Thursday, February 21, 2013

Weight Watching

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about my experience with Weight Watchers, so I thought I’d share a little bit about my experience here. Hopefully I answer all your questions!

I did Weight Watchers for 4 months, and lost about 17 pounds. I know that’s not an earth shattering amount of weight, but I reached my goal and I’m really proud of that. I mean, I lost weight the week of Christmas!

I started 5 months after having a baby. I had lost the baby weight, but still had some weight from the time right before I got pregnant that  I desperately wanted to lose.

Weight Watchers can either be done only online, or by attending meetings and using the online tools. I did WW online. I actually surprised myself with my ability to stick to my goals, without being accountable to someone else (I didn’t have to step on a scale in front of a stranger, or discuss my goals in a group setting). I guess I quickly realized that the only person I hurt when I cheated, was me!

You get a certain amount of points each day depending on your height, weight, and age. You can use those points on any foods you want, although it’s recommended that you use them for foods that will fuel your body. I had 26 points to use a day. Everyone also gets 49 weekly points to use any time through out the week. You can save them all up and use them for an end of the week night out, or use a few a day to have a treat. I used about 7 every day, but loved having a few extra to use at the end of the week.

When I started WW I was nursing full-time, so I got an extra 14 points a day. When I started nursing part-time, I got 7 extra points a day instead. I never felt like I was compromising my ability to feed my baby by cutting my own food intake. That was really important to me.

Each food has a point value to it. The website allows you to calculate the points of all the foods you eat. Some foods are already calculated for you and you just have to look them up. Others, like your secret family recipe for Chicken and Dumplings, you would have to add and calculate yourself.

All fruit and most vegetables are free! Zero points! I love that because sometimes I just need to be able to eat without thinking about how much I’m eating and I never feel guilty about mindlessly munching on grapes.

You can also add points to your day by being active. I have to admit, I rarely exercised while doing Weight Watchers. I felt like I spent a lot of my free time tracking and calculating points and I didn’t know how to fit exercise into my schedule. Besides, tracking points alone was working for me. Would I have lost more weight if I exercised as well? Maybe. But maybe I would have just been so much more stressed and eaten more brownies. I guess I’ll never know.

I loved Weight Watchers because I never felt like I was denying myself the foods I wanted. I rarely even felt like I was dieting. If I wanted chocolate (I often did), I ate chocolate. I just knew that 3 points worth of chocolate wouldn’t fill me up nearly as much as 3 points worth of a good food would. I learned to pay attention to how much I eat. I learned to substitute healthier and equally satisfying foods for the full-fat, high calorie ones I was craving. But I also didn’t kill myself over every little point.  Essentially, I cheated a little bit. For example, every day I let myself eat the crusts off Nathan’s PB & J because it  satisfied me and kept me from eating my own peanut butter sandwich that I desperately wanted.

Now that I’m not doing WW any more, I’m finding it difficult to not track my foods. I hope this answered all  the questions I’ve been asked. If you have any more, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer them!

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