February 20, 2003
When I got on the scale this past Saturday and saw I weighed 151 pounds, I felt discouraged. I’d been 149.5 seven days before, and the plan was to go down from there. It had seemed like a perfect week to get back on track, since I had no plans to go anywhere unusual, anywhere I’d be tempted to overeat. Plus, both Mr. Karen and I were starting to feel well again, so working out and breathing at the same time was a possibility. I started a new Weight Watchers planner Saturday morning with high hopes.
The week started out okay. I had rather a lot of shrimp chips when we had dinner at a Thai restaurant Saturday night, but I allow myself more points on weekends so that wasn’t a big deal. Having cheese bread and pizza on Sunday night was not the best idea from a diet perspective, but I was feeling like I might be getting sick again and wanted comfort food. Monday I felt bad enough to stay home from work, which meant I was home alone with the refrigerator and the pantry and a clouded mental state that led me to believe if I just had some more cheese and Triscuits that I’d feel better. I did feel better, so the rest of the week I allowed myself treats to keep that feeling going– a whole bag of soy crisps here, a Pop Tart there, some cherry Riesling to celebrate Valentine’s Day, whether I’d already eaten a full day’s worth of food or not. Before I knew it, it was Saturday again and I was looking at a pound and half more of me in the mirror.
Now, gaining a pound and a half is not a tragedy. All the clothes that fit at 149.5 still fit at 151. A lot of people have a lot worse problems than my struggle to get the scale to show a certain number. But backsliding during a week when I was sure I’d be making progress again really made me wonder if 151 wouldn’t turn into 153 and then 155 and then I’d be back where I started so many months ago. I didn’t want to think about failing yet again. I didn’t want to write another whiny entry about my weight. Instead, I snuck the higher weight into my weight log and told the notify list I was thinking about going on the 10-day grapefruit and protein diet I’d used as my default crash diet in college.
I found the photocopy of the diet that I’d made from the big bound volume of back issues of Cosmospolitan in the MSU library twenty-some years ago. (Please don’t ask why someone in the Honors College was taking advice from such a source; I cannot explain.) I noticed that they’d cleverly called it the “Citrus & Protein” diet; it’s not until you get to the fine print that you see the only fruits allowed are grapefruit and lemon– no wonder you lose weight on this thing, what with not being able to eat anything sweet that you might be tempted to have more than a serving of at a time. Then I noticed that you’re allowed up to two glasses of white wine a day– hey, I’m of legal drinking age now, and that sure would take the edge off having to have grapefruit three times a day. Of course, having a couple of glasses of wine would also make it much easier to say “screw it; let’s order some pizza” and abandon the diet altogether.
I decided against the grapefruit plan, figuring I could always try it later, after I’d made a real effort to get back to the sane and sensible things I know are better choices. By Monday, when I was up to 152 (salty movie theater popcorn with butter flavor topping, anyone?), I was ready to get back to it– yes, again. Besides sticking to my points limits, which I haven’t done in a very long time, I decided to do one thing from the grapefruit-and-protein regime and have eggs for breakfast instead of the soy bar I usually munched on the drive to my office. And it’s been working– much better than I’d dreamed it could, actually. I’ve been backsliding in another way this week and have weighed myself every morning. Tuesday, I was 149. Three pounds gone overnight– that’s crazy. Were those magical eggs I had for breakfast? Wednesday, I was down to 148. This morning? 146.5. Yes, that’s right, another pound and half gone and now I’m back to my recent, only briefly achieved, low weight. I can’t quite believe it. I ran out of eggs, so I had a Kashi bar for breakfast this morning instead– I can’t wait to see what the scale says tomorrow. I may have to go to Kroger in my bathrobe to buy more eggs if I don’t like what I see.