Monday, April 11, 2016

The New Weight Watchers

Last Fall, WeightWatchers revamped their weight loss and control program from PointsPlus to SmartPoints. Unfortunately, rather than adequately preparing their existing members for the change, they chose not to have a transition period. This may have gained them a lot of publicity and perhaps new subscribers.

In a nutshell, the changes they made were:
  1. Basic points calculation returned to a calorie based formula rather than fat/carbohydrate/protein formula.
  2. Penalty points (which are added to an item's point value) changed from being based on just fat to being based on saturated fat and sugar.
  3. Bonus points (which are removed from an item's point value) changed from being based on fiber to being based on protein.
  4. Activity Points became FitPoints and now had an added daily and weekly goal which you have to achieve before you can draw from them.
Some folks out there have crunched the numbers and come up an an approximation of the formula.

Because of the changes, many foods have a higher points value. (For example, Star Wars breakfast cereal was 3 points and is now 5 due to the sugar penalty.) On the other hand, some lean protein foods have a lower points value. Because of the point value changes, individual daily point targets were updated.

For me, I was a bit disappointed that they chose to do this right before Thanksgiving. Facing the portion control issues folks have going into America's eating season of Thanksgiving to New Year's is bad enough, but then having to deal with a changed program makes it all that much tougher. Beyond that, they had issues with the app and website during the roll out. It was enough for me to "fall off the wagon" so to speak. I didn't really jump back on the wagon until the 2nd week of February -- just after I had returned from my mother's funeral in Hawaii. On my weigh-in day on February 8, I clocked in at 228.4 pounds. I put on a few pounds when I visited Hawaii, so that's where I mark my start.

So, has it worked for me? Absolutely! In the nine weeks that have passed since getting back on the program, I've lost 17.5 pounds. At just under 2 pounds a week, that's a good weight loss rate without being unhealthy. Some weeks I lost more than others, but I have lost weight every week.

So, what tips do I have?

Log your food before you eat.
This helps in a couple of ways. First, it means that you've tracked your food intake, and that's the most important part of the points system. Second, it makes you think about what you're going to choose to eat. Maybe you'll decide to pick something healthier because you realize that first choice has too many points. Maybe you'll reduce the portion size. Maybe... you get the idea.

Use your weekly points.
Under the old PointsPlus, there were days where I would find myself short of the daily points target. At the same time, I'd find that if I used my weekly points, I'd not lose and sometimes even gain wait. This put me into a plateau between 225 and 230 pounds. Now, I have not encountered an issue in using up my daily points. In fact, every week I've used up all of my weekly points and still lost weight. This leads into...

Track your activity.
The daily/weekly FitPoints target encourages you to get moving. However, you need to track that. You don't need a FitBit or other tracker (but if you have one, the data can be imported into WeightWatchers and used for tracking.) At the bare bones, track your steps with a pedometer or a pedometer app. WeightWatchers recommends the built-in Health app on the iPhone or the Google Fit app for Android based phones. Because I don't keep my phone in my pocket all the time, I use Personal Trainer: Walking for my Nintendo DS (it tracks both overall steps and periods of active walking.) Note that WeightWatchers suggests that if you log more than 3,000 steps per day, you should track your active walking instead of your steps. Once you reach your weekly FitPoint goal, any extra points you earn can be added to your weekly pool (though it gets tracked separately.) This is how I was able to use up my weekly points allowance and still lose weight.

Anyway, I hope this makes sense. Ask questions if you have them.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Stressing on Points

06 JULY: 196.3

13 JULY: 193.0

3.3lb difference. In an ideal world one wants to lose about a pound a week.. but I haven't been on program for a while so often a bit of weight is lost the first week or two, depending on what one has been up to.

To be honest I didn't track a couple days this past week, I went through a bit of stress what with my laptop/bag getting stolen earlier in the week, as well a considerable dissapointment of another kind that I still am not really able to deal with at the moment, (though I suppose I will soon enough) and going out to eat yesterday for my one big meal.

