What smells so good???

When I did Weight Watchers a bunch of years ago, I spent a lot of time at meetings and reading the message boards.  I often heard this thought expressed…”I can’t even eat fast food/pizza/cheeseburgers/Chinese food anymore.  Even the smell of it makes me sick.”  Every time I heard someone say that, I would roll my eyes and think “Bullshit!”.  Maybe for some people that’s true…but I think the majority of people who made that claim were just trying to convince themselves it was true. 

Personally, I would never say something like that…because that would never be true for me.  Even after I’d been on Weight Watchers and even after I’d lost 50 pounds and even after I was wearing jeans that made my ass look so good that even Erin commented on it…even then, I still craved salty fries and greasy burgers.  Pizza, too…in my house we live by the theory that even bad pizza is good pizza.  And in my world…there is nothing better than Chinese food.  I swear I’d eat it every day. 

Those kinds of cravings are exactly why I decided to go with Jenny Craig this time around instead of going back to Weight Watchers.  Especially in the beginning, I wanted a strict plan that didn’t give me a lot of wiggle room.  Because I can justify eating just about anything on Weight Watchers…but then I pay for it later.

I’ve been doing great so far with the JC food.  I’ve been sticking to the plan and not feeling hungry and I really haven’t been tempted. 

Until this weekend. 

This weekend practically killed me.  All I wanted to do was eat.  I wanted to eat the pigs in blanket I made for J and my grandfather for lunch…and the cheese and crackers and pepperoni I put out for them.  I wanted the stromboli that J ate for dinner.  I wanted to eat the home-made chocolate chip cookies I made, stacked three on top of each other…possibly with cake frosting in between.  I wanted popcorn and chips and cereal and ice cream and pizza…man, did I want pizza. 

I had to keep reminding myself that I was doing so great and I didn’t want to blow all the good I’ve done so far for a stupid mini hot dog or a plain chocolate chip cookie.  I want to wait for Ally to buy me dinner so I can splurge on the best brownie sundae ever made.  And I want to be able to fit more comfortably in the chair while I’m eating it!  On Sunday morning, when I put on my formerly tight jeans and they were somewhat loose and soooo comfortable, my resolve to avoid the “bad” foods was strengthened.  I could do this!

Until I got into the car with a bag from Burger King. 

I was out running errands and I stopped to pick up lunch for J.  A whopper with cheese, french fries and onion rings…things I love.  And they smelled so freaking good.  I absolutely lost all willpower and I couldn’t take it another second. 

I ate a french fry.  And an onion ring. 

Just one of each, but one was enough.  They were the best BK fry and onion ring I’ve ever tasted.  I ate each one slowly and really tasted it…instead of mindlessly shoving them in my mouth while watching tv.  Delicious. 

It didn’t completely kill my cravings and I still wanted cookies and cheese later on…and not at the same time…but I was able to make do with my tuna salad and crackers and salad.  I also made some fresh zucchini last night and it was so good that I could almost ignore the pizza J was scarfing down.

Almost!  I did take a few deep sniffs of it though…and it smelled terrific.

A tale of cake and irritability…

This is what happened in my house last night…

J: Will you make me a chocolate cake?
S: Seriously?
J: Yes, seriously.
S: You seriously want me to go into the kitchen and bake you a delicious chocolate cake that I cannot eat just 5 days into my diet?  Really?
J: Yes.
S: Could you be any less supportive?
J: So I’m not supposed to eat cake for the entire time you are on a diet?
S: You can eat all the cake you want…I’m just not going to make it for you.
J: Fine…I’ll make it myself.
S: Fine.

J went into the kitchen and started banging around.  He knows full well that I’m a complete control freak and there was no way I was letting him make a cake unsupervised.  I went into the kitchen.

S: Get out of the way…I’ll do that. (I angrily add ingredients to the bowl.)
J: They said you’d be like this.
S: Who said I’d be like what exactly?
J: Jenny Craig.  I went to the website…to the section for spouses…and they said to expect you to be cranky and irrational and irritable. 
S: (Cracking eggs with enough force to break a piece of wood)…First of all…bite me.  Second of all…there is no section like that.  And lastly, I’m not cranky and irrational and irritable.  There is nothing irrational about not wanting to bake a cake that I cannot eat. 
J: (Stroking my hair)…sure honey.
S: Stop touching me.

