Luckily we’d been prepped and fortified at our weekly Weight Watchers meetings, to navigate the high seas of summer eating. All in all, I gained nearly six pounds during the trip, which sent me into another frenzy of swimming, iron-pumping, and a return to the Weight Watchers recipes before showing up for our Tuesday night weigh-in. By then, I’d gotten rid of a few of them.
Allow me to gush: Weight Watchers really works, (she said, with the zealousness of a new convert), and contrary to a popular misconception, you don’t have to buy the food. A veteran of juice fasts, soup fasts, and other crash diets, I’m ready to face another several months of this highly structured weight loss program to reach my goal. Do I feel daunted? Why yes! Losing a decade’s worth of body fat seems a bit like winning a Soho sublet back from the roaches (I’ve done that). Do I often feel like inhaling the entire contents of the snack aisle at the grocery store? That too.
The people at Weight Watchers have been studying the content of food for decades, updating its properties as nutritional information evolves. They’ve got it all worked out to a simple formula, and as everyone knows, you can’t argue with math. Each food type has a certain amount of “points” except vegetables and fruits, which have 0 points, although we’ve learned that twirling fruits in a blender or juicing them somehow changes their molecular structure and they develop points.
A confirmed creative, tree-hugging, dirt-worshipping free spirit, it turns out I prefer the structure of this system: You make meals from the recipes you find either online or in a WW cookbook, sticking to your personal limit of Smartpoints. You exercise enough during the week to meet your FitPoints, and presto! You weigh less the next following week at weigh-in. Well, most of the time. Then there’s those weeks where you “plateau” for no apparent reason. I figure it’s the fat cells begging for another chance. “Can’t we talk this over?” they whine as they secretly regroup, forming tight little fortresses of incorrigible lard.
Here are a few of my own pitfalls, which may help the potential weight-watcher:
- Once I started sampling the forbidden treats during vacation, I quickly found that eating them actually made me hungrier! Once the odd potato chip or handful of cashews reached my lips, I craved more.
- Fulfilling my quota of Fitpoints during two gym outings a week doesn’t really work; I found I need to spread them out over the course of the week, as in 30-35 minutes of exercise a day.
- Then there's the human factor; the odd evening where we need a break, say, "Screw it," and go to our favorite Mexican place. Luckily, an appetizer is all either of us wants to eat anymore.
So let’s talk about the rewards, (which will happen if you keep working at it):
- Had to shop for new clothes for our trip, as my former Capri pants and shorts would no longer stay up.
- Tried on clothes in the dressing room without shrinking in horror at my reflection in the mirror.
- Discovered the wonders of the George Foreman Grill.
- Learned that eating copious amounts of kale is not necessary.
- Lifting a 13.5 pound bag of baking soda from the shelf at Costco and grumbling at how heavy it seemed, I realized I had already lost that much weight and more! (Wayne has lost the equivalent of a Costco-sized bag of cat food.)
- My personal favorite: beer is only 5 points, so I can leverage one or two a week if I’m careful.
I’ll be signing off, now. It’s time for a half-hour of some brisk wood-splitting out back. It’s over 100° today and there’s a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in the refrigerator for afterwards.