Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cheating the System?

I am trying not to be psycho.

Every day, I find myself aspiring to undercut my points. I take a strange pride in being able to exist on less than 22 points (roughly less than 1100 calories a day). I try to outsmart hunger in any way I can--voluminous low point foods, cigarettes, countless diet cokes. Social events are more difficult than ever, as I feel self-conscious turning down food and alcohol that the former Katie wouldn't have thought twice about accepting.

Lately, this strategy has been failing. I simply lack the self-discipline to ALWAYS turn down food, alcohol, and ice cream (a separate category, if you ask me). And the scale is reflecting this weakness. Last week, I weighed in at 159.5 and this morning I weighed in at the same weight, 159.5. And it will probably be worse tomorrow since I indulged in a huge stir fry tonight (green pepper, mushrooms, pinto beans, and chicken--5 points of goodness) and a skinny cow ice cream sandwich. Notice, how I said indulged? Of course, that stir fry and ice cream fit into my 22 point day. But for some reason, I wanted to eat 2o instead of 22.

People say that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Well, I might have to take issue with that. My mom's homemade lasagna, cheesy and crisp from the oven. tasted pretty damn good. As did the homemade ice cream cake that I ate at my brother's graduation. The crust was simple goodness--crunched Milano cookies and butter--and the ice cream, Breyer's vanilla with chocolate chips--was pure joy.

So here it is, hard and simple, I am unwilling to starve myself to get skinny. I am unwilling to deprive myself of the foods and drinks I love in order to get to a certain ideal weight (ideal for whom?). But there has to be a way to achieve both. I look at my skinny sisters, with similar genetics as me, and watch as they strike a balance between indulging and restricting. They eat cake and wear bikinis. If they can do it, so can I.

I have to keep reminding myself that I did not reach 240 pounds by eating normally. Back then, I ate with utter abandon, hardly tasting the foods I consumed in quantities that made me feel sick to my stomach. I remember not even liking a lot of the junk I was eating. I ate because it was there. I ate because it was habit. That is not the case anymore.

Whenever I feel like my diet is out of whack, all I ever have to do is ask myself: Are you following the plan as Weight Watchers intended it? And the answer is always no. These past few weeks, I have tried to undercut the plan, and lose weight more rapidly than the plan allows. But, as usual Weight Watchers designed the plan as it is for a reason. They allotted the minimum number of points because your body needs that number of points to function. And they give out weekly points because it's no fun to have to turn down every homemade dessert and glass of wine.

So, my goal this coming week is to follow the plan as written. I will make sure to get my 22 points and I will use my WPs freely to avoid feeling deprived. I will get to goal. And if it takes a little longer to lose this last ten pounds, so be it. I want to stay thin for the rest of my life. I don't want to turn around and gain the weight right back.

Do you ever feel like you try to "cheat" the system? And do you ever feel irrationally guilty for being full or eating the maximum of your points?


  1. I don't do WW, but I count calories. I find that sometimes I'm all proud of myself for netting some low amount of calories on hard workout days (like a 3 hour bike ride + 4500m swimming)...but then, two days later, my liver is like "GIMME GLYCOGEN NOW." I guess as long as you aren't forcing it long term, it's not a big deal. Some days you go under, some days over. But going under long term isn't sustainable - as you noted.

  2. I had the opposite problem towards the end of WW, I would try to eat MORE and see if I could get away with it!

    And sometimes, I could. But only because I was really okay with tiny losses, as long as I was still losing. :-)

    I've had the undercutting issues in the past, but I took that to the EXTREME and developed anorexia... so I don't recommend trying to eat LESS than the minimum.

    I'm so glad that you've realized this and are going to allow yourself to eat at least the minimum. The weeklies were the only thing that made WW liveable for me. I think that there may have been one week in my entire 2 years on WW that I didn't eat all of my weeklies... no weeks that I didn't eat ANY.

    You're doing so great, Katie!

  3. Hey, I just found your blog. Good luck!

    When I dont eat enough for a while it tends to backfire and I have an huge binge. Try to eat enough healthy foods!