Operation Skinny Jeans: I need your help

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I need your help

I am torn. I have to admit I have been thinking about this for at least a few weeks and it has come time where I feel like I need to make a decision. Thats where you come in. After talking myself to death, weighing pros and cons, bugging the crap out of my husband, I need you guys. Please help me.

I am thinking about quitting Weight Watchers…. again.

I know, I know!  I promise I will explain. A little about me.

I have started Weight Watchers every September for the past 4 years, without fail. In 2009 I started in order to fit into my dream wedding dress. It was the old plan and come Girl Scout cookie time (February 2010) I quit.

I started again September 2010. It was coming down to the wire to get in better shape before my wedding (then scheduled for 5/13/11) and I was serious. Life had a funny way of ruining my plans, and after some seriously unexpected and sad news while at the gym early one February morning, I quit again.

I started again September 2011 after my 24th birthday and some insanely unflattering pictures with my two best friends. In March we decided to uproot our lives and move unexpectedly, resulting in quitting again…

I started in September 2012 when I decided I was 25 and still where I started in 2009 and I was over it. I also felt the Tick Tick Tick of my bio clock and I knew my body was not in the right kind of shape to house a baby. And guess what, It's three days before February and here I am again.

ALL that being said, my reasons are VERY different. But I can't help but feel like history is repeating itself. And every time I quit, the weight loss stops. I don't really gain much (5 ish lbs) But I also stop losing, surprise surprise.

Ok so what makes this year different. Well, I have another plan. All of those other times I have quit because of life. I let life's inconveniences get in the way, and I stopped trying. I created this ideal that weight loss was mutually exclusive to me being on Weight Watchers. That I couldn't possibly succeed unless I was on the plan. I no longer think that is true.

Lets start with what I get out of Weight Watchers.

  • I like the idea of points. I think they point me in the right direction (pun unintended) and I make better choices. 
  • I love meetings. I love connecting with other people, sharing and gaining ideas. I love clapping when people decide fruit over cupcakes, and I really think that kind of support is helpful. 
  • I love the iphone app. I know that I need to track my food to succeed. Awareness is key for me. I like that its easy. 
  • I love weighing in, getting a sticker, and connecting with my leader. 
And here is what I don't like…
  • Points aren't calories. The world doesn't run on points. It seems silly to pay to count things a certain way when I could count them for free, the same way the rest of the world does. 
  • I have a blog, and our facebook page is super active, so I feel like I don't need 30 strangers in a room to support me when I have 200 strangers on the internet doing the same thing. 
  • There is an app (in fact multiple) to count calories. Technology is advancing at the same level both places. 
  • I HATE with capital letters my weigh in time. I weigh in on Mondays at NOON. I have eaten breakfast and probably a snack by then, not to mention I am fully clothed in work clothes. I would feel much more comfortable weighing in naked in the morning. 
  • I don't like how things that are healthy are more points than things that aren't. One Avocado is 9 points. Thats INSANE. Similarly, Peanut butter and nuts are a ton of points too. 
Then there is the Active link. I really do like it. I like that I can monitor my activity and I wholeheartedly believe that awareness is key. However I think the Active link is a bit primitive for what I need now. When I got it, I was really inactive. Walking was an achievement. But I have now jumped into exercise with both feet, and it doesn't meet my needs anymore. It is a points pedometer. It counts way more points for walking then anything else, including squats and weight lifting. I don't like this. I feel like it is not very accurate. 

There are lots of cool little things that do the same thing. Fit Bits, Nike Fuel Band, Body Buggs, etc. A lot of which are far more accurate than the Active link. 

Then there is the cost! The monthly fee I pay is $47.95. The monthly pass is $42.95 and I pay an additional $5 for the active link. With this money, I could get a gym membership, something I think will do more for my heath and wellness than Weight Watchers. 

So what makes this time different? I have a plan. I am doing the Commit to Fit which is teaching me how to work out and how to improve my body that way, as well as how to eat to fuel my body. I will be doing this until at least April so I am covered there. I have made some actual changes in the way I view food and exercise and I am mentally ready to change my life. But I can't help but worry that this coming September I will regret quitting once again and I will be right where I left off.

So, here is where I need your help. Do you think I can do it? Does it sound like I am ready to fly the Weight Watchers coop? I know you don't know me or my life, but I blog from the heart so I was hoping you could help. To be honest, just putting it all out there has helped me. 

So what do you think I should do? Keep going with Weight Watchers, or trade it in for a gym membership and a better activity monitor (like a Body Bugg)? Any thoughts? 

PS: I did weigh in yesterday and I lost 2.8! 