J was quiet for a few minutes and I realized it was because he was fixing a plate of leftovers for himself. 

S: What are you doing?
J: Getting my dinner.
S: You are seriously going to make yourself a plate and go into the other room to eat it while I stand here…starving because I haven’t eaten yet…and make you a cake?  SERIOUSLY?
J: Um…no?
S: You’re damn right, no.
J: But you aren’t letting me help.  I’m just standing here.
S: Haven’t we been over this?  I am making a cake for YOU.  A cake that I cannot eat.  It is all for you.  Therefore, you are to stand here and gaze at me lovingly, while staying out of my way, until I tell you that you can go into the other room.
J: But I’m hungry.
S: I will stab you with this fork if you even think of taking that plate into the other room.
J: Fine…(starts stroking my hair again.)
S: Stop touching me.

The cake went into the oven and I started making my own dinner.  J took his plate into the other room with strict orders to wait for me to eat.  He didn’t, of course, so I refused to speak to him.  He was done eating and I was halfway through my dinner when the timer for the cake went off. 

J: Are you going to get on that?
S: Do you have some kind of death wish tonight?
J: Well I just thought you’d like to see the job through to completion.
S: I really don’t care.  Go get your own damn cake.

Of course, he was right and the control freak in me sent me following him into the kitchen to make sure the cake was done.  Later on, I heard him take the cake out of the pan and put it on a plate.  When I went into the kitchen the cake plate was covered with a dish towel.

S: What’s up with the dish towel?
J: Camouflage…so you aren’t tempted.
S: (In my sweetest voice ever)…Wow…what a great idea…it’s almost like there’s no cake there at all!  What cake?  I completely forgot that I just baked a cake.
J: Your sarcasm is not appreciated.
S: Get over it.
J: Would you consider running to the store to get me milk?
S: (Shooting daggers from my eyes)…you’ve got to be kidding me…
J: It’s ok…don’t worry…I can just have soda with my cake.
S: I’m sure you’ll survive.
J: (Stroking my hair again)…you’re so pretty.
S: Shut up…and stop touching me.

So I guess I was being a little cranky and irritable.  Though I still maintain that my position was completely rational.  Who wants to bake a cake they can’t eat?  And who wouldn’t be irritable microwaving diet mac and cheese, while their boyfriend was in the other room stuffing his face with delicious brisket that they made? 

I have a feeling I’ll be a lot less irritable after I step on the scale tomorrow and see that this whole diet thing is actually working.  At least…I hope I will.

A quest for bigger chairs…

I was a skinny kid.  Not like emaciated, people calling child services because my parents were starving me skinny…but I was thin.  My two aunt’s, who were heavy, would always tell me “Someday you are going to wake up fat…it’s just in your genes”.  Nice, right? 

But it was true…it was in my genes…and one day, I woke up fat. 

Well…not really.  Although that’s how it felt. 

In high school, I was always active.  I used to walk to my friend’s house all the time.  I went to gym class.  I played lacrosse…and while my parents will tell you that I was actually pretty terrible…I practiced every day and I ran miles and miles.  I just naturally stayed thin without putting much thought into it.

Then I went to college.  Even though I was in New York City and I walked everywhere, I also ate horribly.  Chinese take out for dinner.  Deli sandwiches at midnight.  Pie and ice cream at the diner at 2AM.  Cookies from the vending machine for breakfast.  I also wore a lot of loose dresses, so I was putting on weight without even realizing it. 

By chance, I got a job working in a gym…a job that came with membership to the gym…and a boyfriend who was a personal trainer.  (He was also an aspiring model and was once in an underwear ad…my God, was he hot.  He was also dumb as a box of hammers.  But he was awfully fun to look at.  I think I’m getting off track here…)

Anyway…I started working out all the time.  I took classes and spent lots of time on the elliptical and I did strength training with the boyfriend.  I was doing it because I liked it and I wasn’t really paying attention to the progress I was making.  Then, one day after a particularly sweaty class, I was walking down the steps wearing just shorts and a sports bra and I noticed my boss ogling me from the window in his office…a window specifically put in to allow him to ogle all the girls.  I popped my head in the office to call him a perv and he said “My God…you are smokin’.  All that work you are doing is really paying off.”  See…perv.  But I walked around on a cloud the rest of the day.  Because I was, in fact, smokin’. 

