So I’m about twelve years into this diet (actually four weeks but who is counting). I will say this about the new Weight Watcher’s program, there really is no need to be hungry. You are allowed to eat things like fruits and veggies and eggs to your heart’s content. My heart however, is apparently never content with fruits and veggies and eggs.
Turns out eating healthy is going to make me lose weight because I don’t want to eat the healthy foods. The first few weeks I did really well filling up on nature’s bounties. Sure I missed my delicious breakfast cereals (all three of them that I’m allowed to eat because of my stupid Celiac’s disease) in the morning, but I didn’t mind the variations on omelets and scrambled eggs that I was replacing the cereal with. But yesterday I woke up and just the thought of eggs again made my stomach queasy. Not willing to spend the points on cereal (most carb-loaded items are huge points), I ended up skipping breakfast all together. Mid-morning I grabbed some grapes for a less than satisfying snack.
My lunches aren’t that bad, most days I eat a nitrate-free turkey or ham on gluten free bread (which is the same points as real bread but is like comparing a miniature horse to a full-sized horse). I generally add some fruit and call it good. Lunch is probably the most full I feel all day.
Mid-afternoon I’ll snack on some fruit, always marveling that it tastes better than I remembered. I suspect that the fruit is tasting better because I’m consuming less sugar in other forms. I know God created fruit, but honestly, I’m not trying to shame him, but I wish he had created chocolate chip cookie trees and maybe cake on the cob. Why can’t those delicious things be naturally healthy? (And don’t try to tell me there are healthy versions out there because I live in the ‘gluten free healthy shit” world, and none of it tastes good.)
At this point, we arrive at dinner. Every day I save my points for dinner thinking I’m going to have something sinful while staying within my points budget. After all, we all see Oprah selling us on the idea we can eat anything and still be following the program. Not trying to throw her under the bus, but that is not true. Well mostly not true, because you can in truth have anything, what she neglects to mention is that you can have the tiniest amount of whatever you desire. I quickly found out that a little taste of forbidden foods is not satisfying.
One night a few weeks ago, I budgeted my points to allow for a cookie after dinner. I dreamed about that cookie all day. I couldn’t wait to bite into that soft, chocolately goodness. It occupied my thoughts more than I would like to admit. As soon as my bland but healthy dinner was finished, I raced to the freezer to pick out one of the prized treats I had made and frozen several weeks before. I didn’t mind that it was frozen, I figured that would just make the decadent experience last longer.
Holding that piece of heaven in my hands, I lift it to my mouth and savor the fireworks exploding in my taste buds. Finally, something satisfying…or not. Four bites later and the damn cookie is gone and I don’t feel like I even had time to fully appreciate my treat. That is when I discovered that cookies are only enjoyable when they don’t have a limit. When you can eat them until something fires in your brain and tells you that you are satisfied, then they are wonderful.
So I ask myself, why I put myself through this uncomfortableness? Is it because Bill Maher called for the country to start fat-shaming people? Nah, I’m old enough that that shit doesn’t bother me so much. When I was young, his diatribe would have wounded me to no end and I would have soothed that pain in a bucket of mint chocolate chip ice cream, but now I just brush him off because I know someone like him has never experienced a weight issue and is just talking out of his ass. What I know in my heart is that I’m doing this for my daughters.
Two years ago my youngest daughter started easing away from sugar in all forms. It was a struggle for her, a difficult journey that I couldn’t take for her. She would come home from school disgusted because all her thin friends spent their day snacking on junk food with zero consequences (take note Bill Maher, they are all bone thin and eat like shit). Meanwhile she sits with her apple and plain water, frustrated because she is making almost no progress in her weight loss. But still she persevered to the tune of a thirty-pound weight loss.
My oldest daughter switched out her bipolar meds because the one that she had taken for years was causing severe tremors, to the point that driving was becoming a safety issue. Once she started the new medicine, she found that her weight began to slowly decrease. Encouraged by the progress, she began to control her portion size and the weight loss picked up. After hitting a plateau, she began the keto diet about a month ago. The keto diet has actually been recommended for those with bipolar so it is a win/win situation for her. Last night she informed me that she had lost a total of fifty-one pounds in the last year.
I’m really proud of my daughters. I never shamed them for their weight and we openly discussed healthy eating throughout the years. I always told them that I would not comment on their weight because their eating journey was theirs to decide. My parents put me on every diet available starting at ten-years-old and my father called me a whale at one point. None of these tactics worked (again, Bill Maher, shaming didn’t work) and I had zero intention of doing that to my kids. They both have found their way as I hoped they would.
The problem is my youngest is struggling now that she is away at college. The college cafeteria preaches health and yet only provides high-calorie choices. My daughter is trying to make good decisions but finding that her weight loss has stalled. I thought that maybe it would be a nice surprise for her when she comes home from college at Christmas to see that her mother is walking the healthy path with her. I remind myself of this when all I want to do is eat some gluten free pizza, but now that I can’t. I want my kids to see that their actions spurred their mother into action. So if making my kids proud involves trading my delicious chocolate Chex for some scrambled eggs, well so be it. I might bitch and moan for this journey, but I will make my daughters proud…