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Friday, December 2, 2011

Tips and Tricks - How I Got Here



*Author’s Note: This is really long, but well worth the time to read!*
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To stay motivated this week in my persistent campaign to finally get to my 10%, I have been reading success stories on weightwatchers.com.  It has really motivated me to keep on keepin’ on.  It’s so wonderful to read just a small number of success stories and know there are so many more that they can’t possibly share them all!  I can’t wait to be one of the success stories someday soon, whether I finally write my whole journey here to you lovely people, or if I get to be on their website!

Although I am about half way through my journey to goal, I want to share some tricks and tips I have found immensely helpful along the way. If I gain or stall in my weight loss, I usually haven’t been following what I know works for me.



1) My Husband, Adam.



I wanted to put him first, because I want you all to know how supportive he is. I didn’t want you to get bored reading this before I could tell you how wonderful he’s been this whole time.



I was very nervous about going to a meeting. I knew it was time for a change, but I had a weird sense of trepidation, and a little disappointment in myself for not being able to drop the weight by myself.  I asked Adam to go with me, and with him being so ridiculously skinny with his cheetah metabolism, he didn’t want to actually go into the meeting and sat in the car. Such a wonderful man. He ended up sitting in the car for I think an hour and a half in the middle of March.  Weight Watchers was doing a ‘try a meeting free!’ promotion at the time so I went to the meeting, the new member orientation and then looked around the meeting area for awhile, then I went out and talked to him about all of the pricing options and what would be the best option for us financially. Then I went back inside for a little longer to finish the paperwork and what not.



He stayed the whole time.



The moment that exactly how supportive he is hit me when we were talking about groceries this week, we have a ton of leftover turkey (which is what happens when you have a 17 lb bird to feed 7 people) and he asked the simple question of: “Are there any Weight Watchers recipes that we could try to put the turkey in?”



Honestly, I stared at him for a second before I answered him.  I am so glad that I have him as my partner for life. I am so spectacularly lucky to have him. Thank you for your never-ending love and support, babe.



2) Several Food-related Tips



-Snacking



Responsible snacking between meals is so important! You may want to try and just eat 3 square meals a day, but sometimes that just isn’t enough.  Obviously, if you just ate and you are reaching for the snack box, that’s not quite what I’m talking about.  If you’re hungry and it’s been more than an hour since you ate til you’re satisfied and it’s still going to be an hour or more until your next meal, eat a small snack.  If you wait until the next meal and you sit down to eat ravenous, you are more likely to over eat.

You have a couple options of what to do when that mid-afternoon grumble hits your belly. One is fruits and veggies.  All fruits and most veggies (check before you bite it!) are 0 Points Plus. They leave you fuller longer, so work them into your meals more, and then if when mid-afternoon hunger strikes, eat a fruit or veggie! Like Michael Pollen says, “If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.”



But what if you don’t have any fruits or veggies handy? I keep 3 PP bags of pretzels EVERYWHERE.  They are on top of my fridge, in my desk drawer at work, in my purse – everywhere.  I also keep a couple of other low point options available as well. I currently am in love with the Weight Watchers Multigrain Ranch Crisps. Those things are delicious!  Which leads to another choice: sometimes if you’re thirsty you think you’re hungry.  So drink water first. If drinking water doesn’t solve it, I eat half a bag of the pretzels or crisps and then wait to see how I feel.  If I need to, I will eat the rest of the bag, but I wait and survey my body’s signals before I do that.



Also, to avoid the morning munchies, I take my breakfast to work with me. I work in a very busy office and only being able to grab a bite between phone calls helps slow me down and I am full til lunch!



-Gum



If all else fails, chew gum.  It keeps your mouth busy, and as my Mom always said, “It tricks your stomach into thinking that you’re eating!”



-Savor the Flavor



Sometimes the rich food is worth it. As I have posted (here and here) about how much I love the holiday season, I can’t not indulge in a little eggnog, but even the low fat stuff is still high points.  So I have these really tiny glasses I use for high point stuff like ice cream and eggnog.  When I have that tiny glass of eggnog it’s a little more plan friendly and then when I take a sip I really let it roll over my tongue, I really luxuriate in the richness of the flavor and the texture on my tongue. Don’t let it sit there too long, because warm eggnog isn’t as good as ice cold!



Love the full fat salad dressings like Cesar and Ranch? Yeah, me too.  One of my favorite tips that I have picked up is when you order the dressing on the side, don’t dip the salad pieces in, you’ll still get more than the serving size.  Just dip the fork. Then stab the lettuce and let the yumminess roll in.  It wasn’t until I learned this that I really understood why you order dressing on the side. I mean, I would order it on the side and then pour it on myself. Still way too much!



-Track it!



