Two weeks ago today I joined Weight Watchers.
It might seem to be a weird thing, because I’m not—technically or visibly—obese. In fact, somewhat recently someone asked the wife how I stay thin.
But here’s the thing: I don’t feel thin. I started this program at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds. I was, in college, 175 pounds. Through the recent years I’ve had little comments made to me, and they’ve collected somewhere in my mind. After stepping off a scale, a doctor said to me, “I’d really like to see you lose some weight.” One of my friends calls me “skinny fat.” Another person (who we see annually) always comments on my gained weight. A relative does, too.
All that stuff adds up. But, what really did it for me was a recent trip to the scale. Two hundred is a big number. I’m not supposed to be 200. For my height, the general take is this …
I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see. There’s a small gut—I never had a small gut. There’s some flab—I never had some flab. Again, I’m not huge. But I’m the cliche middle-aged man with some increased girth, and I’m not happy. The the worst thing about it? I ate like absolute shit. I really did. My breakfast was usually 1 1/2-to-two bowls of cereal. I’d nosh all day. But not healthy noshing, like fruits and vegetables. No, I’d nosh on processed shit—crackers, cookies, chips. We keep a bag of chocolate chips in the refrigerator for weekend pancakes, and I regularly walk by and grab a small handful. One small handful plus one small handful plus one small handful plus one small handful equals a load of chocolate. At night I’d eat and eat and eat. Another bowl of cereal. Pretzels. Cookies.
Honestly, I was struggling to stop. And I found myself in a very bad pattern: I’d eat like shit, go to the gym at night, come home famished, eat some more, weigh myself the next morning, feel OK because the water weight loss from the gym would bring me down to, oh, 197ish. But then I’d eat like shit again and again and again. It was a fruitless (literally) rotation that got me nowhere, and had me feeling awful. Oh, there were also the Starbucks drinks. I like working in coffee shops, so I’d always order the biggest iced coffee and load it with milk, sugar, syrup. It seemed OK at the time, because, hey, coffee alone has no fat. But I was adding calories atop calories.
And, one day, I was 200 pounds. And heartbroken over it.
So I decided to sign up for Weight Watchers.
I feel good, but nervous. I dropped a ridiculous six pounds the first week, and 2.2 more the second. So I weigh 191.8 this morning, which is the lightest I’ve been in about six years. I haven’t touched a bowl of cereal, and don’t miss it. My new breakfast is an omelet with vegetables (no cheese). I’m eating a shitload of fruit and vegetables, drinking more water than before, adding only a drop of milk and no chocolate to my coffee. It hasn’t been easy, because I think one needs to re-learn not to eat at all free moments. Like, I’m used to putting food in my mouth; to having a free moment and walking to the cabinet to grab a nosh.
But, truly, it isn’t that hard. I feel great about this; like I’ve set a goal and I’m actually fighting for it. I’d like to get to 175, but I think 180 is probably the right stopping point.
Either way, I wake up curious about nutrition and feeling experimental about eggs, apples and carrots.