I don't fit in at Weight Watcher's. Last time I went to the local meeting, I realized I have a completely different focus from everyone else in the group. (At least, from everyone there who spoke up.) I really want to get fit while eating moderately. As far as I can tell, the focus for the rest of the gang is to diet, i.e. just get rid of these pounds as quickly as possible. Don't worry about exercising, don't worry about eating healthy food, just lose the weight NOW.
Covert Bailey makes a good point. "If someone told you the store was offering a sale of 10 pounds for 10 dollars, your first reaction would be '10 pounds of what?'" Likewise, I don't see why the emphasis is on getting rid of pounds regardless of how you do it. If you're not going to exercise while losing weight, then you're losing muscle as well as fat. If the emphasis were on losing a percentage of body fat, then I would be all in favor of this idea.
The local group has a lot of people who lose a lot of weight at the start. We're talking at least 5 pounds a week, every week. That is really not a radical amount for someone who's quite large. What bothers me is that the meetings start to feel like something out of The Biggest Loser competition:
A woman stands up and says "I lost 5 pounds this week!" Applause from the group.
Another woman stands up to say "And I lost 7 pounds this week!" More applause.
A third woman gets to her feet to proclaim "I lost 10 pounds this week!" Wild applause from the audience.
Then a smaller woman gets up and mumbles that she lost two pounds that week. The group claps perfunctorily a couple times.
It bugs me that -- probably unintentionally -- they end up comparing and judging people by the amount of weight lost. With people of different shapes, different physical conditions, and different starting places, how can you compare their progress at all? I always feel that getting fit or losing weight is a competition against yourself and no one else. But at these meetings, it feels like I'm competing against other people, or rather it feels as if they're competing against me. That makes no sense. It's not as if there were only one prize going to be handed out at the end -- we can all win.
Also, I have noticed a pattern. The women who come in and lose lots of weight right away seem to be doing so by stringent dieting, not by eating unprocessed foods and exercising. (I'm basing that on what the women themselves have been saying in the meetings.) The pattern seems to be that these women lose a lot of weight at the start. Then they stop mentioning how much weight they've lost. Then they stop showing up at the meetings. They don't come back.
One woman mentioned that she made it a goal to try to exercise for 15 minutes a day. "I don't actually do it," she said with a laugh. "But I do try. Sometimes." I don't know if the words on the page quite convey the tone in which this was said. I came away with the strong impression that no, she didn't really try. Or care. It was something she was 'supposed' to do, but there was no commitment to actually try.
Compared to this woman, I must come across as an exercise fanatic. On the other hand, I'm not fit enough to keep up with people who actually are in good shape. I don't 'fit' there either. I jog along at my slow pace, nodding at the people who pass me. If I were in better shape, being passed would be annoying. As it is, that's part of life and I accept it without a qualm. I just wish there were someone going my pace.
Okay, whine done.
Goal of the month: 30 days of throwing stuff back. Or out. I don't need all these possessions.
I especially don't need to save the diary from when I was 17. You cannot imagine the exquisite embarrassment that comes from reading such a document. And you never will, 'cause that sucker is now in a million tiny pieces. It's served its time. (Why does that sound like a prison sentence?) It was good to let it go.
Goal of the week: Out the door by 7:30. In the a.m., not the p.m. It can be done.
Yeah, maybe it can be done, though I'm starting to have serious doubts that it can be done by me. Luckily, I have friends (hey, don't look so surprised when I write that) who have kindly volunteered to nag me to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Which I'm going to do. No, really. I don't want them mad. You wouldn't like them when they're mad.
Exercise du jour: 200 squat challenge, week 3