Thursday, November 03, 2011
In yet another attempt to "shake things up" with my eating plan, I decided to go ahead and take my mother's advice, and revisit Weight Watcher's.
I am a lifetime member of weight watchers. I first joined back in 1988, when I wanted to get from a whopping 121 lbs down to my goal of 109 lbs. I even found my old weigh-in card from that time, documenting this start weight, my journey down a couple of pounds each week, and finally ending at a last-weigh in at 113 lbs.
I laughed. I couldn't weigh 121 anymore, let alone 113 or 109.
But other past weight watcher weigh-in tickets (I have saved ALL weight watcher materials since 1988) show more realistic pictures of me. At one point, I changed my goal weight to 135 (much more realistic for me now), so that for lifetime free membership, all I have to do is weigh within 3 lbs of 135 lbs. I marveled at how many times the program has changed over the years. WHen I began weight watchers back in the late '80s, they used the "exchange" system. You checked off little boxes as you consumed servings of different food groups.
And you only got 2 bread servings a day.
It was on this old Weight Watcher's plan that I lost weight to 115 lbs, and kept it off for 2 years (until the birth of my first daughter). She was born in 1990 and her twin sisters were born in 1993. During those years, I was up and down, understandably, but managed to get back down to 110 after the twins were born in 1993, and maintained that weight until around 1997.
At that time, I slowly began to gain weight.
By 1998, I was in the low 120's
By 2001 (when santosh and I broke up), I balooned to the 140's
By 2003, I weighed an all time high in the high 160's.
During these years, I returned to weight watchers, both excited and daunted to find the program had changed to POINTS. I lost some weight with points.
And I found it again.... with POINTS.
In 2006 I joined Sparkpeople and got down to the upper 130's.
By 2008, I had gained it all back.
By my wedding, in 2010, I managed to get back down to 141 lbs.
And I have been fluctuating anywhere between the low 140s and the low 150's since my wedding.
Why the yo-yo ing? I can never figure out my body, other than to note that If I want to weigh less, I have to eliminate all starchy carbs from my diet at all times. Impossible to sustain, in the longrun, I've found.
SO anyway, back to mom's advice:
"Do weight Wachers with dad and I! With POINTS PLUS, you can eat 29 points in a day, and all fruit is FREE".
Since both my parents are doing the program, they have double the materials. Mom gave me dad's set of stuff (my mom does EVERYTHING for him! All he has to do is open his mouth and chew). I downloaded an app on my Android phone that calculates points using the new system of factoring points for foods based on total fat, fiber, carbohydrate and protein grams.
I started an experiment of both counting my POINTS, as well as tracking the food I consumed here on SP. I'm addicted to tracking, so I wasn't about to give up using the sparkpeople food tracker. What I found was interesting, disappointing, and for me personally.... not all that surprising.
29 points for me equals around 1300 calories of food in a day. Remember I don't have to "count" fruit for points on the new Weight Watcher's plan, but I did track it in the nutrition tracker for SP. For me, 1300 calories is way too much food. I know this about my body. Anyone who has ever talked to me about my weight, or read any of my lamentations her on SP know I cannot lose weight on any more than 1100 calories. IN fact, an ideal weight loss range for me, at a rate of about a pound a week, is 900 daily calories.
After 2 weeks of eating around 1200 to 1300 calories a day (I was not eating anywhere near the allotted 49 weekly bonus points), I gained THREE POUNDS. Lovely. And just before I am supposed to head out to Chicago for a visit with my inlaws.
Am I disappointed that the new POINTS PLUS-FREE FRUIT weight watchers didn't work for me? Yep. As usual, I am disappointed with new tweaks brought to the weight watcher's plan. Did I find it noteworthy that 29 points is roughly 1300 calories? yes. Am I surprised that I gained weight? Nope.
I maintained my exercise program (Stationary bike for 25 to 30 min every T, W, Th, 3.5 mile walk every Sat and Sun), and my strength training (mainly core for post-back surgery rehab) exercises on the weekend. But it wasn't enough to combat 29 points worth of calories.
I like flexibility, when it offers results. For me, that flexibility never brings about weight loss, only weight gain. Perhaps this is how weight watchers makes their money? Who knows. Both my parents are doing well on it. But both of them are morbidly obese and have a lot more weight to lose than I do.
I wish a bust-through weight loss eating plan would surface, for those of us who just want to lose 10 to 15 lbs. It would probably be more restrictive, though.
I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.