I make my lunch the night before, so I don’t have quite as rushed of a morning since I get up early and work out.  Since I already know what I am having, I sit down and enter it the night before. I also go through phases where I have the same thing for breakfast every day for awhile. Usually seasonal, for example in the winter I usually have oatmeal with cut up fruit (current fruit: peaches. Yum.) And in the summer I have a berry-yogurt parfait.  Sometimes that gets boring and I have cereal instead. Anyway, so I try and track the night before what I am having for breakfast and lunch.  And if Adam and I are on top of things, I usually know what I’m going to have for dinner the next day too, so I track basically my entire day the night before! It’s great because I know exactly how many points I have to spend on snacks the next day if I get the belly grumbles.



-Find out what’s worth it to you



I love the Subway Club, it’s 6 points without any dressing or cheese.  But to me it’s worth the extra points to have mayo and pepperjack cheese.  And I still get almost all of the veggies put on there. (Olives and the really, really hot peppers are a no-no!)



I also love Jimmy John’s.  But that stuff is expensive point-wise! So I usually have them cut the number 5 in half, go light on the mayo and have half for lunch and half for dinner or vice versa.

I have a terrible sweet tooth, so to me, some of the sweet stuff is totally worth it, I just portion it out.  Example: pumpkin pie.  I cut it up into super tiny pieces to make it fewer points per slice. And only have one slice instead of two or three!



-Try New Recipes



My current meeting leader says, “It’s not worth it to waste points on bad food.”

You are not going to like everything you try and that’s ok. Sometimes that happens. But don’t eat something mediocre just because it’s there.



At the same time, however, just because you don’t like one Weight Watchers recipe, doesn’t mean that they all suck. Keep trying them! You don’t have to favorite every single recipe you try. This whole process is trial and error!



-Post weigh in Twilight Zone



One of the leaders that Weight Watchers featured on their site talked about this Twilight Zone after weigh in some of her members had before they “thought” their points reset.



This had never occurred to me. To avoid this, I weigh in on the day my points reset.  I don’t eat breakfast before I weigh in on Saturday and I reset my points on Saturday, so the breakfast I eat at the meeting is the first thing that gets entered in the new week.  Boom, no ‘Twilight Zone’.



3) Everyone’s different than everyone else, and who they were 4, 8 or 12 years ago



Everyone is different, you can’t hear that enough.  I am lucky enough to carry my weight very well, and when I tell people how much I weighed when I joined Weight Watchers, or even now, they can’t believe it.  “You don’t look like you need to lose weight!” “No way you weigh that much!”  Well, my BMI says I’m obese, I’m not happy with how I feel and yes, I do.  The four different scales I stepped on before joining Weight Watchers all were within 1-2 lbs of each other.  It doesn’t help me get healthy when people say things like that. I find them highly unsupportive.



Not everyone processes food the same way either. My husband and I are the perfect example of that. He can eat whatever he wants and not gain a pound (though he wants to) but I have to watch what I eat, especially carbs. Which sucks, because I love carbs. I would eat a different kind of pasta and garlic bread every night of the week if I could still be a healthy weight!



You are a different person now than you were last year, 4 years ago or 10 years ago.  I changed enough from when I was 18 and able kick 50 lbs to the curb by myself to when I was 22 trying to lose and only gaining doing the same thing I did when I was 18.  If you can’t do it by yourself, IT’S OKAY.  I can’t, I need the support and accountability that a weekly weigh in and meeting give me.  I couldn’t do it on my own, and online didn’t work for me, so every week I go to my meeting, I weigh in and I stay and absorb what they have to offer. I’m paying for it, so why shouldn’t I?

4) Weigh-ins

Same time, same day, every week. Your weight flucuates quite a bit, so you want to be able to get an accurate weigh-in every week.

Wear the same clothes every week if possible. A pair of jeans can weigh up to 3 lbs!


5) I like to move it, move it! I like to move it, move it! I like to move it, move it! I like to: MOVE IT!



You don’t have to go to the gym.  Sure sometimes, that’s fun to do, or that’s what it will take, but not 
always. Walk more. Walk in place during the commercials of your favorite T.V. show.  Watching a movie? Get up and march in place for 10 minutes, then sit for 20. And for those 20 minutes? Sit on a stability ball that you need to control with your awesome muscles to stay upright.



Get a pedometer. I like my Weight Watchers one because it counts steps, miles, Intense and All Day Activity Points, has a stop watch, date and time. But the activity tracker in e-tools also has a spot where you can put in how many steps you took that day and it will give you the number of activity points you earned.



Find an activity that you love, and step it up a notch. Take a class at a gym, get some home work out DVDs, whatever works for you.  Just get out and move it!





What about you? Do you have any handy tips or tricks for being on Weight Watchers, or doing any weight loss program whatsoever?



***This is not paid for by Weight Watchers, the entirety of this post is made up of my own opinions and experiences with Weight Watchers.  For more information about Weight Watchers, visit weightwatchers.com or visit a meeting place near you.***

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