So this is a personal edition of WWW (What's Working Wednesday). I wanted to share my experience with weight loss and Weight Watchers over the last 12 months. So, if you were here for teaching ideas, sorry, but if you are thinking about making some healthy changes this year maybe stick around for a little while longer.
Here is a bit of my journey. To start with, I was an adorable (IMO and IMYMOM'SO) baby, but I was chubby.
I was a healthy, SOLID (the WORST word) and at times chubby child.
When I look back at pictures I can say "Wow, you were actually a really good size." I can only say that now. Rarely in my life did I feel like I was a good size. Compared (yes, comparison, the thief of joy) to my friends I was always big.
Here I am before and during:
So last January, Oprah had a series of commercials on for Weight Watchers. I am not a rapid Oprah fan, I do not follow everything she says or have a subscription to her magazine, I watch Super Soul Sunday when I catch it while flipping through channels. BUT something about those commercials spoke to me. There were in the "if not now, then when" vein. She said every thing in your life has been leading to this moment, all your experiences/failures have prepared you for where you are now and now is the time. And....I thought, meh, maybe she is right, maybe now is the time.
So, I joined Weight Watchers (this is NOT an affiliate blog post, no links earn me any money or credit or anything, this is just me sharing). Weight Watchers works on a point system, it is called the Smart Program, I will not go on and on about the program since you can easily read all about it on their website.
Some people may not like the idea of counting points and tracking but when I first started 1 year ago it was just what I needed. It really helped me get a grip on my eating. I learned a lot about portion sizes, how to make better choices, how to indulge in moderation and how to keep going with what works for me. I do not track points daily right now. I like that I can still eat "normal food" - like bread and coffee and bread and coffee and once in a while cheesecake. I have become comfortable with knowing what I can eat and in what proportions. I have more of a mental calculation. I know that if I hit a rough patch that I will need to get back to the serious tracking but right now it is more like knowing and making good choices.
Some months were easy, some days were joy-filled, some hours were tough, some minutes were excruciatingly painful. That being said, since joining Weight Watchers 12 months ago I have lost 68lbs and I have 20 more to go to reach my goal.
Here are some of the things that have been working for me.
#1. The Weight Watchers app
The Weight Watchers app allows you to track points online, get recipes, connect with other members and track fitness points. All good things. But my favourite features are the scanner and the restaurant info. The scanner allows you to scan any food item barcode and get point information - super helpful when grocery shopping I tell you - helps you put items back on the shelf pronto!! Also the information on restaurants helped me make better choices when going out. I also learned that I could have a piece of cheesecake at that restaurant....if I did not want to eat anything else for a day and a half or have that thick ice cream drink but it needed to last me 2 days!! It really opened my eyes to what I had thought were okay choices for years but were really costing me a lot!!
#2. Weight Watchers weigh in/meeting/recipe/tips
I love the weekly weigh-in (even when I hate it). I love that I can only weigh in once a week. I like the concrete record of my success and difficulties. It helps me to reflect and refine. I like hearing from other people, what they are doing, what they are struggling with, what they are eating, what they are not eating...people, who knew, are a wealth of information and inspiration! I like the little pamphlet they give you each week, with tips and recipes and prompts to set goals or just think....
#3. Food Products I Love
Weight Watchers Multigrain with Quinoa bread. I love this bread, it is tasty and it is thin, so you know it is the right portion size. I have 2 slices for breakfast with peanut butter and sliced banana and brown sugar. I am a sugar addict for breakfast, I need to eat sweet, so instead of coffee and donuts picked up on the way to work, I eat this and I LOVE it. My youngest daughter and my lean friend also love this bread, like they eat it just because they like it, not for weight loss/management.
These tasty little rolls are a perfect choice for lunch. I enjoy them with turkey, swiss cheese and veggies or with tuna cheddar and tomato. Again they are the perfect size.
Below are my go to sweet snacks, as well as needing to start the day with some sweet, I find a need a little pick me up during the work day. I combine the snack with some fresh veggies or fruit but these hit the spot. The only problem, they are so yummy my family eats them constantly and we run out all the time!
I am not a fabulous cook and I often find recipe books daunting. But through this journey I have found a fabulous resource. It is all things Skinnytaste!! I love her recipes, they are simple and delicious and healthy and good for the whole family and can be done in the slow cooker or quickly put together and she gives you serving sizes and Smart Points and the ingredients are not crazy and hard to find and... well that is enough gushing for now. Oh no wait, I love how she shares so much for free on her FB page. Our first and favourite recipe is Santa Fe Chicken.
While she shares sooooo much on her social media sites I did purchase her cookbooks and I like having a hard copy, I just do, so if you like things old school some times like I do, I recommend her books.
Since I am on social media now and then (okay more that I should be) I like to have a few inspirational posts pop up to keep me motivated and inspired. On Instagram I follow Weight Watchers and Trackingisthenewblack (and Oprah!) and find them to be like a little support group.
Yes, I re-discovered this revolutionary concept....walking!! Ha! Seriously, what I have learned is that weight loss is 80% what you eat and only 20% what you do....but moving more is good for body and soul. I feel better after I have been walking, walking is easier the more weight I lose, the more I walk the easier it is, the better I feel and so on and so on. Two things that have worked for me: finding an indoor track, this takes away the excuse of weather and something that was shared in a meeting, there is no bad weather for walking, just inappropriate clothing. Again taking the excuse of weather out of the occasion - winter gear, rain gear etc. make walking doable!!
#7 Just Dance
Again, an earth shattering activity that I discovered.....or every has heard of and uses already! I do not do the real Just Dance - that would mean going into the basement, the realm of my teenage daughters, the laundry room, the storage room and a bunny rabbit....not unless I have to, thank you very much. I do it the civilized way. Using the laptop hooked up to the t.v. in our living room and youtube. My daughters and I have made a playlist of multiplayer videos so we can all dance like crazy people together. This is the perfect exercise for the days you do not want to venture out of the house and to make memories with people (looking like a fool does that without fail!). I also have a playlist of videos if it is just me.....or if my daughters need a good laugh!!
Here are a few of our favourites (one from each of us!):
As I said, I still have 20 lbs to go (according to the BMI) and I hope to get there by the end of June (if not before, but I am giving myself to the end of June). I know this is a journey and all about the choices I make each day but I do feel stronger - not physically but mentally - more able to make the choices that are best for my health and happiness. I have learned a lot in the last 12 months and hope that sharing my experiences here with you will maybe give you the support you need to make the changes you need to make in your own life. I am not an expert by any means but if you have any questions or want to share about your journey I would love to hear from you!!