I’m thinking of breaking up with WW

I have been going to Weight Watchers on and off for probably about a decade. I love the connection with other members and the special team members who truly care about the health and well being of the members. I am so grateful for those wonderful people who I am able to talk to about all of the emotional and mental struggles that go along with the radical changes that weight loss requires.

All that said, though, I am thoroughly displeased with the new program. Weight Watchers used to have a whole section on their website dedicated to the science behind their program. I just checked the website, though, and cannot find anything like that all with the new program.

This program was just released in the last few weeks. Along with that the whole website and mobile app were redesigned. The new focus is on protein as a holy grail type of nutrient. Foods with high protein content have had their points values reduced while foods with saturated fats and added sugars have increased – according to my leaders. I tested the new system recently and the foods that have helped me lose over 50 lbs. so far (now over 55!) barely fit into my daily points target! I could not imagine trying to lose weight with the new program while also eating healthfully!

In defense of WW, they do still have their Simply Filling plan. That plan allows unlimited food from a specific list (most fruits and veggies, all whole grains, fat free dairy, lean meats, eggs, and two teaspoons of oil per day along with a few selected processed grain products like whole wheat pasta and light bread) until satiety is reached. I love the idea of intuitive eating and always encourage other members to give this plan a try. I tell everyone in the meetings that I follow a modified version of this program – no meat, dairy, eggs, or oils. Since I am consistently losing weight I know some people are interested in how and I love to push whole plant foods! Veggies, potatoes, grains, fruits, it all helps!

With the new points structure, though, I am truly worried about the health of all the members. One lady was counting out the points of her breakfast. She used Trader Joe’s 98% fat free ham and three slices were 0 points. She was so happy because she likes ham and it is helping her lose weight and all that nonsense. Of course, losing a few pounds over the course of a week does not mean much in the grand scheme of things. It could be fat, it could be water, it could be muscle, it could be fecal matter. It only matters when weight is steadily and consistently lower.

Then, of course, there is the issue of eating ham at all. The World Health Organization classified processed meats in the same category of carcinogens as cigarettes. This means that every single slice of ham, bacon, or turkey is causing DNA damage that can lead to cancer if the body is not successfully able to reverse the damage before it grows new, mutated cells. Our bodies fight as hard as they can, but when we eat these foods everyday, several times a day, we are tipping the balance to favor the cancer cells.

Having foods like this cost so little in terms of points values creates a false sense of value. They are tasty. They are low in points. We should eat more foods like these. WW has created a system in which it is essentially “free” to eat foods known to be carcinogenic. I tested my oatmeal once and the one bowl of just oats was 13 points! This is crazy.

I think I’m going to give it a few more weeks before I make my decision. I love my friends and the support I get when I am facing a truly challenging situation. I love the staff members who make the meetings. Each of them offers a beautiful piece of the mosaic that is my support team. But the focus on protein – specifically animal protein – is truly sickening in every sense of the word.

Have you ever gone to Weight Watchers? What do you think of protein intake? Do you have a special support network who help you with your struggles? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

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50 lbs gone! And what it’s like to still have so far to go…

This morning I earned my 50 lb. award at Weight Watchers. I am currently having a love/hate relationship with my meeting. I love the meeting and members, but hate the new program. They are literally pushing animal protein on people. But the no counting plan is the same and I am following a modified version of that so I talk about that and how eating more whole grains and vegetables has dramatically helped me. I think people don’t really listen all the time, but getting presented with an award for losing 50 lbs. really gets their attention!

Enough about that. I am so happy that I have lost this much weight. I’m sure I have said it before, but I will say it again. I have never lost this much20151214_124353 weight before and it is amazing to me how easy it is to lose. I am a little frustrated with how slowly the weight is coming off right now, but I am still steadily moving down on the scale, so I cannot complain!

I got myself a reward for my accomplishment. I have wanted an activity tracker for quite some time now. I used to use a WW one, but when I rejoined I couldn’t get it to sync with my new account info. So I talked this over with M and let him know that I really wanted one. I had one all picked out: the Garmin Vivosmart HR. It is water resistant to 50 meters and automatically syncs with WW so I can see how many activity points I have earned. But, when I was checking out online last night, I saw another one. The Samsung Gear Fit watch has a nicer display and will autosync with my 20151214_154328Samsung phone that uses S Health. I have been getting notifications the past few days telling me to be more active. When I check my pedometer I can see how active I have been, but S Health has no idea. So I was pretty interested in a tracker that would meet all of my other goals. Plus, the display is way nicer and the band is changeable. And did I mention the sale?! I got it for $70 off!!! The sale is from Best Buy and the tracker was on sale for $79.99. I love it! I already had over 4000 steps from before I put it on so I am doing great.

