Weight Watchers – Beyond the Scale (Part 3) Routine

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.

PP vs SP

Weights and Balances (Year 3 Issue 26) November 25, 2015

WB Nov 25 2015

Weights and Balances (Year 2 Issue 43) – March 25, 2015

March 25 2015

Thank you Cindy Crawford!

When I saw the photo below online I felt I needed to share it with you.  Why?  I feel most of us women (including myself) have unrealistic expectations of our bodies especially as we begin to age and are on journeys seeking greater health and a normal body weight.

Cindy Crawford without question is one of the most beautiful women and seemingly ageless women of my generation.  But, even she isn’t  flawless as we have seen her portrayed in magazines; she is a real women.  I do not know if she allowed the picture to surface but if she did, I want to applaud her for her confidence.  I hope she did want this pictures seen, as it gives some realism to millions of women and young girls.  Intellectually, I have known for years that pictures were air-brushed and touched up to create the illusion of perfection, but it isn’t until I see a picture like this does it really compute in my thick hard head.

I think we have all admired the glamorous women portrayed in the movies, magazines and media throughout our lives.  I recall thinking “If I could only be like them!” (beautiful, thin, rich, famous, etc.) I thought my life was missing something because I wasn’t beautiful, thin, rich or famous.  I was just plain me, plain chubby me from Indiana.  I didn’t live in New York, Paris, Los Angeles or Rome, I lived in a small town.  The most glamorous thing in our town was the General Store’s Soda Machine’s sign glowing in the darkness.  The movies and magazines were avenues of escape from the Midwest small town life.  We ALL wanted to be Farrah Fawcett, Jacquelyn Smith, Kate Jackson, Marie Osmond, Twiggy, Ann Margaret, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Ursula Andress, Kim Novack, Marlo Thomas, Yvonne Craig, Tina Louise,  Dawn Wells and countless other stars who epitomized perfection in the magazines and on the big and small screen.  Yes, I am dating myself but that is ok, I like being that “certain age.”

I suspect many of us who have looked or attempted to look (at times we can’t bear to look) at our bodies in the mirrors and  instantly thought of how much we need to change, how imperfect we are, and sadly how undeserving we are in life!  For a very long time, I was not able to look at my own body in any mirror with our without clothes without total disgust. As I got older (over 50), I started feeling better about my body and was able to look in the mirror without cringing.  When did this happen? It was not after I lost ten pounds, 50 pounds or even 100 pounds, it was before I started living a healthy lifestyle.  I do feel that change in attitude of acceptance and gratefulness is what prepared my mind and enabled me to make healthy changes in my life.  I started accepting my body how it was and kept telling myself no I am not “perfect” (and no one is!).  I was grateful for the body I had been given.  At least I had both arms, both legs, all my fingers and toes and I could walk, talk and think as there are many who do not have all their fingers, toes, legs arms and some who have cognitive limitations.  After coming to peace with my own imperfections, I realized I COULD change some things about myself and I HAD to change things about myself!    I physically felt so bad at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013, I couldn’t even without stopping walk up one flight of stairs.  Internally I knew I HAD to change or face becoming a very limited disabled  future or possibly no future at all, maybe face an early death.

After having lost over the excess weight, I look at my sagging skin and the stretch marks and sometimes find myself thinking I am not “good enough” or I am “flawed” but this picture helps me realize that I am not perfect but I am “real” and not nearly as bad my thoughts have led me to believe.  This picture gives me “hope” and “assurance” that I am more “normal” than I have ever realized! We are all supermodels! (sans the agent, the money, the stylist and the artist to photo-shop our pictures)  Thank you Cindy Crawford for being a “normal” gorgeous women who is aging with style and grace!  You are awesome! (even if you do have the agent, money, stylist and the artist to air-brush away “media-labeled” imperfections!)

Cindy Crawford

Just “ONE” Wish…

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.

