What I Learned From: Doing Weight Watchers for 2 Years (And Why I Stopped)

I am a “Lifetime” member at Weight Watchers, but I don’t know if I’ll ever go to another meeting again.

Every month when it was time to weigh in, I would fast and starve myself while still running outside in Hotlanta, killing myself to keep within 2 lbs of my unrealistic goal. I didn’t even make it to my meeting in June, so I had to pay $14 in July (if you weigh in successfully, your meetings are free that month).

I am still running and working out every week, but not always tracking every meal as I was taught.  Even when I abstain from sugar and other carbs, I don’t lose pounds because I am gaining muscle.  I measure my maintenance success mostly by how my clothes fit and my consistency with workouts and eating a cleaner diet. I recently started going to a chiropractor and during my consultation, he measured my body fat. I like that better than the BMI measurement. But I still have work to do.

I like the accountability of meetings, but otherwise don’t need them. WW recycles the same topics so with 2 years in, there was nothing new to discuss. Plus, for reasons unknown, all my original WW buddies no longer attend the meetings either.

 

Source: TaraBurner.com

 

So after struggling for a year to maintain the required 2-lb allowance from my goal weight, I guess you can say I gave up.

Quitting and giving up are not synonymous. I think giving up is the right thing for me to do in this situation–not stressing every month about an ideal that was not based on reality.

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Maintaining for Life

Today is my first anniversary with Weight Watchers, and it’s also the day I made Lifetime.

Lifetime-ww-jhudposter
I’m ready to stop paying for WW membership, and now I can. I maintained my goal weight for 6 weeks and made it to Lifetime status! And this was after almost a week’s vacation in Las Vegas. Coincidentally, the topic for last week’s meeting (which they seem to cover each year in June) was how to stay on plan during vacations.

Continue reading “Maintaining for Life”

Live Life Active Goal: Couch to 5K

Credit: 5K Runner

WW has just begun their annual campaign called Live Life Active  (not an affiliate link). It’s an optional initiative where they ask you to commit to an activity goal for 8 weeks. Several prizes, incentives and discounts are available when you participate in your chosen activity each week. The grand prize is a trip to Costa Rica, but I’m not going to do this for the prizes. I want the psychological reward of what happens when I complete something (else) that I thought I couldn’t do. I’m a goal-getter, and I can stare a challenge in the face with the best of them.

My Live Life Active goal is to complete a Couch to 5K (C25K) program. Then sometime this year, I want to run a 5K. I have a strong hunch that finishing a race will do change my mindstate even more than it could ever change my body. (I do want both, however.)

I’ve read awesome post series from several bloggers like Sheryl and Beth who reached their goals on Weight Watchers (WW) and also run. A few people in my WW meetings have also completed at least one 5K race. It’s motivating, even though running is one of my least favorite sports-related activities. I know I need to build up my endurance if I am ever going to seriously teach the group exercise formats I’m interested in. I even joined Black Girls Run, and balked when I saw that all runs took place outside. I’ve been working out regularly for the past year–just not outside. (Hey–I’ve come a long way from the time where I refused to work out to preserve my relaxed long hairstyle).

What is your latest goal (in progress)?

February 2013: Fun Times, Creating Memories

As usual, I’m recapping my highs and lows from last month.

Good Stuff

Valentine Anniversary – I celebrated the first anniversary of my first published release, What’s Wrong With Me? (the book and the journal).

Credit: Quizzle

Taxes Done – Following my usual tradition, I used TurboTax as I have for the past 13 years, and filed in February. I’ve already received my state refund and am awaiting my federal refund. I would rather have my money during the year than at tax time, but it’s hard because I already claim a high number of exemptions on my W-4 for my employer, AND I itemize annually as a business owner. I think there’s only been one year that I’ve owed money, and it was about $500. I’d love to get to a happy medium.

