Friday, February 19, 2010

The Mendoza Line

Weight loss is such a numbers game; we get so fixated on that bottom line...that Mendoza line.  Everybody has one. It's that line in the sand that we dare not cross. To be factually correct, it's a baseball term that was made famous by George Brett back in the early eighties. Brett played for the Kansas City Royals and made the comment, "The first thing I look for in the Sunday papers is who is below the Mendoza line." It was in reference to the fact that Mario Mendoza was the last listed player who's batting average was at .200. If your a fan of the sport you know anyone batting at or near that number won't be playing in the big leagues for much longer. My Mendoza Line, coincidently, is 200...200 lbs that is. It is the weight that I strive to maintain.  According to certain publications for my height (5'11" and some change) and age 46, I should weigh somewhere near the ballpark of 179 lbs.  Man, for a guy that was sporting 280 lbs. on that very same frame a short while a go, there aint no way in hell I'll ever see 179 lbs.  Yes, I want to lose weight and have a healthier lifesyle, but somewhere in this equation you have to ENJOY life.

The last time I posted I ended by telling you how disgustingly fat I looked on the beaches of Normandy. It wasn't like it had dawned on me that my weight was getting out of control...I mean, how hard was it for me to notice the jeans I was wearing were specially purchased from Omar the Tent Maker in a size 44" waist? Or, that my shirts were XXL and sometimes XXXL...oh, I knew all right.  Seriously, when you can't physically lean over and clip your own toe nails without having an anyuerism, then your a "Fat Bastard." Anyways, my lovely wife had already decided to "grab the bull by the horns" so to speak, and enrolled herself in the Weight Watchers program. She had been doing this several times during the course of our marriage and in her opinion it was what worked best for her.

Knowing this, I decided what better way to support her and kick start my own weight loss than being on the program myself...right?  There are those moments in your life when you look back and say, "what the hell was I thinking?"  Now, as a guy I wanted to support my wife but this "dred feeling of the unknown" kept washing over me as she explained in  horrific detail what it was I had to do exactly.  Count points?  Weekly Weigh-ins in front of God and Country?  Oh...and those dreaded meetings where you listen to a bunch of women squak about their problems...please, somebody push me into oncoming traffic, now!

So, I found a meeting and decided to take my fat ass down there and get this over with...we decided it would be best if we didn't go to the same ones...and I found one that met at lunch on Tuesdays.  I had already made up my mind after listening to Claudia talk about Weight Watchers that this may not be the best avenue of approach for me.  It was a 15 minute walk from work... at of all places...The YWCA.  Great, more women around to make me even more subconscience and nervous.

I was heavy and knew it but your first weigh-in your hoping the scales are wrong.  Mind you, these are calibrated and balanced digital scales with Swiss watch precision; I step onto one and the lady recording my info looks at her readout, which you can't see, then she stares at you with that "Christ, this guy is fat!" look, and stands up and says, "excuse me, I'll be right back. " So I'm stuck there with that "I'm too gargantuan for Weight Watchers" feeling and she returns in a couple of minutes with the Group facilator, Theresa.  She introduces herself and starts in with her new person routine...I instantly cut her off...I wasn't trying to be rude and it may have appeared that way but I wanted to know what the damn scale read!  I said, "Before we go any further, could someone tell me what I weigh?"  She said, "of course Mark, your starting weight is 275.4 lbs."  I looked at her a little puzzled and said, "275, are you positive?"  "Yes," was her response, but you could tell she had been asked that a hundred times in her role as a facilator and her look was like, "No, idiot, I only told you 275, to mess with your mind!" 

I was estatic, somewhere between my walk from work to the meeting place I had lost five pounds.  Not really, wishful thinking on my part, but I wasn't as heavy as I had initially thought and it was just the little mind trick to re-think this whole Weight Watcher  program.  I stayed for the meeting, got enrolled and left with a better attitude.  Was the meeting what I thought it was going to be?  Yes and no.  Yes, there were way more women than men (2 of us to be exact) and plenty of folks just happy as hell to tell eveyone how they lost half a pound, followed by everyone golf clapping their support of their success.  I was going to have problems going forward talking about weight loss in front of all these women and with that stupid clapping.  I got a sense from Theresa though, as she led the meeting that this wasn't going to be like an "AA" meeting, where you confess your sins, "Hi, I'm Mark and I have a slight weight problem," yes, you have some rah, rah cheerleading stuff going on, but Theresa was more about putting out information and keeping you in line with the program.  I could deal with that and besides it was my little secret for now...I wasn't exactly going to be at the bar telling all my buddies that I just joined WW.

So, there it start.  I think next time around we'll start assigning some blame for my weight gain.  Seriously, did you really think I was going to take responsibilty for my own actions?  Noooo...there are way too many people in my life to fall on that sword.  Til next time.

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