I’m in my late 30s and I moved to the Pacific Northwest about a year ago, and decided to make some radical life changes. Come New Year’s 2009, I committed to a new nutrition, weight loss and exercise plan. For the first time, I have found a program that is easy to stick to, and friends in my meetings have been asking for my weekly menus and recipes. I thought I’d share my journey even more widely.
I did WeightWatchers once before in 2004-2005. I lost 50 pounds. I gained some back going through my divorce but the good news is I kept some off until I restarted WeightWatchers in January 2009.
For the first time, I have found a plan that was easy to stick to. Something just felt right this time. Before embarking on WeightWatchers I re-read some books I had found helpful in the middle of my last journey. The books are listed under the Bookshelf tab, and a post about them will follow soon. These books helped get me mentally prepared to lose weight and they are the reason I think I am finding losing to be less of a struggle. I am not letting myself get discouraged by small gains and I am seeing far more consistent results.
WeightWatchers gives you a points target based on weight, height, age and basic daily activity level. Every food has a points value based on calories, fiber and fat. Then its like a checkbook you start with your daily balance, subtract for foods eaten and add for activity done which can earn you points. Exercise=More Food. Each food point is roughly 50 calories and each activity point is worth roughly 100, I use a heart-rate monitor to calculate my activity points earned and have recently started using a gowear fit (bodybugg) to monitor all my calorie expenditures, as well as steps.
You also get 35 weekly points to use as you want anytime during the week. For me the most successful both mentally and on the scale is to use most of those points on Saturday night for a splurge and to then stick to my daily points fairly closely the rest of the week. It helps me to know my favourite foods are only a week away if I want them. People can manage the plan however they want but for me this is the most successful. When I’m working out a lot I try to eat some of those activity points as well. Ironically I get much smaller losses the weeks I don’t eat those points on Saturday, maybe it shakes up my metabolism, who knows I just know it works
Finally my last key to my plan is attending meetings. It helps keep me accountable and on track. I have a great leader and a wonderful meeting, if you do WeightWatchers and don’t like your leader or group, find a new one! There are lots of good ones.
About My Exercise Plan
I try to get in at least 30 minute of some form of activity every day, yes, every day. Sometimes I don’t get all 30 in on Saturdays, my basically off day, even when I get in 30 its low key, a stroll, or walking around stores. On 5 of the days I aim for an hour of mixed moderate and high intensity. On the other day, the day before my weigh in, I do 30 minutes of moderate intensity, to get some activity in but not work my muscles so hard that they retain water, it might be all in my head but it works.
At the moment I try to do 3 days of couch to 5k and at least 2 days of strength training either on the bowflex or a firm video.