Weight Watchers Update

So an update on Weight Watchers, after finishing my first week.

I sort of wish I had never done WW before because I catch myself saying, “yeah yeah” when the leader speaks or I read something in my booklet.  I know points, I know portion control, I know all this.  But obviously I don't because I am overweight.  My friend says that overweight women know more about health and nutrition than any skinny woman and I agree.  It is so degrading when thin friends tell overweight friends to drink more water, add just 10 minutes of exercise a day, park at the end of the parking lot to get walking in, to eat dinner on a salad plate, blah blah.  Most women who have extra pounds on them and have for a while know all this.  They know how many calories they should consume, what percentage of a meal should be protein, complex carbs, how much water to consume.  The majority of women who are overweight aren't so because of lack of information or knowledge.

So I read the Weight Watchers info and I get bored because it is nothing new to me.  I have done Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers. I have been a gym rat, a yogaholic, a person who wore a pedometer every day to get her minimum of 10,000 steps.  I have done Diet Fuel, Xenadrine, and a couple other pills that were popular in the '90s.  Low carb, high fiber, high protein, all veggies, grapefruit juice, and plenty of other randomness over the decades.  I read the books and the Web sites, I subscribed to all the fitness magazines.

But nothing has stuck.  I did lose like 25 pounds before my wedding thanks to South Beach, but it came back.  When we lived together after college, my sister and I did a variation of the Atkins diet where we  drank grapefruit juice each morning and were able to splurge every other weekend and I lost like 15 pounds with that.  In college I went through a period where I walked five miles a day with ankle and hand weights, took step aerobics twice a week and hit the gym three times a week and got down to a size 6.  And each time, I lost interest, lost motivation, found it too extreme to fit into daily life and quit.  And gained it back… and then some.

I was able to maintain a size 12 until I left retail.  Switching to a desk job was better for my personal life (and my body – varicose veins were right around the corner), but it wasn't better for my figure.  I gained 25 pounds in one year by changing nothing except my job.  I didn't realize how active I was working retail and how much my metabolism would slow with sitting all day.  I did Curves with a coworker for a while, morning gym jaunts with another, but always ended up having reasons to miss a day.

Anyway, I am trying really hard to see Weight Watchers with fresh eyes.  So what if I know this stuff, I am obviously not applying it to my life on a regular basis.  I put the booklets in the bathroom so I can re-read and get it imprinted on my mind.  I have subscribed to a few WW-related blogs on my Google Reader.  I am trying once a week to make ahead snacks and various foods so I can't feel as though I don't have time for a proper meal and end up snacking on something bad.  I am seeing this not as losing weight, but changing my lifestyle.  I changed my lifestyle when I got married, changed it again when I had a baby, this is just as important of a thing in my life.  I can't enjoy parenthood or wifehood or any hood with excess weight straining my knees, my heart, my whole self.

So anyway, first week I lost 2.6 pounds.  Not too shabby.  I did track every single day, but I did go over points two different days.  Again, I love love LOVE the eTools with Weight Watchers – I keep it open all day and can easily drop in things like the International Delights creamer I put in my iced coffee, the oatmeal I had for breakfast in the car while my husband drove me to the Metro.  It's so easy to “forget” the creamer, the snack sized candy bar from the receptionist, the two olives you munched while cooking dinner, the mayo you had on your sandwich if you don't track until the end of the day.  Seeing “WeightWatchers.com: Plan Manager” in my tabs at the top of my browser is a constant reminder of this life change.

This past week I couldn't stay for the whole meeting.  My husband had to sub for another yoga instructor so I had to take Emerson to the meeting with me.  Emerson is a really chill kid but she is also a toddler and wasn't going to be quiet during the meeting.  She wanted to run and talk to people and explore.  I stayed to be weighed in, to chat with my mom (she joined too and it was her first week), and then went outside to let Emerson play at a playground until the meeting was over so I could meet up with my mom.

I have told my husband he can't sub for a teacher on Thursdays unless he can score a sitter for Emerson during the meeting.  I no longer take yoga or ki gong because I can't fit it into our crazy schedule.  But I can't blow this off any longer.  The meeting is a whole hour and it's a 10-minute walk from my house.  No more excuses, and it's not fair to not be able to have that hour to just myself.  He agreed; for that short of a time a neighbor can easily watch Emerson even in our own home.

This past weekend was a tough one.  On Saturday I went to a party that had an amazing spread.  I DID have a cheeseburger, but I did go sans mayo.  With the rest of the food, I had 3 shrimp with a touch of cocktail sauce, 5 potato chips with some onion dip, 2 light beers, 2 jello shots, a cup of some sort of vodka punch, and then just plain fruit or veggies and a lot of water.  The next day I was pretty good – mixed greens salad and put my fork in dressing instead of putting right on the salad.  I had more veggies and fruit and two crackers with hummus.  I drank sparkling water and did a lot of running around behind Emerson.  Then the next cookout, I had a cheeseburger and salad and two non-light beers.  But instead of feeling like crap, I just pushed forward.  Yesterday I ate on track, and today I am completely back to my routine.

