Falling — Well, Crashing — Off the Weight Watcher’s Wagon

In to every diet a little dip must fall, and no — I’m not referring to French onion sour cream dip either. This is probably the most difficult time of the year to stay the course, but I’m learning it can be done.

Did any of you hear the huge THUD two weeks ago all across South County lines?  In case you were worried that it was a mini earthquake or a revolting explosion, worry not - It was just yours truly hitting the ground with a 154 pound CLUNK!

Only three days after Halloween, I did the unthinkable. I fell off the Weight Watcher’s wagon and landed plump on my head!


I’ve learned so much in the eight weeks I’ve been a faithful prophet of Weight Watchers — basically, thou is human, setbacks are going to happen.

When a person joins forces with a plan to lose weight, the first few weeks are golden. The motivation is high, the thoughts of cheating are nowhere to be found, and the simple visualization of one’s self being several sizes smaller is all that it takes to pass on the Doritos and reach for the celery stalks instead.

Jump ahead a month or so, and my, how things do change.

After weeks of staying the course, eating only a healthy portion of the 29 allotted Weight Watcher’s daily points, and exercising like a dickens five times a week, it’s easy to become dismayed when the total pounds lost on the scale are a scant five or six measly pounds.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Still, my rational self remembers the pep talk from the first week I joined on — losing a pound a week is a healthy goal and something you should be proud of.

Let’s fast forward to Monday, October 31st — that would be Halloween — and all bets are off.

I was completely disgusted by the pillow sacks of candy my kids came home with and snickered at the “Snickers” strewn all over the kitchen island at 8:48 pm that evening. 

“Make sure you only eat a few pieces a day,” I advised to my candy loving children.  “Of course, Mom, we’d never eat more than that!”

The day following Halloween was a piece of low-fat cake.  I smirked at the bags of candy hidden all over our house and beamed when I looked at myself in the mirror.  This year, I would not fall prey to a few lousy Reese’s Peanut Butter cups or handfuls of miniature Milky Way or Almond Joy bars.  (Let’s face it, how many kids do you know that won’t part with a Mounds or Almond Joy bar?)

Day two was not quite as easy, but still, I had a handle on it.  I have my 30th high school class reunion coming up in July and there is no way I’m going to walk in with an extra six-pack or a jiggly triple chin!

Day four — I’m not finding it quite as easy as I did two days ago.  I can actually smell the chocolate wafting through the wrappers and the pillow cases that are hidden in various locations throughout the house.  “It’s not fair,” I bellow out the front door to my neighbors.

One week past Halloween and counting and though I think I’m over the hump, I discover a horrible reality — I’m weaker than I thought.  You see, my Kindergartener dumped her candy out on her bed right before school and never put it back in the bag. 

When I walked into her room to gather the dirty laundry, there it was — a choir of sweets like I hadn’t seen in forever!  Hershey bars, M & M peanuts, Musketeer bars, banana laffy taffy, Sugar Babies, Nestle Crunch bars, Baby Ruth’s and zillions of mini peanut butter cups. 

I was in Cheater’s Hell and I didn’t care one little bit. 

I did the only logical thing—poured myself 10 ounce glass of ice cold milk and grabbed a handful of goods for — GASP — breakfast!

The shame I felt was somewhat in comparison to the time I ate two gallons of Baskin Robbin’s Prailines and Cream all by myself, but told the rest of the family that one gallon had been left behind in the car and melted!  Pathetic!

And that’s when I heard it — the astounding CRASH of my disciplined efforts over the past six weeks FALLING off my sacred Weight Watcher’s Wagon.

The following day, green from overeating chocolate, I looked myself in the mirror and forgave myself for this very weak day that took away my self-control and left me feeling not only guilty but absolutely disgusted with myself as a person with such important health goals.

By lunchtime that day, I was back on track, eating a healthy grilled chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette and low-fat milk. 

Moving on to dinner time, I had really pulled out all the stops and patted myself on the back (still full of extra rolls) in appreciation for pulling my still too-heavy self back on my shiny red wagon and getting back on the wagon to the healthy lifestyle I promised myself two months ago.

Last year, I probably would’ve laid in a lump on the ground had such a thing happened, but this year, I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I remembered, and the eight pounds I’ve lost so far are a reminder that I am the only one in control over every aspect of my life, including the eight pounds I've already lost in my quest to lose 25!

Jane Couto November 15, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Good for you, Cheryl! We have all slipped a little (or, in my case, a lot!) on our diets! OK, now I don't feel *so* badly about that pumpkin spice cupcake I had for lunch. Back on the wagon for dinner tonight!
April Wilson November 16, 2011 at 01:14 PM
Hang in there, girl - I love your story and your writing style. Just keep on keepin' on. You'll get to your goal. :)
Cheryl Butler November 17, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Thanks, April! Much appreciated. Keep moving forward, right? Jane--thank you! The positive feedback is such incentive!!!! :) Happy Thanksgiving to both of you!


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