live in abject terror of Crossover Day.

    1. Mike and I can do the exact same exercise and, in the WW system, he ears the same number of points as I would going through about 28 hours of labor.

      You have my permission to throw a shoe at Momus. Don\’t even tell him why.

  2. I got pregnant with my first child at 19. I had never seen the wrong side of the scale at 19. I didn\’t even think I was capable.

    Then I had a 50 pound pregnancy weight gain, largely due to the fact that, for the first time in my life, I had the appetite of two fully grown men. And the other person I was eating for, was the size of a hamster for a long time.

    I got almost all of it off, but then proceeded to have more babies. And even if I never put on a whole 50 pounds (sometimes I did, sometimes I didn\’t) I still went up quite a bit with each one, and didn\’t take all of it off.

    After my 6th was born, I thought I was done, and got serious about weight loss. I did WW Online and lost 50 lbs!

    So, naturally, I got pregnant. I put all that weight right back on.

    I had a cheese addiction that I\’m not proud off. They fry it here in Minnesota. Who knew that that was a thing? A delicious, amazing thing…

    Anywho, WW didn\’t work for me after having Liam. I ended up going Atkins, and lost 65 pounds.

    I dream of going back on WW, because I miss carbs. But this is mostly working for me. The last ten pounds are pretty stubborn. Especially when I eat popcorn at the movies.

    Stupid popcorn.

    I\’m here for encouragement, and could totally use some as well!

    1. After beer, I think cheese is my biggest problem. I would probably buckle under if cheese was involved. I don\’t have a huge problem with carbs, thankfully, and have been able to all but give up bread. That saves me.

      Popcorn (when it\’s not movie popcorn) is usually not too bad on the WW system, so the other day I thought I\’d be safe having a popcorn appetizer with a friend. It came out with bacon on top. BACON. Then the restaurant owner came out to say hello (he\’s a friend), and tell us the damn popcorn had been popped in DUCK FAT.

      Because, you know, the whole world is against me sometimes.

      Of course I ate it. I don\’t like to waste food. And I can\’t fight the whole world.

      I\’m hoping to get that six pounds off by Thanksgiving. So I can do it all over again in February. Good luck with yours. Just stay away from the duck fat popcorn and fried cheese.

  3. Beth, there is an answer to the weight gain this time of year. Having lived in Stanley for a number of years Bob and I noticed an annual Fall phenominum (sp). The local residents began \’porking up\’ evan tho\’ they were working their fannies off getting the firewood cut and getting in the winters meat supply. Our bodies knew another cold winter was on it\’s way.
    Kinduva\’ throwback to our Scandanavian ancesters don\’t you think?

    1. Thank you. I\’m going to go with that. It\’s an evolutionary thing.

      Oh, and I kind of hope for a solid winter this year. Nothing like Stanley, but a good ski season (finally) would be okay with me.

  4. Please don\’t hate me for being the bearer of bad news, okay?
    Unfortunately what I\’ve noticed for myself is that it doesn\’t matter how hard I exercise or what kinds of food I do or don\’t eat. The sad truth is that in order to maintain my weight, it seems I have to eat LESS. Every year, less than the year before.
    I will have fried chicken or cake maybe once every few months, and I splurge at events or restaurants.
    But day-to-day normal eating? I have to keep it so minimal that my kids eat more in one meal than I do in a day.
    It was difficult changing my eating habits at first. It was weird not putting the same old amount of food on my plate as always. But after a while I got used to it, and now I feel really full with less.

    1. That\’s the thing, isn\’t it? Having those people around here who can and do stuff their faces all the time. The nerve of these people!

      … And their Chocolate Chex staring me in the face all day.

  5. I think that\’s so great you guys are both going to Weight Watchers together. I really enjoy doing \”healthy challenges\” and exercising with my husband. It helps us both to be more accountable. I used to think like you did….if I ran a bunch, I can eat a bunch. I\’ve since learned that\’s not a great way to think, lol!