I am not fat. Not any more. I didn’t realize I had GOTTEN fat. I just thought that Target had started skimping in their sizing practices. I could deny it no longer the day my husband noted that I had “lumberjack arms.” So I joined Weight Watchers. I lost thirty pounds. Do you think it was EASY? Heck, no. Did I cheat? Hell, yes. Did I learn some things? You can be the judge:

Be stalwart at the Dairy Queen. A small swirl cone is seven WW points. And it can be satisfying. However, it is much MORE satisfying to order that cone, but at the same time, sample as much of your husband’s hot fudge sundae as you can before he gets annoyed with you. This ups your happiness quotient and only adds one or two more points to your daily total.

Beware of Weight Watchers dessert products. They give you GAS. I learned this the hard way by eating them after lunch at work and then observing the anguish of my co-workers….

Exercise, exercise, exercise. I have become addicted to Spinning. Not only does it make you sweat like crazy and burn 600+ calories an hour, but it makes you feel extremely virtuous. If you begin riding an exercise bike for ten minutes a session and keep adding on minutes, within about six months you can take your first Spinning class. Spinning teachers are invariably young, perky, fit, and enthusiastic. By enduring one of their classes, you will feel as if you have climbed Everest and survived. You might also want to slap the instructor. Nevertheless, after taking classes for a few months, you will wonder how you survived without a bike between your legs. If you catch my drift….

Eat the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch. If you limit your consumption at those two meals, you will have enough calories left each day for a satisfying dinner. If by satisfying you mean a piece of chicken, some broccoli, butter spray, and a fist-size helping of rice. However, by doing this, you will still have calories/points left over for the most important nutritional part of the day: DESSERT. As far as I am concerned, the person who invented COOL WHIP FREE deserves the Nobel Prize. Cool Whip Free can make just about anything taste good. I have even considered putting it on a piece of toast, but I haven’t gone quite that far.

Keep busy. They say that if you get hungry, take a walk. I could never do that, due to exhaustion from my Spinning class. What would I do instead? I found that sitting on the sofa and watching people on TV exercise was diverting. And if that didn’t work, I found that shaking my arms wildly about took my mind off my hunger. If you try this, be sure that the curtains are shut. Neighbors witnessing this hunger diversion might jump to erroneous conclusions about your mental health. Another thing that took my mind hunger was arguing with my husband. Nothing makes a dieting wife madder than her husband FLAUNTING forbidden snacks. If I told him once, I told him a hundred times: “IF YOU INSIST ON EATING THOSE MALTED MILK BALLS, DO IT IN THE BASEMENT!”

Curb those spiteful thoughts! It might console you to know that every single dieting woman in the world has wanted to issue death threats to Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman, but these thoughts are simply not productive.

Forgive yourself for transgressions. If I beat myself up for every scoop of Jamocha Almond Fudge that I ate while dieting, I would be in intensive care. If you eat something you shouldn’t, remember that TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY. Tomorrow, however, does come, and you must go back to good habits. This gets easier as time goes on. I said EASIER, not EASY.

Reward yourself for making progress. Food is not a good reward here. For me, the best reward for losing weight was a quick trip to Target, where you can get a really cute purse for very little money! Also at Target are bargain t-shirts and cute pants. But don’t get those, because you will soon need a smaller size!

Stick with it, no matter what. Did you GAIN weight this week? I know the feeling. Did you skip going to the gym? I have done that. Did you binge on thin mint Girl Scout cookies? Done that. Did you have a glass of wine with dinner four nights in a row? Been there. Did you catch a glimpse of yourself in a store window and wonder who that puffy stranger was? Me too. But in spite of all that, I kept at it, and today, when I look in store windows, I no longer see that puffy woman.

I see a thin OLD woman!

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