Monday, February 11, 2013

Weight Watchers: An Update

I was inspired by a post about Weight Watchers that Katie wrote the other day.  She was explaining how the program works and then asked if any readers wanted to share anything about their experiences.  After having tried weight watchers a few different times in the past, I have a pretty good handle on the program. Even with the latest changes, it's a pretty easy program to follow. I decided that this would be a good time to write about my experience with Weight Watchers.

In the past I did WW once, lost about 30 pounds and quit for whatever reason. I joined again and lost about 25 before quitting again.  I tried the online program a time or two after that.  After at least four or five years, I tried the online program again last summer. I didn't really stick to it and at the time it wasn't right for me. I think I was overwhelmed tracking things on MFP and SP, and at that time my outlook and focus were a little different.

I decided to try WW again a few weeks ago because my loss had plateaued. I'd gain on the weekends and then lose during the week, but I wasn't doing anything to actually lose weight. It would look like I was losing all week but that was really the water weight I gained on the weekend. I was at a point where I was not doing anything to actually lose weight, water gains and losses aside.

I was too focused on calories and the numbers aspect of things that I was getting overwhelmed, stressed, and a little frustrated. I wasn't always good about tracking on the weekends and apparently that was hurting me, in some way. I wasn't always much different than during the week but something that I was doing wasn't cutting it. I've reached a point in weight loss where it is much harder to lose. This made me more fixated on the numbers... All of the them: calories taken in, calories burned, weight...Anything. I wasn't very happy and needed a change of pace for a bit. I also had to change my attitude... I needed to stop feeling frustrated and focusing on the numbers. I was getting crabby and annoyed. I know that flowed into the rest of my life as well. I thought that maybe a break from counting calories would help.

Enter WW. 

After some debate I decided to do the online program. I thought I'd see what I think and then maybe later try the actual meetings, depending on my progress.  I thought maybe I needed the meeting aspect of things for accountability. I'd have to answer to someone every week when I weighed-in. Then I realized that my blogging about my progress and updating my FB page with the progress, that's accountability. I think that I needed to do something specific and different to help me change my accountability. I didn't enjoy the meetings in the past and only went because I paid for them. After a while I think the meetings themselves is why I quit the program. Twice. I didn't care for the leader or the format. It came to the point that we'd show up half an hour early, wait in line to weigh, and then 75% of the group would be gone. People weren't staying for the meetings. I was also the only one around my age who went, so I had a hard time relating to the other attendees. I was also more shy back then so I would never have gone out of my way to speak up. It just wasn't for me. I may have done meetings with a friend, but decided online was better. I have a friend who just joined online too, so we can be buddies.

I started WW (AGAIN) on January 16th.  Since then I have lost six pounds.  The 16th wasn't my usual weigh-in day, so I did weigh again on the 19th just to get back on track with my Saturday weights. I also knew I'd be losing fluid throughout the week, so I thought that a Saturday weight might be more accurate. 

Here is a list of losses thus far:

1/19  -3 lbs; -3 overall
1/26  -0.8 lb; -3.8 overall
2/2  -1.2 lbs; -5 overall
2/9  - 1 lb; -6 overall

My goal is a pound a week which, after that first loss, I have averaged. The first couple weeks I was disappointed in my loss. It wasn't enough. I thought I should lose more. The first time I ever did WW I lost either six or eight pounds the very first week.  I was also about 340 pounds at that time in my life. That would probably explain why I dropped so much more then than now!

I also want what I gained to to be gone... I had it in my head that those ten pounds should have dropped off quickly. I seemed to gain it super fast, so my brain was thinking I should be dropping it just as fast.  I KNOW weight loss doesn't work like that. In reality, those pounds were gained over the course of several months. The first three were over a period of a few months. But then suddenly seven more (or it seemed sudden anyway) showed up. I'm not going to lose the weight that quickly. It took time to gain it (most of last year) and it's going to take time to lose it. And I AM losing it. Just because I see "only" a pound on the scale each week does not mean I'm not losing it. I needed to accept that any loss is a loss. Finally realizing that has definitely been a benefit to me mentally. Now I weigh-in with the hope that my hard work paid off; that the pound I wanted to lose that week will have been lost. It's a much healthier way to look at things.

As far as my eating, I am still eating healthy. I'm more cautious about extra choices or unhealthy indulgences. I haven't been eating out as often because that's usually a huge factor in my weight. Sodium causes me to retain fluid. Dinner is usually accompanied by drinks.  I have not gone to a bar since New Year's Eve. So... Any drinks I've had have been at home. I control my drinking much more when I'm alone than when I'm with others. In fact, I may have a glass of wine (minus the week I went to that wine tasting at my friend's house) or two a week. I love my wine, but now I watch it. I have extra weekly points to use but I don't want to blow them on one night of drinks or one huge meal. I'm sure an occasion will come up and that will happen, but I don't want to do it on a regular basis.  I also do not want to eat my activity points. I desire weight loss, so eating them would most likely slow me down even more.  If I were in maintenance, I probably would be a little more liberal about eating a few of them.

I'm cooking more. I often cook the same thing, but I'm cooking again.... It's exciting to try new recipes and watch how the points are used. It's made cooking fun again.

I'm not stressed over how many calories I'm burning. I still monitor and track that part of things. But activity points are added up in a different way. That has definitely helped my frustration decrease... Not being so fixated on calories in versus calories out has definitely helped me to relax a little. Now I can eat a piece of pizza and not freak out about what it's going to do to my body or if I exercised enough to be able to eat it.

Overall this round of WW has been good for me. I'm staying healthy. I'm seeing results. I continue to eat good foods, and actually enjoy treats without the guilt. I'm exercising as I always have but I'm not continuously watching my HRM to make sure I am burning enough.  Right now I am in a happy, healthy, very positive place about my weight loss. I'm actually in a happy, healthy, positive place about most things in life. I feel good overall. I encounter struggles with a positive attitude and do what I can to overcome them. I'm staying in control and keeping faith that I'll make it through whatever obstacles I encounter.

Right now... I'm so good... Life is good.

Happy Monday!


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