Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Becoming A Joiner

This past weekend, I did something I thought I would never do.

I joined Weight Watchers.

I have finally decided to get some outside help with my battle to lose weight. I have been able to lose a little bit of weight on my own, with watching what I eat and walking, but I want to do better. I want to lose weight, but I also just want to be healthier.

Hubs has tried to help me, but I'll let you in on a little secret.

I don't want his help.

There, I said it.

This is kind of frustrating for him, as he is a fixer, and sincerely wants to help me when I complain how I want/need to lose weight.

He is the one person that I do NOT want to help me lose weight. Why is that?

Well...in my case, when he tries to help me, it just feels (to me) like he is being critical, even though he assures me he's not.  To me, your husband should be the one person in your life who loves you unconditionally, regardless of what you weigh. Can I get an amen?

I need someone to help keep me accountable who I am not that close to.

And, that is why I decided to join.

I have watched Jennifer Hudson sing the praises of Weight Watchers on commercials, and was mildly interested. It did not make me want to join though. After all, she is a celebrity. She has personal trainers and a chef that will make her any food that her little heart desires.

I did not even think about attending a meeting until I was talking with a friend, and asked her what she was doing to lose weight. She mentioned that she was doing Weight Watchers, and that she has lost over 30 lbs. This is a fellow busy mom, with a hectic schedule, just like me. No personal trainer. No chef at her beck and call. 

She told me that another one of our friends was doing it also. She explained that I could attend a meeting for free, just to see if it would be something I thought would work for me. So, I went.

Now, these meetings are on Saturday morning, at 8:30. I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. I am also not really a joiner, and I hate meetings. Ha!

I knew that unless this meeting was good, I would not want to sacrifice my sleep to attend in the future.

So, I went to my first meeting this past Saturday morning. The room was packed out! There were ladies of all ages, and all sizes. Although Weight Watchers is also a program for men, I did not see any men in attendance.

Here's a tip: If you are a single man, and you are looking for a woman, forget the club scene. Just join Weight Watchers ;)

At the beginning of the meeting, if you are a member, you start out by weighing in. I had always thought that they had a scale in the front of the room, and each person took turns stepping on it, and announcing to the room how much weight they had lost or gained, like on "Biggest Loser". It is nothing like that!

They do have a scale, but it is not in the front of the room. It is in the back, and only one person actually sees what you weigh. There is even a line that members have to stand behind, just to be sure that your weigh in is personal. Your weight is recorded in a little booklet, and it is not announced. What a relief!

Then, the actual meeting begins. At this particular meeting, the leader shared tips for eating out at a restaurant. She was very interesting, and I wasn't bored in the least. She talked about different scenarios, and what you could do to make the best choices while dining out. You were encouraged to share if you wanted to, but you certainly weren't forced. You didn't have to introduce yourself, and tell your "story" (Hello....my name is Amiee, and I love chocolate!) You could be as involved, or not involved, as you wanted to be.

After attending that meeting, and hearing about how others were being successful in their weight loss journey, I decided to join.

I have been doing it for several days, and while it IS hard, it is definitely easier than doing it alone. Each food is assigned a "point" value, and only points are added up, not calories. I tried counting calories, and it was just too difficult. With their new PointsPlus program, all fruit, and most veggies, are "0" points, which means you can eat as many of them as you want! That way, you will never be overly hungry.

My problem is I am not such a lover of most vegetables, and I rarely choose fruit if given other options. That is something I need to work on, and Weight Watchers can help.

With my membership, I can go to meetings, but I also have computer access to the members only site. I can use eTools on my computer, and on my smartphone, to quickly track all the points that I am eating. If the food I am looking for is not on their extensive list, I can just push in some simple information, and it will calculate the points for me. If you don't have a smartphone, you can buy one of their special calculators, which will do the same thing for you. It's very easy.

It is amazing to me how many points are in many of the foods that I eat! They started me out with 31 points, which seems like a lot, but when you start figuring out how many points things are that you are eating, you quickly realize you need to make smarter choices about what you are putting in your mouth.

For breakfast, I usually eat homemade granola with milk. I don't normally measure anything, just pour some in the bowl, and eat. Now, I realize that I can have a 1/2 cup, with 1 cup of 2% milk, and I am already up to 9 points. Wow. Coffee with cream and sugar substitute is one more point. So, just for breakfast, I have used up 10 of my daily points!

If I used fat-free milk, it would be 2 points instead of 3, but for now, it is just not worth it to me to switch. I like the way 2% milk tastes. I'm thinking of adding just a little bit of water to it every day, until I get used to the taste of more watered down milk. We'll see.

You are given an additional 49 points a week, to use for treats/special occasions. By exercising, you also "earn" more points that you can exchange for food. It all depends on how quickly you want to lose weight what choices you make. You can use those extra points for food, but you need to be aware that you will lose weight slower than someone who is not using them.

Could I do this on my own, and save the $42.95 a month fee? Sure. Have I been successful doing this on my own? No. To me, it is worth the money to give it a try. I am not locked in to a certain time frame. If I decide that this is just not working for me, I can get out at any time. I did not have to sign a contract agreeing to commit for a year. Just one month.

Every week, I will try to update you on my progress, and share some helpful tips that I have learned along the way.

For now, I am reminding myself that slow progress is STILL progress.

And that apples are my new best friends...


  1. Do you have a Braum's near you? If so I can highly recommend their fat-free milk. It tastes better than whole milk. My daughter won't drink the whole milk at college because Braum's is better.

    I can also recommend several of the Smart Ones frozen entrees. I started eating these several years ago for lunch at work and between that and a few other things lost 20 pounds. I like Smart Ones better than Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice because they actually use seasoning and they taste good.

    Good luck.

  2. Amen. And good luck hope you lose loads. My husband is a helper too!!!!! He means well but its very annoying sometimes.

  3. Wishing you successs. I know you can do it. Yes Jennifer Hudson has been a wonderful spokeman, she looks awesome. I am doing a low carb diet and when your mind is set you can accomplish anything!

  4. No, we don't :( I have actually started drinking Almond milk in my cereal. It only has 2 points, and I really need to cut back on dairy anyway. It tastes just about like 2% milk!

    Not sure if I could eat the Smart Ones frozen entrees (due to many of those frozen foods containing gluten) but I will have to look and see. That would be quick and easy!