Friday, April 10, 2015

I went back to Weight Watchers

About five years ago, I looked at photos of myself and didn't like what I saw.  Sure, I looked at myself in the mirror every day, but there's something about seeing photos that kind of hit me harder.  

I needed to make some changes.  

I started by being more active.  And while I found workouts I enjoyed and was fairly consistent with them, I knew there was more to it.

My eating habits.

I like food. I like beer. I like both of them a lot.  And I don't like limiting myself or cutting out specific things.

So I tried Weight Watchers, and it worked.  It absolutely worked.

I went from my heaviest weight to a size where I felt comfortable in my skin. I lost 30 lbs. in two years.  I was actually five pounds away from my goal weight, and I thought I could continue on my own without Weight Watchers. I felt like I had the concept down and I could handle it without paying the monthly fee. 

I was wrong.

Since the fall of 2012, I've slowly gained back almost every pound I lost in those two years.  I'm still very active (as you know if you follow along here), but my eating habits ... well, they need some work, and that's putting it nicely.

I tried other tracking apps (My Fitness Pal, Fitbit, etc.), but they all count calories.  That doesn't work for me.  I would feel bad about myself if I went over my daily calorie allotment and that would spiral into several days of bad eating.  It made me obsessive about the calories in everything.  I just didn't like it.

Then I remembered Weight Watchers and how well it had worked for me.  

Here are the reasons I like Weight Watchers:

- The app is very user-friendly and easy to navigate.

- I have a daily point allowance and weekly points. I can also earn more points through activity.  Now, I don't plan to eat all those activity points, but I've found I have the most success when I eat my weekly extras. 
- Nothing is off-limits.  I can have a beer with dinner, but I have to balance it out during the day.  I can have a cupcake even if it means going over my daily points because I still have those weekly points.
- By my best understanding, points are calculated by evaluating the calories, fat, fiber, etc. as well as nutritional value. That's why many fruits and vegetables are considered to be zero points. If I'm still hungry at the end of the day, but have used all my points, it's nice to be able to reach for an apple or some carrots and not feel bad. I'd be dinged for calories on any other system.  Also, I like to end each meal with something sweet -- an apple is 0 points and 95 calories. A cookie would be roughly 3 points and 130 calories. Weight Watchers encourages me to choose more wisely because it's a freebie.  (Although I'd probably choose the cookie now and then.)

So I signed up again.  For the first few weeks, I was terrible about tracking.  And when I'm not tracking, I'm not thinking about my choices.  I'm not making balanced choices.  The last two weeks have been much better, and I've already lost two pounds.  I know that's not much, but it's a definite improvement from where I was headed.  

Here's a pretty good depiction of where I'm at now:
Right after my half-marathon last October.

Here's where I'm aiming for:
This is from Sept. 2012, right before I went through layoffs in the span of seven months.
I've got work to do ... but I know I can do it.


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off
Saturday: 3 miles on the trail
Sunday: Off
Monday: Spinning
Tuesday: 3-mile run on the treadmill + core
Wednesday: 1-mile jog on the treadmill + arms/shoulders/back + 2-mile walk during lunch
Thursday: 2-mile run on the treadmill + 2-mile walk during lunch

I'd say this was a pretty successful workout week. Tomorrow is my third race of the year -- a 5K! I'm really looking forward to it.


  1. I've done weight watchers twice, both times it worked. But then they changed the program the last time I went back, and it is harder for me because I truly do not eat vegetables, so there weren't any low point foods for me to fill up on when I needed to. I am getting back to trying to walk 20 miles a week again, and want to start the WW program again, but don't want to pay and then do like last time and not follow it. But I know it works if I do what it says. Just don't know if I can do what they've changed it to. But awesome job! Keep going!

  2. You go girl! Know what works for you and stick to it.

    Good luck on tomorrow's race.

  3. Good luck, you got this!
    Curious - why do you like the points system over calorie counting? I've never tried WW, but I understand the points to be calorie counting, it's just been done for you by WW. What's the difference in your attitude towards going over points as opposed to going over calories if you used MyFitnessPal? I use MFP now, and I don't mind counting the calories. Wondering if WW would make it easier/worth the fee? I've lost 35lbs since end of Jan just using MFP so I don't want to pay if it won't be worth it!

    1. Ahh got it now! Thank makes sense :) When you log things, does it tell you the nutritional information? I'm always curious because I'm terrible about getting protein in and I'm trying to be better! Any guidance in their app about when you're getting too low on certain nutrients?

  4. First, congrats on the 2 pounds! Second, my mom has used WW several times and really likes it too. I've heard great things about it. I'm still searching for that thing that REALLY works for me. I don't eat well, but at the same time, I don't eat much in general so eating doesn't usually seem to the be the problem. It's the working out that I just can't get myself disciplined enough to do.

  5. I did WW a few years ago, and it worked for me too. I should follow your lead...let you inspire me...because I'm at my heaviest now, and I know I need to do something. Congrats on getting refocused!

  6. You can do it girl! I've packed on quite a few pounds since my wedding last May and I'm just now losing them! I'm in the middle of doing the Advocare 24-Day Challenge and have been keeping updates on my blog with it. The wine is a killer for me! I drink most of my cals haha.

  7. I think that's awesome. I had a lot of success with Weight Watchers too. I want to go back, but I just can't afford to do it right now.

  8. I literally signed up for WW last night and I'm starting tomorrow. I used it back in 2012 and liked it for all the same reasons you do. I lost 30 pounds, but since then I've gained it all back, plus 5! Ugh. Here's to success with this handy little app! :)

  9. happens, right? I know I gained back some of the weight I lost in 2013 and I'm trying to get back down again. I think you're doing a great job this time around and can't wait to see your results and continue to encourage you!!

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