Missing My Mojo – Usually, I take TurboKick class on Tuesdays (I’m not teaching it yet). But this month I had to sacrifice because on most Tuesdays this month, I was with my daughter taking advantage of outings (field trips) with other homeschool families. When I returned to my TK class last week, another class member who is an acquaintance told me that I had been missed. I missed being there, too! Now I know that I can’t miss 3 weeks of TK in a row anymore. Since I became a certified  instructor, I have access to the workouts on DVD, but working out at home is not the same as working out with a room full of other TurboChicks. I doesn’t even matter if I have a conversation with someone while I’m there or not. There’s just something about being around people, with all of us in sync with the choreography, that brings me great joy. What can I say–it’s the dancer in me.

Creating Memories

My daughter K had one week in particular this month that was pretty awesome. She attended a live show with Nickelodeon characters, she went to a birthday party/sleepover with a friend who has a barn, and she met not one, but three stars from the Disney channel and Nickelodeon (the latter was a complete surprise). Continue reading “February 2013: Fun Times, Creating Memories”

Fasting for Change

I’ve been doing well on Weight Watchers (WW) for the past 6 months, and reached my 10% goal last week. However, it’s time for me to go deeper.

Clean Eats

i-promise-to-eat-clean
I’m going to do better!

I don’t need to fool around with new goal-setting or resolutions– I’ve discussed my goals throughout this blog and recapped my accomplishments for the past year.  But I have decided to do a self-imposed clean eating challenge during January 2013.   As Jillian Michaels put it in her book Master Your Metabolism, if it didn’t have a mother or grow from the ground, it’s probably not good for you (my paraphrase). Cheap food definitely has consequences as a regular part of your diet.  And the fact that the WW program doesn’t make any food off limits can be a blessing and a curse:

  • WW primarily evaluates the Nutrition Facts on labeled foods to determine its points value — not the food’s actual ingredients
  • WW doesn’t reward you for eating clean unless you select certain fruits and vegetables or “power foods” (some of these are 0 points)
  • WW assigns higher points to foods that are full-fat (that is, more of your daily allowed points are used for eating full-fat, regular foods than low-fat or fat-free items, which almost always have chemicals and other unhealthy additives)

I don’t think I’m going to be able to realistically eat clean 100% of the time, and my daughter certainly won’t.  But over time, a few changes here, a few new habits there, and we can definitely improve our diet from what it has been and make it a part of our lifestyle. I like to think that I have only lived 1/3 of my life so far, so my best days are ahead and I want to be able to enjoy them.

Continue reading “Fasting for Change”

A New 360-Degree Focus

This week Weight Watchers unveiled their new program, Weight Watchers 360. It seems to be an addition–not a replacement–to the PointsPlus program they launched two years ago.

I love the name. 360 implies that your incorporating healthy habits into your life. Losing wait and living healthier does not be getting and with the way to you eat. It begins with your mindset. The three foci (plural for focus) are tracking (not new), spaces, and routines. It suggests ways to help you develop habits that will help you be more productive and successful (with ANY type of goal)) ).

Continue reading “A New 360-Degree Focus”

Thanks-and-Giving: How Much Do Compliments Cost?

Have you ever purposely changed something about your appearance–maybe your hairdo or a special outfit–and wondered if anyone (or a specific person like your partner) would notice?  Since my appearance has started to change from weight loss (17 pounds and counting), I’ve gotten some unexpected compliments from people who I didn’t expect to notice.

Upon arriving to youth ministry service one day about two months ago, I greeted the youth minister and he asked me if I was losing weight. I can’t remember his language verbatim, but he said could tell (the way he said it was complimentary). At that time, I had not noticed a change in my figure, so I was surprised to get the compliment.  Then a week or two later when I served again, his wife hugged me and mentioned that every time she sees me, she sees less and less of me because I’m shrinking (making gestures to indicate that I keep getting smaller).  Note that the youth minister and his wife are a good bit younger than me (I’ll touch on age in a bit).

It feels good to hear stuff like that. I love food, but there’s no food that tastes as good as being smaller feels. Continue reading “Thanks-and-Giving: How Much Do Compliments Cost?”