My comrade, The General's Better Half, recently posted a couple of very thought-provoking posts on her 'weight blog.' I offered a comment which turned out to be worthy of a separate post, so I'm building on that and proudly cough up this blog hairball for your viewing pleasure.
Both Kate/Susan and Nettiemac have separate blogs dealing with their respective WW journeys. I thought about doing one myself, but decided against it ... two blogs are all I can juggle at one time. If you want to see how I've done, simply click on the "pigeonhole" labeled The Weighting is the Hardest Part (apologies to Mr. Thomas Earl Petty) along the column to your left. There you can isolate my posts strictly to those which have to do with my shrinking self.
I feel special elaboration must be made on Nettie's "Weighty Matters." It has proved a massive inspiration for all of us. Over two years ago, she attended a Weight Watchers meeting and joined up. That was - at this writing - 192.6 pounds ago. One Hundred Ninety Freakin' Two and ounces on the side. She is closing in on 200 and my own "challenge" is to hit 10% before her weight-removal odometer rolls another first-digit.
The fact is, Nettie needs to be on every Weight Watchers TV commercial in the land. It's astonishing. Like most of us in this circle, we've perused Weighty Matters from beginning to current post. I did it soon after joining WW back in May. (Confession: while I was cheering her on, I didn't look at that blog a whole lot pre-WW ..... probably because it reminded me of what had to start -- and end -- in my own life.) It's a go-to for anyone who is entertaining the idea of shedding some volume.
As for weight-loss (or, REMOVAL; "loss" implies you'll eventually find it!), one should only do that for themselves. Parental (or grandparental, auntal, uncleal, cousinal, friendal, etc., etc.) nagging should be discarded.
Me, I stood by for nearly 20 years while my maternal grandmother did everything she could to shame me into dropping weight. Again, I was too much the fat bastard for her when I weighed - horrors! - 185 pounds. The problem? You could not get a perfect bubble in a level were it placed against my stomach. I was fit, yet that stomach was a Big Issue.
If it wasn't the little crude comments like "you don't need that", followed by patting her stomach, were I to have had a Burger King cup in my hand (I eventually learned to make sure all meals were completely gone, with no traces of fast-food paraphernalia) .... to more subtle mind games of "Oops, I meant to get the regular [name of item] ... I bought the Diet kind by mistake." Yeah, sure. I get lost easily on the interstate. I pine for my ex-wife. And wasn't that just a wild hog doing a flyby in front of our house??
Later it was more dramatic warfare. In 2002, maybe six months before she died, I was - yet again - treated to more lecturing about how I needed to lose weight. Then she made the tactical error of dragging Tiger into this: "Do it for YOUR SON."
Big mistake. Throwing all risk of family World War III into the wind, I excavated for my grandmother several new ones. And, you guessed it, the tears came. "I just care about you and am concerned for your health." I set a ground-rule that the W-word (weight) was to be stricken from the vocabulary. "I'm not going to drive 6-1/2 hours to be told I'm fat," I clearly recall telling her.
Likewise, my parents are on notice that my excess weight is off limits for discussion. That ground-rule was set years ago, back in 1997 when we teetered on the brink of full estrangement. To their credit, they've pretty much complied.
I'm sure when they notice my gradual removal of weight, one or both will bring it up. I won't mind then. Heck, if they honor the conversational embargo to the extent of not saying anything positive, that'll be fine as well (although I know my brother WILL say something this Christmas, putting it out into the open).
Ohhhh I'm sure my grandmother is up there shedding tears. I know she is. It's raining right now as I'm writing. Will I give her credit? Hell, no!
And does Seraphim get credit? No. Tiger? No. What about Nettie, The Queen of Lean? No. Well, okay, she's an inspiration. (You're thinking of that stupid Chicago song now, aren't you? Aren't you?)
Them's is MY doings. The time felt right. The "cosmic tumblers" (as Nettie called them) hit the right combination. Weight-removal is is something only YOU can do, and when only YOU are ready to do it. Not a minute sooner, or later. One more time, with feeling: never let anyone bully you into changing how you look. If you weigh 400 pounds and feel happy where you are, more power to you. If a loved one rejects you because of that weight, then they're not worth having in your life.