I look forward to meeting this week.  I may not have lost, but I know I didn't gain like I would if I wasn't on Weight Watchers.  And I plan to take in this week's meeting as though I am a newbie to the weight loss world, soak up the tidbits and messages.

16 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    July 14, 2010 / 11:16 pm

    I struggled with my weight and tried WW…a couple of times and every other diet too for 7 years after my last baby. I went on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for my IBS symptoms and the weight dropped quickly, easily, and without counting anything! If you have IBS symptoms you might be an undiagnosed celiac like me. You can try the diet for a week and see if your appetite drops and you feel better…lots of info on pecanbread dot com and breaking the vicious cycle dot info.

  2. Val-MN
    July 13, 2010 / 6:25 am

    I just discovered your blog and wanted to respond to your WW post. I am presently on WW. I have lost 47 pounds in 16 months. I usually work out 3 times a week whether walking or in the gym or doing floor exercises. What I like about WW is that you can eat your own foods and it is more of a lifestyle change and not a diet. I am a finicky eater so it was still about eating what I like, but monitoring it via the points system. So, if I want that honey bun or that chocolate bar, I go ahead and have it. I just subtract it from my points from the day. Now, an actual meal would be more filling than a candy bar and eventually, I get the msg that my body is more satisfied with the meal or something more filling. However, I NEVER deny myself something. I either compromise by the portion size or extra exercise activity or more structure the next day with my food log. I learned to recognize trigger foods I can’t control myself around; am I really hungry or am I trying to “solve” something through food, etc.)

    Good luck to you. It is a journey in progress. Some days great; other days okay. My WW leader always says “If you are falling down a flight of stairs, do you stop yourself from falling or do you continue to throw yourself down the rest?” Basically this means, if you have a yucky day, you can always start again the next day. It is a continuing journey.

  3. July 12, 2010 / 9:36 pm

    I love reading your blog, firstly because of how much I love your style (your taste is very similar to mine, and you point me in the direction of some very cute things) and secondly because of posts like this that really strike a chord with me. I had a very successful experience with WW, but now find it hard to get “back in the groove,” I think for many of the same reasons. But I’m trying! I hope you achieve your goals in this endeavor.

  4. Anonymous
    July 8, 2010 / 6:04 pm

    I learned about a great bag of potato chips through WW. Kettle brand chips has a Baked line, and they are not the weird, cracker-like baked chips from Lays. These are crispy and taste like real potato chips. A serving is worth 2 points. I have been eating them for 2 years and have never missed regular chips.

  5. July 8, 2010 / 1:15 am

    I totally understand the feeling of lethargy with WW! I love the program but it’s so hard when I feel like I know it *too* well. I’ve also not had a lot of good luck with leaders the last few times I have gone; the emphasis on 2-point and packaged foods is so disheartening. I want to eat real, better food, and I want WW to encourage me more to do so.

  6. July 7, 2010 / 7:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing your WW experiences. I’ve been to WW before & lost, then gained back, then would go on an exercise kick & lose, etc., etc. Much like you (and many others) – I knew what to do but obviously I wasn’t willing to stick with it long term.

    Finally, earlier this year, after a particularly good Bible study (Breaking Free by Beth Moore) and some serious prayer and contemplation, I FINALLY realized that eating right and exercising are not things I need to do temporarily to “look good” but are things that I must do for the rest of my life in order to be a healthy person. I realized that it isn’t about working out for a month to lose weight and then going back to my couch potato/junk food eating ways. It finally clicked that these are things I have to do every day for the rest of my life – because that is how my body is designed to operate best. At my age (33), I can no longer fool myself that eating junk/high fat food all the time & never exercising are not going to have repercussions to my health. So, I started doing the 30-day Shred 6-7 days a week and eating better. It took 7 weeks for me to lose the first pound but since then I’ve lost 14 pounds and feel SO much better. Do I still drink soda? Yes, but not near as much. Do I still have junk food? Yes, but way, way less. Do I try to eat better most of the time? Yes, yes, yes. And I try to exercise 4-6x/week, although it is not just the 30-day Shred now but other DVDs and Zumba classes.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve been there too. It is simply a matter of finding whatever it takes to “flip the switch” in your brain. Everyone’s motivation is going to be different, but we all have to get to the point where we say “this is how my life is going to be” and then just doing it every day. You can do it Allie!

  7. July 7, 2010 / 2:24 pm

    I was going to email this, but it seems lots of folks on here are doing/thinking of doing WW, so I thought I’d post for everyone. These are some really good brownies, that even my kids like. I have done them in little mini cupcake containers as brownie bites, and I think I have doubled the recipe and made a bunch–it always seems to work. They are three points per brownie (127 calorie, 5 g fat, 1 g fiber), and the recipe makes 16.

