No review this time, folks, but I do need to get something off my chest and I suppose it could fall under the “health/wellness/lifestyle” category.
I have been doing Weight Watchers since about Valentine’s Day. My family and most friends know very well that I am doing it. My clothes are certainly fitting better, but I don’t know how much I have lost as I do get on a scale. I know, I know this is one of the Cardinal Rules of WW: Thou shalt weigh thyself daily. I just can’t do it. I get so frustrated and discouraged when I think I’ve done really well one week and I’ve lost nothing or worse - gained a pound.
In any event, those of you who are not familiar with the Weight Watcher’s creed (I am referring to the Points+ program, not Classic), a condensed version might go a little something like this:
Weigh yourself every day.
Write down everything you eat.
Eat only high fiber, low fat, low carb, and moderate protein foods.
Have as many fruit and vegetables as you like.
That’s about it. Very condensed and there are a myriad of other little rules, tips, tricks and cheats in there but that’s the short of it. Now, as I’ve been going along in this, I’ve got a couple of gripes to share with you.
The Big Two are such: Weight Watchers does not encourage necessarily more healthy choices when it comes to food choices (particularly carbohydrates). Yes, fruit is a carbohydrate but I’m speaking specifically to the “grains” family here. For instance: 1 cup of artificial, processed, sugar-laden Waffle Crisp cereal is about half the points of 1/2 cup all natural, organic, whole grain granola. Now, I don’t know about you all, but when I am on a volume restrictive diet, I go for quantity, not quality. If I can eat twice the volume of food for half the “cost” in Points, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to go for that garbage kiddie cereal!
Secondly is the portion control bit of this whole charade. Ok, it’s not a charade - I truly am trying to make this a lifestyle change, which perhaps makes me all the more annoyed at this next complaint. We all know that in America portion control is, well, OUT of control. Doing Weight Watchers forces you to be more aware of not just what you put in your mouth, but how much. On the positive: eating only 1 serving of food at a time not only allows the food to last longer in your home, but saves you money because you’re not wasting it on buying more food, sooner!
However, in the season of BBQs, graduations and summer parties, this has been a bit of a challenge for me. I cannot control where a graduation dinner will be held or what someone will serve at their 40th birthday (fried chicken and potato salad, anyone?). But what I can say is that I have gotten the strangest looks from people when I endeavor to keep my portions under control. These looks have bordered from annoyed to concerned to angry: and now the comments have started rolling in. For instance, my family went out for my mom’s birthday last week and I had half of my (giant) hamburger and half of the (enormous) crock of french onion soup I ordered. My cousin asks, “Are you done already? What’s the matter? Is it not good? Do you not like it? What’s wrong? Are you going to eat that?” Drilled like a criminal! I said, “No, it was very good. I’m full.” Cue looks of concern/sympathy.
Just last night at another cousins graduation dinner at an Italian restaurant, I ordered the salad (dressing on the side, no bacon) and lasagna (and I promise, this was the most innocuous choice to be sure) much to the chagrin of yet another cousin. “What? No bacon? I’m so disappointed in you. You LOVE bacon. What’s the deal with that?” When my salad came, sitting in a pool of heavy parmesan dressing, I ate about 1/3 of it. Again with the hawkeyed looks from family members as the waitress cleared my mostly full plate. Finally, when the lasagna arrived, each portion was - not exaggerating - enough to feed 4 people. I would venture to say that I ate about 1/5 of the massive hunk of goop. My grandmother, who is also dieting, was sitting next to me and leans over and says, “What’s the matter? Don’t you like it? You’re looking a little pekid - do you feel sick?” I know this is bad, but I told her I had a headache and a stomach ache (true, from sheer graduation-day annoyances) but it got her to leave me alone and avoided funny looks.
I get the concern. I get that people don’t like seeing others diet - it makes them uncomfortable, aware of their own excess; they think it’s unnecessary because they don’t believe person dieting is “overweight”; there are so many reasons. But I’m tired of hearing about it from everyone; I would like the sympathetic/concerned/angry/uncomfortable looks to stop.
Have any of you had experiences like this? What did you do to make it stop? Or how did you manage the aggravation while just letting it go?