#84: The Battle of Ever and Never

#84: The Battle of Ever and Never

I recently ran across some old pictures from when I was about five years old. I made the typical observations – I can’t believe my hair was ever that blond! I look so different without glasses! Gotta love those seventies fashions! Those are the things I would have said aloud, had anyone else been in the room.

The thing I would never say aloud, and barely even admit to myself (though apparently have no trouble confessing to the internet) is this: despite pictorial evidence to the contrary, I can’t believe I was ever a “normal” size. I have no concept at all of what that felt like.

And while I’m being so forthcoming, here’s a related admission: I can’t believe I have joined Weight Watchers. Again.

I’ve been on Weight Watchers at least four different times with varying degrees of success. I’ve got trackers and point guides and cookbooks out the wazoo. I’ve had “meeting buddies” and semi-official weigh-in outfits comprised of the lightest clothes in my closet. I’ve enjoyed lectures from a few good class leaders and suffered through a few lectures from astoundingly bad ones. Even so, if you combined all my successes, I’ve probably lost a toddler’s worth of weight. I don’t need Jennifer Hudson to tell me the program works. The problem isn’t the program.

The problem is me.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to become a weight loss blog! I just wonder if you can relate to doing something you have sworn you would never do in order to combat a problem you can’t imagine ever solving for good. I think most of us fight the battle of never and ever on several fronts in the course of a lifetime. Weight and healthy eating just happens to be my ongoing skirmish.

Here are some of the many ultimately unsuccessful approaches I have taken to weight loss in the past:

  • Eat all the things.
  • Pay neurotic levels of attention to the calorie, fat, carb, and sodium count of every item I even think of eating.
  • Pay zero attention to the calorie, fat, carb, and sodium count of every item I even think of eating.
  • Eat large quantities of tasteless & unsatisfying fat free and low calorie foods.
  • Attend meetings with peppy WW leaders who truly believed carrots taste as good as cookies.
  • Attend meetings with laid-back WW leaders who taught how to cheat the points system.
  • Exercise a lot with an expensive personal trainer.
  • Forget where the gym is located or what to do with an elliptical.

It’s pretty obvious that I am a woman of extremes. Here’s the problem with extremes, though; they may generate a certain amount of momentum in the beginning but they aren’t sustainable long term. I’m not sure about your particular skirmish, but my weight war has certainly been a long term problem. The solution requires a long-term approach.

Last week’s WW meeting was on the topic of belief, and the leader asked two age-old questions that form the basis of most successful war efforts – what, exactly, are your goals? And can you imagine meeting them? I was tempted to roll my eyes, as I often have in countless WW meetings over the course of many years. But rolling my eyes hasn’t exactly gotten me where I’ve wanted to go. My responses to the first question are somewhat concrete and quantifiable. The second question is a little more complex, and unfortunately, my reflex answer is NO. I suppose forty-ish is as good a time as any to figure out why victory seems like such a foreign concept to me. Better late than never, right?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to try not to do, and that’s give weight loss efforts my complete and total focus. They can’t be the most important things happening in my life to the exclusion of everything else. But, here’s the thing, they can’t be the complete opposite of that, either.

I’ve tried the extremes, over and over again, and they don’t work. I hear there is this kee-razy thing called a “middle ground.”

Wish me luck in finding it.

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