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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Weight Watchers

This leafy green lunch is brought to you by the fact that I'm back on Weight Watchers. Well, sort of. Enough.

Pre-children I was on Weight Watchers for about 4 years and lost about 30 pounds that were generously donated to my ass by graduate school. Then I had Charlie, got a new job, moved, yadda yadda life got crazy. Well, another kid later and I'm about 20 lbs above my "happy weight" and rather...squishy. This has less to do with a New Year's resolution and more to do with the fact that I'm sick of having to do this to my jeans.

So, here I am with my spinach salad lunch. Honestly, its not too bad - especially since fruits and veggies are 0 points on the current WW plan. This whole lunch is 6 points and actually very filling.

2 cups spinach - 0 points (2 servings of veggies)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts - 3 points (but so, so worth it)
1/4 cup mandarin oranges - 1 point (they'd be 0 points if I wasn't using canned)
2 tbsp Ken's Lite raspberry vinaigrette dressing - 2 points
1 banana - 0 points

I get a total of 26 points a day, so 6 points for lunch while hitting a few of the daily "health checks" isn't too bad. Granted, I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to have for dinner and could blow the remaining 10 points I have and then some, but let's hope for the best.

Over my few years of doing Weight Watchers, I've picked up a lot of different tips and tricks (and cheats). When someone asks me for WW tips, this is what I tell them...

  • Take a black sharpie and mark point values on your food packages. It makes it easier when you're going to grab a snack to see 5 pt pretzels vs. 2 pt popcorn vs. 0 pt clementines.
  • Invest in a food scale. It is much easier to measure difficult things like cereal, chips, peanut butter, and lunch meat that way. Plus, you get more by weight than by counting out 15 chips. This video, albeit a bit dramatic, gives you an idea how much more accurate weighting food is vs. measuring cups and spoons.
  • Don't immediately reach for the sugar substitutes - they can have some seriously negative effects in mass quantity (migraines, tummy issues, etc.) Cutting the sugar and learning moderation is a more important lesson than stocking up on sugar free stuff (which is often more expensive anyway).
  • In addition to the weight goal they give you, make another goal that isn't on the scale. Do you want to fit in a certain pair of jeans? Want to be able to run a mile without stopping? Shop at a certain store? Focus on that. It's easy to get wrapped up in a number and STILL be disappointed with yourself if you're a pound over it.
  • Take measurements of your upper arms, waist, and thighs. You will see big changes in these numbers over time, sometimes even when the scale isn't budging.
  • Get into a work out routine as you're adjusting your diet. It's possible to lose weight without the activity part, but it doesn't help your overall health - just the number on the scale. You can be thin and still unhealthy and out of shape. 

You know you're a beater licker. Don't lie.
  •  Keep the "BLTs" in check. That's the bites, licks, and tastes - especially when you're cooking or baking. A nibble here and there and the next thing you know, the cheese you were grating for dinner adds up to a 3 point, 1/4 cup serving.
  • CHEAT. Yes, cheat. Seriously - you're human. One "bad" meal didn't get you where you are and it won't derail you. Knowing it's cheating is the important part - it means you realize what you should be doing and that cookies, cheeseburgers, ice cream aren't the norm for you anymore. 
  • Celebrate your smallest successes! Getting healthy (notice I didn't say "losing weight?") is a long term goal. It doesn't happen over night.
  • Keep healthy snacks in the house. If you go scavenging for something, make sure you can easily find a healthy solution or you WILL find something chocolate. 
Are you on a weight loss journey? What is the hardest part for you? How do you over come it?


  1. I love that you wrote "you will FIND something chocolate." Instead of you will drive to 7/11 and buy ice cream, beef jerky and some kind of candy bar at 11 PM... maybe that's just me though ;)

    1. Hahaha It's amazing the lengths we'll go to for a favorite treat. When desperate, I've been known to dip into the M&Ms we use for Charlie's potty training reward. ;-)