January 24, 2014

Week 3 - defeating the app

Diets make you into a liar. Have you ever noticed this or is it just me? Maybe a lier is too strong a word, but for sure they turn you into a conniving person. I mean, I like to think of myself as a generally honest and law abiding person, and though it is true that I might evade a question or go with "refraining from telling is not the same as lying", or "white lies are to make people feel better, so it's not technically lying" I would never lie to a direct question. And here I was this week trying to lie to an app. An iPhone app has turned me into a lier. The Weight Watchers have bested me. How? With one MilkyWay.
Yes, all it took was one MilkyWay for me to lose any shred of self respect and self esteem I still possessed, and turn me into an obsessed backbone-less creature who only had one thought in its tiny brain - Need chocolate. Now. What's the problem? you are probably wondering, like any sane person would. Well, a fun size MilkyWay weighs 17 grams. I had a full size one, that weighs 22. A fun size one is 2 points, while a full size one is 3 points. And all I was willing to give that MilkyWay were 2 points. This is when I learned the important rule of WeightWatcher -a point is a point, but it has a range of weights. Because apparently while it is true that a fun size one is 2 points, it is still 2 points all the way to 21g. And mine weighed 22g. Yes, I stood there with a knife and a scale, and cut off 1g of MilkyWay, and yes I did feel as stupid as it sounds. Do you know how big 1g of MilkyWay is? it's a crumb. It's like a tiny breadcrumb. And you know what is even sadder than a grown woman cutting off deliberately a breadcrumb size MilkyWay? The fact that I don't even like MilkyWay.
So you know what is the first rule of WeightWatcher? Tricking the app. It's like a game of cat and mouse. Or actually a contest to see who can annoy the other more. One piece of bread is 1 point. 2 pieces are 3 points. The app won. But if you want those two pieces and don't want to "pay" more points for spreading them, use 3g of butter on the first, and 3 of soft cheese on the other - 0 points. You win.
Want more than one biscuit to go with your afternoon coffee? Just eat two different ones. why? Because biscuits (WeightWatchers one) are 2 points each. But, if you eat 2 of the same kind, it's 5 points and not 4. So you just eat 2 different ones, and viola! 4 points. Take that app!
Yes, diets make you into a liar, and also somewhat of a crazy person. It's the embracing the crazy that's important.
Maybe that should be the first rule of any diet - embrace the crazy. Diets, after all are filled with ups and down, lows and highs, good days and bad days. I tell you what it is not filled with - easy days. In no day do you go around saying, hey! I did not notice that I ate meals the size of a pea, or that I just finished my fourth day in a row of exercising, or that I am so filled with fruits I am starting to resemble a pineapple. You would think that week 3 would be easier for me, after all I've finished the "cleanse" stage, I've established the exercise, I have discovered how to beat the app at its own game. But the truth is it has been the toughest week yet.
And not even because of the diet. It's the post. I am not a friend of my mailbox on the best of times, it glares at me every time I leave the house and I feel compelled to check what's inside every time I pass it. Every single time. It means on the way out and on the way back in. I check my mailbox about 8 times a day. In return it has never brought me anything but grief. Actually, that is not completely true, I got one birthday card and one Christmas card last year. This week however it brought me 10 letters about Yon. 10 letters with appointments, groups, benefits, referrals, advice... Every day there were 2 new letters. 2 new disability related problems to deal with. 2 new pieces of paper I have no idea what to do with.  When you have a Special child you get used to the doctors, the appointments, the endless need to keep one eye open. But because Yon's condition is static, because we are doing everything through the school and the hospital and apparently because our case "got lost somewhere" we don't usually get too many letters, and we never get any letters we don't know about in advance and are prepared for. And even then I have to admit I don't react well. 10 letters I wasn't expecting, one phone call and a chat in school amounts to the kind of pressure that usually can only be solved in one way - food. Oh, who am I kidding. Chocolate.
Trying to solve this letter crisis without resorting to food led to no sleep which contributed to general annoyance and bitchiness.
So on Tuesday, after the fifth letter came in the post, telling me to expect a phone call from someone at the council regarding our benefits entitlement (I had no idea we had any benefit entitlement. I still don't think we have any), I felt I can't take it anymore.
I ordered a pizza. A large vegetarian Papa John's pizza. Just for me.
This week I ate 3 MilkyWays, half a jar of Dulce de Leche and a whole pizza.
So I did the only thing possible. I got a haircut, because what does it matter where the weight comes off from? But as it turns out, hair doesn't weigh very much, even after you've neglected it for about 4 months. Not even a hundred grams.
So I employed a personal keeper. You know how people with eating issues never eat in public? Well, that's me. If there is someone around I am the model of good eating habits, but leave me in the house alone? That is where my true colours are revealed. But I have a secret weapon - Ron. He likes numbers, and patterns, and calculations, and feeling like he is in charge. And every day from the moment I pick him up from school, he's been checking me - how many points is that? and this? How many do you have left? why aren't you eating this? why are you eating that?
Darn that need to communicate with my children and looking at everything as a teachable moment for life.
This week's diet lesson - must learn how to lie to kids.

Wobbles Wednesday

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