Monday, January 31, 2011

What Do You Even Want?

I was whining talking to Jessica earlier about how badly I wanted to make sweet, sweet taste bud love to a piece of cheesecake.

Me: Dude, did you hear me? Not just any cheesecake, blueberry lemon cheesecake.

Jessica (distractedly): Yeah, I heard you.

Me (outright sulking like an emo teenager just denied access to texting): Fucking Weight Watchers.

Jessica (pausing): Uh huh.

Me (finally noticing her who-cares attitude): What?

Jessica (marshaling her expression): Nothing!

Me: Seriously, what?

Jessica (scrutinizing me to see if I really wanted to know): It's just. . .

Me (prompting after a few seconds): . . . just?

Jessica: Nobody's twisting your arm to do WW, you know.

Me (taken aback): Oh, I know-

Jessica (cutting me off): So what do you want? Do you want to lose weight, or do you want a big, cheesecake-induced ass? You can't have it all. Make up your mind and quit feeling sorry for yourself.

I watched her stalk off, floundering somewhere between shocked speechlessness and How Dare You. The scales tipped all the way past How Dare You, straight to Fuck You, Bitch! I dodged her for the next couple of hours, thinking dark thoughts and hoping that somehow all her tires were on flat when she went out to the parking lot after work.

Now that I'm home and calmed down, I'm developing a little perspective. Am I really that annoying to people? True, I complain about being fat in the same breath as I whine about not being able to throw anything I want down my face with impunity, but lots of people do that. Right?

I know what I want, and it isn't possible. I can't just eat whatever I want and have the kind of body I can be proud of. So I think I'll take her question seriously: What do I want, anyway?

WARNING! I'm about to give way more information than is really tasteful, so stop reading now if you're not interested in feeling nauseous.

1. I want my belly not to poke up out of the water when I take a bath.
2. I want to be able to see my *ahem* business when I look down.
3. It would be nice if my upper arms resembled *arms* more than they do winged hams.
4. I want my entire ass to fit in the airplane seat without oozing underneath and around the arm-rests.
5. I want to see my muffin top on a milk carton, only I won't be offering a reward for finding it.
6. I want my life to be structured around things I enjoy doing, not around meals.
7. I want the strength to push my plate away, even though there's clearly still food on it.
8. I want to be able to say no thanks to sweets, and really mean it.
9. I want not to be cranky anymore when I opt out of the [insert misc. bad-for-me baked goods here] left by someone's thoughtful wife on the break room table.
10. I want not to have to spend more on clothing because that clothing requires more cloth to make.
10a. I want not to be limited by ugly plus-sized clothing.
10b. I want to stop wearing clothes that are way too big for me in the failed effort at hiding my body.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of I Want, but it's a good start. The important thing I need to remember is, I have more wants that are achievable by WW, and their fulfillment will make me happier than cheesecake.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Portion Sizes, Schmortion Sizes!

At least, that's been my attitude toward fruit ever since WW decided it's "free".

The retarded thing is, I didn't even think about it until I sat at the lunch table yesterday, and after a very satisfying meal, proceeded to eat a pound of cherries (literally- I bought one pound because they were on sale). And even then I would've been oblivious if my boss hadn't pointed out that I now had none for tomorrow.

Woah. Did I just eat a whole POUND?! Why, oh, WHY didn't you point that out half a pound ago, Roz? Suddenly, I was stuffed and miserable, and I hadn't even had a single piece of chocolate. Funny how that works, isn't it?

After that, I took a gander at my tracker to see what I'd been up to for the last week. Fruit, that's what I'd been up to. I hadn't had a single veggie in nine days, and to make matters worse, I hadn't tracked a single portion size of all that fruit! I mean, some of it wasn't so bad- an apple pretty much portions itself, but grapes don't. Neither do cherries or cantaloupe chunks or craisins (which still have points, dummy!). Now I'm worried it'll keep me from a loss this week.

So, I promised my tracker I'll make at least two of my five a vegetable this coming week, and to portion out my fruit. He'll be watching, too.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Unnecessarily Long Story Of How I Transformed Diet Cocoa Into A Packet Of Pure Awesome

I bought a box of that Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets- Diet once when it was on sale for a dollar (I'm a sucker for a good sale). I took it home, all kinds of giddy about having discovered 0 point cocoa; mixed it with 3/4 cup of water, and sat down to enjoy my find.

