April’s 2-month Weight Watchers Review

It has been roughly two months since I signed up for Weight Watchers.  I had never been a fan of doing “molded into a box” programs that have been designed for the masses, but I figured it was cheap at $21 a month and I struggled with being accountable for my own actions.  Eight weeks in, I’m down roughly ten pounds.  January I lost the majority of that, February I fluctuated up and down because of sickness and winter blues, and now that it is March… well I guess we’ll just have to see what this month brings for me.

One major criticism that has been bugging me about this program is that I don’t feel I’m getting what I should out of it.  According to this article, Weight Watchers pulled in  $253 million dollars in 2012.  The article highlights the low wages their employees are getting, which isn’t surprising to find out about since most large corporations pay the backbone of their company like crap anyway.  However, I’m sure that profit margin is still reasonably high considering the actual work the company does for each individual client is relatively small.

Once I was registered for my first meeting and my weight and height were popped into the system, I was assigned my point value for my day.  There was no personal assessment of the foods I could and could not eat because of health restrictions.  There was no measuring of my body fat or even just with a tape measure to my gut.  I stepped on the scale, got my sticker with my weight, and sat down with the rest of the stickerfied people ready to listen to our leader.

With all the complains this blog post may have, I do have to emphasize the greatness I have gotten out of the meetings.   The meetings are why I signed up for the program in the first place.  I didn’t think I needed help with knowing what to eat, especially when I discovered what kind of processed food they suggest (but I’ll get to that another day).  What I wanted is a group of like-minded people to get together with and talk about our struggles and accomplishments with our health.  So… basically this blog!  Haha!  But in person.  My meeting leader Adrienne is spunky and inspirational and always motivates me to share my own experiences or to get up in front of the group and do a demonstration of food portions or, my favorite, writing on the white board.   I have noticed a correlation between my weeks of losing and going to meetings compared to the weeks I gained and NOT going to the meetings, so that’s interesting.

Outside of the meetings, however, I nitpick on the little things that irritates me about the program.  Alyssa and I both agree that their smart phone app is horrible in comparison to Myfitnesspal.  Their database of food is incredibly small and navigating your way through the app can be slow and frustrating as you discover that you accidentally were searching for a food in your “favorites” section instead of the general search.  For such a large company, we feel their app should be flawless and incredibly easy to navigate.  If two young women brought up in the technological world of smart phones and computers have issues with  the app, what do the people who didn’t spend their teen years with a cell phone in their hands do?

Honestly, I have not counted points for weeks.  Because of my hatred of  the app and not being home enough to be focused on checking in on the computer every day, I just don’t track my points.  I have a basic idea of what I should be eating to stick within the Weight Watchers plan, but really, if I’m not using the app or website…. I am basically just paying to go to the meetings.  $5.25 per meeting to me is worth it to see Adrienne and the rest of the awesome people fighting the struggle with me, but is it worth it to everyone?

I hope that the majority of people using Weight Watchers are finding more of a value in it than I am.  Maybe if I had no idea of what I was doing I would like it more.  Maybe if they bought out Myfitnesspal’s database for their app, I would like it more.  Maybe if they sent me an annoying email every once in a while saying “We notice that you have not tracked your points for 37 days,” I would like it more.   Myfitnesspal does that and they don’t even charge for their website.

It is unlikely that I will register again after my six months is up in August but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to make the most out of my Weight Watchers experience.  It is working for me and I do credit the new support system I have found in the meetings for keeping me motivated. I just hope that Weight Watchers can use some of the hundreds of millions of dollars their pulling in each year to put it back into their products and individualized customer service.

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur

#deep

Last Friday night I had an interesting interaction that lead me to do some deep thinking over the course of the week of how I view myself.

I was walking towards Chipotle (mmm) to get my favorite standard salad with no dressing when I noticed a dude checking me out as I approached.  As I got closer, I decided to actually give him some eye contact for once instead of shyly looking away and avoiding looking at him.  The cute dude smiled and said, “Hello”  and feeling brave I said “Hi” back and walked into the restaurant.  As I stood staring and the menu and debating between chicken and pork, the dude came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.  He said, “Excuse me, I know this is random, but would you like to have dinner with me right now, my treat?”  I gave him a curious eye but decided he seemed harmless enough and said, “Yes, I hope you like Chipotle.”

So I ordered my salad and he ordered an enchilada, something that any Chipotle fan knows that is NOT a menu option.  Although he clearly told me he liked Chipotle after my question above, how could he not know they don’t have enchiladas?  Then when it comes to pay, he struggled to find his check card and then claimed his buddy had it along with his phone.  I silently wondered why but insisted that I didn’t mind paying for his $3.75 quesadilla so we could get the horrible awkward moment over with.  Twenty minutes pass and we learned a bunch of random information about each other and got to the point of exchanging numbers.  But wait, his buddy had his phone!  Well, I suggested that he should just use my phone to call his own phone to get in touch with his friend, who supposedly had gotten separated from him an hour earlier at the mall Chipotle was in.  Sure enough his friend picked up and they were set to meet at Applebee’s.  The dude was quite persistent in trying to get me to come with him but I was quite focused on going on and doing nothing as I had been gone all day already.  As we hugged goodbye, he tried to kiss me and I immediately rejected his plan and said my goodbyes.

