mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas - purple star)
[personal profile] mellicious
So I lost four and a half pounds in the last 8 days - not bad, especially considering I didn't actually count my points (or POINTS PLUS, which is what the new points are called to distinguish them from the old points) more than about half the time. And I am all awash with Weight Watchers fervour now that I've actually lost weight, and I bought the "member kit" that has the big books with all the points in it, so I figure this gives me something to rattle on about. I also bought the specialized point calculator. The old system had sort of a slider thing that you could calculate points with (although the calculator was available for the old system too), but the new system has four things to input instead of three (that is, fat/carbs/protein/fiber, rather than calories/fat/fiber in the old system) and that made it too complicated to be able to use a paper slide thing. Which is another thing some of the old members are disgruntled about.

Now bear in mind that I am an old member, in the sense that I've been going to Weight Watchers off and on for years and years. Let's see - my mother lost a lot of weight on it in the early 70s, when it was this ungodly stringent thing where you were supposed to eat liver once a week and most people made their own WW spaghetti sauce from scratch. I never really considered joining until they loosened up - I guess I first joined in 1986, which was the year I ended up back in Houston living with my parents (long story) and also the year I eventually met Rob. My mom and I went to Weight Watchers all that spring, and I lost, I think, about 25 or 30 pounds. (I've always thought that might have been a factor in my getting together with Rob - not the weight itself, really, so much as the fact that I was feeling really confident at the time. Confidence has always been an issue for me.) Of course, by the time we got married the next year I had put a good bit of that weight back on again.

That's been the pattern for me - I stay on WW really well for three or four months, maybe - then I start backsliding. The way this plays into the controversy about the new vs old point system is that the old system wasn't really working for me, so well, and thus I'm not so averse to changing it. I really feel like the emphasis on fruit in the new system gives me a better shot at hanging in there. I like fruit. I don't much like vegetables, and I'm not going to try to make myself eat vegetables quite as much as I usually do every time I try this. Some, yes, but not as much - because I think that's been another factor in why I keep quitting.

So anyway, I've been going around with my little calculator and here are some point values I came up with:
- 1.5 ounce package of peanut butter cups - 6 points
(I bought these at the grocery store tonight because I was craving them. I was expecting the answer here to be higher than 6 points, so I'm rather pleased with this one.)
- 6 Ikea meatballs (the frozen ones, that is) - 5 points
- 7 pc. popcorn chicken - 4 points
These two are my favorite go-to frozen things that I pop in the oven when I want something easy (which is a lot, frankly) - and the answer's not too bad for either of these, thank goodness. I can live with those answers.

The kit I bought today has two books and a journal in it (and some coupons). The books are the Complete Food Companion and the Dining Out Companion - this is my third set of these, so they're not anything new. They usually publish new ones every year or so. A lot of this is available on weightwatchers.com, if you subscribe, but it didn't seem like all of it was, so I decided to go ahead and get them. The Dining Out Companion is sort of hit or miss - some places seem to have everything on their menu in there and some places just have a few things (usually just the lower-calories ones, seems like). Jason's Deli is not listed and my WW leader said she thought they had probably chosen not to be listed. (Then I went and looked up a baked potato on their website - 2300 calories, something like that. Granted, their baked potatoes are ungodly gigantic and I usually get a small one rather than the giganto one, but still, wow.)
Some semi-random things from the Dining Out Companion:
- DQ Turtle Pecan Cluster Blizzard (large), 41 points (but a small Banana Split Blizzard is only 12)
Bob Evans is one of the ones that has their complete menu in here, looks like, and it makes me want to go get on a plane for Columbus, quite frankly, so I can have:
- Strawberry Banana Crepe, 9 points - cause man, those things are good, and we don't have Bob Evans down here.
More:
- Sourdough Jack from Jack in the Box, 18 points
- Olive Garden breadstick, 4 points (bad because I don't think most people stop at one)
- Pizza Hut personal pan pizza, pepperoni, 18 points
- Starbuck's tall nonfat latte, 3 points
(which I suppose means the venti I got the other day is more like 6 points)

Okay, anyway, I'll stop. Practically everything I like is some largish number like 18 points, which I guess is the problem with the way I normally eat, isn't it?

