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 19) October 7, 2015

October 7 2015

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

August 12 2015

Weights & Balances (Year 3 Issue 6) – July 8, 2015

July 8 2015_Page_1

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

Weights & Balances (Year 2 Issue 38) – February 18, 2015

February 18 2015

Weights and Balances (Year 2 Issue 32) – January 7, 2015

January 7 2015

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