Firsts:

March 10, 2016 – Thursday

This might not be the first of the month but it a time of some great “firsts!”  Today was the first day I could walk my dog in a short sleeved tee shirt and no jacket and not be too cold!  Today was the first day I had to spray myself down with Mosquito repellant. My car is lightly dusted with oak pollen and spring is in the air, ACHOOO!  I live in the best place in the world (in my opinion) and though this isn’t a great time of the year for my allergies, I love living here in Florida!  The weather is pristine right now!  I do not like being cold so I have looked very forward to this awesome weather!  Just pardon my red watery eyes, and red puffy running nose.

Last night I rummaged around in the cabinets to find that elusive tube of fake a bake.  I pulled out my sunless tanning cream and slathered it on for the first time in many months.  The slow build of a good “tan” has begun!  Next I have to start pulling out the shorts and getting ready for this hugging warm weather!

Last night the biggest “first” of all, I got a message from a friend on Facebook  and it said “I joined WW!”   She shared her first week’s success with me!  She is off to an amazing start her first week too! I love hearing about other’s success it is inspiring to me too!

She asked me for some pointers and suggestions and I shared the following with her.

  • Do not overwhelm yourself, one small change at a time.
  • Focus on health, not how you look.
  • Slow and steady healthy weight loss is best.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Eat lots of zero point snacks to keep you throughout the day.
  • Focus on small attainable goals, such as five pounds at a time.
  • Change up your workouts with lots of different activities, keep it fun!
  • No matter how bad the choice is, track it, own it and move on~
  • We all make bad choices from time to time just don’t live there.
  • Planned indulgences are a must.

I am looking forward to seeing all her new “firsts” too!

This nice warmer weather is putting a spring in my step and a bigger smile on my face.  Nothing like a soft gentle warm breeze caressing your skin as you walk in the bright clear sunshine!  I must have spring fever! AACHOOOOOO! Yes, it is spring again. Gotta love it!

 

Weights and Balances (Year 3 Issue 31) December 30, 2015

December 30 2015

Scale Wars: The Dark Side of Eating

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.

Lord Fat Sugar Vader

Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale (Part 4) Settling In

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.

BREAKFAST:
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!

EATING OUT:
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.

SUGAR SUGAR/HORMONES
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.

THOUGHTS
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.

Beyond the Scale

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

Weight Watcher’s Beyond the Scale — Part 1(Pre-Program Impressions)

“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)

Change Coins 1