Ramblings from the empty nest: Sweet songs of temptation

I am a big Weight Watchers fan. And, no, this isn’t a commercial for the program; I’d prefer to think of it as an investigation of how the program and I are getting along. It was 11 years ago that I decided that it was time that I allowed the thinner me to emerge and so, with urgings from a friend who attended an “at work” WW meeting, I began a journey that culminated in a 115 lbs. weight loss. Not bad. Actually, not bad at all.

To say that I felt wonderful would have been to underestimate how absolutely fabulous I felt. I had boundless energy, less stress, a social life, a closet with clothes that fit and a renewed clarity about eating. Read the last to mean that food was not my best friend, my panacea, my savior. I had learned that food was fuel, that I was responsible for my choices. That worked for six years, through serious illness, my daughter’s wedding, numerous job related challenges, invasions of Japanese beetles… and then…

Bit by bit, I began to forget. There were sweet voices calling my name. There were siren songs from cookies and if it wasn’t cookies or cake or pie, it was ice cream and crackers. These and other maleficent foodstuffs became the mortar of my day filling in the cracks that came about with stress and with boredom. It’s amazing how the latter demands attention from caloric items. There is nothing like chocolate to assuage an unplanned moment, a lonely hour.

Remember all of those clothes that fit? They don’t anymore. Without clothing that is appropriate, who wants to go out? Napping has become a hobby and my doctor has gently told me that losing a few pounds would be a good idea. So, I signed up again and began with a whopping 7 lbs. loss the first week, a loss that has been whittled down by my enthusiastic celebration of Christmas. It’s not that I didn’t plan for Christmas. I did. I made daily menus for me, sensible point appropriate menus that even included a cookie or two. But who am I kidding. A cookie or two? Who can eat a cookie or two? Sure there are people with defective genes who eschew such madness, but I am not one of them. Cookies and cakes and pies and puddings and ham and mashed potatoes and chocolate candy (a gift from my son) have outflanked my plans. I even made a sinful plum pudding (suet pudding) with my beloved grandmother’s recipe and enjoyed it, not to mention the frozen cheesecake slices in the freezer. Did you know that freezing cheesecake makes it taste like ice cream?

Tomorrow I return to my WW meeting mollified and determined to start over. I’ve been spending 40 minutes in two 20-minute shifts on the exercise bike each day for the last week. The fridge is still full of evil things for which I am contemplating disposal that excludes my eating them. I guess that I can freeze what is left of the plum pudding and serve it slowly to guests with a whiskey sauce while I have some point friendly fruit. I guess. Keep me in your prayers. The learning curve is steep.

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