So that was that.  Now, I guess it could be a common situation for some people but for me, it is not so often that I get blatantly hit on and asked out on the spot.  It happens, but never like this dude.

All throughout the entire situation I kept thinking of this horrible scenario that relates back to the dating website Okcupid.  One of the great things about the site is that is asks all these questions and one of them is “Would you ever go wart-hogging?”

If you don’t know what it means, I didn’t until I was on  this site, it is when a group of men/women go out and try to “bag the warthog” or basically to pursue someone ugly/fat/unattractive that they weren’t interested in just for kicks.

What if I was the warthog?

I just didn’t get why a relatively hot guy would single me out and follow me into Chipotle without some other type of motive than just pure attraction.  Maybe he was a con-artist who uses women for their money to buy him food.  Maybe he was going to steal my phone but Chipotle wasn’t the right place.  Maybe he was going to try to abduct me if I went with him to meet his friends.

All these what-ifs crossed through my mind but the one that DIDN’T was:  What if he is just into me because he thinks I’m hot?

It sucks because there has been very little to make me have the self-esteem that I do.  I typically think that my self-esteem is pretty great and all the men I have dated I have always found pretty attractive and they seem to be attracted to me.. so why don’t I think I deserve a genuine situation like this to happen to me?

I think it may have to do with the fact that my relationships either come out of guys who I meet through friends or using Okcupid where the interest is sparked through conversation first. It’s just such a random thing to be approached out of nowhere for this day and age and clearly, it’s messed with my head.

Have any of you had issues similar to this? Have you ever felt not worthy even though you knew you really were deep down inside?

In other news, I’ll be updating this blog around 11am with my Weight Watchers results of the week.  I’m not expecting a loss, but we’ll see.

I hope you all have a glorious Friday and first weekend of March!!

Peace and monkeys,

AprilSignatur

One month down – the rest of my life to go!

It’s been five weeks of weigh-ins now with Weight Watchers now and I am happy to announce that I am down 7.6 pounds!

April's one-month progress!

April’s one-month progress!

 

A few days ago I was beating myself up for not being able to give up the liquid sugar that I like to indulge on.  I swear, giving up sugar is harder than it was for me to give up smoking cigarettes!!  I’m not AS bad as I was a few months ago with it and it’s not like I’m getting a Big Gulp 60 oz soda each day.  I just have weak moments where I cave and get a can of 12 oz Redbull or a can of soda.  160 calories.  7 points.

However, for as low my willpower is when it comes to giving up the drinks, I’m doing great in other ways!  Instead of dwelling on  the negative, here is what I’m proud of for the past month!

–  I’ve been able to avoid high-fat and high-calorie foods quite easily.  I can count on one hand the food items of things that had over 300 calories and still have two fingers leftover.  Pizza, cheeseburger, and ice cream – you were AMAZING.  But I’m glad I only succumb to your greatness just that once.

–  I’ve been exercising!  I haven’t been doing it necessarily at the gym but I have been going on a lot more walks, hikes, and had a great time skiing earlier this month!

– I’ve been great at reminding myself the impact of each poor dietary choice could make!  I’ve wanted to get frozen yogurt so many times but I keep myself happy by eating the tubes of yogurt from Trader Joe’s that I stick in my freezer.  FROZEN YOGURT. BAM.  60 calories.  2 points.

I just registered with a 6-month promo pass so I know I’m for sure going to be doing Weight Watchers at least until August 7th!  I wonder how much I’ll lose.  🙂

If you’re interested, click on this sentence for more information on the deal, it is 6 months for $128!

I hope everyone has a glorious weekend that lacks temptations for food because of football!  Haha!

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur

Four Fridays

This morning I had my fourth Weight Watchers meeting!   I was happy and surprised to see that I was down 1.6 pounds as I knew I could have done better this week.  I’m doing this thing called the “Secret Cupid Valentine Exchange” where I’ve compiled a list of people together who will be sending each other valentines.  Well, the other day at Target I decided to buy a bunch of chocolate to send to my secret valentine along with a bunch for my friends and family.

Unfortunately on the third day of having it around and not consuming it, I suddenly remembered that my best friend doesn’t eat MILK chocolate anymore.  I figured I better get rid of her chocolate bar since I’ll have to get a dark chocolate bar anyway.  Then last night, as motivation to finish my political science essay that apparently wasn’t even due until next week anyway, I destroyed another chocolate bar.

