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

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Weight Watchers – Beyond the Scale – Part 2 (My First Day)

I was in the advantageous position of being in the last group for the week (my weigh in is on Saturday) that converted to the new Beyond the Scale program with the newly named SmartPoints and FitPoints.  That gave me an interesting perspective and lots of time to vent, explore and ask tons of questions to my Weight Watcher online friends.

I felt I was prepared before going to the introduction meeting, I knew what to expect, and had read about most of the changes and my fears had been transformed into excitement to  begin the new program.  I had realized  that I wasn’t going to need to make major changes but  more like a few “tweaks” to my eating plan to adapt to the new plan.

FACT AND FICTION

  1. FACT:  My daily points did go up! I was at 26 in the Points Plus Program (the lowest you can go) because I was already trying to lose a few post-vacation pounds.  My new daily SmartPoints allows is 30! Four points up from the old allowance. WIN!
  2. FACT:  Meekly point allowance went down.  On Points Plus, everyone had 49 weekly points to use as needed.  Now, I have 28 weeklies on the SmartPoints program.  Everyone now has a personalized weekly allowance based on: your sex, age, height and weight on the SmartPoints Program.  This allowance is a lot less  but I rarely used more than 3-7 extra points in a week so this did not concern me personally but many others are very upset about it!
  3. FACT:  My work week breakfast had been cooked oatmeal with raisins and some chopped almonds and only 7 points on the old program.  My 1 ounce of raisins were two points. BUT in the new program, they are now 5 SmartPoints.  OUCH!  For now, this makes them too “costly” (or pointy as we like to call things) to be a regular part of my breakfast.  My mom offered a perfect solution the now costly raisins.  She suggested that I add frozen fruit (mixed berries, cherries, etc.) to my daily oatmeal for a new flavor and a hint of sweetness but would not add any additional points!  Brilliant! My mom is a genius! My thinking is, now that I lost the 2 points of the raisins I can UP my chopped almonds to 3 points  which adds more crunch more protein! Yay my first SmartPoints crisis solved! Ultimate WIN!
  4. FACT:  Many lean proteins’ point values went down.  That is a HUGE win for this protein/meat loving girl! My 6 ounce chicken breast used to cost me 6 points now is only 4 SmartPoints! YAY! I love my chicken!
  5. FACT: White fish went down in points.  I am a lover of Cod, and Haddock so this is awesome!  My 6 ounce fillets are now ONE point!  Yay!
  6. FACT:  Shrimp point values went down too.  For this shrimp loving woman, this is also big exciting news!
  7. FACT:  I found out MOST of my favorite foods stayed the same points values.
  8. FACT:  I found out some of my treats/indulgences are no longer worth the points. (example – I love the Weight Watchers Giant Cookies and Cream  Chocolate Ice Cream Bar (used to be 4 points and a high point splurge for me) but NOW isn’t worth the 6 SmartPoints! I wonder if WW knows they just killed their own ice cream treat business? (I did see where most Weight Watchers Ice Cream Treats are being revamped down to a “snack” size with only a 2-3 SmartPoints value, good move Weight Watchers!
  9. FICTION:  You can’t eat out on SmartPoints.  One of my favorite  once a week treat is  a Chick-fil-A  Chicken  Biscuit but I order it on a regular bun went DOWN 1 SmartPoints! – WIN!
  10. FICTION:  You can’t eat any fast food on SmartPoints.   My mom and I have a “tradition” of eating at KFC on Saturdays after grocery shopping and before other shopping that day so I was very scared I would have to give up this weekly meal.  Much to my shock the net gain/loss of  points was zero, the total stayed the same although they are distributed differently between the individual items!  SUPER HAPPY! I had emotional attachment to this meal/tradition and I was really nervous that it was going to have to be changed.
  11. FACT: Planning ahead is a good idea.  My mom and I discussed the possibilities of the KFC meal point changes and we had decided to give up the biscuit if it became too pointy prior beginning SmartPoints.  We were prepared to make a change or modification but didn’t need to make it after all! BIG WIN!
  12. FACT:  On the new program you are not encouraged to eat your FitPoints. I get this because now there is no base-line and the points start accumulating with your first step.
  13. CONFUSED:  I took my assessment and my daily FitPoints  target is 1 fit point a day; 7 for the week.  I don’t quite understand that but I earned 9 my first day.  I also read that your FitPoints goal would be adjusted on a weekly basis so it will work out.
  14. FACT:  I cooked my first dinner on the new plan was a grand total of 3 SmartPoints! In the old program it would have been 5 points.  That saved me 2 SmartPoints!  I ate  4.5 ounces of boneless and skinless chicken breast for only 3 SmartPoints! Yay more protein!
  15. FACT:  There is an adjustment period in my head that is going on.  I can see now I might be ap to have points left over at the end of the day so I will have to think of a way to eat my daily points allowance which Weight Watchers urges us to do.
  16. FACT:  There are no Good Health Guidelines and Healthy Checks.  I miss this already.  Weight Watcher feels if you are eating the lower point foods you are instantly getting all these in and do not need to keep track of them.  I would still like to check off my healthy checks and my daily water intake.
  17. FACT:  I have to tweak some of my recipes.  My old smoothie was 6 points and now it has gone up to 9 SmartPoints OUCH! I exchanged my fat-free milk (which went up to 3 SmartPoints per cup)  for Unsweetened Cashew Milk and saved a 2 points!
  18. FACT:  Many ready Made Cereal really jumped in points! The higher their fat and/or sugar content the higher the points went.  My typical Sunday breakfast used to be  2 cups of Special K Chocolatey Delight Cereal for a huge 8 point breakfast (Unsweetened Cashew mike was zero points for a half a cup).  Now on SmartPoints,  I would be looking at a whopping 14 points! NO WAY!     I spent a lot of time reading about Ready to Eat Cereals and their values in the SmartPoints Program and found out that I needed to “Cool” my love affair with those chocolate laced Special K Cereals and opt for less sugared cereals.
  19. FICTION:  All ready-made cereals are high in points.  2 cups of Rice Krispies with a banana cut up in it with 1/2 cup skim milk (out of cashew milk now) was 6 points.  Had I stuck to my “old” breakfast I would have been 16 SmartPoints of my 30 SmartPoints  day!  50% of my daily allowance would have been spent on my indulgent breakfast.  I happened to have Rice Krispies on hand but I can tell from my reading my weekend ready to eat cereal will be back to some basics, the original yellow box Cheerios and Multi-Grain Cheerios.  Funny when I started Weight Watchers almost 3 years ago, I ate a lot of those so back to the beginning in many ways!
  20. LESSON LEARNED:  Though that Chocolate Delight tastes awesome, it offers too much sugar and not enough staying power for that many points.  It is NOT worth it!   I need to make better choices for my cold cereal splurge!
  21. CHALLENGE:  Finding healthier choices to be healthier and improve weight loss.  I will not ban Special K chocolate laced cereals from my pantry but I will be less likely to purchase them in the future.

