Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And After That Last Post...


Here we go, friends: full disclosure time.

Even after that last post about why I quit Weight Watchers, can you guess what I did?

Yup. Funny right? I think it was actually writing that post that made me reflect more on my experience with WW. While I still don't think it's a long-term solution for me, I realized that right now I just need immediate help with getting my eating habits back on track. So I signed up for a six-month package with WW.

And you know what? The morning after I registered, as soon as I started tracking my points, I felt relief. I knew I no longer had to guess at how much to eat, and I knew that as long as I work the program properly, I'll lose the weight I need to lose.

(Can I just remind everyone that right now, losing weight isn't just about vanity for me? I've regained so much weight over the past 10-11 months that almost nothing I own still fits. It's either lose the weight, or buy a new wardrobe. Makes sense to go with the option that will ALSO make me feel better about myself.)

To be clear, even though I'm doing a "conventional" diet, I'm following WW with a grain-free, legume-free, mostly-dairy-free, mostly-sugar-free approach. (But there is still some sugar in dark chocolate!) Since Weight Watchers counts most fruits and vegetables as zero points, I'm basically just having to be accountable to my protein and fat serving sizes.

Last night was a great illustration of my need for accountability. I had tossed some drumsticks and boneless, skinless chicken thighs in taco seasoning and then broiled them. I weighed two chicken thighs and tracked them. Then I topped each one with a measured tablespoon of guacamole and tracked that, too. I loaded up my plate with steamed green beans (tossed in butter) and asparagus broiled with EVOO and sea salt, and accounted for the butter and oil. My meal was delicious and satisfying, and once my plate was empty I was definitely no longer hungry. But that chicken! It was so good! I wanted to go get just one more piece, with just one more scoop of guacamole, just to continue to enjoy that flavour. But I really didn't need it, so I just sat and waited, trying to decide if it was worth the extra points. The longer I sat, the more I realized that I really wasn't hungry anymore. Eating past the point of being satisfied is often my problem.

I'm really hoping over the next six months I can hit my goal and spend some time at maintenance, so I get a better idea of what portion sizes my body really needs. I don't want to be reliant on this forever, but I'm grateful for the peace of mind (and hopefully, effective weight-loss) that I'm enjoying right now.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why I Quit Weight Watchers

First, let me say this:
I loved Weight Watchers. And I still recommend it to people who are looking for a straight-forward way to keep track of their food and help them lose weight. I lost about 35 pounds on WW after Baby Belle was born.

But the issue was this:
I got really frigging sick and tired of tracking every single bite. For a while it was fine. Fun, even. Something to keep me focused. I had measuring cups, measuring spoons and a digital scale. It was a project to work on, and I worked hard. And I did well.

But then I just got tired of it. Perhaps that says more about my personality than the program itself, but I just got to a point where I didn't want to obsess over every bite, worrying when I was eating at someone else's house and couldn't figure out exactly how many points I was eating, etc. It was fatiguing, but also stressful.

My motto for a long time has been, "I refuse to lose weight by any means I'm not willing to continue in order to maintain that loss". I came to that conclusion after trying a bunch of fad diets that involved shakes, cleansing juices, food combination theories, and extreme caloric restriction. I'm just not willing to do any of those things long-term, so it doesn't make sense to make my body dependent on any of them for weight-loss and weight-maintenance. When I first started doing WW, I thought, "This is great! I could easily continue to do this for maintenance!" When that feeling changed, I knew it wasn't for me.

Why am I talking about this? Consider this the forward to my next post about restriction and deprivation. I've been thinking a lot about it since Alexis posted this, and in even more detail since she elaborated here. Food is fuel for our bodies, yes - but it's also intensely personal, and I'll be sharing my thoughts on that.