Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stay OP or suffer grave consequences

I feel the overwhelming need to make a confession about my weight maintenance. I have no choice but to keep the weight off. My feeling is that it would be slightly odd if I completely lost my resolve, flew into a bad food/no exercise spiral and gained 25 pounds. Why? Because of my job. How could I or anyone else take me seriously if I couldn't stick with this healthier lifestyle? Therefore, I really have no choice but to keep the weight off.

In a significant way, writing this blog further ups the ante. I'm now publicly blathering to an audience about my new fangled healthy lifestyle. There are even more people watching me, so I really need to keep it together.

So there you have it. I'm cheating. I am using outside pressure to keep myself on program and to keep myself from falling into my previous repertoire of gruesome food habits.

One could reasonably ask whether the rewards of a healthier lifestyle (and a thinner profile) should not be enough to keep me (or anyone else) on program. Should not I, of all people, be able to do this solely for the benefits of the pursuit itself? My answer: I can use all the help I can get. We all can.

I do believe that I have developed some good eating and exercise habits that feel fairly second nature to me these days. That, however, does not mean that I am not subject to the temptations of not so good choices. That also does not mean that I should assume that I can simply let myself gradually drift away in a sea of marginal choices. That is precisely how one mysteriously regains weight. I should know because I have been down that path.

Under the most normal of circumstances, life has a way of creating situations ripe for perilous choices. Throw in a tough economy, demanding job, family, etc., and circumstances can get really interesting. Having little helpers to focus my mind has been incredibly helpful to me.

For me, public accountability to my colleagues, friends, and the Weight Watchers public has been invaluable in keeping me on plan. I have met many others who have used mediums such as message boards, blogs, Twitter, etc. for the very same purpose. I have met others who have made public proclamations to their family, and others who have engaged in weight loss wagering/bets. For over a million people each week, the Weight Watchers meeting (including the all important weigh-in) is the most important mechanism for staying accountable -- and getting support and encouragement.

The point is this: I'm not in this by myself, but I need to proactively seek support and accountability from others.

This leads to another interesting observation. Technically, I went on vacation three hours ago, and I should not be writing this blog (it is kind of a form of work). However, I wanted to do it as a way of publicly stating that I am going to keep it together when I head off to the beach. Cape Cod is a mecca for fried everything + ice cream. A little of that is fine, but seven days is gross and unproductive. Therefore, consider this my way of proclaiming that I will be making good food choices (mostly) and exercise lots. And I will get some rest. Please do hold me to this.


  1. Having a blog has helped me be so much more accountable. I love the support of everyone I've met online. Could not do it without Weight Watchers OR my fellow bloggers! :) Keep up the good work David!

  2. I was at Disney in May and decided to go off the plan during my stay. The beauty of WW is having the flexability to do that. I read somewhere on the WW site that those members who are not meticulous about tracking, fare better, in the long term, than those who are. So I ate all I wanted to and even went to the buffet at the Animal Kingdom, but came home only 1 lb up. The thing I didn't take into consideration was all the walking one does at a theme park and choosing healthier foods and portions had become second nature, without the tracking. So I was very pleased with the results of my personal experiment. You may call it cheating, but for someone who lives out of a suitcase as much as you do, based on all the different places you have been in the last 2 months, you certainly could use it. Everyone has their own form of reinforcemnet. I carry a pic of myself 60 lbs ago in my wallet.

  3. The great thing about your blogging is that you become a mensche, which is Yiddish for human being. Some people expect omipotence from authority figures. But in this case sharing (far nicer word than exposing) your pitfalls and twists and turns through weight loss and maintenance makes your challenge believable and something people can relate to. It makes you real and turns Weight Watchers into a path for real people which can work. In some ways your running into and overcoming obstacles are the most inspirational. ~ ~ ~ ~ I know what you mean about excessive fish fry! gosh a great GREAT place in Gloucester MA has kettle fish fry to die for, and it's really worth blowing it for a visit. But I saw the locals who emerged from the place as I walked in: humongous and on canes and walkers. I went there twice (once for the fry) and both times I passed such people. That's enough to convince you that once is plenty. The menu had so much else to offer anyway :)

  4. CAPE COD is amazing and of course you have Kreme n Kone and Sunday School ice cream....have a great time on vacation!

  5. This is precisely why I work for Weight Watchers also. And why I am blogging once a month about my weight - I'm hoping for the number to go down, so if I know I'm posting it on the internet it should (in theory) help. It hasn't yet, but DETAILS, PEOPLE.

  6. I've found my blog to be a huge amount of public "weight loss & maintenance therapy" for me. We're at the 3 1/2 year mark for my blog, and probably going on 8 years for my web site. It's amazing how many people I've been able to relate to over the years. So keep on blogging & keeping this part of your life public! It helps.

  7. I was a WW leader in the SF Bay Area for 17 years, and agree completely with what you said about being believable, only if you keep your weight off. And so, practicing what I preached, helped me keep the 100 # lost for good. I am happy to say that now, one year after retiring and moving to IA, I have still kept OP and maintained, walking all year, no matter the weather. So, thanks for being a good role model!

  8. I don't think it ever gets any easier. We have to eat and we want to eat things that taste good. After losing over 60 pounds, I am struggling every day to keep it off. That's why I love WW. The meetings help me stay on track or at least give me the motivation to get back on track. Enjoy your vacation!

  9. I knew I would never stick to weight loss without an accountability factor - so I joined a WW @ Work program. There's no room for the ignominy of defeat in front of coworkers.