Memoir, Personal, Uncategorized

Weight Watchers Embarrassment

I’ve debated whether to share this embarrassing experience, but here goes…

Last week, I went to Weight Watchers.

That’s not even the embarrassing part.

After Weight Watchers, I went to the car repair shop, the grocery store, and Costco.

When I got home, I realized I never took off my Weight Watchers nametag.

Hello world! My name is Laurie.

I am a Weight Watcher.

I try not to advertise this because, for me, living the WW lifestyle is like slogging through mud.

Progress is slow and imperceptible, which makes talking about it very unpleasant.

Conversations go something like this:

You’re on Weight Watchers?


How much have you lost?

One pound

How long have you been on it?

A long time.

And that’s all you’ve lost?

Yes, thank you.

How much do you want to lose?

A lot.

How long is it going to take you?

The rest of my life and into eternity, thank you very much.

 Now let me back up to the Weight Watcher meeting that launched my horrible, no good, very bad day.

We were challenged to fit indulgences into our eating plan.

The logic is if you eat what you love, you won’t feel deprived and quit.

A lot of people said they eat a piece of Dove chocolate for their daily dose of deliciousness.


I left the meeting determined to eat chocolate.

So now, let’s review what happened in light of the WW Chocolate Challenge.

First, at the car place, the friendly customer service guy told me his life story.

He’s part Iranian, part Turkish, and married a Latino. They have a five-month old baby girl, and said she’s a pretty good sleeper. He showed me pictures of her on his phone.

And, can you believe he hasn’t been to Turkey since he was two years old? He wants to go back soon.

As you can see, we established some rapport over the counter while discussing my wiper blades, oil change and tire rotations.

So, you think he might have mentioned the nametag, right?

No, he did not.

As I was leaving to get my loaner car, he said, “Do you want a snack from the snack room? We have some chips and candy bars.”

Remembering the chocolate challenge, I caved at the word “candy,” and took the fun-sized SNICKERS for the road.

But, wait a minute.

He saw my big old nametag, didn’t know about the chocolate challenge, and, still offered me candy and chips?

You call that good customer service?

I do not.

Next up is the grocery store, where, of course, I rose to the morning’s WW challenge and bought a bag of Dove Promises.

I can only imagine what that clerk thought as she scanned it, while noticing I looked like a Weight Watchers billboard.

Then there was Costco.

I wish I could say I ignored the old people in hairnets handing out food samples.

I did not.

I sampled a chip with guacamole on one aisle, a pretzel on the next, and ended with a sip of yogurt before I left.

Again, I can only imagine what people thought as they saw me stuffing myself with snacks while sporting that not-so-subtle WW nametag.

My errands ended up costing me a good number of WW points, and a lot of embarrassment.

But, wait, there’s more…

Later, that afternoon, Mr. Snickers Saboteur called to tell me my car was ready for pick-up.

“It’s very important to me that you give me a 10 on the customer service survey. So, is there anything else I can do to make sure you’re satisfied with our service?”

“Wait a minute. Did you see the badge I was wearing?”


“So, you saw the WW nametag, let me leave still wearing it, and gave me a Snickers?”

“Um, yes, I guess I did. So, does this mean you’re going to give me a zero instead of a 10?”


I hung up the phone and thought, “what’s the matter with people?”

It should be a rule that if customers come in wearing WW nametags, you should tell them before they embarrass themselves by eating things like chocolate and chips and guacamole while wearing a flashing neon sign that says, “I’m a Weight Watcher.”

No, that man handing out Snickers to Weight Watchers members is definitely not getting a 10 because if I blame him, I feel a little less embarrassed…

Just a little.










Lessons from a 1975 Journal

I’ve kept journals since I was 18 years old.

That is a lot of journals.


In my snowed-in free time, I decided to start typing journal entries into my computer.

I imagined the thrill of searching for names of people, places, and things I’ve written about and then compiling them into stories.

In my ambitiousness, I dug out my journal from my freshman year in college, and started typing away.

I only made it through four months before realizing that at that rate, I could be hunched over my computer for the rest of my life – or at least until I’m wondering why I’m spending so much time transcribing someone else’s journals, having forgotten they are mine.

I haven’t completely given up on the idea because what writer doesn’t want to pull out everything they’ve ever written, parse it to death, and write it all over again?

My daughter Annie offered to help with this monumental task, but I’m not sure I’m ready for her to read my unedited nonsense.

Someday, yes.

Today, maybe not.

Even though I only made it through four months, I found some wonderful bits of wisdom and learning tucked in my 1975 journal entries.


I learned what a pivotal year that was for me; and I discovered some major life lessons that deserve to be remembered:

You never know who will inspire you and end up shaping your life in meaningful and profound ways

There was a friend, Rich, who suggested I start writing for the student newspaper, which led to my decision to major in journalism, and later to becoming the editor of that newspaper, and discovering my love of writing. There was the roommate, Connie, that told me I needed to “get off the fence” with my religion. She was right, and I needed to hear that. I followed her advice, committed more deeply to my religion, and began to discover my spiritual self.

Absence Really Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder

When I left for college, I gained a whole new appreciation for my family. I wanted to make them proud of me, and I wanted them to know how much they meant to me. I started to work at my relationships with them– writing letters, calling home, spending more time with them when I visited, and trying to show how much I loved them. I learned that all relationships take work.

Good friends make all the difference

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard or as often as I did during that first year of college. I’m glad I hung on to many of those good friends, but I’m sorry about the ones I let slip away.

Values matter

I realized in college the importance of standing for something. I broke a lot of dorm rules that I thought were silly, and I’d probably break them all again if I had a do-over because they really were silly. But, when it came to the big and important stuff, I was determined to live a principled, value-driven life, which I’ve never regretted.

I might not make it through decades of journals, but I’m glad I made it through four months worth.

Who knew I learned so much in those four months?

Can you remember who inspired you, what you loved, believed and valued when you were 18?

Think back.

How did that year shape your life?

Please share.