Making Molehills Out of a Mountain

By Adam Kraemer

Okay, I admit it. Sometimes the thought of fully following the Weight Watchers plan can seem overwhelming. Tracking everything you eat and every activity you do. Weighing all your food before you cook a meal. Asking for a to-go container for half your food before you even start eating at a restaurant. Reading my overly long blog entries.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way. While I imagine the fine people at Weight Watchers generally aren’t entirely thrilled about a comparison with Alcoholics Anonymous (except in that they both have double initials), I was recently reminded by a friend of mine, who joined the latter, of a very good mantra they offer — one day at a time. (Side note: My friend is currently living in Israel, so every time she mentions AA, I suggest she call it Alef-Alef. Trust me, that’s funny.) Weight Watchers, too, can be taken one day at a time, or — dare I say it — one meal at a time.

I know very often my entries tend to focus on the big picture — keeping motivated, planning ahead, tracking, etc. However, sometimes it’s not about the big picture. Sometimes it’s about the small decisions you make. For example (and here’s where I’m going with this, in case you were wondering), what I did for dinner tonight was just two examples of the right option. No big deal.

Here’s the basic situation — I was sitting at home with $12 in my wallet and nothing in the fridge that I wanted to make for dinner. First set of decisions — fast food or real food. Because one can purchase a pretty decent meal with $12 and there are at least five fast-food places near my apartment. Six, if you count Subway, which I don’t really, though I used to work at a job that did. We wrote multiple-choice questions for market research and our comparison group for fast food was McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Subway. I felt like we were part of those old Sesame Street sketches — “One of these things is not like the other….”

Okay, I so digressed there. True story, though.

Anyway, nearby fast food or go to the supermarket. Small choice — supermarket; $12 can also buy a much healthier, albeit inexpensive dinner (potentially more than one if there are leftovers). At least it can at my local grocery. Well, I was hoping it could, anyway.

Judgment call #2: Drive there or walk there. You know what? It’s four blocks away. Given, they’re long blocks, but still. I can see the shopping center from my apartment. Ironically, both McDonald’s and Jack In The Box are situated along the way, but since I’d already opted to eschew fast food, those were both out. And the drive is easy. Finding parking isn’t always a joy, but the upside would be that I don’t have to carry a bag of groceries home again. That said, I decided upon having that very thought that if walking four blocks with a bag of groceries was a deal-breaker, I should really examine my priorities.

So I (obviously) walked. And that’s it. Two decisions — not opting for fast food or a fast car (though Tracy Chapman did go to my college). And I was right about the $12, too. Actually, the food total came to $11.97, believe it or not. I got mock lobster (that’s not a typo), a Weight Watchers pasta thing, a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke, thin-sliced ham (that’s actually for breakfast; I was out of ham), and even had enough for a new Weight Watchers dessert I’d never seen before (check out the Coffee Cake with Greek Yogurt: Blueberry, by the way. Definitely a 1 on the Kraemer binary scale. They also have apple). And then I walked home. Not sure that I had to include that last part in the narrative. Or this sentence, either.

And you know what? I felt good about myself. I was sticking to plan. I got some walking in. I made a healthy dinner reasonably low in SmartPoints® values. It was easy. It wasn’t some life-altering change. It was two choices to make about a single meal on an unimportant day. And if you (and I) just take them one meal at a time, I think you’ll find they can all be like that. Unless you’re an intrepid explorer and you and your crew are visiting an indigenous people for whom refusing food is an insult punishable by death. But you probably earned enough FitPoints® intrepidly exploring, so you can eat that big meal if it means saving the lives of everyone with you.

But otherwise, that first thing I said.

Talk to you soon.

Follow Adam on Connect @adam.k. 

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