Weight Watchers, Month One + Weight

>> Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Alright. So, I've received TONS of questions about Weight Watchers. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around writing a post that will encompass absolutely everything. So, I thought I'd answer some of the most frequently asked questions. Just a reminder -- this post is not at all sponsored or associated with the Weight Watchers brand. I am doing this entirely on my own.

BTW: Check out my $4 vintage Levi's mom jeans! Still not sure if I'm on board with this trend, but I figured I'd give it a try.

Q: Why did you sign up for Weight Watchers? Doesn't MyFitnessPal/etc. do the same thing for free?

There are many calorie counting services that are free. I've used them. But, and as I've written in the past, I dealt with an eating disorder for a long period of time. Counting calories actually gets me back in this place that I think I should avoid. The whole obsession with calories in foods.

You could argue, and some have, that WW is just another way of counting something. I have less awareness, though, of what exactly the numbers mean. It isn't calories. It has more to do with the mix of calories, fat, fiber, and other nutrition factors in food. I could eat TONS of healthy foods and fill my stomach and still be low on points. Or I could eat a couple candy bars and be over my budget in two minutes.

For me, that makes the difference. If you aren't bothered my calorie counting, MyFitnessPal is a really great, straightforward tool.

Q: Is it hard to calculate points if you make a lot of your food from scratch?

Yes and no. Like, the tool is there. You can enter each and every ingredient in your dinner or dessert. Enter the number of portions it makes and -- BOOM -- get the magic point number. I was good at doing that for a while. Then I started resenting having to enter each and every ingredient in my longer recipes. It does take time, energy, and motivation to do that if you cook so much from scratch like I do.

I do feel like it promotes eating a lot of packaged things that are easier to count. I don't think that's a good thing.

Q: Do you really track everything, every single day?

No. I was doing really well for the first three weeks and it's gotten away from me. But the thing is, it is super easy to keep track using the app on my phone. I wasn't logging into the website. I was using the app almost exclusively. Why, then, am I not logging everything? I think the novelty of being on a program wore off. That's part of it.

And I also think cooking from scratch is hard. I was making lots of recipes after being more regimented and eating just, like, an apple or two eggs, etc. It's a pain to go in and create all my recipes for all my meals every single day. So, I need to strike a balance with that if I want to continue.

That said, the app is really easy. You can scan foods in your pantry, which is handy if you are just going to make a sandwich or eat a packaged snack.

Q: How many points do you get? Do you feel it's enough?

I personally get 36 points a day. I know some people who get like 24. Others who get 40+. I think the point value has to do with a complex mix of things, like how much you weigh, how much you want to lose, if you're a man/woman, if you're breastfeeding (and how much!), how much you exercise, etc.

On top of that, you get a weekly stipend of 35 points you can divide evenly or use in one shot. And then on top of that, you can get extra points when you exercise. On an average "good" day, I tend to eat around 46 points. So, figure I get 36 plus 5 from my weekly plus another 5 from exercise. And I do feel like this is enough food, at least at this stage.

Q: Isn't it just another way of restricting food?

Someone on Instagram made a comment about Weight Watchers being restrictive eating. I actually couldn't disagree more -- at least in some respects. Yes, you get a daily limit of points. Yes, you -- therefore -- tend to not eat so much of certain foods and more of others.

But restrictive? No. Not really. If you've seen Oprah on the commercials, she explains that she loves eating chips. You can eat chips and any other foods you desire on the plan. In moderation.

I have a lot of friends following Whole 30 who rave about that diet. And it sounds amazing for a variety of reason. Heck, I tried it one month a long, long time ago. But THAT is restrictive, especially for vegetarians. With WW, there are absolutely no foods that are off limits. There are no foods that you are told you can't eat. And, yeah, maybe there's both some good and bad in that.

Q: How much weight have you lost? How much do you have left to lose?

I have stalled out a bit. I started January at 148 pounds. I am now 145. So, I have lost three pounds and holding. I haven't lost weight in a couple weeks, though. I'm slightly annoyed. But I also know I haven't been tracking as carefully, I've been indulging a bit more (Super Bowl fondue, anyone?)

My goal weight is 135 (or so). So, I have 10 pounds left to lose. I wrote a post all about how I had ditched the scale long ago. I want you guys to understand I am not obsessed with these numbers. But I also genuinely feel like if I do not at least work back to losing some of the 20 pounds I've gained in recently years that it will be a slippery slope.

I weighed 125 before I got pregnant with Ada, but I was running constantly, eating a mostly vegan diet, and -- well -- didn't have two kids back then. I ended up being around 130-132 after Ada weaned. Then during all the struggles getting/staying pregnant, I hovered between 138-140. Anyway, 135 is a good fighting weight for me. I think 125, though still in a very healthy range (definitely not high school skinny!), just isn't maintainable along with enjoying food and spending the most time with my family.

Q: Is Weight Watchers worth it? Will you continue?

I think WW has been worth it so far. I am disappointed that I allowed myself to get off track simply by being lazy about tracking. I would like to continue until I lose the 10 additional pounds I've set out to lose. I know weight isn't everything, but I also know that I do have excess weight that isn't muscle. I won't obsess necessarily on the exact number on my scale . . . I have several pairs of pants I'd like to use for my measure.

I don't know how following the numbers will work with marathon training (more on that soon!), though. I need to evaluate how to get the best nutrition and may need to go over some times.

Do you follow Weight Watchers? What do you think I left out? And what else would you guys like to know in my next post?

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