Weight Watcher's Progress

I'll be using this tab to track my weight-loss progress.  On December 31, 2010, I signed up for 3 months of Weight Watchers online.  Back in September 2009, I weighed 120 pounds, today I weigh a bit more! 

Carrying 20 extra pounds adds a surprising number of inches all over.  The lowest weight for my height recommended by Weight Watchers is 124 pounds, I'm 5'6".

First Day Stats
Saturday January 1, 2011
Weight: 140 pounds
Goal: 124 pounds by March 31, 2011 or 16 pounds in 12 weeks

Measurements today (in parenthesis are measurements from 9/4/09 for comparison)
arm - 12 inches (10 1/4)
bust - 37 3/4 (34)
waist - 31 (26 3/4)
abdomen - 35 3/4 (32 3/4)
thigh - 20 1/4 (18 1/8)
Me with my pouchy tummy on January 1
March 6: Maintained
This week was a bit of a challenge as I was back in the kitchen again....the family is back home and I was preparing real meals again.  More time in the kitchen means more elaborate meals and more bites, licks and tastes.

I've managed an 8.5 pound loss in 10 weeks.  I was hoping for a bit more.  I have 2 weeks left on my 3 month pass.  I had promised myself to loose my winter blubber in 12 weeks and then would cancel my online financial committment to Weight Watchers.  The original goal was to loose 16 pounds.  With 2 weeks left, it would be satisfying to loose another 2 pounds to at least break back into the 120's and finish the 12 weeks at 129.5 pounds -  not at my original goal but still plenty good. 

So....2 pounds in 2 weeks!

February 27: Doing Better
The Boyz were at Grandma's all week so it was easy to stay on Program. I didn't even bother tracking points.  I had decided before they left to keep my eating to a minimum so I wouldn't have to hassle with the Program details.  I ate mostly, eggs, shrimp, and apples.  And lost 3 pounds (2 were excess baggage from last week) for a total of 8.5 since the first of the year.  Not a tremendous amount but I'm slowly approaching my goal weight.

Today, being the first day of my new week, didn't go well as I reviewed the traditional Polish donut known as Paczki.  One of these is approximately 14 points.  I had a quarter of one!  And I want more...must get these out of the house!

Feburary 20: Not a Good Week - gained 2 pounds
I knew this week wasn't going well, I could feel myself swelling up.  I'm hoping for a better week.

February 13: Betrayed by the Program with Fruit
This past week, I decided that I would add in points for fruit.  I probably eat at least 2 if not 3 servings of fruit per day.  In the older days of the point system, fruit was 1 point per serving so I went with that.  This week, I lost 1/2 a pound for a total of 7.5 in 6 weeks.  I averaged 25 points per day, which included 2 to 3 points a day for fruit.  Just for grins this morning, I used the WW online nutrition stats for a large apple and large banana, and guess what?  Each of these pieces of fruit is actually equivalent to 3 PointsPlus each...I've come to the conclusion that fruit is not FREE.  29 points a day plus 29 weekly points plus free fruit will make me gain weight, it's way too many calories. 

To loose weight, I need to stay closer to 25 points and nothing is free - OK, maybe celery, but I don't chomp on that in buckets at a time. 

I'm feeling a little betrayed by the program.  I'm wondering if WW is tailoring their program to the  morbidly obese, for whom free fruit would be a good thing.  I don't feel like WW is really looking out for people that need to loose 15-20 pounds. 

What do you think of the new PointsPlus program?

February 6: Maintained
It was bound to happen, the honeymoon starts to wear off, tracking becomes tiresome...the little bites of random food here and there.  Last night I watched a movie with the boys and had some of their Doritos.  As I was putting them in  my mouth, one after another, I knew this wasn't the path to weight loss.  So I'm disappointed with myself but I made the poor choices. 

Time to regroup, set my sights for the new week.  I think this is one of the great things about Weight Watchers.  There's always a new week, time for attitude adjustments. 

