Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Wall*

It’s Tuesday Fit-Day.  A weekly meditation on fitness goals, successes and failures.  Thinking about it once a week is a step toward making it a part of everyday.

This week fitness and weight watchers didn’t jive. 
This week I earned more activity points than daily overages.  I even had enough left over to gorge on a 58 point meal last night for Valentine’s Day and be within my weekly ration (daily ration is 29 points).  I fit into a designer dress I haven’t been able to wear since 2006 (but have kept because it cost more than my rent at the time).  I bought a skirt in pre-Pete size and fit into a borrowed dress two sizes smaller than usual.  I ran 4k on Monday morning without stopping. 
I gained half a pound. 
It’s only a half pound which is nothing.  It’s a long trip to the bathroom.  But it was a let-down after the great week I thought I had.  And at the weigh-in it was greeted with horror.  Not really helpful.  My leader asked if I was wearing different clothes than usual.  I have no idea, but is that really the point?  To get the lowest possible number by stripping down?  I’m not a runner and I frickin’ ran 4K! Shouldn’t an increasing level of fitness be applauded?  I asked if muscle gain could be a factor and my leader told me that unless I have been doing major weight lifting that it won’t make a difference (and then suggested that I make a trip to the bathroom before weigh-in).  But how does she explain that my measurements have continued to decrease this week but I gained on the scale?  She couldn’t.  Not the most inspiring leader I have to say. 
So I cried.  Even though I knew I was healthier and fitter and smaller than I had been the week before, I cried (after leaving the meeting, of course).  I worked so hard and failed because the scale spit out an arbitrary number.   Maybe I have hit a wall.  My weight loss has been slowing despite getting better about activity points and overages.  I haven’t been this weight since our first anniversary.  That’s four and a half years ago.  I have lost 12 pounds in about 9 weeks.  Perhaps my body is freaking out and is holding on.  Or maybe it is muscle.  Who knows.  But in the eyes of Weight Watchers, or at least its monitoring tools, I failed.  I don’t think that is a healthy way of thinking about my body.  Up until now I have been pretty happy with my WW experience and advice, but now I am annoyed with the emphasis on a number.  Last night I didn’t want to eat the meal we had been looking forward to so much in the past weeks that it had made it on the calendar (PIZZA!).  I had made special black forest brownies, set up a living room picnic blanket with pillows and flowers and candles, and chilled champagne for our first married Valentine’s Day and all I could think about on the way home was, I failed.
Don’t worry, I got over it and downed four slices, 2 flutes of champers, a brownie and Hageen-Dazs.  Because, damn it, it’s just a number and I will enjoy this evening with my husband.  I’m not going to meet the number goal I had for the cruise, but I am going to fit into fun cocktail dresses and old bathing suits.  Screw the number and bring on the drinks with umbrellas!!!

*Whenever I hear this phrase I think of Midsummer’s Night Dream.  I know most people go to Floyd, I go to Shakespeare.  I remember a particular adaptation, I think it was at the community theatre, and an actor holding up a placard painted like a brick wall saying, “I am the wall.”  It wasn’t the words, it was inflection, and it cracks me up just thinking about it.  Although now that I think about it more, it might have been the more recent movie version, but I swear I was much younger and in a darkened theatre with my Mom.  Or maybe that was the puppet Tempest we saw in Oberlin (which is the best I have seen to date).  Oh well, this tangent has gone on too long.  “I am the Wall.”

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