In the Club

April 13, 2021

Some 23 years ago a colleague coaxed me into joining WeightWatchers. She came with me for the first month, until I had settled in and didn’t mind being the solo ‘bloke’ in the room. The one thing I didn’t do was join the meeting after the weigh-in. Over the next 54 weeks I went from nearly 28st to just 19st.

In late January 2019, I started Slimming World. A few of my friends were following it and the confusing ‘red days’ and ‘green days’ were replaced by an easy to target allocation – SYNs. Not wanting to cramp their style, I elected to be an ‘online member’. Religiously weighing in every Sunday morning, the anniversary of my joining.

As the months past, I went from a shabby 23st 10lb to a more trim 20st 81/2lb. Celebrating a holiday during midsummer by putting on a whole stone on the Costa del Sol, and the following week, taking it back off.

Fast-forward nearly two years and the excuses began to creep in as well as the pounds. Firstly COVID & lockdowns exasperating already deteriorating health culminating in severe mobility issues – no gym, no pool, just working from home, this in turn affected my mental health. I cooked more, ate more, drank more, what else was to do!

The pounds landed and health got worse. Moods became uncontrollable as well as my emotions. Sobbing through an episode of Emmerdale – I knew I had hit rock bottom (especially since I don’t watch soaps).

Time to get back to basics, Food Optimising, Free Foods, Speed Foods, – doing what worked before. Surprisingly it worked again, and the pounds fell off. Even this blog became a food diary of sorts. Then the unexpected happened. Slimming World started delivering hosted Zoom meetings with ‘ordinary’ members who had lost and maintained huge amounts. One guy cooked his way from 37st to 13. Talked about the changes, such as, giving up beer and enjoying a spirit with diet mixer. How to get more Speed Foods into a meal, and how to stay focused, positive, and on mission.

Next came the real eye opener, an invitation to participate in virtual meetings. Despite my years of membership, I realised I had never attended a meeting of “Fat Club”!

My imagination was firmly fixed on Majorie Dawes, and “Yes, no, dust!” Oh what a dis-service I am doing to Jill – our meeting facilitator. Not only is she practical, has a lovely personality, boundless energy & enthusiasm, she has a lovely Geordie accent which I could listen to all night – I kid you not!

Add into the mix a Facebook private group where we share our tips, recipes, menus, and give each other a nudge (the positive kind), now I get what “Fat Club” is about. The first rule of “Fat Club” – talk about fat, talk about struggling, losing your way, talk about getting back on track & succeeding, & talk about the new clothes, better health and that good feeling. Second rule of “Fat Club” – see above (I ain’t typing that all out again LOL!).

So I am still the only guy in my meeting, though there’s Allan or Alan in the FaceBook group. Not sure where we are located, but it doesn’t matter! In the end we are here for each other, and that is all that matters.