16 comments :

  1. I think you should do what makes you happy. And I agree, you have a plan so it's not like you are giving up your weightloss goals, and that money could definitely be used for a gym membership (as long as you use it! lol) OR You could just get aa few workout dvds, walk outside, etc. and save that money as a rewards for hitting certain goals? I like to give myself incentives lol I think you are totally capable of doing it outside of weight watchers as long as you have some sort of support system, which I think you have created with this here fantastic blog :-)

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    1. Thank you! I love how supportive our readers are! I definitely have a plan, and I am in a fitness challenge right now that includes exercising 5 days a week so that is helping establish a good routine. :) I am an over planner so I know the one thing that wont happen is being planless :)

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  2. First let me start by saying I enjoy reading your things on Facebook but have only been able to visit your blog occasionally cause my phone hates to let me visit other links from FB. :) I wanted to share an opinion with you on this. I commend that you have a plan and are putting yourself out there. I think making a pros and cons list is a very valid way to help you make decisions. However, let me point out what often happens to a lot of people. I have seen several people leave one plan for another and then have a few weeks to a month of backwards sliding because they weren't fully prepared for the change or they didn't have everything they needed for the new plan. It sounds like you may already have some of what you need (a calorie/activity app in mind, a GREAT calibrated scale that will weigh in .10 increments, an idea of a gym that will work with your time frame, etc...). My advice would be to do both WW and your new plan for a month to make sure you can easily transition over. This way you can start measuring food by calories and seeing/keeping track of how that aligns with your points. You can weigh yourself and track it, but also keep tracking it in your WW log. Then once you have everything lined out you can smoothly transition. Either way, you're not a quitter!!! You could never do WW again and you would already have succeeded because you have been willing to put yourself out there and have been an inspiration to a society and a people (myself included) that desperately needs motivation to be healthier!

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    1. Thank you! That is a great idea! I was thinking about this today and I couldn't really think of anything that WW online offered me that I couldnt get from My fitness pal or the internet at large. My gym plan is to stay at the rec center for now, until my program is over, then I want to get a membership at 24 hr fitness because I want to be able to work out earlier in the morning. :) Thank you again tho! Very helpful points!

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  3. Don't feel bad for quitting WW if you feel it's what you need to do. Should you quit WW continue to use some of the tools you've used in WW to help guide you on your weight loss journey and make a new plan for yourself. (Which you've already started to do) Buy that gym membership instead of paying for WW, continue Commit to Fit, continue your boot camp, continue to eat healthier, don't stress over calories, get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water... Don't think for one second that if you quit WW you will fail because you won't. You are capapble of succeeding with out a program. A program isn't what makes one succeed it's drive, perseverance, and faith in ones self.

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  4. I forgot to mention on FB that it's all about who you want to be accountable to. Do you really want to be accountable to a lady who weighs you in once a week with a number that may or TOTALLY MAY NOT be reflective of your week? Or would you rather kick ass and be accountable to yourself? You also have the blog for that extra kick haha. You could always do an accountability challenge on here too. Like a weekly summary, how many days you hit your MFP target, how many workout days, etc.

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  5. I know exactly what you mean!!
    I've done WW a few times in the past and have always quit. However, I've only done the online program because I can't afford 50$ month to go to meetings. I signed up for WW online back i n November for their 3 month payment plan and last week I decided to cancel it. Not that it doesn't work, I know that it does, but so does counting calories, which is free. Last year I lost 35lbs by counting my calories on my fitness pal. I could've lost even more if I put more effort into it. I think WW would help me a lot more if I attended the meetings, but I can't do the cost right now. I agree with all your points, especially the point about some healthy food being so high in points. I don't think you're failing, you're just doing it differently, which is perfectly ok!
    This is my first week back to counting calories on MFP (username bail01).. we'll see how it goes!

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    1. I agree. I know the change is in my brain, not how I count lol. I feel more and more confident that I have this! I can do it :)

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  6. You need to decide what's best for you, but I think you've done really well with WW this time around; it seems like you are really committed to it! Sure, counting points is not really realistic in the "real world," but neither is counting calories all the time (and neither is being on Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig where they give you food to eat). Weight Watchers is more than a diet. It helps you change your lifestyle. It helps you to develop lots of other healthy habits (hello, would you think to get in healthy oils, I sure wouldn't). You can allow yourself 1500 calories/day, but do you think you'll be satisfied? Will you be concious of eating filling foods? Or, will you eat your 1500 calories by lunch and be starving the rest of the day? The "counting" of points or calories is just half the battle. It's about what you're actually putting in your mouth and how much you're moving. It's about factors besides weight like blood sugar, cholesterol, % of body fat, etc. Believe me, I have a love/hate relationship with WW too, but when you're on plan, it works. As far as some of your "don't likes" about WW, may I suggest: get rid of the Active Link and track your activity another way that doesn't cost so much. I have a heart rate monitor that I set a goal for calories burned and have a weekly activity points target. Sure my HRM doesn't translate to activity points, but at least I give myself a goal. The cost: switch to online and see how you like it. That also solves the problem with when you weigh-in. You can weigh-in at home. Or, just change your WI day/time. My other thought is that you might want to do some sort of hybrid like Tracy mentioned above. Even when I was off-plan I calculated the points for things, even if I didn't track I knew what I was putting into my body. Another idea: use your WW materials and cancel your plan. I've done that before too. You can still WI on your own, use that money to join a gym.

