That doesn’t sound like a lot to me—believe me, I’ve done worse—but there are two things I should explain here. One, I say “winter,” but what I mean is “Since mid-February.” I’m averaging a pound a week (or really, two pounds a week during shamrock shake season, and a half a pound a week the other days). The other thing I should explain is that in my family—or specifically, on my mother’s side of the family—eight pounds will quickly turn to sixteen after CVS has one good sale on M&M "pounder" bags. I had to stop this calorie avalanche before it really took hold.
I hung my head in shame as I reached out to the one being who has consistently been my weight-loss advocate even when I threaten to smother her with my pasty arm flaps; my cheerleader even when I’m shouting colorful epithets; the only one who can listen to me liken the taste of cauliflower mashed potatoes to what I imagine Bigfoot’s rancid turds smell like, and still urge me to take another spoonful: my Weight Watchers points tracking app.
I didn’t want to open up the app, you realize. Even though I just said all those nice things about it, I actually kind of hate the Weight Watchers app. But I had no choice. Eight pounds is sixteen pounds.
My first day was okay. I loaded up on fruit and rice cakes, and grilled some chicken for dinner. I stayed within my points. But I was cranky.
Day two was harder. Work was stressful, and I had a ton of editing to do after I got home. I gamely stuffed Popchips in my mouth as I pawed through the Chicago Manual of Style to determine if it was ever acceptable to use a comma splice. I crunched another rice cake as I decided that it was not.
On day three, it hailed. In late April. Hail! Are you kidding? Then my computer crashed, and I lost all of the changes on the document I was editing. I stubbed my toe on an escalator. And a bird pooped on my car window, right in my line of vision. When I tried to clean it off, I discovered that my car was out of wiper fluid, and my wipers left a white smear all over the windshield. I used some of my flex points that night and ate an entire package of stale Peeps. I did not feel better.
The next morning, I woke up to a story rejection email waiting in my inbox. I’d had it. “I quit!” I shouted at my stupid points-tracking app. “Life is too hard for all this exercising and eating healthy nonsense!” But that Weight Watchers, she’s a clever girl. I never said you had to eat healthy, she reminded me gently. Just stay within your points.
This was . . . true. She might have encouraged me to eat more fruits and vegetables, but really, all she’d promised was that if I stayed within my points, I’d lose weight. I’d been the one who made it all about cauliflower and crap.
Day four: the day I discovered I could eat 160 Tootsie Roll Mini Chews in one day, and still lose weight. This dieting thing isn’t so hard after all.