Last week I completed my 8th week on Weight Watchers! I have lost 7.4 pounds in 2 months and have learned a lot about myself, the program, and how the two must work together each week in order to be successful on and off of the scale. What I’ve learned after 2 months on Weight Watchers is that it is important to customize the program to your lifestyle, but that you must be willing to let go of old habits in order to change. Change is hard, but the fruit of our efforts often results in joy, peace, and happiness.
What I’ve Learned After 2 Months on Weight Watchers
It takes time for things to click. The first week on Weight Watchers is exciting! You’re motivated and often see a big loss due to the dramatic lifestyle change that occurs in that first week. As you settle into week 2, 3, and so on, life starts to hit you and it takes time for things to click. What will you do when you go out to eat? Should you use all of your Weekly Points? How much should you work out? What will the scale show if you go over my Points? What will the scale show if you follow the program perfectly? It takes time for things to click and that’s ok.
It takes time to learn how to live out the Weight Watchers Program. One thing I love about Weight Watchers is that you can make it your own, but it takes time to develop a system that works for you. Learning the Smartpoints values for favorite foods. Figuring out how many SmartPoints your body needs at various times of the day or on days you work out. Determining how best to use your Weekly SmartPoints; whether you divide them among days, use all at once, or even use them at all. It takes time.
Track EVERYTHING!! Track everything you eat! We’ve all heard it before, but the program works if you track what you eat and stay within your allotted Points each day and week. Over the past 2 months I have had a number of occasions where I eat something before I track it and then I’m shocked to see how many SmartPoints are in that food. It took me a few weeks, but I have learned that I must track everything in order to be successful! Even if I go over that day, I have to see what I ate, how many Points were in the foods I ate, and how my week is reflected on the scale and in how I feel. By tracking everything, I have learned which foods just aren’t worth it to me and that I may need to work into my diet on occasion.
There’s no right or wrong. Do what works for you within the structure of the plan.
You can use your daily SmartPoints to eat whatever you want, but you have to find a balance between foods that will provide you sustained energy and fuel your body for weight loss and those that fulfill cravings. I have learned to incorporate my favorite foods into my diet and to use my weekly points for those foods. It is unrealistic for me to give up ice cream, nor do I want to, but I have learned that having it every day just doesn’t fit into my own plan. I have found that am too hungry if I use too many Points on real ice cream. Instead, I use most of my daily points on foods that fill me up and then use my weekly points on those extra foods. I have also learned to find healthier alternatives like Yasso and Halo Top. This system is working well for me, but I also know that I have to be open to adjusting each day and week.
Allow yourself to enjoy life and make Weight Watchers work for you. Your friends are going to buy a bottle of wine last minute, despite your original plan not to drink at girls night. Your kids are going to want to grab ice cream after a fun outing at the splash pad. You’re going to have a long day and not want to cook anything – pizza it is! You’re going to find some awesome produce at the farmers market and make some killer salads and then you’re going to be sick of eating salads for a few days. You’re going to go on vacation and it’s ok to just enjoy it. I am learning to allow myself to enjoy life, to track everything I eat, and to not be hard on myself when I go over my Points.
There is no perfect diet. Life happens, cravings happen, and hormones happen. I am learning to treat each day as its own day, to listen to my cravings (yesterday I was craving chocolate so I bought a few chocolate covered pretzels and tracked them – 6sp), and to roll with it. I am learning to make my diet work for my lifestyle and to stop being so hard on myself when I slip or eat too much food. I still struggle with emotional eating and I am working on it. It takes time to change and there is no perfect diet.
Workout, not to lose weight, but for your own self care and wellness. I love, love, love working out. I always have. Working out has never been my issue, eating has been. The new Weight Watchers plan has a fun FitPoints system and I love that it syncs with my FitBit, easy peasy! Weight Watchers encourages you not to eat your FitPoints and to exercise for wellness, not weight loss. I love this philosophy, but I also think that some men and women have to eat back FitPoints if they are training for a long race, working out for long periods of time, or just need extra energy beyond their weekly points. Don’t allow Weight Watchers recommendations stop you from doing what’s best for your own body.
And the biggest things I’ve learned after 2 months on Weight Watchers….
Weight Watchers helps, but 32 years of habits aren’t going to change in 8 weeks. Consistency over time will lead to change. I am learning that I will always need to focus on consistency and that obstacles will come my way. I am learning that I will always have to watch my weight and that it will take time to change the habits I have formed over the past 32 years. And that’s ok.