Last week, I got a letter in the mail from a weight loss company. I don’t want to say which one exactly, so let’s just call them “Schweight Schwatchers.” The letter talked about taking better care of your health, or some ridiculous claptrap like that, and on the top of the page was a huge, blue headline that screamed, “We Want You Back!”
“Well, okay,” I thought, while I shoved a cream cheese-covered bagel in my mouth with one hand and held the letter in the other. “But was I ever there in the first place?”
A few minutes later, as I washed down my morning Luna bars with a jug of half-and-half, I remembered: Yes, I did, in fact, join Schweight Schwatchers once! It was two-or-three years ago, and I signed up for a free, one-week trial after a rather naughty weekend I spent getting intimate with a case of Girl Scout cookies and a rented margarita machine. Only, if memory served, the free trial didn’t go so well because I blew all of the points I was allotted for the entire week in a single hour by jumping face first into a pile of Krispy Kremes. (Although, in all fairness, I actually did lose weight that week because I had a raging stomachache for the next six days and could only drink Pepto Bismol and club soda while sprawled on the couch.) (Which I actually think might be the South Beach Diet.)
But because the letter’s message about eating healthy intrigued me, I put it in my purse and carried it around with me all day. At lunchtime, I pulled it out while I went through the McDonald’s drive-thru and read it as I demolished a yummy bag of trans fat and sodium. At dinner, I laid it out on the table and tried to not get any deep-dish pizza grease or chocolate milkshake on it. But by the time my French pastry dessert cart rolled around, I was even more confused.
“Why is Schweight Schwatchers after me now?” I wondered, as I put in an exercise DVD and sat in the recliner to watch it while gobbling buttered popcorn. Is it because when I recently vacationed in Hawaii, I only ate pork with a side of pork? Is it because whenever we drive past my gym, my husband says, “Someday you should actually go see what it looks like on the inside”? Or maybe it was because last week I almost had to call the fire department and have them bring over the Jaws of Life to get me out of my ill-advised jeggings purchase. It could be anything, really.
But all that said, how exactly did Schweight Schwatchers know that I need to come back? I mean, they have no idea if I’m a size 6 or a size 16, right? So did they enlist spies to obtain undercover videotape of me polishing off the Fatass Enchilada Plate at Rosie’s Tamale House? Or maybe they’ve been secretly monitoring my grocery store purchases. Or maybe, and this is perhaps most disturbing, this was some kind of Cellulite Intervention! Maybe some concerned citizen turned me in after seeing me try to pull off the suburban jodhpurs look last fall. Or after I got stuck in one of those tiny, medieval torturesque chairs in the kindergarten room. OMG, does Schweight Schwatchers have a 1-800-Fat-Stoppers hotline for informants?
But once I calmed down, I realized that the reason SS contacted me was probably just because they had me on their mailing list. They can’t actually see me, so they don’t know that I’m in good shape or that, all kidding aside, I actually eat a healthy, low fat diet (most of the time). No, they just assumed that I want to lose weight because every single woman in America in the month of January wants to lose weight. At least most of the ones in my Brie-of-the-Month club do.
I looked at the letter a few more times while enjoying my before-bedtime snack of Pinot Grigio and fettucine alfredo, and then finally put it in the recycling bin. While I certainly appreciated the message Schweight Schwatchers was selling, and would maybe take them up on their oh-so-flattering suggestion to rejoin them at some point in the future, it wasn’t going to be that day.
Not when I had cheesecake in the refrigerator.
Originally seen in a slightly different version in the January 2011 issue of Austin Woman Magazine.