Ready (I’m praying)

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I know you must get this question twenty times a week, but I really
need help and really mean it – this time: I need to lose weight and
have a history of failing I’ve been overweight my whole life. Actually
family legend is that until I was six I was so skinny that my mother
started feed me milkshakes. This the same woman who said to me
when I got my PhD, “If you’re so smart, how come you’re fat?”!!! For
twenty years she has offered to pay for Weight Watchers if I will go to
meetings. I’ve actually decided to do WW, but online and without her
subsidy even telling her. We live two hours apart, but talk several
times a week. I will see her several times for the end of year holidays
and I want to able to walk in and have her go “Wow!” Okay I’d settle
for a “You look good.” Even a “You look better. It’s about time.” Do
you have any tips for me beyond what the system will provide?

Ready (I’m praying)

Dear Ready:

I’m not getting paid to say this, but Weight Watchers consistently
ranks as among the most effective weight loss programs. It’s not the
fastest but it does help you learn new habits that will help you keep off
the weight you lose. The good news about it is also the bad news: you
can eat virtually anything, as long as you keep track of how much of it
you eat and how much of your daily food budget it uses. That means
you are still vulnerable to bread, cheese, chips, and deserts. One
theory: avoid all the big bad calorie-rich foods. Another: eat only a
little. Most importantly: write down everything you eat, and be honest
about the quantity. One friend who has lost three sizes gave this big
tip: have five snacks available to you at all times: cut up veggies,
hummus, nuts, fruit, etc. No they’re not exciting but they will keep you
on program.

As for your mother, don’t say anything until just before you see her. If
she asks about your weight during a phone call, say you are paying
attention to it. Shortly before you are to get together, say you have
been very conscientiously focused on healthy eating. Be clear that you
are on track, not at goal (because you won’t be by then) and that you
want her support, not her criticism. If she is sarcastic or otherwise
negative, look her in the eye and say very simply and quietly, Please
help me; don’t hurt me. Then excuse yourself for a walk. She’ll think
you’re being overly sensitive and that she’s helping, so a little shaming
is okay if it quiets her. Good luck!