As this weekend approached,I thought about ordering my weekend a bit differently. In past weekends, I planned travel or other things to do. The prior two weekends I had visited two different parts of southern Oklahoma. This weekend, though, I decided to arrange things so that I made sure that I accomplished two things. One was to attend a church service this morning.
The second was to resume attendance at Weight Watchers.
I first went to Weight Watchers in May of 2005. I was driven to go after I saw pictures of me taken during a trip to Grand Bahama. My image looked so obese as to be unhealthy. I had gained lots of pounds between 2000 and 2005. So I swallowed my pride and went to Weight Watchers. My first trip there was wildly successful. I lost over 78 pounds, and achieved “lifetime” status. It took a couple of years of steady work.
After attending for roughly the better part of a year as a lifetime member, I stopped going each Sunday. I kept eating healthy for some months. Then I backslid.
By March of 2011, I had regained roughly 57% of the weight I had lost. The return to Weight Watchers resulted in steady weight loss. By the end of 2011,
I had lost a substantial amount. I expressed to others that I realized that Weight Watchers is for me a substitute for a 12-step program, and I was going to keep going,basically, for life. Things worked out differently.
I had surgery to remove something benign at the end of December 2011. Over the next several months I lost more weight, until I again reached goal weight. After an impressive early weight loss, I had “finished” the job through less healthy weight loss. I stopped going to Weight Watchers because this less happy time meant that my weight loss seemed less an achievement than a hassle. I had a number of stressors, not least of which was a feeling of poor health and the sense that something undiagnosed was wreaking havoc.
I came out of a difficult time after having some specialists look at me and find nothing remarkable. In theory, my procedure should have had only weeks of ill effect,but I was not myself. A small change,though, apparently made a big difference.
Whether it was literally the difference or merely a part of a bigger picture, the turning point was when the doctor took me off my blood pressure medicine. I suddenly improved. This step immediately ended brief moments of faintness that I now attribute to low blood pressure. The benign growth that was removed had not been removed because of much fear of cancer. It was removed because it was emitting a substance called aldosterone. This substance drove my blood pressure up. So over ten years after I developed high blood pressure, I learned that its cause was not obesity but instead a growth which emitted a potassium-affecting substance. The surgery cured my high blood pressure. I now have normal readings. I have not felt ill from all that since late last Summer. It has been like day differs from night.
Summer of 2012 and the early winter of 2013, I re-discovered the office candy dish. Each time I had a stressful day, I would end it eating those little bite-sized Halloween candies we keep for clients and guests. Soon I had gained substantial weight.
I saw a picture taken by my brother during a mini-golf outing several weeks ago. I looked like a beached whale. Clothes stopped fitting well. I realized that my weight is no longer healthy. I cut out the candy dish, and lost weight. I am about six pounds lighter than I was in April.
Today, though, I returned to Weight Watchers. It has a new location, as the old site has closed down. I weighed in. I was less heavy than I had been when I returned to Weight Watchers the first time, and much lighter than at the time of my initial visit to Weight Watchers. But I was much heavier than I had been only a year ago.
The meeting was in a comfortable but bare new meeting place, with a small attendance (as is usual in the Summer). I knew nobody there,but it felt like home to be there. Perhaps it is my 12-step surrogate, a necessary virtue or a necessary evil, depending on one’s perspective.
After the meeting, I bought the latest version of the books that tell me how many points all sorts of food items involve. I was pleased to see that Dickey’s BBQ is now listed in the book. I can eat within my plan there. Subway Sandwich shop was my lunch location. It is another place that is easy to fit with Weight Watchers.
I drove home. When I passed Suncreek UMC, which I visit some Sundays, I saw a sign that told me that a preacher I liked was on his last Sunday. This happens with Methodist preachers, who go from church to church. I looked up later that he is going to Coppell, in our metroplex but a good ways away.
I lined up a guest for a future episode of my cloudcast. In the late afternoon, I took a ride on my bicycle. I rode through Glendover Park to small Green Park. I can get there without going on any main roads. I saw a rabbit, mockingbirds, and a blue jay. I watched a little songbird chase a small hawk. Later, I saw the hawk--a Cooper’s or a sharp-shinned, unsuccessfully chase a small bird. The small bird did a turn maneuver to open up a safe escape distance.
As I pedaled home, I saw an eastern bluebird on the fence in Glendover Park. I stopped and took a number of pictures. Now I am watching “Inspector Lewis” and wondering how long it will take to lose 12 pounds,while simultaneously being ready for dinner.