Category Archives: Weight Watchers

Why NOT Weight Watchers?

I’ve joined Weight Watchers more times than I can count. But, I’m NOT joining it now. And, in fact, haven’t joined it for 7 years. So this post isn’t a response to their current programs. I don’t have any idea what specific plans they’re promoting these days. My reluctance to re-join Weight Watchers isn’t because of their plans. You’ll lose weight at Weight Watchers. Their plans, almost always balance out to about 1200 calories a day, and any of us will lose weight if we stick to that sort of plan.

My problem with Weight Watchers is that it’s fundamentally phony.

It’s all hugs and kisses when we’re giving them our cold-hard-cash (or credit cards) but, when we’re ready for that long-awaited-lifetime-membership? Nada. Nothing. A quick – “Any Lifetime Members here? Stand and Wave” and that’s it.

Well, I’m here to tell you that anyone can lose weight. If you’re determined enough you can focus for 6 or 8 months and lose A LOT of weight. So what? It’s the keeping it off that’s the life-long challenge and Weight Watchers sucks at that. (sigh) I say they suck but, I’m guessing they’re doing just fine at it from the corporation’s perspective.

Because the Weight Watchers corporation doesn’t make money on the Life Time Members. They don’t make money off them until they “backslide” by gaining more than 2 pounds. At that point we get to start writing the checks again. How’s that for a money tree? EVERYONE backslides more than 2 pounds now and then.

I’ve been much more successful since joining my Eat4Today/Blogging Community plan. I’m part of a world-wide support community. And it’s free.

Facing Up — The All-Powerful Food Diary

So, OK — I’m not going to eat between meals and I’m not going to take seconds and I’m going to walk for 3 miles. And yes, doing this regularly does work. The trick is in the “doing this regularly” part. And that’s where blogging helps. When I actually do my daily thought pieces (which kind of stopped during the election-season) I’m more committed. And my commitment has more power if I write down what I eat and do.

Weight Watchers is where I first learned to “Journal” what I eat. And the Weight Watcher food diaries are still helpful. It’s really nice to tuck their diary into my purse and write down my meals no matter where I am. But the written format has serious limitations compared to the computer tools that are now available.

With online and desktop diaries you can create charts of your progress, track exercise (and the calories burned) and in some — menus of regular meals and recipes.

I can’t seem to stick to just one journaling tool. I like the colorful charts of one tool and the ability to record recipes and log them as single servings in another and I love the moving-weighted-average weight chart of another. So, getting back on track is a little complicated for me as I get each of them set up for my renewed commitment. Luckily one of them has updated the software to make it easy to adjust goals (I thought I was going to have to create a New-Fake-Me.)

(clearing my throat) Continue reading »

The BMI and I

Today at WW I verified the loss of another 0.8 lbs. This means that I am continuing on my steady half pound a week weight loss pattern. Because of medical issues, the doctor really doesn’t want my weight going down any faster than that– although I would be pretty happy myself. But, for me, too rapid weight loss can trigger pancreatitis, a very painful and even potentially deadly condition which rivals both back labor in childbirth and sciatica on my own personal “OMG !!!! Scale” of physical discomfort.

But I digress…. as previously noted, this rate of loss has been consistent since Thanksgiving last year, making my goal weight well within view at this point.

Today, for the amusement value, I decided to check my BMI against the new number on the scale. A few weeks back I realized that I am, in fact, inching closer and closer to a “normal” BMI, something I haven’t experienced in 15-20 years.

Wonder of wonders, it turns out I am 10 pounds from that particular goal !

Of course, were I excising more than I have been, more of my body mass would be muscle than it presently is, so at least theoretically, I could be my present weight and have a body fat percentage in an entirely acceptable range.

But I’m not exercising enough, so that is not the case, thus I cannot rationalize away those 10 pounds. I must get to work on that 3415 part of our daily commitment.

And stay away from the Easter candy !

Perspectives

Today I checked in at Weight Watchers. The Sunday morning meeting at my local WW establishment is always lively and well-attended. The leader is very skillful, and in general it makes me feel good to go there. The assembled group of perhaps 40-50 people had lost a total of 70 lbs.– maybe more considering there were a few folks who made it in a little after the announcement.