Food is not the answer

Steps to Accepting your Body and Improving your Body Image

We all have body image issues for many reasons.  We all have to find ways to accept and love our bodies no matter what shape they are in.  Here are some suggestions that might help you to get in touch with your body and become more self-accepting of your body as it is now.

Steps to accepting your body:

  • Start small. Look and find one thing, no matter how small, you like and appreciate about your body.
  • Appreciate your body and all it can do. Appreciate the changes as you age and change. Base your self-image and self-esteem to match current strengths not those of days gone past.
  • Remind yourself what “true” beauty is it is more than how you look!
  • Look at yourself as a whole person.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Shut down your negative thoughts and inaccurate thinking! Give yourself positive affirmations! Work to change thought patterns.  (self-put-downs, mistaking feelings for facts, jumping to negative conclusions, changing a positive into a negative, all or nothing thinking, seeing and dwelling on only the negatives)
  • Dress nicely. Wear clothes that make you feel good about your body.
  • View social and media messages through critical eyes. Write letters of protest to the advertiser. Reframe your thinking about what media communicates to you.  “Basically, you have the power to override what you see in the media and create your own image of what’s beautiful.  “Focus on health and fitness rather than aesthetics.”  Adam Farrah, certified trainer and cofounder of the “Strong is the New Skinny” social-media campaign.
  • Do something good for yourself. Reward yourself when you succeed.
  • Channel extra time and energy into helping others. Reaching out to others can help you feel better about yourself and help create positive change in the world. Take time to compliment other people.
  • Dance and Movement Therapy help one to develop a greater appreciate and trust of one’s body.
  • Practice good personal hygiene.
  • Practice good posture.
  • Work out regularly.
  • Sit in the front row.
  • Speak up.
  • Walk faster.
  • Set aside perfection and grab a hold of accomplishments and Mistakes. Learn from your failures and face your fears. Forgive yourself.
  • Explore yourself. Take a self-esteem inventory.  List 10 strengths on one side of a paper and 10 weaknesses on the other. Push and find all ten Strengths! Make a list of the top ten things you like about yourself that is not related to weight or physical appearance.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. Become a better version of yourself. You are unique! Cherish your body’s uniqueness. Others lives might look greener but the reality can be totally different. “Only 2% of all the women in the world fall into the supermodel category.  That leaves a lot of room for the rest of us!”  Denise Martz, a clinical health psychologist.  “Seventy-eight percent of women survey said they wished they could wear a smaller size—even the ones who were already a size 8.”  Denise Martz  The Average fashion model is 5 feet 8 inches and measures 34-24-34 (women) and men are 6 feet or taller with a 40 inch chest and chiseled body.  99% of us we cannot obtain those measurements. “Celebrity life is not real life.” Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, Psychologist and Physical Therapist.
  • Culture can have a negative effect on a woman’s self-esteem. Women are doted on because of their looks as children whereas boys are touted for being smart and strong.


Test your body image from SparkPeople: HERE

How Healthy Is Your Body Image?

When you’re on good terms with your body, it shows. Here are some signs you’re on the right track: (I wish I could find where I found these!)

  1. When someone compliments you on your appearance or fitness, you’re gracious and accept the compliment as authentic.
  2. You prefer to wear clothes that highlight your form rather than hide it.
  3. It is not hard to find an outfit in which you feel comfortable and attractive.
  4. You rarely compare yourself with others. You recognize that you are unique.
  5. You can admire another person’s physique without silently criticizing or judging your own.
  6. When you pass by a mirror or storefront window, you don’t stop and nitpick your appearance; you might even give yourself an approving nod.
  7. You can name several parts of your body that you genuinely like and appreciate.
  8. If you put on (or lose) a little weight, you can note it matter-of-factly, without undue anxiety or stubborn denial.
  9. You are more focused on optimizing your health, fitness and confidence than on achieving a particular weight or “look.”
  10. You are not comparing yourself with others.

Body Image 9Self Image 9

Weights and Balances (Year 2 Issue 3)- June 25, 2014

June 25 2014