My Weigh-In Outfit
After about a year off, I went back to Weight Watchers because I had gained about 8 pounds since the summer. Not a huge amount of weight, but enough to make me realize I had better get a grip on it.
I was reluctant to go back, because Weight Watchers makes me a little insane.
It’s not just me – ask anybody who is a WW member if they have nutty weight-related behaviors, and they’ll probably admit they do. Things like:
- Having a special weigh-in outfit that is made of the lightest substances known to man
- Only weighing in if you haven’t eaten
- Not drinking any liquids for a few hours before you go
- Only weighing in if you have….erm, relieved yourself beforehand
- Going to the earliest meeting in the day so you don’t have any food in your stomach
Do I need to point out that none of these things help you lose weight? They help you have less weight on the scale at that moment.
I indulged in a little nutso-behavior myself as a way to welcome myself back.
Last week, I weighed in wearing – gasp – hiking shoes! Most people either weigh in shoeless or in some micro-thin flip flops. If they could get away with wearing those cheap foam thongs they give you after a pedicure, they’d probably do that. My hiking shoes were a definite anomaly, being large, crusty clodhoppers.
I did it because I wanted to “lose weight” this week no matter what. I just wanted to give myself the mental lift – even knowing it was based on a lie – of seeing the scale record a loss, merely due to the fact that I was wearing lighter shoes this week.
When I weighed in, I had lost five pounds. Obviously I did better than just shoe weight. (For the record, my shoes weigh 2.3 pounds. I just checked. SEE? CRAZY! Sane people do not weigh their shoes, for the record.)
WW Desk Lady: WOW! Five pounds! That’s great!
Suebob: I wore much heavier shoes last week.
WW Desk Lady: Still! You did great!
Suebob: I was sick all week. I felt terrible and ate mostly soup.
WW Desk Lady: (beaming) Well, you did great!
See what I mean? This is my issue with Weight Watchers – it’s all about the scale. I guess I should expect that, “Weight” being their first name and all.
In a sane world, the lady would have said “Oh, you poor dear! We really don’t want people losing weight because of illness!”
I’m designing a sane weight loss plan in my head. What would that look like?
Instead of walking in to see a scale the first thing, your counselor would ask you:
“How do you feel?” Not “How do you feel about how you ate?” because that’s an emotional minefield. But “How do you feel overall – do you feel physically and mentally healthy?”
They would also want to know:
- What kind of exercise did you do? Did you enjoy it? Is it something you want to keep doing, or do you need to find something else? Are your friends and family part of your exercise? Can you make them part of it?
- Did you eat good food, or highly processed crap? Do you think what you ate supported your health?
- Do you feel strong? Do you feel capable? Do you have things you can’t do now that you would like to – like playing with your grandkids, or hiking up to see a beautiful sunset? How do you plan to get to that point?
- Are there things in your life that aren’t working that impact how well you eat and how much? Do you want to work on those things?
And then, at the end of the meeting, if you wanted to, you could weigh yourself. With all your clothes on – because that’s how sane people walk around every day.