Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Weighty Words

I figured I'd expound upon my post from Monday, where I wrote this regarding my trepidation of the scale at my Weight Watchers meeting:

But I am worried about what my leader will say. The same leader that I really do like made a pretty big deal about me gaining weight the last time I weighed in. And I guess I want to avoid that.
First, I really appreciate your comments where you picked up on that line. If I had read that on any of your blogs, I would've been worried about what you wrote too.

But, as always, I feel like I should give some context about the comment.

I'm a pleaser. It's exacerbated when the person I'm trying to please is a man, in a position that is superior to mine, older than me, or all three - mostly because of residual issues I have from my dad. So basically, I'd do almost anything President Obama says.

Although I'm working on cultivating my own sense of self worth and trying to trust myself more, I still falter when someone - who is supposed to be an expert in their field - and I disagree.

Case in point: My Weight Watchers leader. She is GREAT. Unlike a lot of other leaders that I've seen in my lifetime, she talks about the importance of indulging in what you want but coaches us to just count the points for whatever items those might be. She coaches us to eat whole and good foods and explains the benefits of non-processed foods. SHE stands up against the machine that is Weight Watchers International...the one that markets their foods and wants to promote their bars, shakes, oatmeal, etc. She talks about good health. She is great.

But three weeks ago, I made the decision to weigh in. I made this decision despite me having skipped the week before, despite me knowing that I had eaten poorly and mindlessly the prior two weeks, and despite the fact that I was wearing a different "outfit" from what I usually do. I usually weigh in in jeans and a lighter shirt but with no shoes. That day, I was wearing lighter khakis. So I opted to weigh in with my shoes on to try to counterbalance the lack of jeans.

I gained 5 pounds.

People, I've gained 5 pounds in DAYS so 5 pounds in two weeks - when I was trying to pack like a crazy woman and was eating fast food take out every day is NO BIG DEAL to me. And yes, I'm confident that when I reach my goal weight I'll cringe at that the fact that I wrote that last sentence and meant it. Sometimes healthy eating/mindsets take place in waves. Two years ago these past two weeks would've garnered a 15 pound gain and a complete lack of concern for my well being. So five pounds? I'm not so very concerned.

I said as much to her. I said that what I was more concerned about was the mindless eating that I had done over the previous two weeks. I hadn't slept for more than 5 hours on any given night during the previous week. I was still looking with my realtor to find a place. I was worried about living with Joe and what changes that would make to our relationship. I was working many hours at work - in fact, the reason why I was in khakis that day was because our National Manager for the company came in and I had to give him a presentation. I told her that a five pound gain was pretty low on my totum pole of stuff to give a crap about.

And that's when she said that she was concerned. She didn't want the five pound gain that I had over two weeks to continue. She didn't want me to weigh in two weeks from that night and gain another five pounds. She didn't want those ten pounds to lead to another ten pounds until all of the sudden I'm back to a Jabba the Hut type existence (okay, I made up the Jabba reference).

I told her that I appreciated her concern, but that I didn't think that that would happen. The 50-55 pounds that I had lost are GONE. I'm NOT the person I was at 280. I don't do the same things. I don't feel the same way. She nodded and said that she was still concerned.

So this past week when I suppose I could've weighed in (realistically, I could have driven the 45 minutes to the meeting, weighed in, and then driven back to work even though that would've been a pain in the arse), I thought of her words. I haven't been weighing myself at Joe's. I have no real idea how I'm doing. Some days my clothes fit tighter than other days (some of that is due to Joe drying my jeans and clothes until they are so hot they could burn you! I usually dried my jeans half way and then draped them over convenient furniture to air dry the rest of the way). I use the same notch on my belt and I am keeping most of my eating in check. I should be right around the same weight I have been.

But what if I gained again?

What if she all of the sudden morphed into my judgemental dad and shook her head at me and tsk tsk'ed?

I know... who cares if she tsk tsk'd? She's been very supportive of me and my journey up until now - maybe she had an off day. Maybe she was projecting. She definitely was trying to be motivating. Maybe she was trying to give me a wake up call?

But to me, it felt like she didn't have any faith in my journey so far. And I guess that's where I felt judged.

Which is stupid...because she is one of the least judgemental people I know.

The stuff that I went through in the weeks where I gained weight are all a part of the learning process. Eventually I want to be the person that can look at all of those stressful things and doesn't indulge in poor fast food choices. I want to be the person who gets the right amount of sleep - not someone who skimps on sleep and then eats simple carbs the next day for an instant pick me up. But right now, those are things that I'm battling.