January 30: Reached My Five Percent Goal
With another pound lost this week, this brings my total loss to 7 pounds in 4 weeks and another widget for losing 5% of my weight.  Weight Watchers focuses on smaller goals, rather than the end goal.  Little gold stars and such are awarded for each 5 pounds lost, 5% and 10%, reaching goal weight, achieving lifetime, and so on.  Big certificates are also awarded to those who loose 100 pounds.  I was at a meeting years ago and I witnessed a woman receiver a certificate for loosing 200  pounds!  At the meetings, the recipient is usually asked to share something and this woman said her most profound discovery is that a serving of pizza is one slice - I hear you sister!

In a previous post, I mentioned all the oddly positive aspects of Weight Watchers online, and I have one more to add to the list - scales.  I compulsively weigh everyday in the morning, before I dress.  This means that when I attended a weight watchers meeting, there was no way that my results on the home scale were anything like the results at the Meeting scale.  So I was constantly maintaining a mental tally for 2 scales!  Talk about tiresome - my home progress and my Meeting progress.  With the Online program, there is only one scale and I weigh when I'm ready on my designated day.

Having been on the program for 4 weeks, I retook my measurements this morning and was very pleased.

arm   12         111/2  (-0.5 inches)
bust   373/4   363/4  (-1 inch)
waist 31          30       (-1 inch)
abs    353/4     35       (-0.75 inches
thigh  201/4    193/4 (-0.5 inches)

All in all, it's been a good 4 weeks.  Nine pounds and 8 weeks to go.

January 23: Another Good Week on the Plan
I lost another pound this week.  I've been on the Plan for 3 weeks and have lost a total of 6 pounds.  This week I experimented with veggie soups, with great success.  I wouldn't have conjured up these soups if I wasn't looking for some healthy veggie alternative.  I learned something new.

January 20: A Big Breakfast Doesn't Help with Weight Loss

I read an article from Time on Yahoo News this morning and it makes me wonder why I bother reading news stories.  See the full article here.

Now, a new study confirms my suspicion that the notion of a big breakfast as a weight loss tool may be, well, propaganda for Big Breakfast Food. As the BBC reports, the research, which was published in Nutrition Journal, found that people who ate a big breakfast actually consumed more daily calories overall compared with people who ate less or skipped eating in the morning, rather than shifting the bulk of their caloric intake earlier in the day.
Does this come as a surprise to anybody - hello!  Eat a lot of food, at any time, and you'll end up consuming more calories - huh!  Didn't see that one coming.

What do you do for breakfast - none, small, big?  I generally eat an egg or two, most mornings.  It keeps me feeling full for a few hours.

January 19: Taking the "before" Picture
Did you take your "before" picture?  It's a surprisingly daunting/depressing task that Weight Watchers encourages.  Mine is above, I took it January 1st.  I was remembering the previous times that I joined Weight Watchers, back in the old day, when cameras used film.  Not only did you have to pose and take a picture but then the film had to be developed! 

At least now in the digital age, we can click away, choose the most flattering of the "before" pictures and nobody has to see it.  The first time I joined Weight Watchers, I couldn't bring myself to do the task - no way no how!  I regretted it.  After a few more kids and a few more rounds of the Program, I'm a believer in the process.  I encourage all of you to take a photo of yourself - you'll be thrilled to really "see" your results. 

I like to read the Success Stories on the Weight Watcher's site, I find it very inspiring - and pictures really tell the story.  See Success Stories here.

January 18: Texas Pecan Pie Bars - Be Afraid....8 points each
For those of you morbidly curious about the number of PointsPlus for this recipe
....I just used the online recipe builder (a fantastic tool) to estimate the amount of points for a Texas Pecan Pie Bar.  The pan is huge, 12X18, and works out to be 394 points.  Assuming a generous 48 large squares calculates to 8 points each.  Cut into 60 pieces works out to 6.5 points that would round to 7 points.  Wow.....off to the treadmill! 

January 17: Smoked Salmon and Waffle Fries for Dinner - 9 points

Half a bagel (2 ounces) topped with 20 grams/1 tablespoon of cream cheese, 2 ounces of smoked salmon and minced parsley/onions.  Served along side 2 ounces of seasoned waffle fries for a total of 9 PointsPlus for dinner. See recipe here.

This was very satisfying. 

January 17: Terriyaki Chicken and Kale Lunch - 6 points

Costco's terriyaki chicken ontop of roaste kale with red pepper pineapple salsa
Another very filling lunch. It's amazing how filling protein and veggies can be.  I used Costco's frozen terriyaki chicken and jazzed it up a bit with kale and a relish.  Enjoy the 6 points! See full recipe here.