One woman had recently completed her first marathon, and had lost a lot of weight between WW and the training process– I think I heard 68 lbs. As her medal was passed around for everyone to see, I’m sure there were a lot of people who drew inspiration from her. She plans to run/walk the next one, instead of walking it like she did this one. Her weight-loss goal and her marathon goal are joined, each reinforcing the other.

The mistake I made when training for my marathons was not getting a weight loss plan working. When you train like that, of course, you can eat a lot more and still drop pounds steadily. Trouble comes when you stop training and keep eating! So, when I had an injury that sidelined me in 2005, you can guess what happened ! But WW helps you to realize the adjustments that must be made when you change your activity levels by having points calculators for both food and exercise.

At this point, though, every time I think about training for another marathon, (I’ve completed 4 in the past, and 1 half marathon last December), all I seem to be able to come up with is reasons why not to. Not good.

Let me tell you, I have been feeling like I’m on a plateau for awhile and I have not been liking it. However, the reality is another 0.2 lbs. bit the dust since my last weigh-in at a meeting. Truth is, though, I haven’t had an up weigh-in for a long time, and the last one was less than half a pound. So I did the math and discovered that it’s a very steady average of 0.51 lbs/week that have been going away since Thanksgiving. Not too bad, considering I have health issues that militate against getting rid of the pounds too rapidly.

I realized that at the current rate, I will weigh less than my lowest weight in 24 years in about 6 months time. That was the last time I was at goal with Weight Watchers, before I abandoned ship. That was well before their “point system” which I think works very well for a lot of people, or their “core system” which others favor but which seems like anarchy to me.

In reviewing the Hacker’s Diet materials, I find much that is consistent with my experience, although I am not in the least interested in all that spread-sheet stuff. I like to keep it simple in that regard, so the WW on-line bookkeeping works well for me.

By the way, we were informed today that WW’s website has a new upgrade– they formally recognize the existence of men ! In other words, they have parts to their website that are designed specifically for men now. Amazing. WW’s website has been one of the few places in the world not dominated by the male of the species. Guys, women can’t even take a peak at it without going to their registration page and changing their gender ! I guess some women will, although I don’t think it will be me.

No matter how any of us look at it, though, the world keeps turning, and every day we make the choices that either get us closer to our goal, or farther away from it. Twenty four years ago, I started making some bad choices, and I really didn’t like the view from where I ended up.

Resolved: I’m not going backwards again ! How about you ?

Apples and Pears

Since I’ve been working on this project to become a person who will, eventually, fit into a standard casket rather than the new Super Size models you can find on the showroom floor, I’ve gone through a number of stages.

Early on, it was ill health and depression that kick-started my weight loss. About this time last year, I got the first of a series of upper respiratory infections, sciatica bouts, and other miscellaneous health issues that quite simply made me stop eating. Prior to that time, if there was a snack type thing laying around the office or at home, I would grab it. Starbucks provided vente calorie fests for me regularly, and, if nothing else, there was always the Micky D’s drive through for a milk shake. Of course my weight was out of control. I didn’t much care. I was depressed and miserable anyhow.

Once I noticed I had lost 10 pounds without trying, however, it made sense to me to capitalize on that, so that’s why I started Weight Watchers. As many of you know. WW is not even close to the same outfit it was 20 years ago, the last time I tried it. I found the points plans congenial (as opposed to the core plan), and have pretty much stuck to it ever since.

Now I there’s 25% less of me, and, frankly, the effort was generally rather less than I thought it might be. I’m still not exercising as often as I should (katiebird’s 3415 is a great idea which we should all be doing !), but when people ask me what I’m doing to keep dropping the pounds I tell them the truth– I’m just not eating all the stupid things I used to eat. And we all know what the stupid things are, don’t we ?

Fact is, when I want a snack now, the correct answer to “What shall I have ?” is– an apple. Or, for a treat, one of those wonderful pears that come in the “clamshell” boxes with the sensor that tells you when it’s just right. MMMM ! And I don’t have to feel guilty.

So, what are you doing to make it happen for you ?