Friday, April 15, 2011

Picking up the cross and starting again ...

Appropriately enough for Lent ... after dragging my feet for several months - and after letting this blog almost die - I've rejoined Weight Watchers (Online) and am again counting those wonderful, maddening POINTS! (gotta remember that exclamation point!!).

My motivation, you ask? One word:


Yup, I've developed a really life-altering low back pain in my left hip. And although the trigger point for it may have been when I fell off my bike last summer, I'm convinced that it's definitely exacerbated by those 50 pounds I regained, after my exhiliarating adventure with Weight Watchers lo, those many years ago.

I know all the statistics. Diets don't work. 90% of dieters put back whatever weight they've lost after five years. Yo-yo dieting can be worse for you than obesity. Big is beautiful.

I pause at that latter. Yes, Big can be Beautiful. I was Big on my wedding day, just about four years ago. I weighed pretty much what I weighed now. And I was Beautiful - just look:

But listen: I was also active. I worked full-time. I took the Red Line from the Valley to Downtown, and walked for at least half an hour every morning from the subway station to my office.

Now I'm less active. I spend more time at home, or in my car. I have to force myself to go out and exercise. It's no longer a natural part of my day. So the weight I've regained is not the same as the weight I lost before. It's inactivity weight.

And here's the maddening Catch-22 of the whole thing: I need to exercise more, to get the weight off. But because of the weight, my back hurts, and it's really, really hard to exercise.

So: Weight Watchers, again.

I thought about trying something different, something exotic, like the South Beach Diet. Actually, I read the latest incarnation of it and it doesn't sound all that far-fetched. I think the author has made it more sensible, more liveable. That seems to happen with diet plans that stand the test of time (sort of like the major religions, but that's another topic).

So: this morning I had a cup of oatmeal (4 points), a mug of hot tea sweetened with Splenda and non-dairy creamer (0 points) and, after finishing the oatmeal and realizing I was still hungry, a small can of mixed vegetables, heated up in the microwave and spritzed with a generous helping of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray (1 point).

That should hold me till lunch.

I just hope all this won't go by the wayside during Bright Week (the week following Easter, in the Eastern Christian tradition), when we're encouraged to Feast! and Rejoice! because Christ is Risen! I want to rejoice, but I also want to sustain my meager 2-pound weight loss. Can I rejoice on 30 POINTS! a day?

We'll see. Meanwhile, it's a helpful metaphor for me, during Lent, to think of my renewed efforts to lose weight as perhaps the Cross that God has picked out for me. That after every relapse (fall), I must acknowledge my sin and start over again.

Works for me!