January 16: Deconstructed Sweet Potato Pie for Dinner - 7 points

For those of you with a sweet tooth and not too many points left at the end of the day for dessert - combine the 2!  This dish is both satisfying as a meal and a dessert for only 7 PointsPlus.  I think I will develop this concept with more dishes serving 2 purposes.

See recipe here http://carfreeinannarbor.blogspot.com/2011/01/sweet-potatoes-baked-on-wood-stove.html

January 16: Primal Burger for Lunch - 7 points

A 2-ounce lamb burger with 1/2 ounce Velveta, 1 slice of bacon and roasted kale for a filling 7 PlusPoint lunch.  See more photos and recipe here http://carfreeinannarbor.blogspot.com/2011/01/primal-burgers.html

Januaray 16: GOLD STAR FOR ME!

Weight Watchers awards a "gold star" for every 5 pound loss.  At meetings, it's a little sticky star, like kids get for good behavior, to be pasted in your meeting booklet.  With the online program, it's a "virtual" star and it's pasted at the bottom of the Weight Tracking chart - the online features are very cool.  After I entered my weight for the weekly weigh in, I received immediate feedback - a congratulatory message that I had lost 5 pounds and then a gold star showed up on the App.

I had been hesitant to use the online program, erroneously thinking that the program wouldn't be as robust and that I would have feelings of isolation but I was wrong on both counts.  Weight Watchers is still there looking over my shoulder, giving me advice and encouragement.  And I can't sing enough praise about the online stuff, it's so easy to find foods, add them to the tracker and have the automatic functions add it all up  and continuously track everything - exercise, weekly, and daily PlusPoints.

Weekly loss: 1.5 pounds
Total loss: 5 pounds in 2 weeks
Plus Points average: 32.9 (range 25-37)
Exercise Point earned: 20, walking to and from work
Weekly Points used: 20 (29 remaining)

My goal for this week is to drink more water.  I'm not making my 64 ounces most days.  Recommended water intake has been in the news lately, debating if modern man really needs that much water everyday.  The recommended amount is not based in hard and sound science, as far as I can tell, but it can't hurt....

January 15: Light Veggie Soup - 1 point

Tomorrow is weigh-in day so I'm eating a little lighter  - don't want to eat too much heavy, salty food today! 

Here's a really great combination of carrots, celery, and apricots.  The only points for this soup is for the dried apricots - 1 Plus Points for 5 dried apricots plus a bit of full- fat Greek yogurt.  I'm going to call it 1 point soup.  I had with another 1 Plus Point tropical fruit smoothie for a very comforting 2 point meal

See soup recipe here http://carfreeinannarbor.blogspot.com/2011/01/carrot-celery-soup.html

January 14: Friday Night's Alternative Dinner to Pizza - 8 points

Romaine lettuce with carrots, a baked potato, topped with a mixture of one tablespoon pesto and one tablespoon of Greek yogurt and some hot sauce.  For a very filling 8 Plus Points (new program 2011).

January 13:  Fruit Smoothie - 1 point

I point for 8 ounces of fruit smoothie
I'm so glad that Weight Watcher's made fruit a zero point menu item with their new Point Plus program.  We all recognize that fruit is a good thing but it was a less attractive option in the old days.  Now that I'm back in the fold - wow, free fruit!  Tonight for dinner, we had 5 at home, so I put 5 servings of fresh fruit in the blender with 1 1/3 cups of whole milk and a cup of water...presto.  Five delicious fruit smoothies for 1 point each.  See all the ingredients and recipe here http://carfreeinannarbor.blogspot.com/2011/01/dole-fruit.html

January 12: Processed Foods

Over the Christmas Holidays, I was in Startbucks using a gift card and saw these packs of instant coffee, including a caramel flavor.  I bought a pack and took it to the office where it promptly got buried under a pile of something.  Yesterday, as I was desperately looking for that one critical piece of paper on my desk, I stumbled across my coffee goodies!

When I bought the package, I hadn't started Weight Watcher's yet but now I'm a rabid member.  I punched in the nutrition information and each tiny little packet is worth 2 points!  It didn't occur to me to check the nutritional information when I made the purchase and now I have the Devil's Spawn sitting on my desk.

