I am now on day 3 of the new SmartPoints plan and all has gone fairly smoothly. I did all my normal cooking/prep work for food this week yesterday. I boiled 14 eggs, washed and bagged carrots, grapes, cucumbers, apples and bananas and made two huge pots of pasta e fagioli soup. I re-worked the points for a few of my recipes to make sure they are SmartPoints compliant and read the new program materials again.
On a normal work week, I have my banana, apples, cucumbers, carrots and grapes for my daily snacks along with two hard-boiled eggs. I entered my normal two hard-boiled eggs and found out they had gone from four points for two eggs to five points for two eggs. I can live with that one point increase. I will be having my bowl (1.5 cups) of pasta e fagioli soup for lunch for four points. It went up one point, again, I can live with that unlike its inspiration the Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli is now SIX points per bowl! OUCH! Last week I made a double batch of corn chili pepper muffins and I will have one double muffin (maybe) with my soup for an additional four points or I might opt for a bagel thin since they stayed the same points wise.
It is interesting how my perspective has changed about the new program in the last week. I was very apprehensive and fearful this time last week and now I am like this is no big deal and not that big of a change for me food wise. The e-tools and phone app are still having issues and I am missing data but I was told today they are still in the process of moving my account and to give them a bit more time.
Many of my online Weight Watchers friends have refused to move to the new program. They have to do what they feel is right for them but I do hope they will take a deep breath, read more about it and give it a try for a month or so to see how it works. I know there are a few people who have zero interest in changing how they are eating but yet want to lose weight. I hope that in time they will realize that perhaps some of their current food choices are holding the back from reaching their weight loss goals or returning to their goal weight.
We are creatures of habit and if there is a disruption of routine it can throw us off-balance. The new program is a huge disruption of routine for many and a minor hiccup for some of us. I urge everyone to keep an open mind about the new changes. I suspect people will have more weight loss success following the new program. Why do I say that? I feel the new approach is what I have been doing myself for a while. I feel I have been very successful with the program (lost a total of 136 pounds) and this approach will work if you work it honestly! I didn’t begin making low point choices, but I slowly migrated to more and more healthy choices and gravitated away from foods high in fats and sugar. Those types of foods are the exact foods Weight Watchers are hoping that we will more closely examine and decided if they are worthy of being included in our daily food choices. There are no “forbidden or off-limit” foods but the higher point values should help you to be more mindful before making that choice! Smart move Weight Watchers! Bravo and kudos!
I saw the meme online and feel it really sums up the changes to the program very nicely! The two approaches are hand and glove. You have to control not only how much you eat but what you chose to eat as well. But in all fairness I learned what to eat on PointsPlus and that is why I am not having many issues with the new program.
“The biggest change in 50 years” that is what the advertising says and while that is very exciting to those just beginning the Weight Watchers Lifestyle it spreads panic and mass hysteria among the already existing long-term members. The questions/reactions were “Why do I need to change? It has been working so far!” “I have been losing weight why do I need to change?” “I don’t like the new program!” (said before it even launched!) “I do not think this new program will work for me, I am going to keep doing the old program!” (said too before they have really lived the program even 7 days) “This new program isn’t going to work for me!” (also said before they had even tried the program) All of these reactions/statements were based on rumors mostly and very little fact.
The rumors that have been spreading online are scary and members reactions to the rumors are even worse than scary! To see adults who have been successful with the Weight Watchers Program become screaming toddlers who renounce every change possible has been both sad and amusing at the same time. I was the first one to scream like a banshee when the online e-tools and phone ap when awry in the migration from the old program to the new. I did not like the technology suddenly not working, I felt: hurt, betrayed, deserted, scared and left behind. I was very vocal to Weight Watchers via Facebook and online feedback forms about them “breaking” e-tools. I probably sounded like a two-year old who needed a nap but I needed the e-tools to work!
I had to put myself in check (aka an attitude adjustment) by returning back to the “basics and roots” I had learned years ago. I resorted to the “ancient” but effective method of tracking via pencil and paper. Good thing I had purchased two 3 month tracking journals! Nice though in hindsight that I can still track on paper and it works! In fact, that week I lost 2.6 pounds tracking on paper! A good reminder that you do not need technology to lose weight! We forget that sometimes, often, okay–a lot.
