I stepped off the plane at LAX, pulled my over sized sunglasses down over my eyes and began to maneuver my Diane Von Furstenberg luggage through the terminal. I was in California for a family reunion, and I was stoked! I was also nervous, since this would be my first time traveling while doing the WMP (Weight Management Program).
I stepped out into the warm California air and a few minutes later my parents and sisters pulled up in the car. After five sets of hugs and kisses, my Dad grabbed my luggage and put it in the trunk while the rest of us piled back into the car. As we pulled out into the stream of traffic, my Dad adjusted the rear view mirror onto me.
“You’re looking good,” he said.
“Thank You,” I replied, beaming.
My Dad could be a man of few words, but they were always the right ones. Although my weight has been something I struggled with since forever, my Dad has never told me I was anything but beautiful, no matter what my size was. But of course it was especially exciting to hear that from him this time around since I had lost exactly 41 pounds since the last time he’d seen me… he noticed!
Later as we sat by the pool, my Mom and sisters asked for more detail. I think they were shocked by my response.
“So! Tell me about your weight loss system,” My mom asked.
“Augh! I dunno,” I groaned, shielding my eyes from the sun. “I’m thinking about quiting…”
Before I could stop myself it all spilled out… I began to explain to them that while I got thinner, so did my wallet… and my patience.
The WMP was expensive and insurance didn’t cover a cent of it. Between the weekly meetings, the food and the doctors visits, I was shelling out $300+ per month. As a soon-to-be college graduate who wasn’t sure what the New York City job market held for her, I didn’t know how much longer I could maintain.
I was also beginning to resent the actual meetings. This is going to sound horrible but– attending the WMP meetings made me feel like I had been banished to the “geek table” in the school cafeteria. I wasn’t loosing weight with vibrant, sociable, interesting women who just happened to be overweight. I was loosing weight with elderly, needy women who appeared to have little interaction with others outside of our meetings. They would talk about the most random, non-weight related things and I often felt like I was wasting my time sitting through their rants.
“Celeste, despite the people in you’re group, you’ve made a lot of progress. You’re weight loss speaks for its self. I’d hate to see you throw that away.”
“I know, Mom, but you don’t understand– these meetings can be painful. Anyway, I’ll figure it out… I mean I brought a whole bunch of food boxes and shakes…”
(the foods don’t need to be frozen, so they travel well)
“…and I only plan of eating ‘out of the box’ once a day during the seven days I’m here!” With that I closed my eyes and leaned back onto my beach chair.
I skipped dinner that night and opted for a shake an entree and an energy bar. But the next day, after a family brunch, instead of switching back to my prescribed foods for dinner, I went to have Mexican food with my cousins.
Chips… Salsa… Guacamole… Chimichangas… Refried Beans… Rice…. Cheese…. Sour Cream… and Chocolate Mousse for dessert!!!
That was the meal that did me in.
For the rest of my trip, my precious prescribed foods lay abandoned with only my Diane Von Furstenberg suitcase to keep them company. Not only did I begin to eat what was on the menu for the reunion (barbeque, potato salad, rolls, cakes, pies etc.) I went to restaurants like In n’ Out, Rosco’s Chicken and Waffles and Del Taco! I didn’t want to be left out of any fun, and I hadn’t had real food in so long… I lost my mind!
It took a 6 day binge to ruin everything.
By the time I got back to New York, I just could not get back on track. I was working out, I was eating the leftover prescribed foods, but my drive to stay in the program was gone. I could use that $300+ for so many other things.
My weight loss counselor called to check in on me. I ignored the call and deleted the message. I convinced myself that I could do it alone. Months later, I had gained the weight back (and then some).
This all happened about a year ago. Now its January… 15 days into 2009 and I’ve lost eight pounds on my own since New Years. The funny thing is that a small part of me thought that my friends might become my new support group. Of course that never happened because they’re all model types who didn’t want to offend me by bringing up my weight. I guess when it comes to weight loss, they’d never understand me like the old ladies at the WMP.