Tag Archives: diet

a moment on the lips…and you know the rest

19 Apr

I’ve written before on here that I work for Weight Watchers. What a lot of people don’t tend to realize is that to work for Weight Watchers, you need to be a lifetime member of the program. This means that you need to have hit your goal weight and remained in your goal range in order to work for the company. People who come into the stores or see me working at the weigh-in stations tend to not realize that you need to have done the program and lost weight to work for the company, and they always seem to assume that I’ve lost 20 pounds at most, despite the fact that I wear a nametag that says “Weight Watchers, Alaina, I lost 66 pounds in 2008”. I guess people don’t read nametags anymore (folks nowadays, huh?) or are just more for jumping to conclusions or assumptions about people, but we pretty much lay it right out there for all members to see that we have been through the program, are on the program, and we know what they’re going through. Everyone who works for the company has been where the members have been and we are still dealing with our own weight loss battles, despite our successes.

So I lost my weight in 2008, but my weight loss journey began far before then. I’ve never actually written anything about losing my weight, but I feel the desire to now for some reason. I might as well share my story since I’m constantly grasping for topics to write posts about. So congratulations, (imaginary) reader! You get to read my story, whether you want to or not (don’t you DARE go to a different website, you hear me?)!

As I said, my journey began before 2008, probably about 10 years before. The first time I thought to myself that I needed to go on a diet was when I was eight years old. I had started gaining weight and I decided that I should do something about it. I didn’t tell my mother I thought I needed to go on a diet, I just tried to eat more fruit pretty much. That’s what television taught me a diet was: eating fruit. But, I was eight. When you’re eight, you’re usually not as much in control of what you eat as you’d like to be. And also, what an eight year old would like to eat is probably lots of ice cream. So I was already getting that. Also, most members of my family have struggled with weight problems throughout their lives, so we really weren’t the best support system for one another in terms of trying to lose weight and learn to live a healthy lifestyle. My main point here is that what bothers me is the fact that I was eight years old and I thought I was fat. At the time I obviously didn’t think much of it, but looking back, it’s so sad to me that I was thinking that way about myself. I think that part of this realization came from secretly knowing that I could never own a life-size Barbie because the commercials advertised the owner of the Barbie sharing clothes with her, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that because I would be too big. Just add that to the list of what’s wrong with Barbie and our society (more like what isn’t wrong with Barbie, amirite?).

All through middle and high school, I struggled with my weight. I always felt like I was the heaviest of all of my friends. On top of this, I hang out with a lot of small and short people, so I felt like a monster in comparison. I just never felt like I was cute or looked good like my other friends did. I don’t know if my friends felt cute, they probably didn’t because middle school is like walking slowly through hell while being whipped and having your braces mercilessly tightened consistently for three years, but I thought that my friends all looked cute and wore cute clothes. Boys liked my friends. Boys did not like me (not much has changed except that now, no one likes me). As I got older I learned that this wasn’t the end all of life, but it was fucking middle school. As I said, three years of walking through hell slowly. Seemingly no end in sight. Of course then I thought life was miserable because boys didn’t like me. If “Lizzie McGuire” had taught me anything, it was to be as cute and adorable as possible to win over your crush. I was neither cute nor adorable. I eventually learned after a few years to use my personality to charm (hence why I’m the uproarious person you see in front of you today), but for the most part I feel like I was pretty unpleasant and as I have stated, I felt like a monster.

Once, I was considering performing in a talent show with some of the other girls in my grade, and I went to a friend’s house to figure out outfits to wear. The girls decided they wanted to wear halter tops, which I did not own because I tried to avoid showing off my arms and rest of body at all costs when I was in middle school and then for pretty much all of high school and into college for a while. I wore floor length dusters when one should never wear a floor length duster (i.e. never. You should never wear a floor length duster). My friend told me I could borrow one of hers, but it was a bit tight on me. By “a bit tight”, I mean it flat out didn’t fit me. As a side note, I was never imagining that I was heavier than my friends. I physically always had been from 8 years old on. Anyway, we decided we should saran wrap my stomach to try to hold it in. And then we did that. We actually practiced wrapping saran wrap around my stomach to try to flatten it. Nothing went as planned and I ended up not being in the talent show (but come to think of it, I feel like the talent show itself was canceled or something. I don’t think I formally just quit the group because I felt too uncomfortable. Probably for the best if it was canceled, no one needs to see middle schoolers doing poorly choreographed dances), and although my friend wasn’t making fun of me for being heavier, it was the first time someone really noticed my weight problem and acknowledged aloud to me that I was heavier (see, I told you I wasn’t imagining it). It’s one thing to know that yourself, but really another thing for someone to point it out to you, despite how innocently they may be doing so.

But, that was really all there was in my life having to do with other people being a negative factor in my own thinking that I was fat. When most people talk about their weight loss journeys, they mention being teased about their weight throughout their k-12 years. I thankfully never had many experiences with that, aside from one or two encounters (one of these times being when a boy told me and my friend that we were the “fat sisters who looked alike” or something to that nature. It was very clever of him. The second experience was my grandfather lovingly telling me that I would get a boyfriend if I lost weight. I brushed it off as him being an old man); my low-blows came more from what I knew or thought I couldn’t do due to my size rather than from anyone actually pointing it out.

