My Weight Loss Dilemma

Hello dear readers: now that there’s more than a few of you, I realize I need to make this into an actual weight loss blog and LOSE some weight! Sigh – I was hoping I could keep up the facade forever 😉 (I jest.) I’m hoping to get my new “Progress” link going in the next few days – so help me make a decision on which way to lose my flabby fluffy flubber! PLEASE leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. I crumble easily under peer pressure… which is why my doughnut-pushing co-workers are evil. For those of you who are new to the blog, I’ve got the exercise thing goin’ on, so any plan I follow will include lots of heart pumping cardio and strength-training 🙂

  • Weight Watchers. It’s reliable, it’s worked for me before, it’s very well recommended, it’s sensible and livable. I can have a glass of wine, I can eat sugar. Keeps me accountable with weekly weigh ins and motivational meetings. I’ve seen it work for many of my friends. Cons are: I sometimes feel I have too much freedom, it’s not cheap at $40+ a month, and there’s start up costs associated with getting e-tools, the little calculator, etc. Sometimes the meetings get a little preachy, and I’ve never been spurred to motivation by the cheesy stories and jokes. I also end up not tracking sometimes due to forgetting, being in meetings all day at work, etc. Can anybody comment on the online plan? How does it work?
  • Low Carb – Ala South Beach. It works for me better than any other plan, and completely eliminates my problems with boredom or emotional eating. It’s just strict enough to keep me away from the stuff that makes me uncontrollable, and I get to eat yummy fatty stuff like cream cheese and bacon (within reason). Weight loss is rapid and the rapid pace keeps you motivated. It’s fairly inexpensive, but it’s also a hard lifestyle to maintain when you’re at parties or out with friends. Also makes it fairly difficult to cook for the husband since I’m one of those “I cook for you because I love you” type of people. I can usually last a few weeks before I feel like stabbing somebody for a bite of an apple.
  • Old School – The tried and true of weight loss. Cut the crap, move more, eat less. This way WORKS, no questions asked, and I’ve lost 30 pounds before this way, but I also had a free nutritionist on hand (ah the joys of being a student and working only PT) and a crazy schedule (hence less time to eat and always being on the move). I feel like in many ways this is the hardest choice at all – because it means being GOOD. Journaling my food choices on my own, having to really be conscious of decisions I make. Inexpensive, certainly less limiting than low carb.

So there you have it. Tell me what you think – what’s worked for you, why it’s worked, your opinions, etc. I realize this is a personal choice, but I like to weigh out the factors on all sides before making a decision. I’m a highly analytical person and like to hear suggestions, because sometimes you get your head so far up your own butt that obvious facts get buried in vanity, stubbornness or sheer laziness. I’m also kind of ridiculously wishy-washy. Matt picked out his wedding band in 20 minutes. It took me over a month.

My brain is kind of telling me to go back to Weight Watchers, but my heart wants to believe I have that little bird of hope and inspiration in my soul that will burst into song and cling on to the deeply-hidden willpower within me. (Little bird of hope just vomited at that trite, over the top description)

So – it’s a swing vote. Influence me. Peer pressure me. Convince me. It’s time to practice your persuasive speaking skills (btw, I am VERY persuasive. Won an award for it in a college political science debate class!). Those of you lurking behind your computer screens, SAY SOMETHING! I know you’re there, I can see you in the daily visitor numbers. Say something! GO!


16 thoughts on “My Weight Loss Dilemma

  1. Okay, I have a lot to say on this issue (based solely on my personal experience) so I’ll try to keep it short.

    I’ve lost about 130 pounds through Weight Watchers. My old NY meeting was a godsend when I found it, but I no longer attend meetings. I use e-tools, and I love PointsPlus though I struggled – flat our refused to do it, feeling completely bitter – for months. Now I think it’s awesome, and I love e-tools. But I can’t wait to find a new meeting when I reach Los Angeles. Many are cheesy, but knowing that I’ll be weighing in with the receptionist each week keeps me accountable like nothing else ever has. I adore weighing in at the meeting, and I miss it terribly. I’ll definitely return to meetings (at least for the weigh-in) as soon as I’m settled into my new zip code.

    Now about low-carb diets…in short, they piss me off. “Diets” in general piss me off, but any plan that doesn’t allow apples is just asinine in my opinion. Of course, that’s all it is…my opinion. Though being skinnier and prettier is the driving force, the goal, is actually to be healthy, right? If so, eating diets of ground beef, bacon sans multiple servings of fruits and veggies, whole grains, etc. seems ridiculous and unattainable. I’m seeking permanent and sustainable weight-loss so this is definitely not something that works for me.