I managed to keep it up throughout college and I stayed pretty thin even after graduation.  Then my first tax season hit and I stopped going to the gym.  I also started eating three meals a day at my desk.  I’m not talking salad either.  I’m talking pizza and pasta and McDonald’s and Friendly’s ice cream sundaes.  I didn’t notice the weight creeping up on me…until I caught my reflection in a window one night while I was standing at the printer.  I was sort of puffy around the middle and it was really not attractive.  I tried to diet and I was able to maintain my weight and not get any puffier…but I was no longer a size 4. 

Skip ahead a bunch of years and various jobs and I wasn’t even a size 10 anymore.  I was a 12 and creeping my way to a 14.  I discussed it with a friend at work and she admitted that she’d gained a bunch of weight also.  We decided that we’d start Weight Watchers together and we ended up with a group of six women in the office all following the program together.

I had amazing success.  In a little under a year I lost 40 pounds.  I still wasn’t a size 4…but I realized I wasn’t ever going to get there again.  I was happy with where I was…I looked good and felt good and that was all that mattered.  I bought a new wardrobe and I was committed to maintaining my weight.  It was easy with the great support group I had.

Then two things happened.  First my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer.  Then I got fired from my job, which was a crushing blow to my ego.  I got a new job literally the day after I was fired, but I took six weeks off before starting.  During those six weeks, I totally fell off the wagon.  I was busy during those weeks and ate whatever was quick and easy…and because I’m an emotional eater, I ate a lot of it.  By the time I went back to work I’d gained about 15 pounds.  I had to buy all new pants. 

That should have been the wake up call I needed, but it wasn’t.  My weight has been creeping up ever since.  I’ve managed to gain back everything I lost with Weight Watchers and then some.  It’s ugly.

I posted a few weeks ago that I’d gone to my favorite restaurant and the chairs suddenly seemed smaller.  At the time I was all “ha ha, the chairs got smaller” but it was the reality check that I needed.  I got on the scale and the number I saw was so scary and so awful that I almost cried.  I never thought I’d see that number.  At least, not as my weight.  Maybe as a bank balance…but definitely not on a scale.

It was a great wake up call.  I can no longer say things like “It’s not so bad” or “I’m just chubby”.  The bottom line is …I’m fat.  I have no energy.  I’m always in pain…either with my knees or my back or my feet.  I don’t sleep well.  I can’t cross my legs comfortably.  It’s also taking a toll on my relationship. Not to overshare… but I have no interest in taking my clothes off in front of someone else when I don’t even want to see myself naked. 

Even with the wake-up call, I was still lacking some motivation to actually start losing.  Being the awesome friend that she is, when I told Ally of my dilemma she suggested a friendly weight loss wager…we will both attempt to lose weight and whoever loses the most by the time she visits me in May, wins.  The loser then has to buy the winner dinner at my favorite restaurant…where the chairs will (hopefully) be larger. 

Being freakishly competitive…I was very excited for this wager.  It was just what I needed.  For the first two weeks.  Then I fell off the wagon again and I realized I needed more help.  So I’ve also enlisted my friend Jenny Craig to help me.  The structure of that plan and the need to eat their food is what I need to get myself on track.  When I get on track I can ween myself off and switch to normal food…all with the assistance of a Jenny counselor.  Hey…if George Costanza can do it, so can I!

I had my consultation last night and I had my first Jenny meal this morning…frost whole grain cereal, skim milk and peaches.  Lunch is a turkey burger and a salad.  I’m looking forward to it (because I’m already kind of hungry) and I’m pretty excited about this whole process. 

There are before pictures, but I’m not putting those up here until there is something better to compare them to.  I’m thinking a month or so from now I’ll have some progress to report.  At least…I hope I will.  Because I want one of those sexy wrap dresses that Sarah Rue wears in the Jenny commercials.  And I want to be able to help move the couch without getting completely out of breath and feeling like I’m going to die!

Wish me luck!