The fat-shaming came from not being able to shop at the same trendy stores as my friends because of my size, or because the store’s twisted version of my size was majorly skewed (I’m referring to the store Limited Too, mostly. I never even bothered stepping foot in there because I didn’t even want to bother trying on clothes and bringing down my self-esteem more).

It came in the form of not being able to understand what feeling satisfied from eating was, because I was constantly shoving food in my mouth as a way to handle all feelings, so I only knew what feeling sick to my stomach was. It came from not being able to adequately deal with my feelings because I was taught and thought for far too long in my life that food was the solution to every single emotion.

It was not being able to run the mile in gym at a normal time because of my asthma, which I still have regardless of my size, but I know was horribly worse when I was heavier. It was knowing I would never feel comfortable in dance costumes because I’d have to add on straps or extra material, and then the proceeding feelings of dread over having to wear them in front of other people at recitals because dance costumes, while usually unflattering regardless of size, happened to look even worse on my lumpy and uneven body.

It was always just the little things that no one would think to consider a source of what was bringing me down. Yes, negativity came from the outside world and outside factors. Obviously the media shows us what we should look like, that especially being true for women (from birth until death we’re taught how we should look a certain way), but it was really from taking what was fed to me from outside sources and how I chose to eat up and interpret them in my own way. People didn’t come up to me and tell me I was fat; I already knew from what I couldn’t do that I was fat. And I hate using the word fat because it just sounds so ugly, but when you’re at that point and you feel that way, it’s really the only way to describe how you perceive yourself. But, my point is that while all of the outside factors surrounding me were telling me to look and be a certain way, my unhappiness with my weight was ultimately on me.

So, when my mother asked me if I wanted to join Weight Watchers with her, I was at the point where I didn’t even hesitate to say “yes”. I needed to for me, because I was so fed up with myself, I was at my heaviest weight, and I just did not feel good about myself in the slightest. Weight Watchers taught me portion control and how to make smarter eating choices. I joined the program right before my senior year of high school and lost the weight through that year and the beginning of freshman year of college, and I think that was the best time for me to ever join. I can’t even think of how different my college experience would have been if I hadn’t lost the weight and had an understanding of how to eat while I was in school.

But, I have to stress that I didn’t automatically feel a huge boost of confidence because I lost weight. I felt better about myself, but I was still at the point of comparing myself to other women around me, because that’s what I’d been doing to myself my whole life. And I still do it now; I think it’s impossible to not compare yourself to other people at least every once in a while. But, I do feel like I was more outgoing once I got to college because I was at least happier with myself. I was happy that I had lost the weight, but I was also really proud of myself for doing so. I lost 66.6 pounds in total, and it still makes me happy to think about that fact that I accomplished that because it really has helped shape me into the person I am today. My mother always says that she thinks joining Weight Watchers was the best thing we’ve ever done together, and I am prone to agree with her. I don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t joined the program. I don’t know how I’d look, or more importantly, how’d I’d feel currently. Because while we all want to look good, I really did learn that how you feel about yourself is really most important. It sounds like such a simple lesson, but getting yourself to the point where you’re not horrified and angry with yourself all the time is really more difficult to do than some people understand. I still struggle with not getting mad at myself about certain choices I make, but at least I can say it’s not on a consistent daily basis anymore, and more often than not, I at least still feel healthy, or I know what to do to get myself back to feeling healthy. I’m learning (slowly) to accept my body for what it is, despite the flaws I know I still have. I’ve put a lot of work into doing that and perceiving myself more positively, and no one can take it away from me.

And thus ends the “positive” Alaina post of the week. As I always say, at least no one reads this blog. It might take away my cynical, pessimistic, cool kid edge if someone were to read such positivity coming from me. This stays between us. Just me and nobody.

#catholicproblems

14 Feb

I was just reading a Buzzfeed article entitled “17 People Coping With Food Restrictions For Lent” and immediately got annoyed (per usual, classic Alaina). Lent literally is just starting today (or tomorrow, who even knows anymore? I stopped pretending to be Catholic once I was confirmed and never looked back) and yet the internet and forms social media are already getting on my nerves about what people are giving up. Aka everyone is giving up a certain type of food or way of eating because of Lent. I have seen nothing other than food as the common theme of what to give up. Apparently you’re not cool if you don’t cut out everything but water for Lent.

This bothers me for a number of reasons. I just don’t like it when people give things up “for Lent”, when really they don’t even care about Lent and would rather just have an excuse to give something up. So many people just use Lent as an excuse to start dieting, and that’s annoying to me. Just start dieting if you want to start dieting, don’t use Lent as some clever disguise to make it look like you’ll have the willpower to eat only salad for the next forty days. I’d think that you had more willpower if you could just start up trying to eat healthy and lose weight any old day of the week, rather than when it’s convenient to do so. Also, Lent puts an end date on when you’re allowed to give up the diet that you have so graciously started in the name of Jesus, and I’d rather not look at dieting as having an expiration date, but rather look at it from the sense that you should eat better to make yourself feel better and you should do it whenever you damn well please.