MY ADVICE:   Study point values before going grocery shopping or going out to eat.  Make a list of new things to add to your plan with fewer points.  PLAN  and stick to your PLAN = SUCCESS! 

I felt successful on my first day on SmartPoints and I still feel very positive about the program and what I am understanding about it.

SmartPoints 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Weights and Balances (Year 3 Issue 11) August 12, 2015

August 12 2015

The Email: I Held My Breath and Clicked “Submit”

I recently blogged about finding old unflattering photos of myself and said I would explain later why I was hunting up old photographs of myself when I was at my heaviest.  Here is why I was dredging out the old photos out of the box hidden in the closet.

I had been asked to locate and send to a producer those photographs to help them make a decision.  What decision you might ask?  I submitted my story/journey to Joy Bauer’s Joy Fit Club. To become a member the minimum weight loss you have had to achieve is to have lost one hundred pounds.  I can check that off, I had indeed accomplished that!  I went through her site and read many success stories and realized that many had lost much more weight hundreds of pounds.  I kept trying to be positive and think you never know until you try!

I started to select some pictures to attach.  What to select?  I found a few pictures to attach, took a deep breath and clicked on the submit button.  I could exhale now.  I had submitted my information no matter what the outcome would be.  I felt empowered!  I felt happy!  I felt proud! I felt accomplished!  I was giddy from excitement!  Now, the reality sank in, and my mind started talking to me to not expect any response and to know that to hear nothing did not negate my success.  I walked away from the computer and felt good about what I had accomplished in just the act of putting it “out there” for the show to view.

About 15 minutes later, I came back to the computer.  Not only did I get a response, they wanted my cell phone number so they could speak with me.  A few days later, I had a phone interview with one of the show’s producers about my weight loss journey.  She requested that I send them some additional photos to help them make a decision.   I was walking on air after the phone interview!  I was thrilled to be considered as a possible guest!   The producer had said they would make a decision next week.  Last week was “next week” and  I was away on a five night cruise.   I explained that I was going to be away on vacation and would try to check email in both Grand Cayman and Cozumel while I was on the cruise.

I tendered ashore in Grand Cayman to seek out free wi-fi to check my email.  I had 238 emails which were trying to download and among those emails was the one I was wanting to see!  I know it was a huge honor to just be considered for the Joy Fit Club and truly felt no matter what the outcome would be that I should be proud and happy to have reached my weight loss goals.  That a “no thank you” didn’t invalidate my journey nor my success.

I clicked to open the email; I read it about three times.  Then I looked at my mom and read it aloud to her, “We would like to invite you to be a guest….”  (and there were more words, but those are the ones I had to re-read several times).  Those words took my breath away!   And then my mind went on a wild journey of questions, thoughts and imaginings.

One little trip my mind went on was “Oh my!  I have to be really strict with my food choices!  I can’t gain an ounce!”   I heard my “perfectionist” voice try to rear its ugly head.  I had to shut it down quickly!   I knew that voice had ruined so many things in my past so it had to be silenced.  I let logic take over and knew that I could not re-gain 135 pounds in 3 more days no matter what unwise choices I might make!  A sense of calm came over me, and I thought that through the journey, I only had to be consistent at least 70% of the time to have great results!  Two days of the cruise were behind me and I had not gone crazy or made unmindful choices, I knew I could do this!  I did have a few indulgences, but they were planned ones.

When I returned from the cruise, I checked my scale on Sunday morning and I was up .6, yes that’s just  6/10ths of a pound, a little over a half a pound!   Yay me! This week, I am focusing on getting that .6 (and a little more) off before my official month Weight Watchers weigh in on Saturday Morning.

Now to keep focused on my health and journey and savor the experience.

Below are some of the now cherished mementos of my past freed from the dark corners of the storage closet.

Old Me Collage

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