The Herald Bulletin
---- — Upon becoming a member of the Weight Watchers community, I experienced culture shock.
I found myself surrounded by people who are always conscious of what they are putting in their mouth, because they realize it is one of the most significant ways they can take control of their lives and impact their health, relationships, and appearance.
In my previous community, Theresa’s Buffet, life was a little different. The four other members of my neighborhood - a husband, two sons and a grandson - like Pacman creatures, munch on everything in their path in the pantry and refrigerator.
Barrels of ranch dressing (like a Pizza Roll dipping sauce) disappear. Mountain Dew is delivered as a continuous IV, boxes of Fruit Loops are slurped up in mixing bowls. Their collective colons are wallpapered with tortilla chips, which are glued in place with a mixture of Velveeta cheese, Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chiles. And ice cream is consumed at a rate of more than a gallon a week by people who still have six-pack abs and apparently the metabolisms of the Looney Tunes Road Runner.
And I live somewhere in this neighborhood. A 50-year-old woman who’s decrepit ovaries are pumping out barely enough estrogen these days to make saliva or fire up a heartbeat, let alone metabolize a calorie or two. I have spent years of my life cooking for them and eating with them. I do not have six-pack abs. I have taken on the shape of a fruit.
An overripe apple that nobody in their right mind would be interested in eating. Apples turn brown and get mushy. They stink when you step on them and ooze between your toes.
So before I turned into apple butter and oozed between anyone’s toes, I decided to join Weight Watchers.
Now I am accountable. To the other members, the scales, and myself. Especially myself. I say to myself, “Put your hands where you can see them, and step away from the Pop Tarts.”
I am learning that even with good food, portion size matters. When I found out that a 3-ounce serving of meat is probably about the size of the palm, I thought I was one lucky duck because I have enormous paws. But a serving is a serving, so I weigh things until I get a better eye for it.
While I have finally stopped complaining about the generous amount of points my fellow Weight Watcher and boss Mark has allotted, I have become a hoarder of my own meager daily point allowance. I don’t use the points I earn with exercise - I greedily save them in a my non-interest bearing point account, just in case I need them for a bad food I simply can’t resist.
So far I’ve been able to resist. All those extra and earned points have been wasted, as they disappear at the end of a WW week.
I’m losing weight and making some new friends. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, there is an apple in the refrigerator calling my name.
Theresa Timmons’ column appears every first and third Sunday. She is an Elwood resident and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.