Those words I spoke to myself as I drove away from my Oak Harbor physician's office two months ago. I had driven the 30 miles or so to my appointment with her, rehearsing the words I wanted to say, the reasons I wanted to give: "I don't want to take statins to reduce cholesterol; I don't want to take bone density drugs; I can't lose weight; I'm not willing to double my exercise routine."
I knew it would be a hard sell, though she's not an ogre and my numbers aren't really terrible. They're pretty normal for someone of my age bracket, my health history and my heritage. She'd persuaded me to try a statin and a bone density drug a couple of years ago and my experience was not particularly good. I had side effects I wasn't willing to live with and I quit taking them eventually. But the cholesterol had jumped up again and I was going to have to deal with that in some way.
Sitting next to her as she unveiled the latest lipid panel scores, I heard myself, right out of the blue, when she asked "how's your diet and exercise plan working out for you?", ---I heard myself say "well, I guess I could go back to Weight Watchers." And saw her smile and say "yes, WW is a good food program." And nothing more. Clever doctor.
I groaned inwardly. I have tried Weight Watchers often enough that I definitely know how it works. Only once have I lost enough weight that I could become a life member and it was 30 plus years and pounds ago. Every time I'd sign up, I'd think "God, these meetings are boring; I know better than these housewives and old fat ladies; I'll just weigh in and do it on my own."
And after a couple of weeks, I'd flake off and toss the materials once again, putting the desire to be slender back on the shelf with the cute dresses and dancing shoes, as well as the confidence I used to feel when talking to an interesting and available gentleman.
In the car on that drive home, I remembered the day when Annaliza Rachelbeth called me up and said to me "we're going to lunch today and we're going to talk about why you keep getting mixed up with all these alcoholic losers". And we did and I found AlAnon, which changed my life radically-----because I worked it. I got a sponsor, I worked the steps, I did what I needed to do to get my life back on track, away from the alcoholic losers and toward a spiritual journey that has brought me here to this place and time.
"It only works if you work it" I told myself on that drive home. I could scorn the meetings, play around with the program, cheat constantly, and stay right where I am physically, with elevated cholesterol and a bad attitude toward exercise. Or I could work it, really take it seriously, develop food and exercise habits that would last me the rest of my life, and improve my health permanently---and maybe regain that confidence I once felt with men. AlAnon did that for me spiritually, but only because I worked it.
I've been working it now for two months. Thirteen pounds gone. Exercising five or more days a week. Smiling a lot. Taking old baggy jeans to the thrift store. Buying new pants in smaller sizes. Bragging. Eating great food. Enjoying the meetings and the new friends. It's working! But only because I'm working it.