    And the last option, of course, makes sense. Counting calories works. For me, counting calories means spending more time tracking my food intake – figuring out how to eat whole, healthy foods rather than eating heavy amounts of processed foods because the calories are listed on the package.

    As I said, these are just my opinions…but the most important thing to mention is that regardless of how you choose to do it (apart from the middle option that will potentially cause health problems that shorten your life) it doesn’t really matter if you choose calories or points. What matters is that you’re consistent. So set your intake goals, exercise and feel proud of yourself for changing in a way that doesn’t seem easy.

    I can’t wait to hear what you do and how you do it!

    • Wow – VERY persuasive! And excellent points. You’re exactly right about the health detractors for low carb….
      Some great points for me to consider. Thank you for the very solid comment!!! (And I am totally biased and your comment has a lot of merit because you are a major success. lol!)

  2. I’m a pretty unabashed Weight Watchers fan. Personally, it’s the only thing that works for me — I NEED the accountability of weighing in at meetings, and tracking really works for me. That said, I get lazy about tracking all the time – I’ll go off it for a few weeks, and then have to force myself to get back on task. Online is cheaper, if cost is a factor for you, but personally I don’t trust me + home scale.

    I have a friend who did a very zen “just be hyper aware of food choices/portions + cut back on things slowly + exercise” with NO counting at all and she lost 80 lbs. Her method would never work for me because I am very into self-delusion and cheating LOL. But she posted some tips yesterday, if you want to read: http://emilyrichmond.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/fat-girl-running-food-tips-for-losing-weight-without-much-effort/ (of course, running was a HUGE part of her success)

    You just have to know yourself, I think. Because I need structure and being accountable to someone else, Weight Watchers is perfect. But I know others for whom it just doesn’t work — structurally or financially — and other things have. Do you know Heidi? http://heidi-finishing-the-hat.blogspot.com/ She’s also doing a self-guided approach — she and her husband going to Slimmons three times a week + they plan out their meals for the entire week ahead of time, and are just meticulous with healthy cooking/calorie counting.

    • More wonderful information and resources… Thank you so much!
      WW is in the lead! I feel like I’m a poll worker right now, hehe!

  3. Hi there!
    Just thought I’d put my two pence in. I was 303lbs and and currently 210lbs and I’ve got that far over the last year using calorie counting and exercise.

    I work shifts, so I wasn’t able to join any clubs or attend meetings. I tried doing it online with slimming world (a friend of mine lost a lot of weight via it and their website) but after a brief success I fell back into the old habits of eating whatever I fancied whenever I fancied – at one point I had myself convinced that if I was eating food that didn’t weigh very much it couldn’t possibly make me heavier! right?! – So, when i hit rock bottom (some scary scary photos from a weekend away with friends and my brother announcing his wedding) I decided that I had to teach myself how to eat properly.

    The greatest thing I ever learned with regards to weight loss was the mathematics behind how it works. I’m an engineer so a bit sciency and when I got that the 3500 deficit was a pound, and you calculated your requirement for the day with the sum:

    Women: 655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) +20% for fairly sedentary day to day work life

    It all just kind of fell into place.

    I track my food all the time using this website: http://getkilo.com/home.php and MyFitnessPal, and I have gradually upped my activity level slowly over the course of the last year to get me to a place where I enjoy going out and doing things, I enjoy doing my exercise DVD etc. (BTW I’m not a member of a gym either – I have a handful of DVD’s and a set of hand weights)

    I hope this helps you a bit – feel free to tweet me if you want any more info or anything 🙂

    Good luck!!!

    • Hi lastresort…
      Thank you so much for the great comment! I’m definitely goin to check out getkilo.com . I like that you’ve had such great success without a plan… it’s a reminder to me that willpower and a lot of knowledge can go a long way. 🙂

  4. I’ve done everything you’ve listed here, and more! LA Weight Loss, Jenny Craig (twice!), Atkins… yep, all of them, with varying degrees of success. I lost weight on all of them, but… with Jenny, LA, and Atkins/low carb, I gained all the weight back as soon as I stopped “dieting”.

