That’s me “jumping for joy”. Why? I lost twenty pounds last year. Not only do I look better in my clothes I also feel more energetic, happy and confident. My hip measurement shrunk from 45 to 41 inches and my waist from 32 to 29. It was work, and at times it was difficult, but it wasn’t awful and I didn’t feel horribly deprived.
Here’s a photo of me wearing the same jeans last year. As you can see they’re tight and fit really well. Now they’re so big on me that I’ve stopped wearing them. They don’t look good anymore.
I’ve struggled with my weight most of my adult life. As a child I was one of those stick creatures who could eat anything and everything with no physical ramifications. For years afterward I felt like I was still the same skinny kid, but that wasn’t the case. Every year the scale crept up a few pounds. Occasionally I’d try a diet here or there. It didn’t usually last. I found them unsatisfying, difficult and boring.
In July of last year I realized that my weight was no longer in the healthy range. I was physically tired and my clothing had become tight. Some things no longer fit at all. On a vacation to San Francisco my husband took a photo of me that literally made my jaw drop. I was just horrified. I had posed in the same dress for an outfit post that spring and had looked pretty darn slim, but that clearly was no longer the case. The pounds were creeping on much more quickly than usual and something had to be done. If you’re curious, here’s the photo that shocked me into starting a weight loss program.
Because I was already exercising almost every day I decided that what I really needed was help making better food choices. I have always had a fairly healthy diet, but I wondered if some small tweaks might make the changes I needed to get my body back to a healthy place. Years before I had gone to Weight Watchers to help lose the weight I gained during my pregnancies. The program was successful that time, so I decided to give it another go. I’m so glad I did.
Weight Watchers has been wonderful. Although they give you good health guidelines to follow it’s not a set diet. The plan is flexible, healthy, and satisfying. Having followed the old “points” plan back in 2003 I have to say the new “Points Plus” version is a big improvement. If you don’t know much about Weight Watchers here’s a quick overview that I pulled off their website:“With Weight Watchers, every food has a PointsPlus value, which takes into account a food’s protein, carbs, fat, and fiber. Using advancements in nutritional science, Weight Watchers has developed a formula that wrap it all up into one easy-to-use number. You get a daily personalized PointsPlus Target, so you know how much to eat to lose weight safely while feeling satisfied. In addition to your daily PointsPlus target you also have another 49 weekly points to use how you like.”
You’re encouraged to keep track of your points by writing down what you eat and how many points the food has. You’re also encouraged to attend a meeting every week and weigh in.
Things I love About the Plan
- Keeping track of what you eat is a key strategy at Weight Watchers. The last time I followed the plan I had to write everything I ate in a little book. It was OK at first, but after a while I found it time-consuming and tedious. This time around I kept track of all my foods using an “app” on my phone. This little electronic tool made keeping a diary of what I ate easy, fast and simple.
- Weight Watchers sells a line of really tasty, low point crackers, candy bars, candies, and snack bars. I have a big sweet tooth so the coconut bar candies were a life saver.
- All fruit is zero points. At some point the people who create the Weight Watchers diet realized that eating fruit doesn’t make you gain weight. I love fruit. Because I know it doesn’t count against my daily point goal I’ll reach for an apple or a banana when I’m hungry between meals.
- Weight Watchers has a great website that includes articles, weight loss tips, really tasty recipes and all sorts of other great tools. In fact, they refer to the website as their “e-tools”. If going to a weekly meeting is too difficult you can follow the plan through the website instead.
- Once you become a lifetime member (i.e. you’ve gotten to your goal weight and kept it off for a few weeks.) your membership and e-tools become free. There are some limitations on this part. You have to continue attending meetings and weighing in once a month. You also have to stay within your goal range. But if you can do these two things the program remains free.
My Weight Watchers Recommendations
- Make sure you’re really ready to lose weight. Although I found the program fairly easy to follow, there were many times that I was frustrated and bored with trying to change my eating habits. The fact that I REALLY wanted to lose weight this time helped me through the difficult moments.
- Go to a few meetings and find a leader who you really like. The woman who runs the Saturday morning meetings near me is inspiring and funny. She’s been part of Weight Watchers for years, but her outlook is realistic. She still puts milk and sugar in her morning coffee. I like that.
- Weight Watchers has been in business for decades and over the years they’ve come up with a lot of different tools to help their members lose weight. There are many strategies to try, so experiment with a few. You never know what’s going to help you.
- Keep going to meetings even if you didn’t have a “good” week. The support, general friendliness and other member’s successes really helped my enthusiasm even when I hit a “plateau” and didn’t lose any weight that week.
I lost the weight but now I have to keep it off. In many this is the hardest part for me. I continue to attend meetings, keep track of my food and weigh in once every week or so. It’s kind of scary, especially as I give away clothing that no longer fit. But I’m very excited that I’m wearing a size that I never thought I’d fit into again!
Coming soon on The Style Confessions: The suit that I wore in my 20’s comes out of the attic. It fits me again after 20 years.
Have you ever tried loosing weight? What did you think of the experience. Have you tried Weight Watchers? Would you?