Last month I joined Weight Watchers to get back to my goal weight. It has been much harder than I expected. Not the program, the commitment to stay the course. There are more days than I like to admit that I just give up.
Because I’m not heavy or even over-weight, I appear in good shape, but I’m not. I am at the high end of my BMI and therefore very close to being over-weight. And my body feels it; in my joints, my clothes, in my attitude.
My weight loss has been like a roller coaster going up and down the past five weeks. The slightest thing can trigger a change; a trip to see the grandchildren, a birthday lunch out at a restaurant, and even the everyday schedules I maintain with my commitments to Girl Scouts, writing deadlines, housework, and taking care of my grandchildren.
The first week of meetings I had a woman actually confront me and say, “You don’t look like you need to lose weight.” It was disconcerting to say the least, but I explained to her that my attending the meetings was to reach my goal weight and be healthy. She looked at me with a blank stare.
As the weeks progressed I noticed a pattern at the meetings. Everyone sits in the same place or close to it. Some are friends, mother/daughter, and husband/wife. Many are life-time members and I would venture a guess that of the average twenty-five who attend the meetings on a regular basis, 90% are technically obese and of these members, 75% are my age (62) or older.
I am amazed at their grit and determination to improve their health by committing to the program. I am proud to sit in that room and listen to their stories, their trials, and tribulations. They are not unlike me when you take the weight factor out of the problem. Yet, it is clear, that I’m not one of them. They don’t see me as a partner in this journey – at least not completely.
I noticed yesterday that no one sits on my row of chairs until the last minute. I don’t think they are avoiding me on purpose, but it happens week after week. I thought about sitting in another chair next week to see what happens, but what purpose would that serve? This is not sixth grade and a popularity contest. This is my life.
The leader asked me to share a story I told her before the meeting and I noticed the ice crack a little when a few people turned and smiled at me when I shared my story. I don’t need the other’s approval. All I need is my own. I know that what I’m doing is a step in the right direction and I’m going to keep on keeping on, as the saying goes – one pound after another.