Week 1: Pass the corn, please

I debated writing about the fact that I've joined Weight Watchers (especially since J9 recently complained that Gienna Writes has been "boring" lately). But then I said to myself: "What the hell. It's my site. I'll write about whatever I want to write about, yo."

OK, I didn't actually say yo.

Anyway, there's a WW group that meets at work, but I wasn't completely sure I wanted to join that one. I thought it might be weird or awkward or embarrassing or something. So last weekend I went to a meeting in Salem, just to check it out, kind of see what it was like.

And I sat there looking at the tables and shelves filled with Weight Watchers crap for sale, and the brightly-colored motivational posters, with pictures of fruits and vegetables and fat free milk spilling out of a cornucopia, and fuzzy photocopied before and after pictures of Weight Watchers' success stories covering the walls.

And I listened to the people at the meeting complaining about how they are sick of eating salad all the time (whiners) or how they actually like salad (liars) and how they wish their mother wouldn't make quiche for Easter because that's their favorite food and they can't eat it anymore (they say you can eat anything on Weight Watchers, but I'm not 100% sure about that -- more on that later).

And I listened to the leader tell a corny story about a daughter and a mother who made an Easter ham every year and every year they cut off the ends of the ham without understanding why except that that's the way the grandmother always made it and when they asked the grandmother why she cut the ends off the ham she said it was to fit it in the pan and that was supposed to illustrate the fact that we all do things out of habit without really understand why, like, you know, sitting down in front of the television at night and eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream straight out of the container.

And then I read the little pamphlet that has the chart of ideal weights based on your age and height and that's when the little out of body experience I was having kind of peaked and I had to cross my arms and lean back in my chair and act all disinterested and skeptical and jaded to keep myself from just actually bursting into tears.

And when the meeting was over I tried to duck out without drawing the attention of the leader so he wouldn't ask me whether or not I was ready to sign up, but naturally that didn't work and the only reason I could think to tell him why I didn't want to sign up was that I was "feeling a little freaked out right now."

And then I realized that this was probably going to be weird and awkward and embarrassing no matter where I attend the meetings and so I signed up for the at-work session, because at least that way I can attend the weekly meeting on my lunch break.

You know, while I'm eating.

So anyway, this is my first week on Weight Watchers (I'm signed up for 15, I think). And so far it's OK. My first meeting at work was fine -- there was still a corny illustrative story (this one was about how rowing a boat is like being on a diet) but the people in the group are all friendly and funny and the fact that there were some familiar faces there actually made it slightly less weird.

I chose the points plan (everything you eat is assigned a point value and you can't go over a certain number of points each day) over the core plan (you can eat all you want of the core foods every day, plus a certain number of non-core foods per week) because, so far at least, chocolate and wine are not considered core foods.

And I'm learning how to use the little points calculator and diligently writing down everything I eat and its point value. And I'm new at this -- I've only been at it for three days -- but there is one thing right off the bat that really stands out for me about this plan, my first thought on the whole Weight Watchers experience, and it is this:

I am friggin' starving.

On the first day, I ran out of points at 7:15 p.m. I spent the rest of the night feeling sorry for myself and wondering if it would be cheating to get up at midnight, when my points would theoretically re-set, and eat a bowl of cereal. I was so hungry my stomach actually hurt. I finally cooked an artichoke -- it was the only thing I had in the house that was zero points.

On the second day, I went for a 45-minute walk just so I could earn a couple of extra points for the day. And I was *still* hungry when my points ran out at the end of the day. I went to Whole Foods and bought more fruits and vegetables in one trip than I have in all of 2006. And, despite the fact that I can't stand water, I suddenly find myself drinking a lot of it.

Turns out this is why you see people on diets drinking so much water. It's not that it's good for them -- it's that they have to get something in their bellies to drown out the rumbling noises!


Berto said...

Did I just eat a Kit Kat while reading this post? Yes, yes I did. In my defense, I had started the Kit Kat just before starting the entry, so it was really an effort to be efficient: To eat AND goof off on the internet while at work.

The Complimenting Commenter said...

That was a very interesting story. I can understand the "freaked out" feeling. I love the comment about water at the end.

Gienna said...

@Berto -- Dude, do you have any more? I could really use a Kit Kat!

@CC -- thanks for the compliment! I just looked at your site -- what a fun idea.

Jen said...

Okay, not to sound like a peppy cheerleader ('cause that shit ain't happening), but it does get better after the first few weeks. You don't feel as hungry. And the one thing all of WW taught me was -- whoa, I used to eat a lot.

(Other tips: Dill pickles are great for a 0-point snack. They leave that weird salty/bitter taste, so you don't want to eat anything else for awhile. I also recommend Tic-Tacs/Certs, etc., for the same effect. And always have baby carrots on hand.)

Anonymous said...

you were right, this is a very funny entry.