Dieting has been with me my entire life. I don't need New Years or resolutions or a bombardment of ads on TV and radio to convince me I need to lose weight. I've been down this road before. Maybe you have too. When I was a little kid, I went to a place called "The Diet Workshop." They had you buy all their own food, supplements and snacks. I distinctly remember something called rusks, which were a sort-of cinnamon flavored pressboard.
I remember using the Richard Simmons deal-a-meal -- imagine playing Go Fish for your food... You got a certain number of cards to start the day, and when all your cards were dealt, your stomach had to fold for the night. I tried Slim Fast at one time and even the desert plant hoodia, which is supposed to suppress your appetite.
And yes, I've been to Weight Watchers -- several times -- in Sharon, MA where they met at an old church; in Dedham, MA where they met right next to a Papa Gino's pizza; in Downey, CA where they met right next to a Carl's Junior; in Pasadena, CA where they met next to a Baskin Robbins; and now at my job, where they actually meet in the main conference room.
But my biggest success in dieting, was when I just decided enough was enough. It was in high school. I was tired of being picked on. And I decided to handle things on my own. I immediately cut calories and designed my own very low-calorie plan. I proceeded to lose 40 pounds without Jenny, Weight Watchers or decks of cards. And it really changed my life.
It all started with my parents, both overweight, who struggled with weight all their adulthood. My mom tried "Jenny" before it was popular, she was "Sweatin' to the Oldies" with millons of others, and I even remember my parents listening to a CD of ocean waves at one point as they tried to handle their own struggles with weight. And yes, I remember being embarrassed by my parents and the way they looked. No kid ever wants to admit that. But it's true.
Now that I've been a dad for several years, I am reinvigorated to lose weight and to make it stick. Sure, I'd like to live a longer life, but I'd also like to make sure I don't embarrass the kids now that they're getting to an age where it's obvious that they care about what their friends think. You hear that girls? Doing it for me... but also doing it for you.
So excuse me while I eat my egg whites with butter spray, my low-cal Lean Cuisine mass-produced meals and my almond extract ice cream without any cream in it. I'm on my weightwatchjennycraigdietworkshopdealameal plan to lose weight.
**now the confession. I wrote this January last year but never posted it to The Huffington Post. Twelve months later I find I am still struggling with some of the same things.. I am ready to start again. Find me over on Facebook at Dadmissions The Book