Sunday, December 05, 2010
I started my most recent healthy eating/weight loss journey with Weight Watchers on December 1, 2008. When I came to SparkPeople in November of 2009, I had already lost down to a healthy BMI of 25. Mostly I came to SparkPeople because the Weight Watcher program seemed too imprecise for maintenance. One point could be from about 25 calories to over 110. You got to eat more if something was high in fiber and less if it was high in fat. I thought tracking calories would be much more accurate. And although I have always love my Weight Watcher leader and benefit from the meetings I now attend approximately twice a month, I recognized that the emphasis at WW was on losing weight. I had lost weight many times before. What I had not done successfully was maintain.
On SparkPeople I found exactly what I was looking for and so much more. I tried strength training seriously for the first time. Not that WW did not encourage strength training, they did. But not in as direct and understandable a way for me as SparkPeople did. I read many articles I could apply to my eating and exercise programs. I tracked 75 nutrients for months. There are actually groups of people who had lost weight, some of them even around my age, and were working to keep it off. I joined teams and I made friends. I had never felt as understood before in my life. I found with SparkPeople, and emphasizing healthy eating and activity, I was able to lose below BMI of 21, a weight I had wanted to be since I was a teenager.
Now I have decided to try the new Weight Watcher program. My roots are deep in Weight Watchers. I first joined in 1968. I've made my goal weight many times. My experience has been that each time they change the program it is better. So, I want to try it. I am glad that they no longer double penalize fats. Used to be in the WW formula, the calories of fat was considered and then there was an extra penalty. One of the biggest changes for me coming to SparkPeople after Weight Watchers was that I needed to dramatically increase my fat intake to meet SparkPeople's guidelines even when I got in the 2 teaspoons of healthy oils Weight Watchers recommends. I plan to double count on WW and SparkPeople to compare at least one typical day a week, to make sure I'm nourishing myself as well as I know how.
I also intend to continue to use information I've learned at SparkPeople. Weight Watchers does tell you to watch your sodium, but until I started actually counting my sodium on SparkPeople I thought I ate a very moderate amount. Unfortunately, not true. WW has made some effort not to count high sodium things as what they call "PowerFoods," but they don't actually count sodium. I've become much more aware of sodium. If I find on my double count days that my sodium is going up, I will track more often.
I suspect that Weight Watchers corporation probably would not like the way I appreciate SparkPeople. And probably SparkPeople would not appreciate the way I value Weight Watchers. But for me, they are both major reasons that my life has improved in so many ways. I love them both!!