“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.
And, 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!