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  7. I hate the idea of going to Weight Watchers meetings. I don't like the idea of people knowing my business that up close and personal. That being said, I LOVE Weight Watchers online. When I made my first real attempt at losing weight, I used the LoseIt! app on my iPhone as well as My Fitness Pal, and was strictly counting calories. I switched to Weight Watchers online for a number of reasons. I like that it "rewards" you for making better decisions. Yes, calories in versus calories out is the main idea of any weight loss program, but your body processes calories differently. It's better to eat fiber-enriched carbohydrates and protein-rich foods than it is to eat a spoonful of mayonnaise that is straight fat. I also like that fruits and veggies are "free" on Weight Watchers. Of course, they do contain calories, and I am very mindful of that. But the idea that I can eat a salad and only have to count my dressing has taught me to enjoy salad or a banana when I'm hungry rather than chips or cookies that may not be that many extra "calories" on a calorie-only plan.

    I'm able to pay $18/month for Weight Watchers online and $25/month for a membership to 24-hour Fitness, and I have had success so far with those things alone. (I've also quit on Weight Watchers before, but that's because I wasn't ready and I felt pressure to do it). I can't imagine ever going without the Weight Watchers online app. I love the barcode scanner, and I love being able to track wherever, whenever, and having the flexibility of the "Weekly points" if a special occasion arises. My Fitness Pal doesn't give you any of that, so to me, Weight Watchers is worth every cent of the $18/month online subscription.

    Like Amy said above, WW online also allows you to set your weigh-in time for any time you'd like. Mine is Wednesday morning before I get in the shower. It's in between the weekends when I tend to not use my points as wisely, so I think it's a fair assessment of my REAL weight loss. I would really recommend trying the online-only program before quitting cold turkey.

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  8. Well I know you have read my blog so you know where i stand on calories verse ww. I actually just blogged about this again yesterday :) But I will tell you I have been using myfitnesspal and I love the app. Its easy to find calories for almost anything. It has a community in it as well recipe builders etc. If you are really undecided i agree with the above comment do both for a few week and see where you come out. If you have read katies blog (runforcookies) she did that and realized the calories and the points were matching up. She went to ww then switched to calorie counting and lost the last 10lbs back on ww new program. sometimes you just need to change things up. I have seen more results calorie counting in these few months then i have ever seen on WW. Good Luck woman I know your determined and you will succeed whatever direction you choose to go.

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    1. Thank you!! I appreciate the support!

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  9. I know nothing of substance about WW, but the pattern is a matter of concern. Do not make excuses. If you always weigh in on Monday fully clothed and fed, then real weight is being measured consistently. No fudging with a few pounds by removing clothes, going to the bathroom or whatever. Be honest! You are only fooling yourself. I am confident that peanuts and avocados ring in at relatively few points because they are healthy fats. Embrace that! Enjoy some healthy indulgence; your body will thank you.

    If you want this in part so you can have a baby, CHANGE your eating habits. Otherwise you are likely to teach bad habits to your child. Surely you do not want your child to go through this, too!

    There are numerous healthy ways to lose weight and change your habits. Dropping WW is a no brainer if you truly intend to see this through. Use the money to reward yourself with small rewards, like a pedicure, when you are really meeting your goals.

    Be accountable to yourself!

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    1. Thank you. The pattern concerns me too, but I know that my reasons this time are different. But it is definitely a pattern… I know that my weigh ins have been consistent, and I do take pride in the idea that I am losing consistently with a less than convenient weigh in time. For a while it was hard for me to let myself eat before because I didn't want to gain or something. I got over that, and I have actually made strides in my thinking. I am looking at food differently and I have been binge free for 12 weeks, which is huge for me. I know that I am making a long term and real change to make this stick, and that is why I feel like this time is different.

      I definitely don't want to bring a kid into this, hence the fixing the problem, rather than a bandaid :)

      Thank you for your advise! It really was helpful and I am 99% sure in my decision.

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    2. Call it 100%. No room to second guess yourself! You can do this!

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