“They’ll know,” I thought to myself as I took a deep breath. I looked in the mirror, and it’s a good thing I did. A shiny reflection glinted back at me from my blouse. Dammit! I almost walked into my first Weight Watchers meeting in years with a chip of donut glaze prominently displayed above my right breast. That was a close call.
I made the decision to go back to Weight Watchers, but it came at a bad time. You see, it’s Teacher Appreciation Week. You knew that, right? No? That’s ok. For most of my career I didn’t know when it was either. That’s because Teacher Appreciation Week (TAW from now on, because it’s just too many letters to type) was marked by a little card of appreciation from my administrator (sometimes with a pencil or a Hershey Kiss), and a few spammy type emails from various businesses that sell overpriced goods to underpaid teachers. It was easy to miss, especially since it’s not a national holiday, at least not yet.
This year, however, TAW is different. This year I work at a school with a kick-ass PTA who takes their job very seriously. These people are on a mission, and by golly they succeed. They raise funds and provide goods and services to the school like nobody’s business. We needed more Smartboards. Hello PTA. Done. Amazing. They run roller skating parties and dances, they sell gift wrap and cookie dough, and among other things, they give the teachers money for supplies. Unless you’ve taught in a school with no budget and no viable PTA, you can’t appreciate how huge this is.
Well, these generous people took it upon themselves to give our teacher’s lounge a makeover. They brought in two sleek new tables and a new television stand with storage underneath (I’ve never actually seen the television on, maybe it’s there for emergencies). They’ve redone the bulletin boards that were looking a little sad and sloppy. They put up decorative mirrors and a few other wall decorations to jazz things up. And then the real deal… they gave us tons of new, useful stuff! Two coffee makers, two microwaves, a toaster, a three station crockpot, an ice maker and a huge set of dishes and storage containers. Oh, they even brought in new dish scrubbers! It’s incredible.
Naturally they wanted us to use all these gorgeous new appliances and dishes, so they brought in a huge breakfast too. I was good. I ate a yogurt. But only because I had just been to Starbucks and had a pastry and a frappucino. But shhhh, nobody needs to know about that. Or about the donut I had at lunch. Ok. I had two of them. And then another after school. And another. Oh god. Did I really eat four donuts? And a yogurt? And a pastry? And a frappucino? And nachos in honor of Cinco de Mayo (because I’m sure everyone in Mexico eats nachos to commemorate General Zaragoza’s victory over the French at Puebla)? Yep. I did.
I could have thrown in the towel right then and there. I could have deemed myself unworthy of Weight Watchers. I could have taken my donut stuffed, shame filled self home for another round of woe is me, I’m so fat. I could have, but I didn’t. I stopped in the restroom, removed the tell tale donut glaze, and bravely stepped back into that bright yellow haven called Weight Watchers.
Yes, getting on the scale sucked, but so what. I can do it. I’ve done it before. The room was full of people just like me. People who want to shed pounds for whatever reason. People who appreciate the support of others and the accountability of the weekly weigh in. The people there are nice. They really are. And if they judge you for walking in with donut glaze, they generally keep it to themselves, even if they do want to lick your shirt.