|This is my real weight-loss chart! Cool, huh?|
I’ve said before how joining Weight Watchers Online changed my entire outlook on food, and I’ll say it again. Because WOW DID IT EVER. Seriously.
(It’s also changed how I look in clothes — woohoo! I still haven’t bought anything new yet — waiting to get into a smaller size — but I can wear all of my pre-baby clothes, and feel more confident about myself these days)
Essentially, being on the program has changed how I think about food, how I plan meals, how I snack. So I’ll try to break each of those points down:
It’s not like I was eating fast food daily, or cooking up bacon every morning, or eating cheese-smothered pasta every night. My old eating habits weren’t totally atrocious. But knowing what I know NOW about portion control, carbs, hidden calories, etc. I realize that I was making a lot of mistakes before.
Because you count the point values of your food on Weight Watchers, and because vegetables are all zero points, you naturally start thinking of them as “free” and wanting to eat more of them. Great system, isn’t it? So now I eat a lot of salads (which I really don’t likeeeeee but they’re free, you know?). I used to make frozen veggies with dinner sometimes, but now I do it way more often.
I’ve been getting a lot of recipes from the Weight Watchers website, and they’ll all been delicious except for one (it had black beans — and I haven’t befriended them yet). I still eat a ton of Mexican food, because salsa = zero points, and I’m able to sneak in a lot of vegetables under the secret cover of a little cheese and light sour cream.
I’ve noticed that over the last couple of months, my portions have gotten smaller, and I’m no longer able to eat larger portions. For breakfast, I have an egg most mornings (the old me would have eaten two), and either half a bagel or one piece of toast (the old me = full bagel, or two slices of toast), plus a teeny 1/4 cup of orange juice (I used to drink probably a whole cup every morning, but now I realize that I just need a little taste). Or I’ll have bran flakes and skim milk, and then just an egg by itself. On the days that I have our family fave (homemade pancakes), I feel really guilty for just eating carbs! Oh, how things have changed.
I’m still loving Laughing Cow Light cheese, melba toast, and apple slices — it’s usually my go-to afternoon snack. It really fills me up and keeps me going, and it’s a three-point snack. Or I eat homemade pita chips with salsa (only a few points for the chips, since salsa is free) or baby carrots and hummus (three points for 1/4 cup). If I’m tempted to eat something more snacky, I eat those miniature cheese-flavoured rice cakes (two points for five rice cakes). If I’m feeling really starving, I’ll have peanut butter on crackers, but it’s five points for two tablespoons of PB (chunky variety) so I eat that with caution! I’m not a big dessert person, but I
Without question, the biggest challenge for me — snack-wise — has been the nighttime snacking. I’m a huge potato chip girl — always have been, probably always will be. And what appealed to me about Weight Watchers was that I could still eat chips, as long as I had enough points for them. So I still eat chips pretty much every single day. I just eat LESS of them. We bought a food scale, and I use it to measure out one serving (whatever the bag dictates, usually 50g) and use the points calculator to figure out how many points for that particular brand. Sure, some people would rather use those points to eat bigger meals/snacks during the day, but this is my vice. So I make it work!
How my attitude towards food has changed:
I think a lot more about what I eat, and so it’s helped me to make better choices. The Weight Watchers attitude means you think about whether a certain food is “worth the points,” and it makes you realize that sometimes you just eat things without really caring.
One of the key ways my attitude has changed, though, has to do with “controlling the desires of the flesh.” I bought Candace Cameron Bure’s book, Reshaping It All, and I was really surprised by how much I took away from it. Yes, it talks a lot about religion — which isn’t for everyone — but she makes a lot of great points about healthy eating and weight loss. Thanks, DJ!
After reading the book, I have gotten better about controlling cravings, and telling myself that I really don’t need something (even though I want it at the time) and that I won’t even remember in a few minutes. For example, if I’ve baked chocolate-chip cookies for a playdate or something, and we have leftovers in a container on the counter, the old me might have eaten one while I was making D’s breakfast, had two as dessert after lunch, eaten a few as an afternoon snack, and had a few more as dessert after dinner. That’s a lot of mindless cookies! Now, I stop myself from reaching for them by thinking, “Hmm, I think I’ll wait and have two after lunch.” A few minutes after I make that decision, I’ve usually forgotten all about them.
I think my biggest program was that I felt “entitled” to eat a lot of things that weren’t good for me. Whether it was being out running errands and suddenly feeling starving, and deciding that we “deserved” to eat fast food for lunch (instead of going home), or being exhausted at home and feeling like I “deserved” to throw some frozen mozzarella sticks in the oven. We’re always telling ourselves to treat ourselves, put ourselves first, enjoy life, life’s too short to eat salad, blah blah blah that I think we sometimes forget to draw the line between occasional treats and daily indulgences that we don’t deserve.
My Weight Watchers journey is still ongoing, and I hope to lose another 15 lbs (for a total of 60 lbs from my day-C-was-born weight) which would take me to about 25 lbs lighter than my pre-babies weight.
I’m not sure how easy these final 15 lbs will come off, considering I’ve lost all of the “easy” post-baby weight already. But I also have only exercised twice (yeah, twice) since, um, 2009? So I’ve got to get my act in gear (and my sneakers on). Exercising to lose weight! What a concept!
I’ve been procrastinating about working out, because I feel like our lives are so busy that I don’t know where/how to fit it in. But the answer is (unfortunately) getting up early and doing my workout DVD in the basement before the kids get up. So I’m writing it here, to make me accountable! I’m going to schedule it for three times a week, right in my Google calendar, and make sure you harass me about sticking to the plan, dear readers!
I’ll leave you with one of the inspirational quotes from Reshaping It All, because this one really resonated with me (as someone who is naturally a Junk Food Junkie and Couch Potato, and struggles to eat healthy every day):
“If you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before.”
Xs and Os and a little scoop of Cool Whip Light,