Thursday, June 23, 2011

Having a Little Fun

I walked into my first Weight Watchers meeting six years ago with a less-than-great attitude.

I really didn't want to be there.

Not only did I wish I had no weight to lose, the idea of PAYING to stand in line to be weighed each week and then sit through some sort of pep talk was utterly ridiculous.

I was a busy person. I didn't have time for this nonsense. I had trouble finding time for the things I really wanted to do--some of which were free!

The problem was that I also had trouble finding time to take proper care of myself by eating well, exercising, and meditating, and it was beginning to take a toll on me, including my work and my personal relationships.

So here I sat in a hard, squeaky folding chair, all "weighed-in" with a STICKER (yes, really) in my little booklet, my name tag getting caught in my hair whenever I moved the wrong way, avoiding eye contact with anyone and waiting for the stupid meeting to start.

The leader began with what she called "Bravos," which were brief reports of small successes people had experienced that week: walking a little farther than usual, passing up a dessert, finding a delicious healthy new salad dressing and using it, fitting back into a beloved pair of jeans. Okay, fine.

Next we recognized those who had reached a particular weight loss milestone since last week--usually a multiple of 5 pounds lost. There were several of these, all rewarded with applause and yet more stickers and such. It all felt rather awkward that first day, and I could feel my inner middle-schooler kicking in because I was tempted to roll my eyes, except that... well... I did feel happy for them. In fact, all of a sudden I was kind of almost on the brink of weepiness. 

And then (as S. Harris might say) a miracle occurred...

The meeting topic was actually helpful

I'm not sure why this surprised me, but it did. The miracle, frankly, was that I even noticed that it was helpful, with such a bad attitude. In fact, the meeting was all about attitude, but the leader was smart enough not to use that word and trigger my defenses. Instead, she simply talked about having a little fun with the program and ways to do that, generating even more ideas from those assembled.

Fun.       Making the most of the situation.

Somehow, fun had never even occurred to me as an option.

**ENORMOUS attitude/paradigm shift**  

And thus began my surprisingly cheerful trip to the supermarket afterward to try some new foods and challenge myself to find healthy things to eat which I would actually look forward to.

To get out the door to the dreaded meeting, I had informed myself that I no longer had a choice. I had to go, period. But the truth was that I still had lots of choices, including this very important one of attitude. That one subtle-yet-profound shift on the wings of the enthusiastic brainstorming in the room one evening ushered in a new and far more hopeful season of health in my life.

It's time for me to tap back into that vibe again and have a little fun with it.

How about you? 

What can you do to have a little fun with the process of eating better and moving more? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments!


  1. I lost 63 pounds with Weight Watchers in 2001-2002, and kept it off for, oh, let's see, 30 minutes? Maybe a little longer, but not much. Like you, I need to step back into that room...but I've been going it alone for so long. I'm down a little over 20 pounds, but it's taking for-freakin-ever. But I'm committed, and last weekend, instead of just the self-imposed "no whites" eating I'd been doing, I pulled out my Weight Watcher materials and dusted them off...and I can't say I'm having fun with it, yet...but I'm journaling again and eating right. For today, it's enough.

  2. I hear ya, Nana! I haven't started back to meetings at this point, although I'm sure it would help me, and I am curious about the substantial changes they have made to the program since I last attended several years ago. I'd love to avoid that time and expense this time around, even though it was well worth the investment before.

    It sounds to me like you are making excellent progress if you've lost 20 pounds! And of course the convention wisdom is that fast weight loss is more likely to rebound, so slow is not necessarily a bad thing. Still, I know it's frustrating, because I'm also finding it VERY slow going this time around. At least I seem to have stopped gaining, which is good news, but I haven't managed to lose much so far.

    If the scales still aren't moving much by the end of July, I may go back to meetings in August. In the meantime, we'll see what affect--if any--blogging has on my process.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment, Nana. I really appreciate it!

  3. Fabulous post!!! I am doing weight watchers points plus system with my mom's help:) She gives me all her extra materials and some:) Money is a little tight in our household as well so many individuals out there:( But, this program is priceless to me and I hope soon I can attend meetings again. I just adore how it is about long-term healthy changes not a DIET. Speaking of fun I just enjoy the points system. For other fun:) I am trying new things. Foods and yoga! I just love yoga as a component to my walks and Richard Simmons Sweatin to the oldies. Which is so much fun!!!! So, yes FUN IS a big part of my current success:) Thanks for this great post to remind me:)

  4. Thanks, Cynthia! Yoga has been a great find for me, as well. I really need to get back into a routine with it.

    Sounds like you are very much on track and definitely having a little fun while you're at it, so good on ya! I hope you'll be able to get back to meetings again soon, too, as they are such great support. Congratulations on your success!