When I started Weight Watchers more than two months ago, I did so with limited optimism. I mean very limited. Everything I'd tried to date didn't work, mainly because there were limitations. I have some very distinct and rigid eating habits. Changing those would amount to trying to alter the course of a giant cruise ship in five minutes. The "salads-and-Tab" approach to eating wasn't gonna play in Peoria, Georgia.
But suddenly it became a challenge. Something I wanted to do. When I realized how fulfilled I could be with amazingly doable modification of my routines, I jumped in with both feet.
Another ingredient was the look on our WW leader's face, and when I joined up, she thought Sera had dragged me there kicking and screaming. That I would not be able to change my habits. She probably gave me three months (like certain marriages *ahem*), and I'd never be seen again.
She's wrong. And I'll continue to prove her wrong, too. :-) Not a meeting goes by without Fearless Leader Miz Tina making a gratuitous remark about my now-dead addiction to cashews. Honest, she seems to find a way to fit it in every time. Bring it on, Tina dearest. Bring. It. On.
One more mental prodding came in the form of a song I heard at Kroger after that first meeting: the Chris Rea hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" I took that as the Devil of Old Habits mocking this decision. Guess again, Chris, this was a new day. I'm not driving down "The Road to Hell" anymore. My weight? I'm "Working On It." With a little luck, by next Summer I'll be able to go shirtless "On the Beach" without embarrassing myself and my gender. I'll be 60 pounds lighter while "Driving Home For Christmas."
I'd better stop before my readers say, "You Must Be Evil."
Then there was realizing how much I missed such activities as bicycling and hiking. My back was beginning to give protest. I felt tired. This could not go on.
The change was not immediate, was not all-encompassing, and is taken one thing at a time. Because if I deprived myself at the onset, I'd have backslid and today I'd have long since returned to my old habits.
For one, I worried about missing my precious soft drinks. Know what? I don't miss Coca-Cola like I thought I would. I'd just as soon never have another Coke again.
Yes, Talmadge Gleck just typed the above sentence. Hmph, next thing you know, I'll be a complete devotee and raving fan of milk! I do love my 44-ounce Mountain Dew fixes from the convenience store. I'd miss that were it to be completely gone from my life. Solution: I've set a limit of two per week, plus two sugared soft drinks for a total of 4x/week. Thing is, I haven't had any regular canned or bottled sodas in perhaps a month. A month. A month!
Two big-ass Mountain Dews a week pretty much suits the need. And when you remember how I'd put away 1-2 of those most days, that's quite the feat.
Much of the carbonated intake has been replaced by Fresca and Diet Mountain Dew. Now if only I can find DMD in fountain locations. I haven't seen it anywhere outside the Quizno's chain.
So, is it hard? Sometimes. On occasion I'll get a big urge to do a lot of snacking. Exit cashews, enter popcorn and the good ol' Premium saltine by Nabisco (*ding!*). 5 crackers = 1 point.
So, is it working? Judge for yourself:
05/05: 295.2 -- starting weight
05/12: 289.2 (-6.0)
05/19: 287.2 (-2.0 / -8.0)
05/27: 285.2 (-2.0 / -10.0; no meeting in Rincon; did weigh-in at Springfield)
06/02: 282.4 (-2.8 / -12.8)
06/09: 281.2 (-1.2 / -14.0)
06/16: 279.4 (-1.8 / -15.8)
06/23: 278.2 (-1.2 / -17.0; no meeting in Rincon; did weigh-in at southside WW office)
06/30: 275.4 (-2.8 / -19.8)
07/07: 272.6 (-2.8 / -22.6)
07/14: 271.0 (-1.6 / -24.2)
So far -- [knock on fake pressbord] -- no gains.
I'm doing something right, it seems.
Basic desire, plus inner fire, plus a healthy dose of male ego (I'll show YOU, Miz Tina!) equals a new path I've rather enjoyed so far. Tangible benefits have yet to show themselves - save for some shorts now fitting a little more loosely - but I know those will come very soon.
And I'll press on, tweaking as I go, until I get back to where I can engage in some long-lost activities. With Seraphim at my side for many years to come.
Ciao for niao.
--Talmadge "Closing in on 10%" Gleck
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