Staying on ‘Plan’


Only a real masochist would put a photo of doughnuts
at the top of her post on weight loss.

So. Because I’m getting married in 10 months . . . and because I’m getting older . . . and because I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been . . . and because I want to be well enough to travel the entire world someday . . .

We made a bold move last week: my fiance and I joined a popular weight loss program. Just nine days into the regimen, I won’t pretend like changing my eating habits hasn’t been challenging — and a little depressing at points! — but I actually feel more in control of my life and diet than ever before. Something about the adherence to fresh, healthy foods and focus on protein has forced me to pay attention to everything I’m consuming, and here’s what I’ve already learned . . .

I stress eat. When the emails stack up and my calendar fills, I reach for whatever is handy and convenient — and if that’s a bar of chocolate, so be it. This requires pre-planning on my part — and having good things on hand. I’ve already loaded our office mini-fridge with oranges, apples, celery, low-fat cheese and Greek yogurt. Much better than the granola bars, crackers and Peeps I typically keep on hand.
I mindlessly eat. If I’m waiting for dinner, I think nothing of reaching for a few cookies to tide me over until it’s served. I don’t even think about it. If desserts are stacked on the counter, I just reach over and take one. And I eat it. Another 200 calories — and I didn’t even blink.
I don’t like eating lunch at my desk. Though I realize it’s not financially awesome of me to eat out most days, I enjoy the experience of getting out of the office for an hour. Which means I need to be really strict and faithful about tracking what I’m eating when dining out, and research menus beforehand so I’m not making (the wrong) split-second decision. It’s all about points.

Yes, friends: points. My life has been consumed by points. Every food and drink has a point, and each point is measured . . . up to my daily total of 27. Twenty-seven points. I can’t say “27” had much significance for me until last week, but now I’m constantly tracking and adding and adding and tracking every little ol’ thing up to that magical digit.

The weird thing? It’s really not that bad.

I realize that, only a week into the program, the rosy glow of new love hasn’t yet rubbed off. I’m speaking from a place of early excitement at having found something that might work for me — 1.2 lbs. down last week! — and know that, eventually, my enthusiasm will wane.

But in the meantime? It feels good to have made a decision about my health — and to be doing something about it. That’s what I told Spencer yesterday: it isn’t enough to just talk about things, of course; we must do them. And for someone who struggles with her weight, just being on a ‘Plan’ — even a tough one — has cleared up so much space in my brain. Every time I try on something that doesn’t fit or I feel tired or I have to squeeze into a pair of pants that fit just months ago, I think, It’s all right — I’m working on it.

And the great thing is, I actually am.