Listening to the rumors and other members posting on-line I am steeled for my regular Saturday morning meeting to be not the most positive environment and to hear lots of venting and protesting the new changes. We dislike, umm ok HATE would be the better description for the new meeting room chair arrangement but have reduced our banter down to joking every time we come in and see a new chair arrangement. We crack lots of jokes about Oprah having a huge studio and how that arrangement works better in a large area but our meeting center isn’t that large. We joke ok what is Oprah wanting us to do this week? I feel pretty sure that Oprah had nothing to do with our new seat arrangements but it makes for giggles at 8am on a Saturday morning when everyone there would have loved to have slept in but are choosing to be there instead. BRAVO for us, even though we do complain sometimes, ok a lot, but we do have fun and enjoyable meetings. We are a very interactive group, sometimes way too interactive for our own good. We like each other , have a good time and share our struggles and victories. That is what it is all about right, sharing and caring? We had the camaraderie/bonding part of Weight Watchers down pat a long time before they wanted us too— in my opinion.
I am excited about the new program though I know I am going to be forced to make a few tweaks to my eating plan I suspect. One “rumor” that I believe is based in fact is that my daily points allowance and my weekly points allowances will change. One will go up and one will go down most likely. Food point values will change. I have heard that about 50% of the food points stayed the same with the other 50% either going up or going down, some by a little and some by a lot. I need to shake my eating and exercise up and this is just the ticket to start a new year doing things a little differently.
I will try to keep track of all my thoughts/changes I feel myself going through each step of the way. I want to blog here each day about my challenges and the changes I encounter. I keep telling myself we all can use more change! (giggle)
Excuse me, don’t you mean the Queen of the Nile? No, I am not talking about Cleopatra here, I am talking about us!
Big Time Denial
There are times in our lives when we just do not want to see what is in front of us. This seems to be a common pattern in weight loss. We notice our pants are tighter but we just keep plugging along blaming the washer and dryer on the new “fit.” We notice our energy levels are not the same as they used to be but we just think it is “normal” to be a little tired, after all we are getting older! We notice that we are having indigestion almost on a nightly basis but we just think I must have a “bug.” We notice our knees/hips are bothering us but it must be a touch of arthritis or we pulled or strained something. We notice our face looks a little fuller in the mirror and we chalk it up to water retention. Our feet hurt and we have stopped wearing heals, we must be just getting old! We notice that we feel bloated all the time but we again think it must be an intestinal thing that is “going around.” Our knees/ankles seem to be giving us pain/discomfort, it must be the weather! We feel blue/down all the time and no not like to look into the mirror anymore. We have stopped wearing those “cute” clothes. We have been having migraine headaches often, it must be a food allergy or stress! We can’t sleep well at night, never get enough rest, we must need a new mattress! Guess what? The only thing that is getting ‘round is us! How easy is it to ignore all of the above and chalk them up to something else? Easy Peasy…but our bodies are talking to us! We need to listen!
A Shocking and Revealing Memory
In preparation for the Today Show I was asked what I used to eat for breakfast before joining Weight Watchers, I joked “Breakfast, what’s that?” But later I remembered what I did almost every single morning on the way to work. I made a mad dash for the drive thru at either Chick-Fil-A or Burger King. My choices were far from being point friendly, healthy or even modified in an attempt to try to be healthy! After joining Weight Watchers, I continued to have Chick-Fil-A for breakfast but only once a week. I figured out how to modify my order and chose to have a chicken biscuit on a regular non-toasted, non-buttered bun. I skipped the hash browns! I traded my diet soda for a large glass of water with lemon. When I look back, I am amazed that I not end up weighing more than I did with eating fast food almost every morning! My two choices at that time were either at Chick-Fil-A to order a chicken biscuit, hash browns and a large diet soda or order at Burger King a Ham, Egg and Cheese or Sausage Egg and Cheese Croissandwich, a large has brown and a large diet soda. I look back and think about all the money I spent each week on breakfast alone! OUCH! Add to the expense the harm I was doing to my body , double OUCH! You do not have to give up those foods forever but learn to modify and make them more reasonable and truly “treats” and not every day fare. I get it now, it isn’t a true “treat” if you eat it everyday!
I also chose to stop drinking diet soda for a period of time. I felt I was drinking far too much diet soda and gave it up for many months. The more water I drank, the less I missed the diet soda. I read about the chemicals in diet sodas and the artificial sweeteners, and that knowledge help keep me firm in my resolve. Do I ever drink a diet soda? Yes, I now have a diet soda once a week.
War of the Mind
So many people talk about having a “cheat” meal or a “cheat” day. I am sorry, I refuse to cheat! I know there are no “illegal” foods so I plan for my indulgences and enjoy them without guilt and savor every bite. If I thought that some foods were “off-limits” I know psychologically I would be setting myself up for failure. Mindset is what this is all about. If I feel I am “che in cheating” (negative word) it doesn’t contribute to a positive mindset. But, if I have “planned indulgences” that is a positive term which communicates not only control but enjoyment and satisfaction in a positive frame. How we frame what we do and what we say determines our long-term success. Keep everything positive! Even when you slip up, it is a learning experience not a failure. It is an opportunity to learn more about yourself on the journey of success. Success isn’t a destination it is how you travel the road on your journey. Don’t wait to celebrate, celebrate now! No matter how small or insignificant something seems, celebrate it! Keep everything positive! Don’t let those old negative thought patterns and emotional patterns beat you. Learn to turn them around to work for you and not against you.
