to wOn Point

On Plan

OP

When I was losing weight on Weight Watchers, I would live on the on-line message boards. And the initials mean On Point or On Plan, meaning, I’m following my points plan exactly as prescribed.

And for a while, with the help of Metabolife, Diet Coke, and a constant obsession with my next meal, I was able to stay OP and lost a significant amount of weight. When you’re in your 20s, large calorie deficits can do that….at least initially.

But then metabolisms slow, diet pills are pulled from the shelves and all of the Diet Coke-created bathroom breaks start to become a problem. But the main thing is that life gets in the way.

Because I had lost the weight by being OP, I was so afraid of what would happen if I wasn’t OP. Restaurants, a date suggesting an appetizer or a shared meal, vacations, work trips, dinner parties, road trips, pool parties, and pretty much anything social started to scare me. If I didn’t know the exact nutritional value of a food made available, how would I manage?

I managed. I managed by socially isolating myself and, in situations when I was socializing, not enjoying myself or the people around me. 

I still remember once going to a boyfriend’s apartment for dinner and bringing my own Lean Cuisine dinner to cook because I wanted to stay OP. I also remember pouring my wine into a measuring glass first to know whether I was having 3 or 4 points of pre-allotted points.

Yeah, I did that. I was such a catch. 

On the one hand, I wanted to go to the parties, to be invited along, and to get dates. On the other hand, I started to find strange comfort in spending weekends and nights at home where I could manage my food intake and nutritional calculation as well as spend extra time in my exercise endeavors. And so I started doing a lot of that—staying home. I spent weekends at home or going into the office to work alone. I started making excuses, saying I was busy. 

And then there was the exercise. Being alone meant I could work out more. Living alone meant I could work out morning and night and extra hours on the weekend without causing a raised eyebrow. If I did go out on a Friday night, I started to learn that I could just make Saturday an ‘exercise-and OP-priority’ day to make up for the extra calories. My thoughts were that being alone allowed me to stay OP and being OP meant I could maintain my weight loss.

That was the thought that kept me alone…..for years. 

It was strange how the motivation to lose the weight in the first place—to gain social acceptance and romantic love—was now the thing causing me fear in gaining the weight back and what I found myself avoiding.

I was creating my results with my thoughts. 

And it wasn’t a result that I really wanted.

When you lose weight by being OP and calculated caloric deficits, what happens when life prevents those exact calculations, measures, and strict adherence? What happens when life prevents the double extra cardio session to burn off the calories?

That was the question that I avoided for almost a decade by …. avoiding life.

The fear of gaining weight by dating a guy, moving in with the guy, having a baby or two, taking trips…it was there.  And I’m not going to pretend there was a light-bulb moment when I just woke up and said no more. It took time. It took self-love.  It took patience.  But I learned.

I learned how to live life OFF plan. And I didn’t even gain weight. The big scary thing didn’t happen 

It’s completely possible and it’s beautiful.

Even if you lost weight by counting or calculating, over-doing the workouts a bit, or whatever, I get it. I know how scary it is to stop. But it’s worth it.

This is what I teach my clients.

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