Not a perfect week, but not a bad week, I managed to walk most every day. Walking to & from the library gets me about 40-50 minutes of active walking, and anything else is just bonus.. Walking to School and back is ideal, and I'll be doing that 3x a week come the Fall.

My main problem is reaching for snacks when I'm feeling stressed.. and this past week I've been a bit stressed. The other problem is getting proper meals in. When I've been at the library in the past, I don't eat. It's not that I don't want to eat, it's just a pain to leave the work I'm doing. I try to have some tea before I start and then eat when I go home or before class. The thing I need to remind myself is that no one is going to come by and ask me to get some lunch or check on me.. and why should they?? I need to find a good stopping point and remember to treat myself decent.

My daily target is now 26 points with the 49 weeklies. In a perfect world I like to use my activity points rather than the weeklies. That's my daily goal anyway.. Keep off those weeklies! Yes they are there to be used, but if I walk an hour a day, why would I need to if I'm eating healthy most of the time?? IMHO, of course.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

weighing confidence..

Around August last year I was somewhere between 170 and 180.. and feeling good about my physical well-being. Oh, I know I'm not attractive.. the face I can't help: it's functional, and I'm getting older. Oh, the weight! I was feeling OK about my weight..

I was walking a lot and feeling the difference in my joints a bit, and feeling it in the size of my clothes. Stuff I pulled out of the "too small" drawer fit comfortably. I was in a good space to keep going. Fast forward to today and I'm not that same person; not in that same place.

Some things have been good for me.. school, volunteering.. making time for trips. OtoH, my self esteem has taken a nosedive, and with it, my weight.. back toward 200.. Yesterday my logged weigh-in was 196.3 and probably would have kept going if I didn't do something.

I took a long walk. I'm going to need to take a LOT of long walks, and cut back on doughnuts and lemon bars (although I may need the latter in a pinch) The program isn't supposed to cut out naughtiness all together, but it does make you think more about what you're eating and how much.. so that's good.

The troubling thing for me is how I've gone from feeling good about myself.. even when I was heavier. I was me.. not amazing me.. but me. That person my DTLA neighbor friends knew. Ready for most anything, full of natural confidence, full of of perseverance. Lately I'm feeling more like "I dunno.." and "Should I bother??" "I don't want to be an inconvenience.." ugh. gross.

Of course I don't want to be an inconvenience! My very existance.. my being here on earth is an inconvenience, but I've been dealing with it. I'm here. I'm stuck, not going anywhere.. but I was in a good place and these last ten months, I just feel like my self-worth is being chipped away. WTF? How did I let this happen? (not to mention the vast amounts of psychic energy that I've been drained.) I don't know how it happened or if it's worth figuring out.. I could expend energy worrying about how I give over control to things or people, but that in itself seems a waste of my energy.

I could sit at home and avoid people. I've done that and honestly it didn't get me anywhere. I felt better after a day but more than that was gratuitous and I stressed out about things I couldn't know..

The thing is, sitting at home isn't going to help in the long run. I like people too much. I like being around life, living, breathing and nature.. I want to feel the earth and see the sky and the fresh air. I want to be surrounded by lovely things and people. I want to be that flaneur: observer of life that I used to be.. (maybe not so much the blogging tho.)

I want to walk til I run out of earth. I want to head out to Ocean Beach one day and hear the waves drown out the negative tapes I got playing 24/7.. I need to get seriously grounded, and I need to focus my energy on good & worthwhile people and ventures.. and learn to save something for myself.

I want to be avaiable for people when I can be, but if my efforts make no difference or my attendance makes no difference, I need to learn to get over myself and find something worth my energies... maybe treat myself to a good book, a poetry reading, or that long walk.. or spend time with a friend or aquaintance who enjoys my company too.

Losing weight (again) may help but there's other things I need to heed if I want my well-rounded confindence back that will weather any weight gain.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

still chugging along

so still on weight watchers for the most part.. Haven't been tracking so much since I've been walking most every day.. When I have class or am heading to Berkeley to study most often I am walking both ways.. which from Emeryville is about 5miles.

