I’ve been shamefully kicked out of, and off of lot of things in my life: the school bus, junior high band, bed, an ex-boyfriend’s house, my sister’s car, and some bar with a low tolerance for fake ID’s. But none of those offenses compare to the day I got kicked out of Weight Watchers.
About two years ago, I went to work with no intent of trying to become a WW member. But everyone was doing it so who was I to be the special one? Besides, I wanted to be part of the team. So instead of eating lunch, I joined the pack and walked over to the on-site meeting. I was the last one in line; everyone else in my department had already been handled, measurements calculated, nametags given, admittance granted.
It was my turn. Captain WW looked me up and down, “Have you ever been in Weight Watchers before?”
“Nope, first timer.”
“Hmm. Hop on the scale.” She studied the scale and then me. “You can’t join Weight Watchers, honey. You don’t weigh enough.”
“Are you serious!?” I was simultaneously stunned and delighted.
My co-workers had already sat themselves at a table directly behind us and overheard the whole conversation. I was gleaming. I felt like I had just snagged the title of Miss America. The scale serving as my stage, I stepped down and waved goodbye to my audience.
I strutted back to my office, wishing I could have had that moment recorded. You know, maybe to play at a high school reunion or just for myself every night before bed. Being shunned from WW proved I was finally the antithesis of what I was as a teen—pudgy.
I don’t take full responsibility for the extra pounds I once carried; I give most of the credit to my parents. I actually think me being chubby was one Twinkie away from child abuse. I mean, in all aspects I was an average ten-year-old until my parents decided it would be a good idea to buy a fast-food restaurant. It was then that my body—and my life—fell below average. While they worked, I ate. I felt kind of like I Dream of Jeannie (except not as svelte); all I had to do was nod my head and I was granted a basket of onion rings, tub of ranch dressing, and a root beer float. So over the course of the next seven years, I loved myself with grease, fat, and … a little bit of sugar.
Until I hated myself.
When it was time to go away to college, I figured it was also time for a fresh start. I wiped the cream off my face and got serious. With such distance between me and the grease dealer, I wasn’t able to feed my feelings with such ease, so I ran them away instead. I also revamped my diet by cutting out everything I ate before and incorporating everything I hadn’t. I actually took it to the extreme. I turned into one of those jackasses who orders at a restaurant something like this: “I’ll have water with lemon, the cobb salad, dressing on the side, no cheese, no bacon. I want the eggs, just no yolks. And just a little bit of avocado. You know what, why don’t you just put it on the side. Oh, and don’t bring out the bread basket. Will you please repeat that?”
I’m sure my food was doused with a little spit along the way, but I lost thirty-five pounds. Eventually I learned to relax, be mindful, and indulge—in moderation. Well, with the exception of Vodka. Hey, I can’t just blink my eyes and kick every vice at once … I’m not a Jeannie (although I do look a little more like one now).