Back at the beginning of October, Mike and I started Weight Watchers after his cardiologist complained about his weight again, even though all his tests were excellent. I had an epic meltdown dealing with my own issues, and then we settled down.
We both started losing right away. Mike lost nice and steadily, because men are horrible that way, and as a premenopausal woman, I lost in fits and starts, but my progress was acceptable, and I wasn’t really invested in it anyway. I was there for Mike, I was tracking for Mike, and my body, which had declined to pay attention to many diets in the past, would do whatever it was going to do.
We made it past things that were traps for a lot of people in our group. We avoid Halloween candy by ignoring the holiday. We were getting very few trick-or-treaters anyway. We don’t have family nearby, so I bought one portions worth of a few treats for Thanksgiving, and that was that. No issues with leftovers. I had a lovely little birthday party and ate what I felt like for one day, having skipped treats on Thanksgiving, and I felt fine about it.
I must say, hospitals are fabulous for weight loss. There was the 4 days I wasn’t allowed to eat while they waited for my gut to wake up after surgery. There were the 2 weeks of recovery when I had the appetite of a toddler. 6 bites every 2 hours. Then there was the week I got progressively sicker and lost my appetite again, the week I was horribly ill on ivs and anti-emetics and barely managed protein bars or shakes once or twice a day. And even after that, I was still healing and recuperating, which are energy intensive.
From my last official weigh in the week after Thanksgiving to the weight taken in my primary care doctors office the week after I got out, I lost 30 lbs. On the one hand, I feel a little weird about ‘claiming’ that, because I didn’t do anything intentional, it just happened. On the other hand, it looks awesome on my graph.
The thing is, in the 2 months since I’ve been home, I’ve dropped another 20 lbs. That I’ll definitely claim, but it’s still been pretty effortless. WW did that for me. This is not your mother’s WW in the days of starvation and shaming. This latest iteration, based on ever changing and improving science, is pretty easy. Here are what I consider the high points.
It’s a joke. Points are the current cornerstone of the WW system, and they are the reason it works so well for us.
Based on the WW esoteric formula, which probably includes weight, age, and gender, I get a number of points. My meals are made up of a combination of points and zero point foods. Most everything your cardiologist thinks you should eat is zero points. Lean chicken or turkey, salmon, all fresh veggies and fruits. Points are for other stuff like buttered toast, olive oil, or even cookies. It’s all on you, but there is no reason to be stuck with things you don’t like, and no need to ever be hungry. And, as you lose, you also lose points, which is a little sad to see, but it means you don’t have to constantly worry if you are eating too much, or to sit down and do your own math.
Points encourage you to eat real, whole foods. If you have a cup of chopped pineapple and a banana, it’s zero points. If you blend them up into a smoothy, you’re losing some of the benefits of the fiber, and it’s no longer zero. It also digests a lot faster. I have no trouble at all working the points around my various food issues, although I resent a bit that gluten free foods are higher in points then non gluten free.
The food point database makes things very easy. I’ve tried food tracking in the past and it made me completely crazy. Figuring out grams of this and sorting through a huge database of unrelated things all the time. The search function works really well, it’s easy to adjust your portion of whatever according to how much you ate. It remembers what you had the past few days, so your favorites are easy to find.
I have to say, I’m surprised, but ecstatic at my progress. I’m really glad this came up after I spent the summer rebuilding my gut biome and I was really ready for it. It is much, much easier for me than all the years I low carbed when I never felt satisfied. I would highly recommend it.