It takes a village (to drop those pounds)

SO MUCH FOR good intentions.

The plan was to get up early, as usual, have a quick breakfast and then, to go out for a bike ride before the heat started setting in. I had gone on a bike ride every day this week except the two days when I went to the gym (yesterday I went for a 10-mile bike ride and went to the gym), and I wanted to keep the momentum going.

However, before I went to bed last night, I saw a friend’s FaceBook post extolling the cool night and talking about sleeping with the windows open. I had been prepared to go to sleep with my AC going but I started feeling guilty so I opened my windows and turned on my bedside fan. That worked quite well, until about 3:30 in the morning, when I woke up, sweating. It wasn’t that hot, actually, but the humidity was horrendous, and I found it hard to go back to sleep. I didn’t, until almost five, and then I didn’t wake up until after 7:30. To most people that would seem like a relatively early hour, but to me it’s way too late.  The sun was up and the heat was on, and I had two newspapers waiting to be read and a crossword puzzle begging to be completed, so I skipped the bike ride.

The only exercise I got today was about a mile’s walk to and from the farmers market and the bike ride here (Java House) from home. Except for the trip to the farmers market, I stayed in. I had thought about going to the Pride festival near the Mall, but I just didn’t feel like walking around in the sun.

That doesn’t mean that I was idle all day. I did take a nice long (30 minutes) nap, but otherwise I spend most of the day in the kitchen, making a potato salad and a basil-buttermilk sorbet, a Weight Watchers recipe. And cleaning up the mess I made as I cooked.

It wasn’t until about 5 that I sat down and turned on the TV and watched the last part of HBO’s “Too Big To Fail.” It felt good to sit down, but once that – and the news – were over, I started to feel antsy about being indoors, so I got on my bike and came here. I really should have gone for a long bike ride, but I’ve taken two showers today already and I don’t feel like taking another one.

I’M NERVOUS ABOUT the weight loss thing. So far, the first three weeks have gone great. I’ve lost 11 pounds and I have been very faithful to the Weight Watchers program. I have written down (or rather, entered into my iPhone WW app) and not exceeded my daily point allotment (except for yesterday, when I went over by 1 point). I have entered exercise bonus points almost daily but have not used a single one of them, and I haven’t used any of the extra weekly bonus points that the program allows.

What makes me nervous is that it is at about this point in the program, when my clothes start fitting better and when I start feeling better, that it starts getting difficult because I no longer have a sense of urgency about losing weight, and so I start cheating. A little at first, but enough to make a difference. And once that cheating starts showing up at the scale, I get into a what’s-the-use-now?-I’ve-blown-it-already mode. And at the beginning of each week, I make a silent vow to myself that I will get back on the program and break the cycle, to begin losing weight again. But by the middle of the week, the battle has been lost, and by the end of the week, the war is over and I am the vanquished.

One of the things that adds to my nervousness is that today, in addition to not exercising, I was unable to accurately record everything I ate. I did my best and I believe that I have not exceeded my daily points quota, but I don’t know for certain, because I failed to keep track of everything I put in the potato salad. Again, I believe I was legal (that’s an old WW term, meaning to stay within the allotted points), but because I can’t prove it, there’s a nagging sense – illogical, I know – that perhaps I may have cheated. And that is beginning to trigger the defeatist mindset.

That is why I am writing this. That is why three weeks ago I asked you all to monitor my progress (or lack of progress) as I attempt once again to shed those nasty pounds: because I knew a day like today would arrive, and if I had kept my WW journey private, there’d be nobody else to answer to. I could fail once again and nobody would be around to ask, “What the hell happened.”

So, tomorrow morning, as I begin my week, the vow that I will make about sticking to the program will not be a silent vow to myself – it will be a vow made to each of you who has been kind enough to pay attention and offer encouragement.

I know: it’s kind of a perverted way of going about it, a cowardly way of doing something that I should be able to do on my own. But I’ve tried it that way for most of my adult life, and it never worked. So now I’m asking my village to help me.




About juanzqui7

Former Texas reporter, columnist and editorial writer.
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1 Response to It takes a village (to drop those pounds)

  1. Ann says:

    OK, Juanski, I go under the knife today, so please honor that by being a faithful WW person. Tomorrow I may not care about YOU so much as ME on the surface, but deep down I will still be rooting for you. And please note that I have been allowed NOTHING by mouth since Tuesday except an ice chip or two a day and I’ve had to look at your gorgeous pictures of what you are eating during that time. So man up!

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