Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So I don’t like beer or Pinkberry, but there’s plenty of food and drinks I do enjoy… maybe too much. Laura Scudder, I’m looking at you… and your delicious all-natural peanut butter.

Which is one of the reasons why I run regularly. And work out. And yeah, watch what I eat. That’s it. There’s no specific system. No Atkins, no South Beach. No exercise videos or appetite suppressants... although seeing anyone stretching in spandex kinda does two jobs at once.

And though I might lose focus for a while, when I set my mind to it, I can get in shape fairly quickly, like when I dropped forty pounds in six months a few years ago. Sure, I slowly put some of it back -- thank you, TV production craft services -- but I can do it all over again.

Yet I’m always finding that as you get older your metabolism changes, as well as your lifestyle. Like, now, sometimes after scarfing down the free pizza lunch at work, and know I should just have a light dinner, I’m faced with a ravenous live-in girlfriend who reminds me that we had plans to go out to our favorite Italian place. When I ask if we can do that another time, Adelphia’ll say, “But I have lots of points leftover for tonight!”

Weight Watchers points.

That’s her thing. That’s how she stays in shape. I count the miles I run each week; she counts her Weight Watchers points.

They’re calculated based on a food’s fiber, calorie and fat content. People get a certain amount of points per day, depending on their age, weight, height, etc., and if they consume exactly the right amount of points, they should lose weight steadily. How do I know all this? ‘Cause I’ve been doing it for the past couple of weeks.

I know -- it’s completely contrary to my decidedly unstructured health non-plan.

But I figured a) my old ways weren’t as quickly effective as they used to be, so I’d try something new; b) Adelphia could use my support; c) she did follow my lead and exercise more frequently; d) her eating habits are infinitely better than mine and it shows; and e) it’s easier to poke fun at something when you understand it better.

And there’s plenty to gripe about with Weight Watchers. It’s turned me into a number-counting numbskull. Can I eat that? How much fiber’s in it? No thanks, no margaritas for me. Gimme the tequila straight. Same amount of alcohol, half the points. And under this plan, I can never enjoy a good dessert. Or Mexican food. Or Chinese!

“Sure you can,” Adelphia said. “But don't scarf down the kung pao and orange chicken like you always do. Have very small portions. Or you can eat all the steamed broccoli and mushrooms you want!”

Yecch. I’d sooner have Pinkberry.

I’ve resisted ranting to my girlfriend about the ridiculous regimen. We have been losing weight. For me, I chalk it up to hitting the gym every other day and running 20-something miles a week, not the 20-something points I’ve consumed regularly each day.

And Adelphia’s so happy I’m working with her at the Weight Watchers. I wanna tell her if I do it my way, I’d still continue to get thinner, and I might get to enjoy grilled beef burritos and Cold Stone Creamery once in a while.

But if I do quit and gain back the weight, I’d have to eat my words. And I don’t know how many points that is.

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