Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weight Watchers

The other day, I took off a few hours in the afternoon and went to the gym (then came back to work so the other intern could leave early). I was super proud of myself--look at me, I'm being so healthy! I knew my pants were fitting a little tight, but I used the usual lie (they must have shrunk in the wash) and blew it off.
Until I got to the gym and weighed in.
I was only 1-2 lbs underneath what I'd set as my "maximum" weight. A weight I'd said "I'll join Weight Watchers if I get to that point." While this is only a few lbs above where I'd been a few months ago, it has definitely been creeping upwards. This scared the junk out of me. Often times, I'll see people walking around who are very obese and I'll think "I never want to look like that". I'm well aware that nobody becomes morbidly obese overnight, though; it happens 1-2 lbs at a time, which is why I set a ceiling for myself. Now, I'm almost at that ceiling, and I've decided not to wait.
So, I enrolled in WW online.
My first few days have been very frustrating. I've been trying to use the online tracker to enter in my foods, and have been totally astonished how many calories I've been eating. My denial voice keeps saying "I usually eat okay..." but the sad truth is that obviously, I don't. In 4 days of entering points, I was something like 17 points behind FOR THE WEEK. AFTER ADDING IN MY WORKOUTS AND GARDENING AND DIGGING HOLES FOR TREES. This is a huge wake up call for me, but I'm left going, what do I do? How do I start menu-planning, when I'm frequently on call and at the mercy of the hospital or eating drug-rep food or eating indulgently because I'm on call? I have so many excuses, some good and some not, but it's hard to get started.
My goal is not to lose tons of weight. I could stand to lose 25-30 lbs to really be in the healthy range, but I just don't think I'm ready to do that. Right now, I want to lose 10-15 lbs and be healthier, more aware of what I'm eating. Especially since I do want to have children in a few years, I want to be as healthy as possible before trying to conceive. I also want to pass healthy eating habits on to my children (and I'd be appalled if they ate how I eat now).
But sometimes this seems like an insurmountable task, and I'm standing at the very beginning of this--I can't see very far ahead. I have no idea if I'll make it or not. I don't have a really fixed goal, either--but maybe that's a good thing, because if I just thought "I'll lose these 10 lbs and be done" then I'd probably relapse. Who knows how this will go, because I don't.


Karen said...

Panic is a lovely reason to eat.

You don't have to figure everything out in an evening or a week. You were headed in the right direction--getting more exercise to make you stronger, give you more endurance, and to relieve some of that stress which just asks you eat more-- before you launched out into WW. WW is a tool, and a really good one, but it is just a tool. You can't just turn your life over to it. Start really small--if you need to menu plan, plan just one meal or strategies to deal with one meal on the go. Try planning one meal each day for the first week. Then add planning more meals a little at a time, as you feel you can and as your knowledge grows. You needn't master everything at once. You might not just count points or calories or grams of fat and fiber--you might need to take the time to figure out if your body is hungry, or tired, or thirsty or if you need a distraction from a horrible schedule, a bizarre boss, or an impossible patient.

You don't have to charge through this. Sporting the visible signs that you are not perfect may be good for you, may atune you more to your future patients' struggles. Think of it as part of your eduction, but a part for which your past methods of mastery might not work very well. Patience. Eat really good food that tastes great, not diet cardboard, just learn how much good food is enough. The whole weight/exercise/diet/mood thing is not something that you fix so much as you balance. It takes time. It's never over, so make it either pleasurable or at least not punitive. You'll do fine. This is an adventure and an education. It doesn't happen in one session. If you eat well and keep moving you'll be doing yourself good. This isn't a task. It's life.

Anonymous said...

my advise to you, when points are getting to you, use webmd. count calories instead. worked so much better for me. those points were dirving me crazy! best of luck! keep posting! very enjoyable!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I have a Wii Fit. Always makes me feel guilty when I weight in.

Midwife with a Knife said...

I've done weight watchers and several other diets(my mom had me start dieting at the ripe old age of if that's not a recipe for problems.. I wasn't even that fat then! Certainly not obese). My experience? WW is the best of them (and I'm doing it now). They have a series on the website called, "Cook once, eat all week", and that's a very awesome series, so you could cook, say, on Sunday, and eat through Friday wiht it. And the recipes are pretty good...

For the record, I spent all of my points on a pint of ben and jerry's today. I don't think that counts as a "filling food".... ;)

Ironically, my word verification? "bakers". :)

Barbie said...

Congrats on making the first step. I used to do WW with my mom. The point system really makes you examine what you eat.
I like your mentality about the whole thing, less "diet" more "I need to be healthy."

Dragonfly said...

Hope it goes well. Am trying to exercise more myself and get back to how fit I was in my first year or so of university. (Was a size or two smaller then as well).

L. said...

I'm in the same confused, what do I do, I'm pretty smart and still can't figure this eating right thing out kind of place.

A friend of mine recently said that "nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels". Somehow it's kept me from overeating the few times I was tempted this past week.

Good Luck!

Tiny Shrink said...

I've lost 7.5 lbs!

Dragonfly said...

Yay!! I've lost weight since giving up the attempts at running and going back to the gym and swimming. It costs me to go but you can't put a price on health (or for that matter, being able to fit into pants you bought 4 years ago, well maybe you can but I can't be bothered).