Friday, March 1, 2013

There's less and less of me all the time

I am no longer old, fat and ugly. I'm just old and ugly now, which is a relief.

Over the past few months, I've gotten rid of the "fat" part using Weight Watchers. I've dropped 27 or 28 pounds so far (not sure exactly how much...I weigh in tomorrow morning). And while I don't claim to be an underwear model or anything now, I'm at least back down into a healthy weight range, and I intend to stay there.

I'm a big fan of Weight Watchers, though I never say it's the right weight-loss method for everyone. Most people, yes, just not everyone. You have to be willing to figure out point values for foods and to track everything you eat every day. This sounds daunting at first, but for me it quickly becomes second nature.

The thing a lot of people don't get about Weight Watchers is that there are no "restricted" foods. None. You can eat whatever you want. It's just that, as you might expect, calorie-laden foods have higher point values, and you only get so many points in a day/week. So while that 3-pound slice of cake looks delicious, I would only recommend it if you don't plan on eating again until, say, the middle of next summer.

Because that's the thing: No matter how you go about losing weight, ultimately you're going to have to change how you eat. Whether you're counting points or avoiding carbs or following the Mongolian Yak Shepherd Diet, weight loss has always been, and always will be, a matter of calories in vs. calories out. Burn more than you take in and you lose weight. Go the opposite direction and start shopping for pants with exponentially larger waist sizes.

Speaking of which, I'm experiencing one of those problems-you-like-to-have in that half of the clothes I own are, geometrically speaking, now too big for me. Some are only slightly too big, while others are comically large. The last time I lost this much weight, I came into work wearing a black suit that my kind co-worker Jennifer said "makes you look like you're playing dress-up with your daddy's clothes."

And yes, there was a "last time" for me. I started doing Weight Watchers with Terry in 2008 and lost more than 30 pounds in three months. Then I got cocky and thought, "Well, I don't need Weight Watchers to keep the weight off. I can do it myself." And yes, I said it in the exact moronic tone you might expect.

You probably know what comes next: I not only gained the 30 pounds back, I added a few more for good measure! Because I'm just that kind of a thorough guy!

So this time I went back with the intention of not only taking the weight  back off  something at which I'm actually quite good  but learning mentally and physically how to keep it off forever.

I hate to make this comparison because I don't in any way mean to belittle Alcoholics Anonymous, but I liken weight loss to AA: You're never actually "recovered." That is, I need to stay on Weight Watchers or some sustainable form of it for the rest of my life if I hope to remain relatively lean and healthy. I'm too weak and lazy to just "eyeball" foods and limit portion sizes. Given free rein at the buffet table, I would eat everything there...and the table itself.

So once I hit my goal of 185 pounds in another month or two, I plan to keep on attending Weight Watchers meetings and following the program. Forever. I've given a lot of thought as to how that will work, and it's no trivial thing given that I might live another 40 or 50 years. I really think I will not only do this, but do it with no problem. As I've transformed my body over these last few months, I've been striving to do the same with my mind, and I believe I've made real progress there.

By the way, most people think I'm kidding when I say I weigh 190 pounds right now. That's in clothes and shoes, but still, at first glance I don't look to be 190 pounds. That is the blessing and the curse of my family: We wear weight well. I've ALWAYS been heavier than people assumed, which is handy when you're playing that guess-your-weight carnival game but of little use otherwise.

My primary care doc, the wonderful and inspiring Michelle Spech-Holderbaum, says 185 would be a "fantastic" weight for me and that anything under that is getting toward "you look gaunt and old" territory...though as we've established, there's probably no escaping "old" and "ugly" for me. I'm just looking for "relatively non-fat." That would be more than sufficient, thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment