Wednesday, 6 October 2010
I've abstained for around 14 years but last night I gave in. I went to... a slimming club.
I am so annoyed at myself. Slimming clubs are great for some people and offer the guidance and support that sees them have incredible results. I'm fiercely competitive and independent and I was all smug at the fact I'd lost almost 3 stone on my own and had gotten somewhat of a handle on my love handles.
Yeah, Love Cat - you lost that 3 stone about 5 years ago! Since that time you've put on a stone and then yo yo yo yo yo yo'd up and down the same stone and a half more times on top of that than Marjorie Dawes has offered her fat fighters some dust.
The truth is that I've lost my way I need a plan. My usual plan ain't working for me and so I need to swallow my pride and man up....
There are very few Slimming World classes near where I live but as luck would have it there is one just a few miles away. As I walked in to the building I suspected it would be just as I remembered the classes were that I attended when I was 16. I wasn't wrong.
Before I go on to describe my experience let me just say, I like the diet (or healthy eating plan - whatevs). It's the people and the mentality I have issues with. And I will freely admit many of those issues come from the fact I am a bit of snob. There- I've said it. I have high standards and a low tolerance threshold - not the idea combo for putting up with some people. Well, most people.
I get a really warm welcome from the class leader, a chubby lady called Lucy. She shows me to the back of the class where there are another couple of new people. As we're filling out our forms another new member arrives called Sue. I take one glance at Sue - she's not the fizziest drink in the fridge by a long stretch of the imagination.
Sue is unable to register volume as whenever she speaks... well, she bellows. Sue has also forgotten her glasses and can't see the form to fill it in. Lucy has to ask her each bit of information one bit by one painstaking bit and fills it in for her.
Finally Lucy sits down with us and talks us through how it all works. I actually went to Slimming World when i was about 16 and so had rough idea of the drill - and my friend who goes to another class had let me read all through her stuff at the weekend. Lucy is maybe halfway through explaining what each bit of literature is about when Sue pipes up at a deafening level. "That's me problem - I just sit in the evening and it's crisps and chocolate and its me sun ah feel sorry for. You know".
What?! What the hell does that have to do with anything that Lucy is saying at this moment in time? Lucy is very good with her and chats with her for a moment about the fact eating in the evening can be a struggle for many. I could not care less- apart from the fact my ears are bleeding. Can we just get on with it, I think to myself and I'm sure my face says the same.
At the end of the explanation (which leaves me itching to get home so I can get my head around superfree foods, free foods, healthy extras, syns and all the rest of the malarkey). We join the rest of the group who have all weighed in. There is an express weigh in so you can just weigh and go without waiting for the class. I can forsee this being my lifeline in the near future. However, for the moment I stay for the class.
Any slimming classes/clubs I've been to before involved the class leader facilitating discussion about why we put on weight, the struggles that we face etc. Sounds fine in theory but in practise I find it really patronising. I recall one occasion where we were going through the alphabet naming an feeling or emotion that would hinder our efforts to lose weight. I was 15 at the time and for the letter A I put forward 'apathetic' as my suggestion. In return I got a blank stare. The class leader didn't understand the word.
And that is what I find in all slimming classes I have ever been to - the level of intelligence is below average. it may well be that it's just the area where I come from. I can't speak for anyone else's classes or for any other area but in my experience that's the deal. Of course, there are few people who seem relatively 'normal' but they are most definitely in the minority.
So the class itself. Could you call it a class? Lucy went around each member announcing their loss or gain that week and infront of the whole class tells chats about why they had a good week or what went wrong. Hmmmm - how shall I put this. I don't care. I am not remotely interested in anyone else. I do not care about your lame excuse and if I ever put on there is no way, no how I will be hanging around to talk about it.
Okay - so I've bleated on about the downside of the classes and barely even mentioned the actual eating plan. I'm still getting my head around it so bear with me while I get to grips.
And let's not talk about what weight I am. NOT. COOL.