Each packet is only 60 calories but when thrown in the mix of the new WW's formula, it's a hefty 2 points. 

This little experience is bringing home the message that whole foods are best and processed foods sneak up on you. 

Before December 31 (the day I rejoined WW), had I actually taken the time to read the label, I would have said "meh", it's ONLY 60 calories and a warm drink of delicious coffee.  Now I'm left with this lingering resentment and kicking myself for my stupidity.  I know better than to eat/drink these types of convenience foods, we don't routinely buy them or keep them at the house but yet theses sorts of products sneak into our daily lives and add unnecessary calories and points. 

I recenlty rejoined WW after finally admitting that I slowly gained 20 pounds and couldn't seem to loose them on my own.  I had convinced myself that I basically ate healthy food in larger than necessary portions, and that's how my weight crept up.  Now I'm realizing that there were other little indiscretions...


January 11: Food Log
One of my favorite bloggers, Charlotte of  The Great Fitness Experiment, posted what her day of intuitive eating looked like here  http://thegreatfitnessexperiment.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-intuitive-eating-looks-like-in.html.  She also talked about how hard it was to blog about everything that gets eaten in a day.  This got me to wondering too.  I don't post all I eat, just interesting things, this and that, a good looking cookie.  So today, I will post all I eat, as an experiment.  Some of the photos will appear later as I'm not able to download photos at the office.

8:10 Breakfast at the Office.  I've posted about  my eggs before and I'm still doing the 2-eggs for breakfast routine.  It really helps to keep me full.  There are times at 10:30 or 11:00 when I start wanting a "little something" but now that I'm back in the fold with Weight Watchers, I"m asking myself, am I really hungry or just frustrated with my job?  And the answer is always NO, I'm not really and truly hungry.  If I WAS hungry, I would eat the apple that is nearby.
2 locally raised eggs, cooked in the office microwave

11:45 Lunch at the Office.  I've been lazy lately and using the Snack Shop instead of bringing my own.  In a way, this is a good thing since I'm not eating my lunch at 9:30 (not that I've ever done that!).  The office has been lucky to get a new Family running the Snack Shop.  The family is open to suggestions and they are doing a great job.  Today I had an organic salad with chopped veggies, a boneless chicken breast, and a serving of red pepper humus. Today's special at the Snack Shop was pirogis with gravy, mac and cheese, or a buffalo breaded chicken breast on a bun.  I'm proud of my choices.

3:00 Mid Afternoon Munchies.  This is when I do get "hungry", more than just bored, tired, and cranky.  I went for the apple that's been sitting at my desk since 7:00 this morning.  If there was something less than healthy on my desk, it would have been eaten by 7:20.  I can't keep "extras" on my desk besides apples and V-8.

4:15 Desperation Time.  It's 2 hours until dinner plus a 30 minute walk home in the cold and snow. Time for a quick can of V-8 juice and a shot of Tabasco spicy!  I can do this.

5:15 Prepping dinner.  Two tortilla chips and scoops of humus.

6:05 Dinner.  Time to relax, my obligations are about done.  Roasted kale, baked potato, and pasta sauce with olive oil, red bell pepper and a bit of Thanksgiving Turkey.  Plus an adult beverage.

When dinner and tomorrow's lunches are done, the kitchen is closed - there is no snacking after dinner.

This was my 30 point day.  I wasn't starving at any time or horribly uncomfortable, I need to keep the "pity" snacking to a minimum. 


January 9, 2011: Dinner

Here's a shot of my 10 point dinner.  A four ounce grilled lamb chop, baked potato with sour cream, and salad greens.


January 9, 2011:  End of First Week
Woot!  Lost 3.5 pounds in 9 days.  I started on December 31, a Friday, so I actually had a 2 day week already.  This is my first full week on Program and I'm thrilled.  I had lost half a pound by the first Sunday but that didn't seem worth talking about since I was getting used to the new Points Plus program and learning all the online features.  And I love it!

Most of us have done WW at some time during our lives.  What I discovered this morning was that there was still the same feeling of anxiety and anticipation when stepping on my scale for the Weekly Weigh In, even though I wasn't at an official WW meeting somewhere.  The pressure was still on to do well. 

