Weighty Matters

small spongebob running happily on a beach

I’ve only ever known how it feels to eat whatever I want for short periods of time. I’ve been on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and always have a few Lean Cuisine dinners in the freezer, so I don’t get caught without anything to eat and have to tear into an entire elephant or something. Whenever I’ve strayed from the basic tenets of Weight Watchers, I’ve put on weight. True, the formula is calories-in, calories-out, but I’m not about to become the marathon runner my metabolism apparently wants me to be. (Darn you scoliosis!) My sleep doctor put it to me bluntly: “When I see you next spring, if you haven’t lost thirty pounds you’re getting a C-PAP machine.” My case of Sleep Apnea is mild to moderate but it’s worsened by extra weight. I’d been hitting new highs on the scale for a year or so and buying bigger and looser tops. I started to believe that I had no willpower. It was decision time; did I want to be as wide as I am tall? In other words, transform from a human into a shed? Or SpongeBob Squarepants?

Spongebob Squarepants running happily on a beach
Photo by Owen Prior via Flickr

I thought about the C-PAP, the expense and the dependence on it. I know it’s a miracle machine for those who need but it would be better to do without it. And apparently that was within my control.

This is Larry and his cat Teddy. They’re not very happy about the C-PAP. I don’t want to do that to Spice and Sugar.

An older man lies in bed wearing a CPAP machine, looking frightened at the camera while his grey cat lays at his side looking at him warily
Photo from the Larry and Teddy page via Flickr

So, I went back to my old app friend, My Fitness Pal, and plugged in my current weight, goal weight and how fast I’d like to lose it. I said one to two pounds per week. Too fast isn’t healthy or sustainable. Too slow isn’t motivating. Since the start of the year I’ve lost 17.5 pounds and counting. Just 12.5 to go!

The app lets you know if you’re getting heavy on the carbs for that day or eating too much sugar. If you try to fool the app you’re only fooling yourself. Every morsel must get noted.

One day when I was at risk of eating everything in the kitchen, I distracted myself with the most pathetic shopping trip ever: one container of Light Cool Whip and two boxes of no-sugar-added Jell-O. After the Jell-O set, I scooped out half and topped it with some Cool Whip. For about 70 calories I felt like I’d eaten an entire cake and was proud of my solution. I told my chiropractor about it and she wasn’t as happy. She’d rather I satisfied my craving with something that has nutritional value, even if it’s only a mouthful. But her suggestion – Coconut Bliss ice cream – has far more calories than other so-called healthy treats. And it’s $8.99 for a small container. I won’t resort to Jell-O and Cool Whip very often, but I don’t think it’s a fatal choice.

We ate mounds of BBQ (with a huge salad!) on our Memphis trip and I maintained my weight. It’s all about choices. And being frickin’ hungry a lot of the time. But I mindlessly shoved handfuls of chocolate-covered almonds into my pie hole over the last couple of years, and that’s not sustainable for me. And with any luck and a strong relationship with My Fitness Pal, I’ll avoid the dreaded C-PAP machine.


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