Yeah, yeah. They always come crawling back.
I went back to Weight Watchers on November 13. I really didn't want to, but I have realized in the last few months of using Sparkpeople to track and my attempts at striking a balance between living and a healthy lifestyle, that I am just not that good at it ... at least not by myself. After the wedding, I wanted to commit to leading a better life for the sake of my marriage - I want it to be a long and happy one. Left to my own devices, however, I fall too easily to temptation and a fuck-it-all mentality. Not cool, dudes. I haven't gained any weight since then, thankfully, but I'm not headed in the other direction either.
The thing about Weight Watchers is that I hated the plan as it was at that time. I have counted points off and on since first joining with my mom in 2005. She has gone on to lose over 100 pounds, simply by following the plan. I've gone to meetings, done the online plan, done it on my own ... but nothing really worked, at least not long enough to hold my attention. So why go back? I can't really give you a good reason, other than the fact that I wanted to do something, and I wanted to completely give myself over to it, and I trust the results that WW has gotten for other people in my life. My mom, Seester, one of my best friends, women I have met through WW message boards, girls on other blogs ... there are so many success stories out there, and there is no reason that I can't be one of them.
If I follow the plan, that is. And not just follow it ... go all in. That means counting, tracking, living, breathing, pointing Weight Watchers ... and also (for me personally) it means meetings. Some people can do this by themselves, but I need someone else weighing me, and that's something that I can't find in Sparkpeople or another online/on my own plan. I don't want to do this on my own right now. I want my hand to be held, to sing kum-byah, and drink the kool-aid. And I am ok with that.
When news began to circulate that a new WW plan was going to be introduced at the end of November, that was the final clincher. I found a meeting near my house, and I went. I listened. Hell, I even took notes. It felt good. I wasn't thrilled with the starting number, but hey, if I was, I probably wouldn't be there. From there I went home, and proceded to have the first On-Plan (OP) weekend in years. I didn't even blow through all of my flex points. I survived dinner out at my favorite restaurant, and we even ordered take-out a couple of times. But I tracked everything, and I kept going.
My next weigh-in was the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, I was that crazy person who volunterily got on the scale after a food-centric holiday. For good reason - I lost 2.6 pounds.
Monday, the new WW plan was launched on their website, to the delight and dismay of the online community. Some people are in a panic - change is hard, and the plan is definitely different. Maybe it's because the last year of my life has been such a mine field of change and upheaval, but I am so excited for the new system. After just a few days, I can already tell that it is a fantastic move for WW to make. The points system has been overhauled, and it is much closer to my personal ideal for healthy, balanced living - just with some counting and meetings thrown in there for good measure too. The way I see it, change is good. If we didn't change, we could not make progress towards health. If WW didn't change, we would still be eating liver once a week. Yes, indeed ... change is good.
If you've ever done WW before, forget everything you know. Point values are now calculated based on protein, carbs, fat, and fiber. Daily point allowances have changed drastically, as have food values. It's taking a little time to wrap my head around the whole thing, but I already feel good about it.
Why this is good ...
- This plan de-emphasizes the idea that low-calorie equals healthy. A major flaw in the old plan was the fact that low-point items were sometimes nutritionally void - WW products included. A 100-calorie pack of crap is no longer a point-friendly item.
- Fruit and most veggies are zero points! I have never been one to gourge on fruit, but now it's a no-brainer to grab a banana instead of a granola bar for a snack.
- Clean foods are good foods. I can eat whole, real food ... not just diet junk. It doesn't have to be low-fat or low-cal to be WW kosher.
- No guesstimating allowed. One of my pitfalls on the old plan was the fact that I knew it inside and out. I could totally fake my way through counting points, which lead to me tracking my foods, yes, but not exactly accuractely. With this, I have to learn new values, and it's also harder to guess them. I am ok with that - it will save me from myself.
- Activity points. I used to use the 100-calorie-per-AP rule, based on my heart rate monitor. With calories out of the equation, that is obsolete. So far, there isn't a consensus on the message boards as to how to handle this.