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.
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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- FACT: Shrimp point values went down too. For this shrimp loving woman, this is also big exciting news!
- FACT: I found out MOST of my favorite foods stayed the same points values.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
“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)