A few years ago, I vowed that I’d never spend another dime on weight loss again.
I’m a sucker for every program, promise, system, cookbook and video. I am a self-proclaimed dietologist, which in my definition means someone who is an expert in every single diet plan there is.
I was frankly tired of giving money to gurus when the bottom line is this: everyone is different, and everyone’s health journey is their own.
Then I saw Oprah at the Golden Globes this year, and I thought, hot dang woman!
Oprah is a stockholder, board member and the spokesperson for Weight Watchers. She’s also Oprah.
I’ve spent the last year adhering to a more or less, Paleo Diet. That means you eat ethically sourced meat, veggies, fruits, nuts and eggs. Pretty much everything else is a no. Now I wasn’t religious about it, I had the occasional potato or wedge of cheese, so I was more Paleo adjacent.
Paleo fits into my belief that the quality of food is the most important thing. In other words, a “light” cookie is worse for you than an apple even if the calorie count is the same.
Another important tent pole of my commitment to health and Paleo was just that, health. I used to count calories, carbs, fat or whatever based on the idea that eventually I’d be a size 6. But that’s the motivation of a younger person. When you go to the doctor, and she says your blood pressure is an issue, you rethink what’s more important, being smoking hot? Or avoiding a stroke. Tough choice, right?
So back to Paleo, I was convinced that if I adhered to it, I’d get where I wanted to go. Except then the car stalled. After a nice bit of progress toward better health, I was parked stubbornly on the dreaded plateau. My blood pressure was still high. No matter how much cheese I said no to.
Then I saw Oprah. She’s not skinny, she’s not fat, she’s just right. I wanted that, to find my happy weight.
So I went back to Weight Watchers. This means stepping on a scale in front of another human and worse, paying money.
For me, right now, that’s what I need. No matter how clean I eat, I still eat more than I should to sustain a healthy blood pressure. Stepping on a scale in front of another human and paying to do it, well, that’s all the motivation I need! Sure, health, support, rewards for success — that’s all a part of the puzzle to find a healthy balance. But paying to gain weight? Something about that keeps me tracking points, pushing away second helping and searching for tasty vegetables.
I’m still Paleo, I still believe the quality of the food you eat directly impacts the quality of your life. But for me, ignoring portions just doesn’t work. For me, distinct parameters, verifiable accountability and support from friends does. Slowly.
So, if you see me at your Weight Watchers meeting, come say hi. I’m the work in progress in the aisle motivated by health and probably having a hot flash. Because these days that’s my definition of smoking hot.
This column was originally printed in the Monroe News.