I’m down to three out of the five bars.  I also ate two boxes of sour jelly beans (120 calories each) because I figured jelly beans weren’t good for my friend’s new dietary restrictions anyway.

My willpower around sugar sucks.

However, I’ve done great avoiding a ton of high-fat and high-calorie foods in the past weeks!

So at least I’m trying.

Officially I am down six pounds since I began and hopeful for a weigh-in opportunity on Monday which will mark an entire month.

 

What’s your relationship with candy like?  Do you have a favorite valentine candy?

 

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Lots of hearts,

AprilSignatur

Alyssa’s Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 1

Tuesday was a great day. Even though I had nervous anticipation all morning before I stepped on the scale on my lunch break, I felt confident with my choices from the week before. I drank a lot of water, I exercised nearly every day, I snacked on Persian cucumbers instead of chips, and I minded my portions. I knew even if for some reason the scale didn’t reflect my good work, possibly the next week would, because “you always get the week you deserve eventually.”

I kicked off my flip flops, climbed on the scale, sucked in my breath, and wished for good news. “You’re down this week!” the leader said, and when she showed me the number, I actually let out a little hoot of joy. Here’s what made me so happy:

IMG_0003

YAY! 4.4 pounds is a big, big loss. I was also on the tail-end of completing the Mamavation Two-Week Bootcamp, so being forced to do burpees and arm curls and cardio helped, too. I’m so relieved that the first week of “Simple Start” worked. Basically, it’s a plan focused on lean proteins and dairys, whole grains, vegetables and limited fats. It’s pretty much a “Don’t Eat Crap” manifesto, though you can choose one crap item (junk food) per night, with suggestions being things like a Weight Watchers ice cream, a glass of wine, etc. My crap items were Weight Watchers Dulce de Leche ice cream bars (they’re okay. Kinda fake. Not my fav), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made, and one night, two squares of white Irish cheddar cheese. Deeeeeelish. This week, I need to be aggressive about staying “good” — sometimes when I have a strong success like this, I tend to think “Oh! I did so good last week that I can cheat a little bit and I’ll still lose weight!” Nope, not so much. Don’t wanna get over confident over here. However, I did realize this week this is the first time I’m trying a “real” weight-loss plan again now that I know what’s up my wacky body, and that’s exciting.
I was also thrilled this week to hear from three different people that it looked like I was losing weight. Those comments are so encouraging to me, because I see myself all day, every day. Hearing it from someone else is sometimes exactly what you need to remember why you’re choosing the salad over the pizza.

So that’s my awesome news for the week! Can’t wait to share with you next week about my next weigh in, and I can only hope it will be as good as this one, but I’ll be happy with any sort of loss. 🙂  I’ll be back soon to tell you about my newest fitness gadget, the Fitbit Force!

 

Favorite Snacky Cakes

Snacky cakes has been a favorite phrase for  food for me ever since I first heard Eric Cartman from South Park used it.  I wish that cakes were actually part of my every day snacking food but unfortunately, I know I wouldn’t be losing weight if I was indulging in cake every day.

Anyway, since I have begun my Weight Watchers program, I’ve tried my best to make some positive changes to the way I have been eating. One issue that I’ve always struggled with during the day is not eating enough snacks.  I would go for long periods without giving my body the nourishment it needed but that habit is quickly changing.

I’m making a point of picking out healthy snacky cakes while grocery shopping and have been making sure I always have something on me.  Whether it’s an apple, some edaname, or a bunch of carrots, I’m doing much better at munching on the right types of foods.

April and her midnight snack

April and her midnight snack

Last night while I was trying to do last minute homework, I found myself INCREDIBLY hungry around midnight.  I had dinner at six and then called it quits on eating for the night, although I should have snacked earlier because I knew I would be up late writing. I didn’t want to fill myself because of my weekly weigh-in this morning, so instead I just grabbed a giant spoon and scooped up some fat-free cottage cheese.  40 calories.  Like 2 grams of protein.  0 fat.  It was just enough to hold me over for the next two hours as I desperately tried to gain the motivation to write about the Declaration of Independence for class.

Today’s meeting didn’t go as fabulously as the past two weeks as I gained 1.9 pounds.  I wasn’t too shocked because I had multiple mistakes this week but it only motivates me to try harder for next week.  It was my fourth official meeting and my friend Laura and I were both excited to receive our “key chain reward”…  It kinda lacks the actual ability to be a key chain since it’s in the shape of a bullring, however it does make a great toe ring!  Apparently every time we hit a goal, we’ll get a little charm for it.  It also works great as a nose ring but I’ll save that picture for the future.

Yay for free Weight Watchers Swag!

Yay for free Weight Watchers Swag!

I hope you all have a glorious weekend but first – tell me –

What are your favorite healthy snacks?  Do you like cottage cheese?  I know a lot of people don’t!

And if you COULD be eating cake all the time – what kind of cake would you be nibbling on?

Talk to you all soon!

AprilSignatur