And the cool thing about doing the Program online is not having to deal with all the hassle with going someplace to get weighed.  Having to decide about eating and drinking while waiting for the meeting later in the day.  Do you eat before hand and not starve or ruin a good thing?  What to wear to the meeting, Do you wear the same stupid clothes for a year, week in-week out to not screw up the progress?  I can remember women changing into a goofy outfit with shorts and a T-shirts in the dark of winter because it was the outfit they started in over the summer.  And let's not forget the bare feet, socks, shoes controversy!  All that is gone when doing the program online.  I can weigh myself in peace and quite, in my birthday suite when I'm ready....by golly!

The online program has a nice set of checks and balances for me - I get the freedom to weigh myself when I want during the day while WW has chosen the day.

For the last week, I earned 21 Activity Points, mostly by walking to and from work, none of which I converted to eating points.  I averaged 35 points per day, ranging between 31 and 40 points, with 8 weekly extra points left over.  My go-to foods for the week were 2 eggs for breakfast (4 points) and cans of V-8 juice.  When I started to get hungry later in the day and when fixing dinner, I chugged a can of veggie juice.

My biggest daily calorie intake used to be between the hours of 5 and 7 - Dinner Madness.  I used to snack my way through dinner prep, eat dinner, and then pick at left overs as I was putting them away and fixing lunches for the next day.  I reigned that in a bit, while still counting those evil points and drinking veggie juice to keep myself distracted.   

My goal for the second week is to use more of the online features - tracking my water, dairy, and health fats part of the program.  I also will be reigning in lunches - last week I ate out four times, not the best way to weight-loss success. 

For me, eating quality protein along side fruits and veggies is a wining combination.  Processed "white" foods seems to pack on pounds - rice, oatmeal, flour, cookies, bread etc....For some reason, I don't digest these well and it makes my hungrier.  Protein keeps me satisfied so I'm not hungry and foraging in the kitchen or snack shop for something else to eat.  Sugar/high carb foods seems to throw me in a sugar craving/eating mood.  Not that I don't love them, but I'm better off without them.

Here's hoping for another successful week on Program and making the "homeymoon" phase last a bit longer!

January 9, 2011: Prepared another recipe for lunch today that worked out well.  The online recipe builder is very helpful to quickly calculate total points for a new dish.  I portioned out 6, 1 cup servings for 4 points each.  I feel full and satisfied.

Curried lentils and rice - see main page or click on link for recipe

January 8, 2011:  Today, I experimented with the online recipe builder and was very pleased - it's so easy to add ingredients and have the PointsPlus added up as you go along.  I prepared a Curried Black Bean and Roasted Squash Soup with Meatballs.  See recipe here

The total points came to 49.  I divided up the pan into 6 servings, so I'm calling it 8 points per bowl.  Having only been on program for a week (and not taking the time to check it out), there may be some tricks to lower the point value.  I used the generic lamb for 34 points per pound but I wouldn't be surprised if ground turkey or chicken breast has a few lower points.  Also, I was a bit generous with the olive oil (4 tsp) but that could be limited too.  Regardless of my choices, this was a worthy 8 points for dinner in my book.

Curied Black Bean and Roasted Squash Soup with Meatballs

January 6, 2011:  The Snack Shop at the office was running a special on Sun Chips, $0.50 for a large single serving bag.  I ignored it for 24 hours, then realized they weren't selling so I made the owner an offer to buy the lot, and unfortunately, the offer was accepted.  Now I'm the proud owner of 60 bags of out-of-date French Onion Sun Chips.

And all day the little devils called to me.  Can you hear them?  So I finally calculated the points, and it's appalling - 6 points per bag.  I'm pretty sure I can inhale five or six bags in a sitting.  I had 360 points sitting in my cube all day singing holy gregorian chants that only I could hear.

My cube with 60 bags of chips/crisps - each and every one of them calling to me
When I got them home, the kids thought they'd died and gone to heaven - how often does 60 bags of chips come home!

January 5, 2011: I've been on the program for a few days and I'm really excited about the online features.  I always carry my Ipod Touch with me, which means I now have all the materials with me too, in a handy to use format.  No more flipping through binders and booklets trying to find the one little piece of information I remember seeing somewhere.