Oh Weight Watchers, we've come a long way together haven't we?
The Points Plus program on Weight Watchers is one of the more unique diet plans I've followed. In a nutshell, WW assigns different point values to foods based on their fiber, carb, fat, and protein content in the food. They use an algorithm to calculate the points values, and as you'd expect foods that are generally accepted as "bad for you" tend to be high in points values.
You only get to eat a certain number of these points per day (I get 26) based on your height, weight, and activity level, and it's your job to choose foods that keep you within that limit. You also get 49 bonus points that you can choose to eat (or not) over the course of the week. If you don't eat them, you lose weight faster, if you eat them, you can have a large pizza for dinner one night but you tend to lose 0.2 pounds in a week. Seems like a fair trade.
In a new twist, fruits and vegetables are now ZERO points, which means that I take bananas and pineapple to the face when I'm following weight watchers. The zero point fruit thing is a hotly debated subject.
The first time I tried Weight Watchers was my senior year of high school (reflected in my Weight Timeline!). I wanted to drop a few pounds, had been flirting with bulimia, and weighed 140 pounds. My mother had tried Weight Watchers in the past and had all of the books and calculators that one needs to determine points and things. This was wayyyy before the online version folks, 2002!
I followed the plan dutifully for a few months, lost ten pounds, and looked amazing. It was so easy!
But as time went on I gained the weight back and then some, so I decided to get back on the plan after graduating college.
My first job ever as an NYC paralegal had a Weight Watchers group that met once a week. I signed up with my good friend E and together we slowly (OH SO SLOWLY, WTF METABOLISM?) saw the weight drop off. Even though we had to go to a lot of really awkward meetings with other male and female bosses of ours who wanted to lose weight, and DEAR GOD, had to weigh ourselves in front of these people, the plan worked for us. I went from 157 to 147 over about six months, and was really happy with my results.
But...I gained it back. Truly the minute I stopped tracking my points was the minute I gained back ten pounds. It's a lifestyle and I wasn't ready to track imaginary points every day for the rest of my life. I was 23 for heaven's sake!
In the years that have followed I've attempted Weight Watchers again and again, never with the same initial results. My heart was never in it. I actually have an account now and can never seem to stay on track for more than a week. It's frustrating, because the plan really does work. It's slow and steady and you can really maintain the weight loss if you follow the steps. I just...don't follow the steps.
I've got a few weeks left on my package at WW, and I'm really going to try this time. I swear! And if I don't, I'll just be constantly reminded how much weight I can lose by the lovely Jennifer Hudson.
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