Of course it would be practically flavorless. Ah, well, it was only a buck, so I wasn't upset about the failed experiment. I put it in my cabinet and promptly forgot about it.

Fast forward a year past it's Best Before Date to this morning. I was frowning into my tea cabinet, at a loss for which one to pick when it occurred to me that I just wasn't in the mood for some tea. I'm not a coffee drinker either, so that was out of the question, but I really wanted a cup of something warm to wake up with. That's when my eyes fell upon the long-forgotten box of Swiss Miss.

I sighed and pulled it down, wondering what the new points value was since the system changed.

Calculator: That vile stuff is no longer free, my friend.

Me: What?!

Calculator: Yup. That cup of watered down, not-quite-sweet hot chocolate will now set you back a whopping one point.

Me: . . . Life hates me.

Calculator: Sometimes.

I went to put it back in the cabinet, when the last line of instructions caught my eye: For more indulgent cocoa, make with milk instead of water.

Huh. Couldn't hurt to try, right? I have a hard time getting my milks in anyway. But upon opening the fridge, I realized we had no milk.

Me: Life really hates me.

Fridge: Yeah, sometimes. Maybe try the soy milk?

Me: I have soy milk?

Fridge: Yeah, it's buried behind the ketchup bottle, the 2 liter of Pepsi and whatever's growing in that blue tupperware bowl.

Me: Right! I bought it for my chai the other day. Thanks, man!

Fridge: You can thank me by cleaning me out today.

I exhumed the soy milk from the back of my refrigerator and calculated the points. 2 points for a cup, 1 for 3/4 cup. I decided it was reasonable, warmed it up, and proceeded to make the cocoa. I was almost afraid to taste it.

The first sip wasn't so bad, but it seemed like it was missing something. I went back into my cabinet and pulled out an unopened bag of gingerbread marshmallows I'd bought on a whim (and because they were on clearance for a buck after Christmas). Crazy, I didn't think I'd ever find a use for those things.

Calculator: You can have up to two for free.

Two seemed plenty, since the cup was pretty small. I mixed the two little gingerbread men in and took another sip. It was heavenly! Exactly what it needed! So here's the point of this unnecessarily long story- a low point recipe for yummy cocoa, while satisfying one of the two milk requirements:

1 packet Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets- Diet, 1 point
3/4 cup Soy Slender soy milk, Vanilla flavored (I bet chocolate would be awesome too!), 1 point
2 Jet Puffed Gingerbread flavored marshmallows (I'm sure any marshmallow would do nicely, but these are unbelievable if you can still find them), 0 points

Heat and enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Now I Know What People Mean When They Say, "It's not the flavor- it's the texture that sicks me out"!

I'm really trying to give whole wheat pasta a chance, but it's just so. . . mealy. I haven't been able to make the leap yet, even though I started off small; I switched from semolina pasta to semolina/whole grain blend, and that wasn't so bad. The flavor was virtually identical, and the texture was only slightly off. After a few dinners, I couldn't even tell that I wasn't eating white pasta anymore.

Satisfied I'd mastered the first step toward whole-grain-dom, I tried to take it to the next level: I bought a box of whole wheat spaghetti. The flavor was noticeably different, and not even unpleasantly so, but I couldn't believe how NASTY the texture was! I thought at first that I'd undercooked it, so I threw it back in the water and boiled it for a while longer. It got mushier, but it retained its graininess, and I ended up just chucking the whole thing and going back to my blend.

Every now and then, I'll come across a box that promises improved texture (I must not be the only one who thinks it's inedibly gritty), and I buy it, full of hope that this time will be the time I can finally convert to whole grain. I go home and cook it, all the while suppressing the fear that the manufacturer was lying to me; my fears are always realized, and I mutter curses at them for robbing me of ~2$. Jerks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

"I'm Full" vs. ". . . But I Already Paid For It!"

It's another whiny Weight Watcher's post, so feel free to skip it if you want to. I won't be offended, I promise!

One of the things WW tries to teach us fat chicks chronic over eaters is how to stop eating before we're so stuffed our pants that are already straining at the seams like a busted can of refrigerator biscuits don't feel comfortable.

