Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Weight Watchers Update

Weight Watchers, a Balanced Approach

In my last post I expressed my need for a Sane approach to eating, and also posted that I thought Weight Watchers might fit the bill.  Well, I've been on Weight Watchers now for a little over 3 months, and I have to say that I feel more relaxed and "sane" about food then I have in years.  In the past, whether I was "on a diet" or "off my diet", I felt stressed, anxious, frustrated, or just obsessed about food.

On Past Diets and Plans

See, in the past, no matter what diet I was on, or how healthy it might be,  it was always extreme in some way.  South Beach Diet was the least extreme, and the one I did best on, but even with it there were lists of foods you were never to have while on that plan.  I also tried Atkins, again extreme, with lists of foods you can't have. Veganism, whole food groups cut out.  Medifast, here eat nothing but freeze dried fake food, and one real meal each day, but make sure that real meal doesn't have a hint of starch or sugar, and that its low in fat too!  Calorie counting, going a few calories over meant I was "Off my diet", so I might as well enjoy it.  Everything I tried set up a situation where I couldn't have this or that, and if I did, I wasn't "On" the plan that day.

Measuring, counting, logging, or cooking occupied my mind every waking minute.  If I was calorie counting, and I had even a healthy item that put me over my count for the day (like one too many oranges), I'd feel like a failure and be tempted to just quit.  Eventually I would quit, and then I'd go to my "not dieting" eating pattern.

Past times not dieting

The times when I wasn't trying were no saner.  I might not have had a list of "No" foods, but I also had NO restraint or control.  Pizza one day, McDonalds the next, Ice Cream for desert, a big bowl of buttered popcorn while I watched a movie, and candy bar when I went through the checkout line. I have to enjoy myself because I know that next week I'll be starting the diet, or "health plan".  Only when next week got there I would put off for one more week. All the while I'd be suffering from guilt and shame about what I was doing.  I was not happy or at peace at all.

Why Weight Watchers is different.

Weight Watchers is different for many reasons.  First, there is so much flexibility built into the program, no food is strictly off limits.  You have a bank of optional weekly points to go to if you want something that wouldn't fit within your daily points.  And you can "save" up to 4 points each day to add to that weekly bank of points.  What this means, is if I have a day where I eat a little more than usual, I'm not "Off Plan", I'm just using my weeklies.  Second, there are so many foods I don't have to even log, fruits, vegetables, baked chicken breast, eggs, beans, lentils, and plain fat free yogurt are all zero points and logging them is optional.  So I no longer have to feel like eating an orange puts me off plan, and I no longer have to measure literally every item I eat.  Third, weight watchers is different in that it is teaching me how to use moderation with those foods that I really do need use moderation with.  Sure, I can have ice cream, but I do need to watch how much.  I also can have more if its an ice cream with protein in it like "Halo Top"  I can eat bread, but its probably not a great idea to eat 5 rolls in one meal.  I can have wine, but I probably shouldn't have wine if I've already had Ice Cream twice that day.  I need to pick my indulgence.  I think those are the main things that make Weight Watchers different.  I can honestly see myself eating like this for the rest of my life.

Yes, I can honestly see myself eating like this for the rest of my life, and that's what I need. 

I mean, if you are someone who doesn't have a lifelong struggle with eating disorders and weight trouble, for instance if you typically have healthy eating habits but just gained a little weight over the holidays or while you were pregnant, then a simple diet might be fine for you. You might be able to cut out all sugar and simple carbs for a time, and then go back to your regular eating.  A 30 day eating challenge, or a 90 day Fitness program might be just what you need.  But if you are like me, and you don't have a "normal" eating pattern to go back to... then you need something permanent, no 30 day or 90 day plan is going to help you if, once its over, you are back to buying to candy bars every time you go through a check out lane, or back to eating fast food every week, or to simply overeating in general.  

So if you find that you are in the same boat as me, and really, really, need an approach that is not extreme, and does not require you to completely give up every food you enjoy.  If you are looking for an approach that teaches you HOW to eat, instead of how to diet, may I suggest giving weight watchers a try?

I'm losing weight too.

Oh yeah, in addition to being more relaxed and not so obsessed about food.  The past three months have shown on the scale too, in the last three months I've lost 17.4 pounds, which brings me to a loss of 28.5 pounds this year, and down 33.4 pounds from my highest weight.  Now, it isn't always as fast as I'd like, but its working, and I'm not having to stress or deny myself everything I like or go hungry.


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