"I know, right?" Leslie said as she plucked another piece out of the Ziploc on my lap and pulled off the highway.
We were officially a few days into Weight Watchers, signing up together with the hopes that, as a united front, we could kick some pounds to the curb once and for all.
"I want a sundae!" Anders excitedly said from the backseat, the boy completely confused and speechless when I passed back some celery.
I'm not going to lie, the first week of any lifestyle change can be rocky. Suddenly power foods like quinoa, edamame and avocado are the work of the devil. Gone are Sunday morning trips to Goldberg's for toasted bagels topped with a shmear and nova. Don't even get me started on the paralysis that sets in when you have to find sustenance in an airport.
After a week of egg-white breakfasts, carrot stick snacks and fat-free cheese that curiously does melt at high heats, I stepped on the scale. I was nervous and anxious and just about exploded when the woman told me I was down 6.8lb. There was no turning back now.
The weeks that followed presented losses only fractions of a pound, something that would have previously led me to a fit of tears and the fetal position. But with Leslie repeatedly praising me for moving the scale in the right direction, I decided to cheer myself on instead of beat myself up.
"That's really good," I whispered to the woman eyeing the low-fat brownie mix in aisle two of my local Trader Joe's.
"Oh, yeah? I'm on Weight Watchers," the woman replied.
"Me too! Those are three points a piece and freeze well. But this applesauce is zero points because it doesn't have anything but fruit," I said as I piled a few boxes into my hand-basket.
Those applesauce packets, the ones where you can twist off a cap and suck out the contents, have saved me from epic failure. I eat them while running errands on a Saturday, the sweetness tying me over without having to test temptation at Starbucks. I eat them as I run over to the gym , the caloric content just enough to get me going.
"I saw these blended fruit packets at Publix and grabbed some for you," Leslie said when she stopped by my place yesterday. "They have really cool flavors like peas/kale/apple."
That three-ingredient description totally sounds like one of the flavors you can order at the Wholefoods juice counter. But when I spotted an illustration of Peter Rabbit on the packaging, I sensed something was not quite right.
"I think that's baby food....."
"No, no. It was by the applesauce. Those blended fruits and veggie things are really popular. And Kale is so good for you!"
I picked up the peaches/mango/banana packet and turned it over. Quietly to myself, I read the back. Then aloud.
"Great for growing babies."
"It was by the applesauce, I swear!" Leslie insisted as she laughed. "Here, I'll take it back," she added with outstretched hands.
"Oh what the heck," I said as I gathered the packages and tossed them in my fruit basket alongside bananas, clementines and Trader Joe's applesauce. Then I went to my refrigerator.
"I was going to make kale chips. Want some?" I asked as I pulled two bunches of organic Kale from the veggie drawer and shredded Parmesan from the shelf. "It's just like cotton candy!"