In a recent post, I revealed my goal to lose sixteen pounds. This is a continuation from that blog; if you missed it, be sure to check it out before reading this one where I share HOW I did it.
*NOTE — Although this may read like an advertisement for Weight Watchers, I am not being paid or getting perks to write this honest blog. If I were a blogger with more time, I’m sure I could learn out how to monetize, but for now, I just write because I love to and enjoy sharing with an audience. If you enjoy reading these posts, please “Follow Me” by sharing your email on the bottom right. You will then get notifications each time a new Part-Time Sunshine blog is posted. Thank you and shine on!
And now for the blog:
How can I lose weight? What diet actually works? What’s safe and convenient? What’s not going to make me feel deprived? Is there a meal plan that considers wine a fruit? What can I do t
o feel healthier? I asked myself these questions for a long time before trying to answer. I did NOT want to diet. Who does? I would have rather worked out more to shed the pounds, but that no longer worked for me.
Last fall, when my Body Mass Index (BMI) went from normal to overweight, I vowed to figure it out. Both my husband, Harry, and I committed to a plan, and we joined Weight Watchers (WW). We’re both stronger and smaller as a result.
We subscribed to the online plan for three months. It was only 45.00 per person, and we each earned a free month for losing ten pounds within two months. The money we saved by not eating out and buying less wine and treats covered the membership fees and then some.
The online plan was so much easier than I ever imagined. The website is professional and motivating, jampacked with helpful tips, recipes, incentives, and point values for every food imaginable. The following details my successful journey with the program. It took me just ten weeks to hit my goal of losing sixteen pounds, and I’m still maintaining this healthy weight.
After I completed the WW profile of my height, weight, activity level, and goals, the company calculated an allotment of points that should be used daily (30 for me) and extras that can be used weekly (28 for me).
A typical Weight Watchers day for me looks like this:
Water — I drink it all day long.
Cup of brewed green tea (no points)
Cup of coffee (Keurig) with sugar free flavored creamer (no points); If it’s not sugar free then it costs two points. You get less options this way, but I didn’t want to waste points on creamer.
Two large eggs (4 points). I like them over easy.
NOTE: I pee a lot! 🙂
**Spinach salad. My norm is to doctor it up with cherry tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, and celery. NOTE: All fruits and vegetables are free points (except corn, avocado, and potatoes).
Shredded cheese ⅛ cup on the salad (2 points)
Salad dressing 2 Tbs – I prefer Bolthouse Farms brands which are so creamy and delicious. (2 points)
Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese Wedge – Creamy Swiss Light (1 point) — I like this with sliced cukes, celery, or peppers (no points). If I want need some extra carbs for energy or salty satiation, I spread the wedge on six Triscuit Original Crackers (3 points) or fifteen Triscuit Thin Crisps (4 points).
When I want more pizazz for my salads and don’t mind using extra points, I like to add Nature’s Harvest Wasabi Peas ⅛ cup (1 point), avocado ¼ cup (3 points), or walnuts 1/4 cup (6 points) — I rarely ate walnuts while trying to lose weight though. I was surprised by how many points they cost.
** I have been building spinach salads during my faculty lounge lunches for over ten years. Lunch was not hard for me to stay in a low point range, but I did tweak the amount of salad dressing, cheese, and toppings I added.
Fruit – Usually grapes, an apple or banana (no points)
Cottage Cheese Low Fat, ½ cup (2 points) — I added raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries when they were available.
Whatever Harry makes. Since he is an amazing cook, and I am a failure in the kitchen, he cooks every evening. My girls and I (and our tastebuds) are so lucky and thankful for his culinary skills. Having a personal Harry made the program much more convenient for me. He measured every dinner ingredient and weighed meats on a scale. He was honest about his point calculation which usually stayed in the 9-12 point range. These consisted of a ton of veggies prepared in flavorful ways and a variety of fish, seafood, and chicken.
Harry played a huge part in the ease of my weight loss success. I’m thankful we could cheer each other on. It definitely helped to have that support. I think that’s why so many WW members find that going to actual meetings with others is so beneficial.
Eating Out – WW has a great catalog of restaurant items and entire dishes. I looked up menus and point values before heading out.
Evening Snacks (I would have one or some of these most days because I had daily points left over):
Goldfish Crackers Flavor Blasted Crackers, Xtra Cheddar, 51 smiling fish (4 points)
Red Wine, 5 oz (4 points) – Whoa! I was certainly too generous with my pourings before learning how to moderate.
Rice Cakes, any flavor, (1 point each) – Sometimes I had two. This became my go-to snack; upon discovering that my daughter ate the last of the rice cakes, I went nutty. She was flabbergasted, as I hollered, “Hands off the rice cakes. People are dieting here. You need to eat the cookies, chips, and ice cream instead!” Please don’t judge. In my defense, this was only day six of WW for me, and I looked forward to those flavored circles of cardboard all day. Actually, I love them and now buy enough rice cakes for the entire family.
Flavored Seltzer Water (no points) – A can of this stuff makes me feel fuller from the carbonation. Raspberry is my favorite. If I want to turn it into a spirited drink, I mix the seltzer with a shot of vodka and splash of diet cranberry juice (3 points).
For the most part, I stayed in my 30 points a day range. I used my extra 28 points a week too; I tried to save those for the weekends, holidays, restaurant visits, and special occasions.
The food point system helped me avoid all the sugary sweets I love so much. My teacher friends have a second floor donut club on Fridays. I’ve declined membership since my favorites would add up to an entire meal: glazed (9 points) and cream filled (12 points). When I baked for Christmas, I limited my intake to three cookies. I found that it was enough, and I sincerely enjoyed every bite.
WW also has an activity tracker. It even syncs to my Fitbit and calculates the extra points I could use for sweating it out. As per my other blog, I had been treating myself with too many food-exercise-rewards, so I didn’t use the “Swap my FitPoints” option. Even though I didn’t use FitPoints, seeing them calculated was motivation enough to continue exercising three-six hours a week. The activity tracker can be a game changer to someone who doesn’t have an exercise routine.
WW Online has a plethora of reliable and interesting features available. During my four month membership, I used what was most helpful to me. I loved “Save Meal” so that I didn’t have to type in what made up my breakfasts and lunches. The “Quick Add” option allowed me to plug in the point amount for dinners without adding all the ingredients that Harry calculated on his account. I love the Weight Feature and the motivational stickers and shout outs. I actually looked forward to Mondays, the day I chose to weigh in. Every Monday (except the one after Thanksgiving) was met with success and the website let me know it!
With WW I made my goal and could have kept going if I wanted to lose more. I’m happy the way I am though and love fitting into my old “new” clothes. Besides shedding the pounds, I feel amazing. I have more energy and stamina and can run longer and faster. My mood has improved with my eating habits. My skin looks younger and more hydrated with all the extra water from fruits and veggies. I highly recommend Weight Watchers and give it two (thinner) thumbs up!