I went to a wedding this weekend of a good friend of mine. He’s a pretty chill dude who likes to bike, drink, and have a good time. We have been biking together for the past couple of years although we haven’t done much this summer. In fact, I can only recall one ride together.
He is one of my friends who knew me in my fatter stage. You know, the kind where I would eat or drink anything I really wanted and would chalk it up to, “It’s ok, I worked out today”. There are a lot of people who fall in this category. In reality, most people.
It’s hard for people who are not on a strick program to understand your frame of mind. And hell, the program doesn’t even need to be that strict; your resolve however, does.
There were a myriad of parties to attend this weekend. If you go as far back as the bachelor party, you can see a lot of instances of the lack of understanding there. Mostly, it revolves around food and beverage. Chub Club allows you to eat or drink anything as long as you account for it. I choose not to waste my daily allotment on things like beer because it is damned expensive. (for instance, I am a sucker for a good IPA. 16 oz however are going to cost you 7 points. That is 1/5 of my daily point total.) I prefer to drink my diet coke and just be happy socializing. Food is particularly challenging as, when you hang with people who aren’t putting tons of thought into the overall calorie count, you tend to find high fat, high calorie foods. Chips, dips, pizza, cheese, crackers, etc. Now please don’t misunderstand, I love those things. I love them with all of my heart. But man, you can rack up a pretty high “point” bill if you just go to town.
Most people who read this will know what I am talking about. Ok, so why mention it?
My friends and colleagues who are used to me in another time of my life don’t get why I am so rigid about my consumption. They know why I am trying to lose weight. They understand. They don’t, however, understand what food does to me.
Weight Watchers talks a lot about “triggers”. I am sure you have heard of them before, things that make you eat. It can be something simple like a social situation or something more deep seeded.
For me, I know one of my triggers is drinking.
It’s an interesting thing, I can’t drink while I eat a meal but whenever I start drinking (ESPECIALLY BEER), I get “snacky”. I start eating whatever I can find. It has always been this way. I can remember countless times where a good high school friend of mine and I would go out for a night on the town and, come 2 a.m after the bars had called last call, we would head out for food. Now luckily, I was still working out so the calories didn’t have the devastating results as they could have.
Regardless of triggers and all the psychological mumbo-jumbo, the real issue is the understanding of your circle of friends. I am fortunate enough to have a great support circle. I have a fiancee who understands what I am doing and is supportive. (even though I am certain she gets frustrated) I have several friends out of town who, while they would like nothing more than to drink and eat wings with me, are not inclined to push me into it. I have coworkers who have gone (or are going) through the program and talk recipes with me and ask how my weekly weigh-in was.
They “get it”.
Sadly, however, it is not universal. I have an equally large contingent who don’t understand. Or, if they do, they would rather rib me for not drinking or make a big stink out of the fact that I don’t need to eat an entire bag of Dorito’s. (even though I’d love to) Most of the harassment comes at social gatherings where I will not drink but I will hang out and have a great time. I must have had 10 people talk to me about drinking this weekend and each time I respectfully declined, they acted as if I had told them they had hobbit feet and bad breath.
What makes the situation more confusing is that I don’t mention that it is because of the program. Not once. (unless asked and usually it isn’t in my initial response) I try not to mention Weight Watchers at all at parties, mostly because I don’t want to be “that guy”. You know, the one who counts everything in front of their friends and makes it a point to mention how many calories are in each item.
I hate those people. In fact, if I ever become one, someone please tell me. Honestly. I won’t be mad.
I just want to be the guy who is conscientious about what he eats without being loud about it. Discrete.
The more I thought about it this weekend, the more I had to revert back to my mindset that I am training. I want to do so many great things this summer and fall and, once I slip into my old ways, it becomes a VERY slippery slope. One beer quickly becomes beer + nachos which, of course, becomes beer+nachos+burger, etc, etc. which brings us full circle to the Fat Person Math post from last week.
More evidence as to the success of my navigation through calorie infested waters will be revealed in two days. Until then, all I can do is ride and try to improve day to day.