Monday, January 11, 2010

Don't Judge. Just write it down.

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A woman in the Weight Watchers meeting said something that amazed me. Sometimes she'll go to the nearest Taco Bell drive-through and get a huge burrito -- and then not include it in her food tracking. "Why write it down?" she said with a laugh. "It will just be taking all the points that I have for the day."

What boggles the mind is that this woman has been coming to these meetings for months, much longer than I have. She never misses a week. Why? Is this just a social exercise for her? Because I don't see how she can be serious about losing weight or getting fit.

Maybe this is just a game to her, something half-hearted. "I know I should lose weight, so I'll go through the motions -- more or less -- but I don't really want to change."

I've been writing down everything I eat -- even when I go over the allotted number of points -- and when I eat. And why. I thought that was the point of Weight Watchers, tracking the food and exercise. I'm sure that everyone will miss tracking food once in awhile, but I don't understand the reasoning behind not tracking because it's discouraging. That's a challenge you need to face before you can get in shape.

What I've been working on is writing it down without judging. (It's hard not to say negative things about eating food I don't need.) I'm not doing this because I want to beat myself up; the idea is to collect information that I can analyze for patterns. See what I'm doing right, what I'm doing wrong, what I can do about the wrong.

Note: I don't use the flex points a lot, but I have been known to go over my specified number of points sometimes. (Especially during the Christmas and New Year's festivities.) It happens. I write it down.

Seems simple enough, but I'm not sure I should tell other people what I'm doing. (You don't count as other people, by the way. Amazingly non-judgmental group here.) I told another woman at Weight Watchers (not the Taco Bell lady) that sometimes I go over the specified number of points, and she raised her eyebrows in surprise. "Oh, I never use my flex points." Have to say that her tone felt a bit critical. And she's a Lifetime member who's lost 45 pounds, and only returned because she has gained back a few pounds, so I suppose she has the right to think she knows what she's doing. It works for her.

I had to remind myself that just because it works for her, I don't have to feel bad. I suspect my path lies somewhere between Ms. Lifetime and Ms. Taco Bell.

Exercise du jour: Cycling to work and back. Still getting some complaints from the tendons around the lower leg/ankle area, and it's time to get back into cycling anyway. In another month... okay, two... it'll be light enough that I'll be able to do some distance cycling before or after work. Need to get prepared. Plus, I got a new light so I can see and Be Seen while commuting.
Done. Sorta. I mean, I did cycle to and from work, but I cheated and took the Max part way. Yeah, I know. Need to get up earlier next time and be more organized.

Also, an hour's worth of yoga.


C said...

I hear you. There were all different types at my WW meetings in the past too. You just have to find what works for you and try to ignore the crazy around you. They're just hurting themselves.

And just between you, me and the interwebs, I'm starting WW again this week. Meeting is on Wednesday. I weighed myself today and it was not pretty. Stupid gluttonous holidays...

LaShaune said...

I've returned to writing down what I eat. I'm also one of those who will skip writing down the BS - like the end of last week. But my conscious and subconscious know that I ate it, so why do I think I'm deluding myself - dunno.

I don't, however, write down when or why I eat. Maybe that will help and give some insight as to why I eat BS (chips mostly).

Thank you for that tip, Merry. And keep up the great work.

The Merry said...

Yeah, the holidays weren't pretty (scale wise, that is). Once the snow melts, you'll be back in the running!
I should add that most of the people in the meeting that I go to seem quite nice, friendly, and more or less non-crazy :)

The Merry said...

TexNY Queen, I was mostly trying to figure out why I went over the points, so I can figure out why I'm eating more than 'they' say I should be. I think even if you don't write it down, your subconscious nags at you about the BS food. Hate it when the subc gets in nagging mood.

VRaz60 said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I, too, am vertical challenged and horizontally enhanced! I absolutely love that description. Sure beats "Short & Fat" all to heck. Notice I did not swear? That was in deference to your comment about swearing...damn it!

Liz said...

I am a member of WW as well. I have to admit I joined a year ago and did not meet any goals last year (and it was all about me not being attentive). I have vowed to do things better this year and lose the weight.

I sometimes use my weekly points allowance - some weeks I use quite a bit of it...others I use none at all. I have noticed no difference in the weeks - other than more exercise when I realize I'm using too many points.

You are correct, though, it is all about accountability and tracking trends and changes. Keep up the good work, and don't let someone else's condescending tone get you down.

messymimi said...

The "going through the motions half-heartedly but not wanting to change" seems to be common, I'm afraid.

I think it is this reason so many doctors give up on counseling patients about diet and exercise, and resort to writing out prescriptions. Some of them start all gung-ho about how diet and exercise can make more of a difference for people than pills, but they run into so many patients that won't change, they give up.

You are doing what is best for you, and so it is what will work for you. Keep going.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Talk about unclear on the concept! I mean sure, tracking what you eat is a lot more FUN if you only write down your smart choices, but, um, hello?

Good to hear you're taking the sensible middle ground between self-deprivation and clueless overindulgence!

And even if the meetings were to stop working for encouragement purposes, you can still attend them purely for entertainment.

McB said...

It is amazing how many people will convince themselves that buying the product, or joining the group, or whatever, is all that they need to do. No actual effort on their part required. And then they will go forth and tell everyone how it didn't really work for them :roll:

As for the woman with the attitude, she's lying. Not saying she hasn't done really well and probably stuck to her points for the biggest part. But somewhere along those 45 pounds, she's used flex points. Why not admit it? She's got an image/self esteem issue. Not your problem. Keep doing what you're doing.

45+ and Aspiring said...

I'm not following WW right now, but I have in the past plenty of times--with and without success. One thing I never understood was why people didn't follow the program--like using flext points. Even the leaders can act weird about that sometimes. It's a scientifically tested program; if you don't want to follow it, why pay?

(Thanks for your encouraging words on my blog!)