Can you ever use negative thoughts in a positive way?
Certainly! A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about “How to be Positively Negative” and if you can, read that installment of my blog.
Here is an example,”The scale was up this week and I was very sad and disappointed in myself.” You feel sad, disappointed and perhaps a little angry at yourself. You know you didn’t really make the best choices all week.
NOW use those negative thoughts and feelings in a positive way. “Next week I am going to be more careful about my choices because I want to feel happy when I get on the scale and see the number.”
Self-love, self-honesty, accountability and self-acceptance can help you pave the path to weight loss success. Sometimes our refusal to see things as they really are can inhibit our progress on our weight loss journey. We need from time to time to give ourselves an old-fashioned “reality check.” Just because you didn’t track it, does not mean you didn’t eat it!
This is the time of the year where we all wish just one work out would whip us into shape! One meal would make us thin! There are some other “one” wishes I would love to have come true, one pill would cure-all cancers, one meal would feed all the hungry, one house would be a home to all the homeless and one prayer that would unite people of all races, cultures and languages to live in peace and harmony.
Once we reached a certain age, we learned that just wishing doesn’t make anything happen. We must put some action behind our wishes and dreams to make them come true.
“A dream is a wish your heart makes”
We all know that popular Disney song but we know as with anything in life, we have to work for it, and weight loss is no different. If you are trying to set your mind on losing excess weight and becoming healthier for the approaching next year, it does begin in the head. Wishing you could do it is a start, a small start. I suggest approaching your weight loss and greater health just as you would any major purchase. Get on-line, read the consumer reviews, read all you can about nutrition, exercise and weight loss. Ask friends and acquaintances what they would recommend or what has worked for them.
I might not be a friend or an acquaintance but I will share with you what has worked for me. I have lost over 120 pounds living the Weight Watchers Lifestyle. I will not kid you, it is not easy but it is simple. The basics of eating right and moving are the foundations of Weight Watchers to which you add: proper portions of foods, more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, more water, and some fun type of movement (exercise).
You aren’t leaving behind doughnuts, pizza, candy, pastries and bread but you will learn that by eating those in proper portions and in moderation you can enjoy all the things you love and learn to love how great you are feeling. I like the phrase from one commercial, what will you gain when you lose? Greater health is priceless. You can’t buy good health and this is a treasure worth pursuing!
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
The first thing you need to get into your head is that diets do not work! They are a temporary solution for a permanent problem. A lifestyle change is the path to success and permanent weight loss and greater health.
Another good thing to get into your head from the beginning is that losing weight will not: make you happy, make you beautiful, make your marriage work, make you have more friends, make you popular, make you a fashion/swimsuit model nor will it cure depression or emotional issues.
Healthy weight loss will: help your total health, change how you look, change how your clothes fit, open you to new experiences and opportunities, make every day things easier to do and enable you to make some internal changes.
At some point, you will have to face what is eating you–tempting you to eat poor food choices or improper portions. This is not easy and takes: time, patience, brutal self-honesty, and lots of brain-sweat equity. How can you go about this aspect? This might involve; journal-ling your feelings before you eat, or after you have binged, or some time with a professional counselor.
Many years ago, I went to see a counselor and he said something to me that puzzled me a lot for a long time. He said that based on my personality I had to work very hard to stay overweight. Through the years, I have started understanding what he meant. I had used being overweight as a wall/protection between me and other people. I had created my own self-fulfilling prophecy, I felt that I was going to be rejected by people (men in particular) and I did whatever I could to make sure I would be rejected (on my appearance alone) and I could say “see I knew (he) didn’t really like me, I was right.” Being right has been very important to me through the years. This has been a tough one, to accept and learn that I did not need to be right about everything! It was ironic really, I was so “right” but yet so “wrong” about myself!
The last few years, I have spent a lot of time journaling about things going on in my life, my thoughts, feelings and anything else I wanted to write about. I started noticing some common threads and started learning some new coping mechanisms. The journaling has helped me to see that “if hunger isn’t the problem, food isn’t the answer” and to hour by hour test myself (hungry or something else) to keep on the healthy track.
I would encourage anyone who wishes to be healthier to spend time inside their own head, perhaps with the guidance of a professional to learn new strategies for dealing with emotions, food and people.