Having said that, I know I won't gain all of my weight back. I've done too much work inside and outside my body to have that happen.

But I also know that I'm struggling right now. I'm really trying to learn and cultivate mindful eating practices (ones that are not a part of or even endorsed by Weight Watchers). That means that I might gain a bit of weight at first... I'm okay with that.

Have any of you tried to change your leader's approach? Do you have any suggestions of what I can do to help my leader be more supportive of my journey? Do you think I should scratch Weight Watchers completely? I would love your advice on this one...


~Lesia and Clay~ said...

I think you will be fine. I also think the leader has a lot of members and has seen some of them fall off the wagon and given the fact it is her job to care she isn't perfect. Give it time, let her see how YOU have control over YOU. Good luck.

POD said...

What about George Bush?

Also if you made up the Jabba the Hut reference, who's in that photo, huh?

I think your "leader" sees a lot of people and although we all want to be special in the eyes of those who "lead" us, sometimes, on somedays we are just another face in the crowd. The word "concern" concerns me. I think it concerns you too. It sounds so serious when people like you and I go around being concerned enough by the hour about weight and food. So maybe using the word "concern" was too parental and not leaderly enough. A leader pats you on the back and offers reassurance where and when we already have our own "concerns" - let her reassure. We will stay concerned and with her reassurance make better choices.

I've had numerous doctors, leaders and well-meaning folks who know nothing of my background in weightloss. They see my huge thighs and my big butt and think, "Gall, darn, why don't you get a scale, lady?" And I have to weigh their concern with what I know to be true about me. I know what I'm capable of doing and when I should be concerned. But what I need from the people around me most is support and reassurance, not judgment on how they perceive my failings. The times I've tried to speak to these people and let them know what I need from them rather than judgment has rarely gotten me anywhere with them. It is usually me who has to make a change if I want one. I've not had much luck trying to convince other people to be supportive other than my psychiatrist who charges $175.00 an hour.

Katy said...

Oh man this takes me back. Makes me think of when I was a teen and I'd miss a week at church and I'd get this concerned look from everyone. Yuck... hated that! But that's way off topic. This is a hard situation you're in. On one hand, your leader being "concerned" about you is nice, but on the other, it's sort of like she's discounting all the hard work you've done so far and not trusting that when you say your not concerned, you mean it. Honestly, this would be enough for me to bail. But I clearly have issues with people being "concerned" with me. I want to be like, this is my life so F you and your projecting. But that's probably not the best approach...maybe it is though. Your obama sentance made me laugh. Some day we need to meet.

Jams said...

If I had to venture a guess... I'd say she was probably speaking from her own experience and it came out wrong.

I know that I've been there. Gain, go back, gain again... and end up back where I started. I'm sure she was just genuinely concerned about you and wasn't expressing it in the right manner.

I don't think you should stop Weight Watchers. You've mentioned how your leader has inspired you and cheered you on along the way. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to pull my leader aside and tell her what I need from her. To ask for her help on my journey, in a way that I know is going to help me.

I say, go back. If you gain, you gain. She's not going to judge you. And if she tells you she's concerned again, thank her for her concern and tell her what you need from her.

You can do this!

Margie M. said...

I think facing our fears at the dreaded scale is important. Your leader most likely knows that. She's been there...done that. I know how you feel about wanting to skip a meeting or two. I've done it many times. You are doing well in getting all of these facets of weight loss, and soon-for-you maintenance, incorporated into your daily life. Heck! I don't have any great words of wisdom here, though. How we face up to this whole...freaking deal!!! personal and individual. You'll do OK.

Margie M. writes at:

julielopez3 said...

I give you a big pat on the back for only gaining 5 pounds! And for the Obama comment!
I think at times we have all been given that concerned speech by a leader. Maybe it is just in their job description.
I at one time changed my way of eating to a 40% protein, 40% carb, and 20% fat. I told my leader what I was doing and thank goodness she supported me, and I still went to meetings. I think, if you feel comfortable enough with this leader you should ask her if she has a minute to talk or if she has an email address you could email her at, and just talk to her about your "concerns"
Hang in there and keep up the good work!

TinaM said...

I've never been in weight watchers, but from what I've read, it sounds like you don't HAVE to weigh in...
If you are inspired by her and by weight watchers, then don't quit. If you are getting something out if it then it's worth it right?

If you don't want to hear her opinion on your weight, don't weigh in, but I would suggest you still go for the support and info you get from the other members.

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