I also hate that Lent is literally supposed to be a religious holiday, it isn’t commercialized like Christmas or the other Christian holidays that have lost religious meaning. I know that there are people out there, both young and old, who genuinely give something up for Lent to follow the religion. But, I feel like people now, especially people more my age, are more likely to give something up without even thinking about the reasons why they are giving something up. I’m by no means religious, but to me, it’s like if you’re going to partake in and follow the guidelines of something that pertains to a specific religious event, actually care about what that means. Otherwise, why even bother waiting until Lent to do anything? That’s actually entirely my point. Just fucking go on a juice cleanse if that’s so what your heart desires. Who cares what time of year it is? (Except I don’t encourage going on juice cleanses, food seems to be an important factor in surviving.)

I feel this way about New Year’s resolutions, too. I hate that as a society, we think that we need to have a reason or an excuse to do something, and we can only do these things at certain times of the year. Why bother using that philosophy? If you want to go out and do something, just do it. Don’t try to make a resolution to better yourself and then fail and then tweet about failing at your New Year’s resolution. If you mess up, don’t let it get you down, tomorrow is a new day. That is literally the only time in the entire history of my life I have used a sentence like that and you will never see me be so positive ever again in my life. I think that working for Weight Watchers is really starting to affect me. Being around people who struggle with weight loss on a day to day basis, who start up over and over again on program shows that people do understand that when they want to do something, they should just do it. Fuck having an excuse to, they just get it done. It’s also incredible to see all of the people who have been on program for years, who have been lifetime members for ages, and they don’t just look for a time when it’s convenient to do so.

I get that using Lent or New Year’s or whatever could be argued as a good jumping point to get someone started on their new path in life. Yes, that is true, but I feel like you’re more likely to give something up if there’s an expiration date on it, or once the nostalgia of “it’s the new year, time to make a difference in life!” wears off. If you’re gonna go for something, go for it. And don’t look back. DON’T EVER LOOK BACK.

Also, people need to stop instagramming pictures of salads that are extremely unappetizing. I enjoy a good salad myself, but if you’re going to upload a picture of a few pieces of iceberg lettuce and one tomato, please get out of my newsfeed and actually fall off the planet. I’m not impressed by this salad. That is not a salad. You are going to be hungry in three minutes. Please, feed yourself properly. Thank you.

Ps the title of this post is actually a hashtag that someone on that Buzzfeed link posted to their instagram. Just letting you all know that #catholicproblems exists.

sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

7 Jan

Dear food,

I’m sorry I’m doing this so impersonally, in letter form, rather than over a text message or by having Taylor Swift write a song for me, but we need to break up. We have gone through so much together, it’s like throwing away an entire chunk of my life, leaving behind the one thing I have ever truly loved and that has ever comforted me. But food, me and you, we just haven’t been on the same page recently. The relationship is far too dependent, with me relying on food to cure my every mood swing, and you having no say in the matter. It’s hard when food is your boyfriend, but it’s even harder when you have to say goodbye.

I’ll always remember all that we’ve shared. At my second birthday when I stuffed my face with cake, when I used to eat three breakfasts a day, when my first boyfriend broke up with me and I devoured almost an entire pizza the next day and then three Thanksgiving dinners the day after that, when my grandfather died and the family was bombarded with trays and trays of beautiful assortments of deli meats and doughnuts and everything else imaginable. Food has been both my rebound and my buffer, always there when I need a friend and a hand to hold. But food, as fun as it’s been, it’s also been miserable, and you’ve really taken a toll on my body. It’s not that fun to not be able to fit through doors without greasing up my sides. I’m past the point where I look too fat in jeans so I have to wear leggings; I now look too fat for my leggings. I had to use my inhaler the other night because I ate so much at dinner that I couldn’t breathe normally. That’s really when I knew, that was the moment that it hit me: food, we are in a toxic relationship. And as much as I have loved you as my boyfriend, especially pizza (I think I’ll miss pizza the most), this just needs to end. This tumultuous affair must come to a conclusion. As much as it breaks my heart, my fupa will be more than thrilled to see you go, as I am tired of watching it grow. Seriously, being on fupa control patrol is very time consuming, and there’s only so large a sweater I can wear to try to cover it.

So food, it’s been beautiful, disgusting, horrendous, difficult, upsetting, excessive, and unnecessary. We had our run, but really, it’s time I leave you behind. Of course, I can’t just let you go cold turkey (I would love to eat some cold turkey right now). You are far too tempting and too delicious for me to just ignore, and I know it will take a while to ween myself off of you. But for now, food, at least know that my intentions were pure, and I am trying to drop you as easily as I can. You’ve been there a lot for me for the past twenty two years. And I often think of where I would be had we never met, or had my love for you not grown so strong. My life would probably be infinitely better. But really, I would never give up what we had. Because you are delicious. And I get really bored all of the time and just want to eat.

Xoxo you know you love me,
Gossip Girl

Cue: a mashup of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Trouble”, as both songs describe my feelings toward this breakup.