Date: 2010-12-19 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] p-j-cleary.livejournal.com
Why don't you track calories, instead of joining WW and having to buy points books and do calculations and go to meetings, etc.? No matter how many different ways they package it (and the "new" points are nothing but a marketing tool, I'm sure you know...they change their formulations every few years, not because of advances in food science, but because they want long-time members to join up again), the average body loses a pound for every 3,500 calories you remove from your diet. Doesn't matter where those calories come from.

I'm truly curious, because it seems like WW is the biggest scam going, when every food on the planet has a calorie count that can be found on packaging in grocery stores, and/or online, if you're talking about restaurant food. What's the appeal of points?

Date: 2010-12-19 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roolily.wordpress.com (from livejournal.com)
Hi PJ,

You raise good questions. I had to weigh in.... :) ... to assure you that WW is not a scam.

I lost 48 lbs w/ WW 9 years ago. I kept all of it off for about 3+ years and have kept 1/2 of it off permanently. I am now what doctors would consider a healthy weight. Not as skinny as I was 24 lbs ago - but am a healthy "average".

Extra purchases from WW are not required. One can be highly successful on the program without ever buying any of the WW food. Mostly WW provides helpful support meetings for members to connect and learn. You're right, calorie counting and calorie burning alone may be all that is biologically required for a body to lose weight. But people raised on junk food need more than a mathematical equation to set things right.

I mean it when I say, WW saved my life.

Date: 2010-12-19 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seweccentric.livejournal.com
I lost weight by counting calories about 10 years ago- 30 lbs in 3 months - but it was not a sustainable plan - and of course the weight eventually came back.

Since sunmmer I've removed one ingredient from my diet- high fructose corn syrup. I've lost 25 lbs - which is only about 3 lbs/month, but I don't have to count or measure anything (but I read a LOT of labels). It's something I can maintain indefinitely - I know which brands of bread I can eat (and which restaurants), I drink the "Mexican" coke with sugar instead of hfcs, and I still drink alcohol several times a week.

Most people who try it notice a difference in the first or second week - so it's easy to try without a permanent commitment.

Date: 2010-12-20 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
Huh, that's pretty impressive. Maybe I should at least start paying more attention to that!

Date: 2010-12-19 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sanders268.livejournal.com
Mel, according to the nutrition stats on the Starbucks website, a venti nonfat latte is only 4 points.

Patrick: roolily has said some of what I would say, but here's my response:

Weight Watchers is basically another method of tracking what you eat, pure and simple, using a Points system rather than having to figure out the calorie count of a food serving. Some people find it easier to track using a Points allowance (i.e. 29 per day) than having to look up calorie values but the mechanics are more or less the same. If the program works for people, why knock it as a scam? (I don't want to sound all rah-rah WW fangirl since I know a lot of people view it that way, so that was more of a general question than directed specifically at you, Patrick.)

I lost 41 lbs. using the WW program and am still attending meetings. Could I have done that without WW? Absolutely, but what appeals to me about the program is that it gives me a framework to work within to keep track of my food intake and an accountability by going to weekly meetings that helps to keep me motivated. You don't have to and are not pressured to buy any of the program literature (guides, Points calculator, etc.) if you prefer not to. With the recent change in program, a lot of members have done so to have the information on hand to be able to figure out the new Points values. If you have the Monthly Pass membership, you have access to their electronic database to figure them out, either on their website or through apps if you use a smartphone.

The most valuable part of WW for me has been going to meetings. I have been able to get through some particularly difficult times during my weight loss because of the support and encouragement of other members and it helps to be able to listen to their experiences and share in their victories and setbacks. Some people don't care for meetings (if you are doing the online version, I don't think you go to them at all) but thanks to an excellent leader and the other members, they have been a great source of inspiration for me.

So -- I say all that to say that WW has been a worthwhile investment for me, but I understand the skepticism.

Date: 2010-12-20 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
I do Weight Watchers (over and over, as already established) because it's the only thing that I've ever had any success with, as far as losing weight. And I agree with what others have already said, that it's the meetings and the support that makes the difference. Believe me, I've tried everything short of weight-loss surgery.

Date: 2010-12-20 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] basykes.livejournal.com
I swear by points. I lost 85 lbs several years ago, but had difficulties with the leader in my area and didn't stick with it, so I ultimately gained all the weight back. I think whatever is easiest for you is the best way to go...and good luck to you!

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