I don't know about yall, but I was raised in the Eat What's On Your Plate, There Are Starving Children In China generation. This has had a couple of results: 1) I'm less wasteful, 2) I feel guilty when I don't finish my food, and 3) I learned to completely disregard my brain's natural For The Love of GOD Will You PLEASE Put The Fork Down signals at such an early age that I never learned what "satisfied" felt like. It sounds simple enough, right? Eat until you're not hungry anymore and then stop. But the problem is, if I wasn't suffocating under the weight of way too much food, I thought that meant I was still hungry. There was no middle ground between starving and stuffed.

And if the food's tasty? Forget it- I'm going straight to UnButtonMyJeansVille.

But after doing WW for three years now, I slowly re-acquired that lost ability to stop eating when I'm satisfied; now when I'm overfull, I'm miserable, and it's a great incentive to push the plate away. Yay me for returning to how nature intended my brain to work! Three years sounds like a long time, but when you stop and consider how long it took me to disconnect my full-meter, it's actually a pretty impressive feat.

Yet sometimes, in spite of this new skill, I'll go to put my fork down and take a look at what's left on my plate. And I catch myself thinking, "But I already paid for that!" (translation: I tracked it, and now I feel robbed because I didn't get to finish it). Then the internal argument ensues:

Me: Don't even think about it.

Saboteur-Me: But I TRACKED it!

Me: So what? You're totally satisfied!

Saboteur-Me: But don't they say you should eat ALL your points? If I don't finish this, I won't be eating all my points.

Me: Dude! There's no more space!

Saboteur-Me (in a whiny voice): But it's TAS-ty!

Me (sighing inwardly): It is tasty.

Saboteur-Me (smelling victory): And it's already written down! It's as good as eaten! And I have the points for it, right?

Me: . . . right. . .

Saboteur-Me: It's settled then!

Me (caving): Fine. If you can find some place to put it. . .

But Saboteur-Me has already stopped listening, and is elatedly shoveling the remains of my meal into my eagerly waiting face. I never stood a chance against the conspiracy between Saboteur-Me and her backstabby accomplices- The Taste Buds. Belatedly, my ostensible ally (Stomach) starts objecting to the extra load and starts pushing against her confines (My Jeans).

Me: Where were you ten minutes ago, Stomach?!

*sigh* I get it right most of the time, but I do look forward to the day the wasted points won't matter to me anymore.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week One's In The Bag! (This Is Not an Interesting Post)

In spite of my misgivings, I am down 1.8 lbs (yay me!). I did have a hard time staying in my points for the first few days- I was averaging 35-44 points a day (I'm not sure if I was really that hungry or if it was panic-induced eating), but the extra 49 came to my rescue.

I leveled off after I re-learned how to distribute my points throughout the day, though, and I was feeling pretty confident about skating into my meeting with a loss. All in all, I have to say, the plan isn't really very different; the new values just take a bit of getting used to.

One thing I'm really hating: the new calculator (warning! incoming pettiness!). It just doesn't flow right! All nutrition labels go fat -> carbs -> fiber -> protein. All. Of. Them. So why does the calculator ask for protein -> carbs -> fat -> fiber? It's all over the place and I'm constantly putting the wrong values in. Sometimes I catch it and correct (pain in the adipose!), but I'm sure there've been times I didn't and just tracked wrong. That mis-entry could be the difference between a loss and . . . well, not-a-loss.

One thing I'm really loving: the "raise" I got for getting up off my ass! I've never been an exercising kind of person, and the fact that I don't have to do as much for my activity points is butter and gravy in my world. And please don't go telling me I'll get addicted to it once I'm in the habit! I waited and waited to love exercise like everyone promised, and I still count the seconds till I can get off the Evil Conveyor Belt of Ultimate Misery- aka my treadmill. It's outright lies, but I'm doing it anyway. Even if my muscles hate me the next day, my cholesterol will be thanking me one day, and it's enough that at least part of me will be grateful.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Man Harrassed While Making Rice

I was sitting around today, just letting my mind pick its own way around when I remembered something that made me snicker:

Rob was cooking dinner for us a few visits ago. He was making lemon pepper tilapia over brown rice and I was thrilled about it because I love fish. He'd gotten out a small sauce pan and was filling it with water for the rice.

Jim: Are you sure that pan's big enough?

Rob: Yeah.

Jim: I don't know, it looks small.

Rob: I've made rice in this pan before, dude. It's fine.

Jim: You used a lot of rice; I think it's gonna boil over.

Rob: It's brown rice, it doesn't cook the same!

Jim: Yeah, but-

Rob shot him an exasperated look. I smelled an oncoming testosterone-fueled culinary argument, and spoke up to derail it before it could boil over like the rice in question.

