In the last week I've had two different friends ask me what I think about Weight Watchers. Seeing as how I've lost 36 lbs. on their program and have been an active member for 18 months, I think I'm qualified to give my opinion.
I have loved weight watchers! I always told myself that whenever I got desperate enough to pay money to lose weight I'd go to Weight Watchers first. After joining I wish I hadn't waited so long. Their program is wonderful! After joining I felt like I was living the Word of Wisdom for real. More fruits and vegetable than I'd ever eaten. Oh, and whole grains too.
I think the two biggest things Weight Watchers has going for it is accountability and support. When you have to fork over funds, it really makes you committed. (WW has done experiments in the past and offered "scholarships" for qualifying dieters. But they found that people who didn't have to pay their own fees weren't successful at losing the weight.)
Weight watcher meetings are fabulous! It's good to hear that other people have my same struggles but are still committed to better health. When someone hits a big weight loss milestone (25 lbs., 50 lbs., etc.) it's fun to celebrate with them, and it motivates me to hang in there.
If you're a person who is burned out on keeping a food journal, you'd probably like the Core plan at WW. Instead of tracking, you eat from a list of core foods: fruits, veggies, whole grains (but not bread), non-fat dairy, and lean meats. Then you just listen to your hunger signals. That's the way my sister-in-law lost 30 lbs. and reached her goal weight.
About fixing family fare that's healthy . . . I'm afraid I don't have a magic bullet. My family doesn't always like the ultra-healthy stuff I fix, but they still try it. I like to serve something that I can eat, but also round out the meal with a couple things that I know my kids will eat -- like bread and fruit. Also, I try not to keep tempting sweets in the house, but sometimes I break down and buy cookies for the kids. Or my daughter makes homemade cookies. I've found that if I don't make the cookies I don't eat the dough and do better at resisting the baked product too.
I wish I could say that my weight loss journey has been smooth sailing, but it hasn't. I've been stuck at a plateau since this time last year. (I joined a gym in October of '06 and think that I've gained muscle mass. But the scale bounces up and down and averages the same old number.) My original goal weight with WW is at the top of their scale (150 lbs.). It's what I weighed when I got married and wore a size 7/8 -- it's about 18 lbs. less than what I've been stuck at. Because I'm also a walking hormone problem, just yesterday I had my doctor sign a new goal weight for me -- 168 lbs. Now I'm optimistic that I can FINALLY reach Lifetime status at WW. (Once you reach lifetime status you can go to meetings for free as long as you weigh in at least once a month are are within 2 lbs. of your goal weight.)
Lifetime members are successful 75% of the time at maintaining their weightloss. I want to be a part of that 75% statistic.
Another friend asked me if I have lots of new healthy recipes. I have a few new recipes, but for the most part I eat the same stuff, just less of it. (I've done the Flex point system at WW.) I often wonder if I could reach the WW goal weight of 150 lbs. by being more strict with my eating habits. But after trying to eat like that for less than a week I always come back to sane, simple, moderation. I don't want to lose weight by becoming a member of the food police or joining over-exercisers anonymous. Like everything else in life good health is a balancing act.
If ever I'm feeling a little frumpy, I like to really do my hair and make-up well, put on some loud earrings and give people a nice big, distracting smile. I figure that if I can keep them looking at my head, maybe they won't notice my hips! :) It seems to be working.
Quote of the day: "Never eat more than you can lift." -- Miss Piggy's Guide to Life