It's slow-going but as of this past week I was 182.2lbs but then I had a pint & a big honking bowl of mac & cheese at Triple Rock and then most of my lemon square from the Cafe on the corner.

The good thing is I was able to take out my K&B purple tee and wear yesterday! I bought it from Fleurty Girl (new orleans) about 4 years ago with the intent to wear it to Downtown LA Art Walk.. Since then they don't actually sell the shirt on their site, although they do have a 'classic' K&B logo tee.. I'm thinking the rights on those things are loosening up.. I like my crayon shirt though.. and now that I can actually wear it..

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week One: Weekends Blow it!

Today's weigh-in was 196.2 pounds.. that's a 3oz loss. Oh boy.. I know I should be glad for anything.. but what ticks me off is that at some point this past week I had gotten down to 194.5.. but then the weekend happened.

Saturday we ran errands and I managed to get some 18k steps in and over an hour of walking.. but I still ate a big breakfast. Sunday we took public transit to the Presidio for Off the Grid's Picnic in the Park where I ate half a cheeseburger with brie.. and a scoop of some seriously yummy Humphrey Slocombe.

Dinner was at Jupiter where we split some serously good beet salad and a veggie pizza in the thoughts we'd have leftovers for Meatless Monday.. no such luck! We devoured that thing!

So yeah, weekends I seem to blow it. Even with sharing and getting plenty of walking in, I seem to use up all my weeklies. Yes, I know they're there to be used. It doesn't mean I HAVE to use them, because I don't.

On good days, (when we have a good abundance of fruit for snacking) I do well to stay within my daily point target.. A couple days last week, I even let a couple dailies go unused. I was full. I was fine. No snacking required. Other days, not so much. I can't help but wonder if maybe I should change my weigh-in day to Friday. Weekends just blow it for me.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

week zero.. again

I've been off program the last few weeks during June. I spent over 2 weeks in Florida, first as part of Sean's first 'workation' of this year (they've been cutting back on travel with the project he's working on..) and then less than a week after we returned, I was flying back to Florida as my mom's partner of some 22 years passed on. He'd been terminally ill w/ brain cancer since January. We were glad to visit the short time we did before he passed.. but yes, it's been rough on his family and on my mom.

Suffice to say I haven't been able to stay on program.. haven't really concerned myself with it that much. When I was walking around the World during the workation*, I just tried to stay focused on getting my 10k+ steps in (and managed very well thank you!) and getting in my 2 milks and 6 servings of fruits and veg.. which I did alright.

my steps for today!
my best day's walking while in Orlando the first week of June 2013.

The following week or so (from the 14th through the 25th) at my mom's was another story; getting my milk and fruit/veg in actually was more difficult. Kind friends and neighbors were bringing by a stream of naughty desserts and huge casseroles. I managed to get my 10k steps in most days believe it or not by just running around the house helping my mom organize, sort and put away things..

When we got home late Tuesday night I didn't bother to count points the remainder of the week. I weighed in on Monday at 195.5 which was actually a 2+ pound drop for me from whenever I last weighed in.. about a month or so ago.

So going back on program I'm starting over, yet again... Maybe I shouldn't focus on the weight so much but on the behaviors. Focus on getting my proper food in and getting my steps in.

I want to feel good about myself but I think focusing on my health more than what I'm eating might be a better change for me right now. For now.

*workation.. usually means Sean is working while I am on "vacation"

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week 15

15 Apr 2013: 194.8
08 Apr 2013: 196.6
last week: 199.3
25 Mar 2013: 196.3

This time I remembered Meatless Monday and had cereal. We had one last cup of the Special K Chocolatey Strawberry.. which I don't recommend unless you prefer Special K Strawberries..

Despite not being a fan of Special K Strawberry I cut up some FRESH strawberries we picked up from Berkeley Bowl West and added to my cereal. By the time I got the berries cut up & put in the cereal the freeze dried ones Kellogg's uses finally rehydrated for the most part (which is the main reason I don't like their berries.. they're dry and hard and funky usually if I don't mix the cereal up and wait). Adding the fresh berries helped the taste and texture a lot!