One thing that is still hard, though, is how I think people think of me. I live in Oakland, CA and people are not particularly kind or patient in my area. This morning I took the dog for a walk as usual. I was wearing capri leggings and a tank top with a hoodie – my normal weigh in outfit. A car arrived at the 4 way stop while I was already in the intersection and then went before I made it onto the curb. I felt very self-conscious and in my head it was about my weight. I even imagined the person in the car saying something snarky about me in spandex. I wonder if this will go away as I lose more weight or if I will always worry that people are thinking the worst of me because of my size. I even was talking to M about eating and how people see someone like me. I feel like people think fat people don’t deserve to eat. It’s horrible to have this running dialogue inside me. I just hope that as I train and get strong and lean I can quiet this self-doubt.

I haven’t taken many photos lately, but here is a picture of a cute hairdo I did the other day. I felt pretty cute. I am starting to really see a difference in my face. It’s crazy to have lost so much weight, but still have so much to lose. I need to lost about 150 more to get to a normal BMI, but I’ll still be at the high end of the range. So I might want to lost about 165 to 170 more all together. It’s a lot, but I am just trying to focus on one day at a time and one meal at a time. In the mean time, I’m having cheese-less pizza for dinner that is ready now! 🙂 Talk to you soon!20151209_082105

To weigh or not to weigh.

That is a question I am facing right now. As I move through my changing body and redefine my relationship with food and activity, one thing I still find myself obsessing over is the scale.

I can eat whatever, whenever without worrying about how much or how many of anything. I eat foods that fill me up and give me plenty of energy to make it through my day and beyond.

But there is still the scale.

I started eating a starch-based diet after purchasing a three month pass to Weight Watchers and the way I eat actually easily fits with the no counting plan – Simply Filling. The first few weeks I was okay with just weighing in once a week. But soon I found that amount of time to be overwhelming. How could I know how foods were affecting me if I had to wait a week to weigh myself to see a difference? And how would I know what caused what? Finally over the summer we bought a scale. At the time I was still over 330 lbs so I had to get a high capacity scale. I was a little frustrated by that, but am happy that now I have a great scale.

I immediately started weighing myself everyday. I make sure the scale goes with me if I spend the night somewhere else. This is the part that makes me think I might need to reevaluate how I feel about the scale. M asked the other day if I can just go a day without weighing. I felt panic rise up in my chest at the thought of missing a day and losing control. Needless to say, I brought the scale.

I have been watching some videos from High Carb Hannah on YouTube lately. She has done some amazing transformations with her diet, body, and life in general. It is totally inspiring to watch her videos. One thing she suggests is getting rid of the scale, or at least putting it away.

I just don’t think I can yet.

I am still experiencing fairly large swings in my weight from day to day. For example, Sunday morning I was at 303.6 at my meeting. Yesterday was 303 even. Today? 304.4. Did my eating change that much? Not really. I did eat a little more bread made with flour than I usually do, but not enough to explain a pound and a half gain. I am also on my period which causes major fluctuations in my weight. I am not that worried about it, but it is part of my consciousness so obviously I am a little stressed. I expect to see it go down, and am planning on earning my 50 lbs award this Sunday. We’ll see how it goes.

One thing WW is doing right now is asking members to rate their weeks BEFORE they weigh in. I don’t think I would be so comfortable doing that without knowing in advance what my weight was. I don’t really like that I need to know my weight before I can say how my week went, but I also am realistic about where I am in my journey. At this point, since I still am super morbidly obese I need the feedback that the scale gives me. I also need to see the results for my own satisfaction.

Do you weigh? How regularly? Does the scale define your satisfaction with your progress or are there other measures that are a better way to see how far you have come? Let’s talk about this!

Communion not consumption is the reason for the feast

A member in my Weight Watchers meeting said that recently. What a wonderful perspective!

This year I went for a 5k walk with several other WW members. It was chilly, but a gorgeous way to start the day. The sky was still multi-colored from the sunrise and the full moon was still out. The air was so clear that as we walked along the beach we had the most amazing view of San Francisco. And we donated food to the local food bank!

This afternoon we are going to a friend’s house. He is making turkey and ham. His mom may or may not make mac’n’cheese. I’m sure there will also be a lot of alcohol. So I am bringing mashed sweet potatoes, balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts, homemade dinner rolls, and fresh cranberry sauce. That way there is plenty for us to eat, too!

We are leaving soon, but first I am waiting while my very first impossible pie bakes. I only just heard of these this week. If it turns out well I will share the recipe. No photos of cooking today, but I will take one of my plate to share the beauty of a starchy Thanksgiving feast.

I hope everyone is spending time with loved ones and enjoying life today!

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