NanoWriMo: Day 1

Ohmygod. It smells like chocolate out there. A smile curled on my lips as the train doors opened and then closed again, dragging in a chilly draft that carried the faint whiff into my car.

And that’s all I need. No candy bar in my face. No cravings. Satisfaction. Pure and simple. As easy as breathing in and out.

It was all new to me, and realizing things like this…That I could smell chocolate without triggering a craving from deep within…That I could be filled and ssatisfied from just the whiff… Made me undeniably and ridiculously happy.

Someone mentioned this exact thing in a weight loss meeting a few years ago. The meeting leader asked for advice on how to best take control of yourself during a work potluck. This particular attendee raised her hand and replied, “Oh, I just smell the food. If I smell it, I feel like I’m not depriving myself.” At the time, I wanted to slap her. Satisfaction from smelling? That’d be like saying someone should market bacon perfume. It’s just not right.

But after attending enough of these meetings, I started to understand. At some point, you know when to say no. How to control it. And best of all, WHEN you’re in control of it. And I just hit my point, on November 1, 2012. Amazing, isn’t it?

But that night, I still managed to eat an entire Pringles can. Guess old habits die hard.

Overindulging was what ultimately forced me into who I am today. Though it wasn’t Pringles…instead it was a variety of deep-fried, breaded fish made by my cousins’ Italian grandmother. Every New Year’s Eve, she’d cook up a storm of family favorites–and I’d pray that I’d get invited over, to reign in the new year with the likes of her baked salmon cooked in butter. Deep-fried calamari. Breaded clams. Fried shrimp. Octopus in garlic and olive oil. Stuffed meatballs in homemade marinara. Cheesy mostacolli noodles. Cherry cheesecake. Champagne. And chocolates (I may have just had a heart attack reliving that memory).

By the end of the night, the plates that were once pilled with food were, well, still piled. But we were all stuffed to the point of feeling sick. Getting to bed by dawn meant we’d all be clutching our stomaches and feeling fairly ill for a few days afterward.

I woke up on New Years Day weighing nearly 8 pounds more than what I had the night before. I finally hit 170. And then my heart jumped in my throat.

Weight loss was one of those far off ideas that I had been toying with for months, but just kept finding one excuse after another to put it off. I have work, but once it lightens up, I can attend meetings! It’s so expensive, but after the next pay check, I can set some aside for this cause! I don’t have a gym membership, and I can’t lose weight without committing to a workout routine! I have no one to do this with, and I’m just going to fail!

Yep. Wasn’t I just a big bundle of positivity and strength?

But something clicked on New Year’s. The number on the scale and the number on the calendar. And I went to my first real Weight Watchers meeting that afternoon (because, let’s be honest here, I had been a member of Weight Watchers a handful of times before. I lost a few pounds, got cocky about my abilities to get in shape, and then threw it all down the drain and gained an extra ten pounds of ass).

I walked in to a local Weight Watchers meeting that was housed in the basement of a Children’s YMCA. I forked over my credit card, and was charged $39.95 to stand on an official scale, nearly naked. A machine printed a little white sticker with the numbers 1-7-0 that I stuck in my book, next to a green “Bravo” star (my first, which signified a big “bravo” for getting the guts to come to the first meeting and weigh in. Apparently this little sticker makes people happy enough to come back. Tricky tricky. I mean, who the hell wouldn’t weigh-in in their skivvies to get a damn star sticker?).

Every Sunday for the next month I kept coming back. I kept weighing in, sticking to the plan, and seeing results. In the first month, I was nearly 15 lb. down and feeling pretty good about myself. But the meetings were ridiculously dull and boring. Barbara, the meeting leader, was a geriatric creature who had, at one point in the history of Weight Watchers (perhaps the first few years of it’s existence?) had lost 50 lb. She had managed to keep it off for decades, and was now supposed to be my inspiration and source of help on my own journey.

Fat chance. Barbara often got off topic, played favorites, and felt like the meeting times needed to be cut short—to the tune of 20 minutes, instead of an hour.
I started to resent her, and everyone that would flock to her after the meetings just to chat about what was on TV, and who had walked however far….when I would have a question pertinent to the materials presented.

Obviously this was not a place for the studious. The class continually posted low overall weight loss week after week. And the attendees looked like they were getting larger.

So I decided to switch it up. I changed locations (now I had to drive 10 minutes in the opposite direction instead of 5) and found a new leader with plenty of spunk. She was from Italy, was an absolute fan of heavy pasta sauces, stuffed meats and pastas, and was still on the road to her weight loss goal.

Maria was as different from Barbara as could be humanly possible. And if anyone could motivate me to stick with the program she could–and the fact that it was Saturday morning at 11, and would let me sleep in, attend in my pajamas, and then eat breakfast after my new little white sticker was printed, pretty much solidified things for me.

Maria had my heart.


~ by shespeakstruth on November 2, 2012.