Me: Honey, I'm sure he's perfectly capable of making rice in his own kitchen. He looks like he might have done this before.

Jim looked dubiously at the pan size, but elected not to say anything else. I could see his control-freakism urging him upward to avert what was surely to be a boiling-over pot of rice, and I silently applauded him for not giving in. Then Angie walked in.

Angie: What doin?

Rob: Making rice.

Angie: Why don't you just use the rice cooker?

Jim and I nearly peed ourselves! Rob gave her a long-suffering, Et Tu, Brute? look as we laughed our asses off. Against mounting opposition, Rob studiously ignored us all, using his small pan to make the rice.

It's a good thing it never boiled over- I don't think he could've ever lived that one down.

29 Points?!

Really? I'm at the new plan minimum?!

I'd been absent from meetings since (predictably) two weeks before Thanksgiving and was just finding my way back for (even more predictably) the New Year. I sat at my first PointsPlus new-plan meeting, post-weigh-in, and I felt like someone had just delivered me the mother of all sucker punches.

29 points. Wasn't that the equivalent of 18 points on the old plan? How am I supposed to LIVE on that? Roz also has 29 points, and I out-weigh her by a good 45 pounds.

Calm down, I told myself, there's got to be a mistake. I pushed this unwelcome bit of news out of my head so I could focus on Jen, my awesome leader for the last three years. She hadn't lost any of her pep or powers of motivation, and I felt myself drawn back into her enthusiastic can-do spirit. I love her meetings; they never fail to pump me up no matter how despondent I'm feeling over my latest lapse.

We celebrated the scale-wins and the milestones, she left us with a final thought to carry us through the temptations of the coming week, and we got up to leave. I wanted to ask her about my new points target, but the crowd in the year-beginning meeting was huge. There were actual new people who needed her attention more than I did, so I quietly departed with the number 29 orbiting my brain, wondering dramatically how I would avoid starving to death.

The plan has always worked for me when I worked the plan. I owe it more than a little faith that these new changes would work just as well as, if not better than, the old plan.

I mean, it's only a week, right?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

You Know What's Bullshit?

I fill my tub with sparkling water turned Caribbean blue by the aromatic bath salts I got for Christmas. I lay my book down on the ledge of the tub (the water damaged one, so a good one doesn't get ruined), adjust my bath pillow placement, and place my phone within easy reach; close the door, step in, draw the curtain to trap the steam, and ease myself down into the not-quite-boiling water. An audible sigh of contentment escapes me, rising to mingle with the water vapor saturating the air in the small bathroom I call "mine".

As I lay there, the water gradually escapes via one of those half-way-up-the-tub secondary drains. At first, I ignore it. But soon, bits of me are sticking up above the waterline like bathing vessel islands. I glare at the drain as fully half of my water (and contentment) bails on me, leaving half of me warm and languid, and the other half goose-pimply. My bathing spirit somewhat dampened (har!), I turn the knob and add more water, only to be in the same spot I was fifteen minutes ago.

I have not been able to figure out why these things exist, except to deprive me of about half of my bath water.

It's in case you accidentally leave the water running, so the water has a place to drain off, you may be mentally suggesting.

My answer to that would be (if you were, in fact, suggesting, which you probably aren't), No way; the drain-to-fill ratio is heavily stacked in Fill's favour, and the water would end up overflowing anyway. Not even the unreasonably low placement of the drain would give any added benefit to that scenario.

It's for the babies! The babies could turn the water back on, and they'd drown if that drain wasn't there.

My answer, again, is the comparatively poor drain rate. If some neglectful parent were to leave their baby alone in the tub long enough for the water to over flow, that drain wouldn't save the kid. And shame on you, Theoretical Neglectful Parent, for supplanting watchful parenting with badly-conceptualized household fixtures!

What about the people who fall asleep in the tub? They could drown if the water level was too high!

This may be true, but it's one of the risks we knowingly undertake when we make the decision to plead with Calgon to take us away. Someone could just as easily drown in half a tub of water as a fully one, I'd be willing to bet; especially as small as my tub is. A full tub in my house is a rather idle threat.

One day, I'm going to find a way to plug it up (thus far, saran wrap, plastic bags, silly putty, and press-n-seal have proved to be ineffective measures). Then I will bathe in fully-submerged, baby-endangering, potentially-drownable bliss. It's gonna be. . . well, blissful.