    Brownies
    3/4 cup all purpose flour
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon (sometimes I do 1/4 because we like it)
    1/8 tsp. salt
    2 large eggs
    1 egg white
    1 cup sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (or chocolate chips)
    4 tbsp. unsalted butter

    1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8 inch square pan.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; mix. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, egg white, sugar and vanilla; beat well to dissolve the sugar.
    3. In the top of a double broiler (or, ahem, in the microwave), combine the chocolate and butter. Melt it. Cool 1 minute, then stir into the egg mixture; beat well. Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour. Pour it in the pan.
    4. Bake about 20-22 minutes (but watch it–if you want them really fudgy, pull a couple of minutes earlier).

    Hope everyone likes these!

  8. Anonymous
    July 7, 2010 / 1:59 pm

    Allie: I’ve read your blog for years and I’ve too done WW before. Because of your post about rejoining WW the other week, I joined online as well!

    My first week I lost 6 pounds (don’t know how that happened, I think a lot of it was water weight!) and this week I lost 1.4.

    Thanks for the inspiration and great idea about the WW blogs, can you link to some?

  9. July 7, 2010 / 4:23 am

    Hang in there and good luck to you. I SO agree with what you say – I do know how I should eat. I just don’t do it. I am toying with joining WW, I am so not a joiner, though. I know many people who have had successs and swear by it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Anonymous
    July 7, 2010 / 12:23 am

    Allie,
    You can do this. It is all about taking time for you. I went from a size 14 to a size eight over five years ago, and I know how hard it is.
    But once you make the decision you don’t need to hide behind it anymore, all the weight melts away.
    Love and stars..
    Lisa

  11. July 7, 2010 / 12:12 am

    I have never been a runner. I had some inner ear thing when younger where I would lose my balance when I run and it kept me off it since. Don’t know if I still have it. As a kid I was a swimmer.

    I know I need to get an exercise routine back in. I just need to figure out one that will fit with this schedule. 2-3 nights a week I am home for 2 hours waiting for my husband to get back from teaching, but I can’t leave the house because E is asleep. I was doing a walk with her each night but she started fussing that she was staying up too late for me to do that, and feed her and bathe her. Wednesday nights are the only nights where I am home at a normal hour and neither I nor my husband have a meeting or class.

    I need to start using my mornings better, and maybe find something available on Sundays too. I just am not going to stress myself over it yet, it will come into the rhythm. 🙂

  12. July 7, 2010 / 12:07 am

    I so agree about women with weight problems knowing more about nutrition. My husband and I have had this discussion so much. He has an incredible metabolism, and is only now starting to see issues with the way he eats. I have struggled with it since I was 16. He tells me that I am lucky because I am used to it, and I know what and when to eat and all of that. He, as a man, does not. I am trying to get him to join WW, but he won’t. At least not yet–I may have a few tricks up my sleeve just yet :-).

    Have you ever tried running? I was never great with an exercise program until I joined a girl’s running group in my town. I love it–it can be social if I want to go with a friend, or I can go by myself and just listen to the silence for a little while. Totally jives with my busy life. I trail run, but I have friends who street run and take their jogging stroller.

    Kudos to you, though and keep at it. You deserve to feel wonderful, and eating right, as much as we all try to get around it, gives you that. I have a fantastic WW brownie recipe that I’ll send you. Totally fab and doesn’t taste diet. My kids say they are the best brownies ever, and they are good judges, I would think!

  13. Amber
    July 6, 2010 / 5:08 pm

    I’m so glad you’re sharing your WW experiences. I lost weight last summer with Sparkpeople, but gained some of it back over the winter, so I’m back at it. I think I need to acknowledge that I’m never going to be in a place where I don’t have to keep track of every single thing I eat. I’m a person who doesn’t eat a lot, but I eat poorly, so I’m never balancing out that Ben & Jerry’s with a salad or vegetables. You’re absolutely right about knowing what to do. It’s just the doing it part. And some of us have to work a lot harder. I’d like to become a better exerciser, not just for weight loss but to get into the habit for the rest of my life. But you’re beautiful no matter what!

  14. Anonymous
    July 6, 2010 / 4:24 pm

    Been reading your blog for a while and just want to say how much I admire your honesty. I’ve been struggling with my weight and feel so depressed sometimes – especially when my clothes don’t fit.

    I love how you’re keeping it real and admit that the gym rat lifestyle isn’t realistic with your current life (with your career and family responsibilities). I also think genes have a lot to do with it – no one is my family has ever been super thin!

    I’ve been taking small steps to increase my daily activity – walk home from work on days I don’t go to the gym (about 1.5 miles) and getting to the gym 3 times a week.

    Look forward to hearing more about your WW program.

  15. July 6, 2010 / 3:52 pm

    And yes… no longer a vegetarian. I have eaten various meats over the years from time to time, my husband never. But lately he has been craving it so he did a lot of thought on it and decided maybe his body was telling him it was time to try it again. Once he did, he didn’t have back pain or muscle pain like he did. We still don’t cook much meat in the house (we have only had it three times in the house), but now we do eat from time to time.

  16. Jessica
    July 6, 2010 / 3:43 pm

    Souuds like you are making some progress, keep at it!
    Question though; Cheeseburgers? I thought you were a vegatarian with trhe ability to eat fish??
    Only curious because I haven’t read in a while.
    Keep up the good work!

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