I haven’t seen the new Star Wars movie as of today, but I think the firestorm of heated criticism of the new Weight Watchers Program Beyond the Scale (SmartPoints) could compare with StormTroopers trying to defeat rebel forces (that is the theme of all the past movies). In my version of Star Wars I see the Weight Watcher Program as the “good” guys (rebels) and the Weight Watchers members are Stormtroopers who are moving at the command of “Lord Dark Fatty Sugar Vader.” A bit harsh? Maybe but bottom line it is true.
All of us good little sugar and fat stormtroopers (myself included) are so yes I will use the word “addicted” to “dark side” of eating that we are reduced to helpless screaming two-year olds when we are told “no” that isn’t good for us! While we have known it for a long time, Weight Watchers has in the past played the role of the endearing/enabling Grandparent who loves to spoil the grandkids with those sugary fatty treats. Even Weight Watchers are reconfiguring their products (to some degree) to make them more compatible with the new program.
We all know junk foods are formulated to make us addicted to them. Manufacturers spend billions of dollars on junk food science to manipulate us into eating their products. But yet we willing to continue to eat these chemically altered foods designed to enslave us to sugars and saturated fats. We have to break the cycle of depending on these types of foods not only for our health but for the sake of the generation to follow. Be an example to your children, grandchildren, students, friends and anyone, break the sugar/fat cycle!
What can you do to lessen your eating on the dark side?
I found this great article called “Sugar Addiction Escape Plan” that give ten steps (yes, that might sound like something else) to help free yourself from sugar addiction.
I am half way through my first week on the new program and I am still feeling very positive about the changes to the program. Things are starting to settle in as I have only had to make minor changes to my normal eating.
Today I fixed my oatmeal breakfast for the first time since the plan changed. I forgot to add my frozen fruit that I have in the freezer but enjoyed my oatmeal with almonds and cinnamon. I keep forgetting to add my frozen fruit! I did remember yesterday and added dark sweet cherries to my oatmeal and it was delicious! Breakfast isn’t going to be a big deal to modify IF I can stop forgetting to add my frozen fruit to it!
My 5th day in and I had my first eating out challenge. I reviewed the menu the day before online which helped a great deal. I was invited to lunch at a local Greek Restaurant and chose chicken kabob with roasted vegetables. It was great and from what I can figure very Smart Points friendly too! Large chunks of roasted chicken with large chunks of green pepper, onions and tomatoes. Very tasty! I only ate half and took the rest home to have for another meal.
One of the “targeted” items on the SmartPoints plan is sugar and I battled with some hard candies earlier this week. I suspect those candies will most likely affect my weigh in results this first week of SmartPoints. To make it even more complicated my sugar cravings were tag teamed with the female monthly hormone cycle. We are so quick to dismiss the affect hormones have on our eating and cravings but they are directly related. One friend online said there is no way that hormones would affect her weight loss because she no longer has a monthly cycle. In humorous style, I said “Just because that ship has sailed it doesn’t mean the wind can’t flutter your sails!” Why there might not be typical physical signs of the cycle, the hormones do continue to cycle every month. Even post menopausal women continue to feel “bloated” “puffy” etc. long after that time has passed each month but don’t often connect that to their hormone cycle. I can safely say the monthly hormone cycle was most likely the basis of me keeping my hand in the candy jar for a couple of days this week. I am trying to avoid them the rest of this week! This time of year we are bombarded with sugared everything being pushed at us! But, I know how to say “no, thank you” and move on.
BEYOND THE SCALE- FITPOINTS
This past summer the Weight Watchers meetings were focused on being happy and how to be happy. Research has shown that happy people make better food choices which is one of the concepts behind the new name “Beyond the Scale.” There is more involved to losing weight than the number on the scale. Which brings me to FitPoints. We are no longer encouraged to exchange our FitPoints for food. Many have been very disappointed with this new approach as they have been used to exercising more to eat more. Weight Watchers is taking the stance that we should be exercising to feel better not just to eat more. I couldn’t agree more since it appears those with activity monitors can rack up FitPoints for almost nothing! I still enter my activity manually as I do not use an activity monitor and my points are about the same as they were before the program switch which doesn’t seem fair but since I am not using them, it really doesn’t matter in the big picture as I am one who has always held the belief that I am exercising to be healthy so I am not sure if it is even necessary for me to count them anymore. I hope Weight Watchers will come up with a good compromise such as for every ten FitPoints you earn, you will have one additional SmartPoints to use in your daily points total. Or something like that. I think it isn’t an even exchange with the increased points being earned by those with fitness monitors and maybe that kind of formula could work. Just my two cents.
Something you know something but yet you refuse to acknowledge it which I choose to call it conditional amnesia better known as denial. I KNOW Weight Watchers works BUT I keep second guessing myself and keep wondering how I am supposed to be able to lose with having more daily points. I KNOW to trust the program and not to panic but I keep having waves of second guessing myself and Weight Watchers on their approach. I still hear my two-year old toddler self trying to playing with my head.
My weekly Weight Watchers weigh in is on Saturday morning and I am hoping for a “down” no matter how small. My results will be in my summary/wrap up post I will post on Sunday or Monday.
“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)