    I used Weight Watchers online tools, but not the meetings, to finally lose over 100 pounds, and I’ve kept it off for over a year. I don’t like meetings – I’m too private for that, my weight was between me and my issues. 😛

    I also found an exercise program that worked for me (running), and tried to train myself to use it for stress relief instead of food (sometimes I still binge, but rarely). I loved WW because I could eat anything (in moderation), and journalling kept me accountable. I could also see how much I had to run to work off any binge!

    Now, I no longer use the online tools (I stopped about 6 months after reaching goal), but I still log my food and exercise every day at a free online site (myfitnesspal.com).

    Good luck – I don’t believe any one program is perfect for everyone, but I do believe you have to find one that works for your lifestyle, and that is sustainable in the long run (the primary reason the low carb diets wouldn’t work for me – I love fruit too much.)

  5. I have been through all so here is my 2 cents. Don’t do the low- carb please. I did it and lost weight but gained it all back. Plus all meat and no veggies is no way to live. Never mind what it can do to your heart. I did do weight watchers but not for long, it wasn’t bad and I did lose some weight, but I don’t think I was ready to do it at the time.

    Since February of this year, I have lost 37 pounds. (Barely any exercise as I was having some health issues, so I am sure it would have been more if I had exercised) I just started eating more fruits and veggies, making better choices, but still eating a treat if it is allowable for my calorie count for the day, which is 1500. Life is not a diet. You have to eat this way for the rest of your life. I use measuring spoons, a food scale and I read labels. There are tons of information for you on the internet to help you on your way. I use it when I am not sure of calories because a label is way to confusing to figure out. A lot of nutritionists use twitter as well as trainers. They have tips and advice so like I said, tons of useful information out there. Plus not paying someone to weigh in. Although there is support in weight watchers but if you have friends and family who support you, well there you go.

    Lots of luck to you. It’s a hard road but so rewarding.

    • Congrats on your 37 pounds! THAT IS AWESOME!!! I think I’m definitely going to stay away from low carb now… you all beat some sense in to me!!! Thanks for the comment.

  6. What I did in the past was cut out all drinks with calories (lowfat milk was the only exception). It’s amazing how many hundreds of calories we drink and don’t really know it.

    I think this is a really easy first step in any diet because you can still eat what you want. So, just an idea! Good luck with everything AND I miss your lovely face!!

  7. I hate having to remember to keep track of everything I eat and I hate being “limited” to what I am eating.. if that makes sense. I think it is because I don’t have enough follow through.

    What I’ve been doing is just eating better. I still go out [sometimes, not 1/2 as often as I used to or would like to, but oh well!] but have been cramming my face with fruits and veggies and good yogurts instead of chips, cookies, ice cream and crap!

    And also got myself an exercise buddy which has helped me maintain my motivation for being active- if it only is once a week!

  8. I have done WW on and off for about 20 years. Lost 50lbs twice, but life changes took me away from meetings and I gained it back. Since having kids it has gotten SO MUCH HARDER! I run an inhome childcare so I am in the kitchen all day long and find it very difficult not to nibble on their meals and snacks. I recently quit WW because it was just not working for me anymore, regardless of staying within my pointsplus. I went to the wellness center of our hospital and had a metabolism screening done. I found that my body needs 1800 calories per day to lose 2 lbs per week. That is more than my WW PP allowance and my weekly points put together. I am tracking calories now with http://www.fatsecret.com. I really like the free site and it has a very user friendly app for my android. My favorite part is I can add food to my journal by simply scanning the UPC code!!

  9. Weight Watchers!!!! Then we can be “healthy eating but still with yummy noms every now and then buddies”! 🙂 It is hard paying for WW but then again a healthy happy body is priceless. 🙂 WW allows you to eat all foods so the only falling off the wagon is eatting too much, and there are always tricks to make sure that doesn’t happen. We can do it! We WILL do it! Healthy Happy Bodies here we come!

  10. Hello!

    So I would encourage you to go with option #3.

    Eating well and exercizing is good for you NO MATTER your size.

    Low-carb is BAD for you. Fucks with your liver (especially if you’re eating tons of meat). Focus on whole grains…eat soba noodles or whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta…buy whole grain bread! brown rice! quinoa! etc! All carbs aren’t bad. Just some are. Plus, if you’re exercizing you NEED carbs!

    Weight Watchers is a business. If it worked, they would go OUT of business. Build systems that work FOR YOU and find support that doesn’t cost $40 a month.

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