Friday, March 07, 2008

The watching of the weight

My whole office – except for the skinny people, damn them straight to hell – is on a popular weight-watching program.

Meetings once a week. Over-priced, portion-controlled snacks. Clapping.

I went for the first time yesterday.

Perhaps it was the weigh-in. Or the group therapy atmosphere.

But I felt like sobbing uncontrollably from the moment I stepped in the room.

Then it began.

“Tell me one thing you did over the past week that would make Fat Watchers proud of you,” says a mousy little group leader.

I involuntarily burst out laughing. The chicks sitting closest stare angrily as if I’ve taken the last doughnut on the tray.

What I want to say: “Hi, my name is Heather. I only ate half a bag of crunchy Cheetos for dinner last night.”

What I say: Nothing, whilst making every attempt to wipe the silly-ass, Cheeto-eating grin from my face.
This program is similar to AA, so a co-worker Who Shall Remain Nameless happens to be the only man at the meeting among 30 or so women. Back at the office, I remind him of this fact.

“Don’t you love the odds?” I say. “Like fish in a barrel.”

“No WAY,” he says, shaking his head vehemently.

"Are you kidding? It’s a target-rich environment: You're the only guy in a room full of women with low self-esteem and self control issues. It just doesn’t get any better than that."
There are two eating options.

With the first, you eat whatever the hell you want but you calculate the point value before putting anything in your mouth. On the other plan you eat anything you want from a certain Approved Menu consisting of mostly strange vegetables starting with the letter ‘k’.

I am not a math person but the idea of eating what I want on the points program is appealing.

So I tune out mouse-woman, and crack open the starter kit to look up the points for pizza, steak, sushi, whiskey and potato chips.

Let’s just say that what I found does not bode well for the points system.
“I don’t think this is going to work,” I tell Jim at dinner. “Can’t I just go back on Vicodin?”

I remind him how, a few years ago, in spite of being laid up for several months with a torn ACL quickly followed by a broken knee, I lost a ton of weight because of the fabulous drugs my doctors gave me.

“Why don’t you just try crystal meth if you want to use drugs to lose weight?” he says helpfully. “Wait. Heroin’s better. Meth would ruin your teeth.”

“That’s the plan then. Heroin. But only for a month. Two, tops.”
We’re not 10 minutes into the meeting when it happens. The Monopolizer takes over.

On the extremely rare occasions I’ve found myself in small group meeting situations (ill-fated book clubs, plus a brief stint with a Jungian dream interpretation group – now THAT was trippy), there is always one person who monopolizes the group.

The Monopolizer.

She’s got a bazillion questions that only apply to her unique situation. She interrupts the presentation. She tells long, pointless stories about her favorite topic: Herself.

And any value you hoped to derive from attending is lost because half the meeting is taken up by her yapping while you spend the other half devising creatively abusive ways of eliminating her from the group.


Just like that.

Turns out our fierce little fat-fighting group has not one, but two Monopolizers. Fabulous.

I’ve got an hour for lunch. I’m supposed to be listening to some skinny bitch inspire me to stop eating crap food, instead it's two attention-starved twats duking it out for Queen of the Meeting.

The stress of all this makes me want to run straight down to the Pot Belly sammich place in the lobby for 50 whopping, wonderful points of toasted ham and cheese on crusty bread followed by an entire bag of their famous mini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
“Can I try one of those 1-point snacks you have?” I ask a co-worker, having foregone the Potbelly fantasy.

“Banana or lemon?” she asks.

I go with banana and she hands over a tiny, plastic-wrapped piece of cake that I could easily pop into my mouth whole.

It’s gone in seconds and I’m already contemplating ways to lure her out of her office so I can sneak in and grab five more of these little banana fluff cakes.
The thing is, the program makes sense.

But I don’t need to pay them $12 a week to learn that Cheetos are not a major food group while listening to lonely women yap.

I could just break my knee again. It would be considerably less painful.
I am listening to: Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls
I am reading: Series 3 study materials
And I am: Disgusted with myself


Susan said...

I just started the eat-anything you-want-program this week after trying points for a long time.

This is my third stab at this Watch group - but I found that when I don't go and pay them, they track me down and pay-off the fat fairy to come during the night and I wake up with about 10 extra pounds more than I had the day before.


Posolxstvo said...

I tried to respond to this earlier, but my browser siezed up on me upon submission. All's I was trying to say is that a weight loss group wouldn't work for me, cause I'm too independent. Just give me the program and let me work it on my own.

I realize I am not like most people though, so do with that what you will.