I haven’t really told anybody in my “real life” that I’m “on a diet,” for several reasons. Mostly because (I hate to admit this, but afterall these are my secret confessions) I am afraid of failing. Let’s face it, I have been down the dieting path before with other people witnessing me lose a few pounds then gorge myself into oblivion come Easter. While this time I have a different kind of determination, I am not yet ready to explain myself to my family, friends, and co-workers. Plus I don’t want them feeling obligated to comment on any lost lbs or if my clothes are fitting loosely. When I do start losing weight, I want people to notice on their own. That would be much more motivating than if they were all examining me under a microscope everyday.
I have managed to tell a few people, including my sister-in-law. We are about as close as real sisters. She and I made a run to the market on Saturday and she surprised me by saying that she, too, had signed up for Weight Watchers Online. SIL isn’t nearly as overweight as I am, but she has a few pounds to lose. I told her that I was cutting down on all that prepackaged, processed, sugar-filled junk food that was staring us in the face at the supermarket. Her approach consists more of frozen ready-meals, 100 calorie packs, Lunchables, and prepackaged pudding–so pretty much the opposite of my “diet.” I try not to judge, but I can’t help it. I definitely don’t say too much, because I’m a good 100 lbs heavier than her and what right do I have telling her how to eat. Hopefully though, my healthy food choices will pay off and maybe influence her to make better decisions.
The first time I joined WW (the actual meetings), I joined with SIL. I thought it would be great to have someone to go with, someone to share support with. Wroooonnng! The first week I spent counting points like a Nazi, eating loads of fruits and vegetables, etc. SIL spent it eating things out of a box. That first weigh-in she lost more than 10 lbs. I lost 3.5. I was absolutely devastated. I couldn’t even be happy about my own loss. I was pissed and wondering why I bothered to buy healthy, wholesome ingredients and painstakingly measured and prepared everything, when apparently the easiest way to lose weight was to let Lean Cuisine cook all your meals for you. That weigh-in pretty much did me in, and after about 8 weeks of paying 13 bucks a pop to stand in line, get weighed, and listen to other people gripe about food I stopped going. SIL and I stopped going together after 2 or 3 weeks, because her consistently high weight loss numbers and my paltry 1, 2, or even 0 lbs every week wasn’t very motivating. Her smug attitude and her little hints that “some people just don’t work as hard as others and it shows on the scale” didn’t help things either. I hated myself for not losing. I hated myself for being so jealous that she was. And I really hated the fact that my choice to eat so healthy didn’t pay off immediately. It’s not that I didn’t want her to achieve her weight loss goals, because I did want her to find success. I just wanted her to achieve them my way. I’m a Leo, what can I say. ;)
Now that my focus is not only losing poundage, but living a healthier lifestyle, low weigh-in numbers aren’t going to discourage me as much as they did the last time. Slow and steady is the best way to lose, and if I would have stuck with the WW plan the first time, all of those 1-2 lb /week losses would have already put me at my goal weight by now. Even though I have this mature new focus, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be exchanging stats with SIL. I don’t want to risk sounding judgmental and bossy. I think the best way for us to support each other in our endeavors is to just maintain our close relationship. We hang out all the time and gab about everything from the inconsequential to the seriously emotional. As much fun as we have together, it’s taken us a while to figure out that delicate balance between just enough time spent together and way too much. And I think “dieting together” would totally cross that line, as it did last time around. Although, she has asked if we could cook dinner together once or twice a week. I have no problem with that, but I’m pretty sure she won’t be interested in anything I cook, and I definitely don’t want to eat a box of reduced fat Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Powder. Perhaps I can think of this opportunity as a challenge to find a recipe that she’ll eat without picking out half the ingredients.
Interestingly enough, my mother-in-law seems to be having the same reaction she did the last time SIL and I joined WW. I happen to work with my MIL ( a thing I do not suggest doing), and the other day at work she had a giant package of peanut butter cups she was eating one by one. One of our co-workers was going to lunch and asked if either of us wanted something. I declined saying that I had brought my own lunch from home. After our co-worker left, MIL asked if I wanted a peanut butter cup (she totally did this because I NEVER bring my lunch and she knew that since I had, I was on a diet. this is not me being paranoid, this is how MIL operates…TRUST ME!).
“No, thanks,” I said not worrying about her agenda.
“Are you dieting, Elle?” she asked already knowing the answer.
“I’m cutting out junk food.”
“Well, good for you.”
She then left her open package of peanut butter cups at my desk–ALL DAY–and stopped by every hour or so to eat one! She also went to McDonald’s and got a Quarter-Pounder meal, and ate it in front of me. Hello?! Sabotage, much?? I was good though. I ate my meal from home and barely looked at the PB cups. But I could still smell those fries. Mmmmm.
She did the same thing last time. MIL loves junk food, but I’ve never seen her eat so much as when someone in the family is dieting. SIL asked her to join WW with us when we first joined back in 2006 and MIL got pretty angry. I’m not sure if she feels like she’ll be left behind in Fatland if we succeed, if she’s just angry at herself for not doing something about her excess weight, or maybe she just feels ganged up on.
Of course, Sexy Husband knows about my diet. He’s tall and good-looking and thin and has never once made me feel bad about my size. Not one stray remark, not one “are you sure you should eat that?”, not one single word about my double-digit dress size. He is unbelievably supportive in everything I do and has been a great cheerleader so far. He is in the “adolescent psychology” field and knows a thing or two about low self-esteem. I have to admit, sometimes I think he’s too good to be true. I’m afraid that one of these days, he’ll wake up next to me and realize that he can do so much better. Hot, skinny girls flirt with him all the time. They see me and all my bulk and can’t possibly imagine I’m with him. They just assume I’m some kind of lesbian comrade. Either my husband is really good at checking out girls on the sly, or he just doesn’t do it, because I’ve never caught him eyeing anyone but me.
So right now, my support system includes SH (sexy husband), myself, this little ol’ blog, and in a vague sense, SIL. I’m hoping that as time passes, I can widen that circle and not feel the need to keep SIL at arm’s length. I’m also hoping that MIL will stop trying to derail my efforts and be inspired by SIL’s and my progress instead of being upset and offended.