Satisfaction

Ok, I’ll be honest here. This is not the first time I’ve signed up for Weight Watchers.

The very first time was over six years ago, right after I was diagnosed with PCOS. I was on it solid for about two months and lost 17 lbs. Then we moved and I never got strictly back on. At best I maintained for another four months before deciding to stop all together.

My second time around with WW was almost exactly a year ago. I wanted to get healthy again, remembered having success, but we couldn’t at the time afford for both Jason and I to go. So, even though Jason was mostly supportive of me, I was basically going it alone. I’d have to dig out last year’s book to see exactly but I did fairly well. Again, I allowed life to be my excuse for not continuing.

The reason I mention my previous two attempts at WW isn’t to say I tried and failed. It’s to compare those two attempts to my current dedication to it.  The first time through, I was dedicated, but it was a big adjustment. And I had a lot of other things happening in my life. If my medical situation wasn’t enough, add in my stress at work and the subsequent decision to relocate. I never truly focused on it. I weighed less starting out the first time and the plan has since changed. I had 30 daily points. That meant that without using my weekly points, I could spend about 8 points per meal and leave 6 for snacking throughout the day. So I learned to shop accordingly.

Now, for the monkey wrench. Besides starting the second time at a higher weight than the first, they also revamped the program. When I came back to WW last year I suddenly had 38-39 points per day, plus my 35 weekly points. I’d go low on breakfast, using only 4-5 points. That left way too many to be split between two more meals and snacking. I was used to making the absolute lowest point decisions, so I often found that I left 10-12 points unused each day. Or, I would have a “binge” meal, making an unhealthy choice just to use up points.

Most people would consider having so many points left at the end of the day a good thing. After all, we’re all told that fewer calories going in than being used is what leads to weight loss. However, there is still a minimum number of calories your body needs before it panics and starts “saving” what you’re giving it. That’s where a lot of people plateau in weight loss. Because of this Weight Watchers recommends that you not only use your daily points, but also not to be shy about using the weekly ones. The program wouldn’t include something that would make us fail after all. Using the “cheat points” we can still lose weight.

So, I remembered this dilemma I stumbled on last year when Jason and I signed up again. How was I going to eat enough points while still making the choices that were healthy? I didn’t want to have “binge” meals just to use up points. I didn’t want to short myself on points either for minor quick results followed by a plateau, all while feeling deprived. I even brought it up with our leader in the after meeting one-on-one for new members. It can be tricky, but it really is so important to eat the right amount of points (calories/fat/fiber).

Today is officially my fourth day back on the program. I think I’ve finally hit the right stride and found the right balance. Instead of trying to have 6-7 point meals, mine range from 8-12, which leaves me enough room to snack, but not enough to actually double the number of points in a given meal. The idea is to keep me satisfied throughout the day and allow my body to adjust to smaller portions more frequently. It’s what everyone recommends, so maybe I’m behind the times.

Either way, I had to find out how to apply it to my own meals and tastes. I don’t have to spend my days making either strict decisions or bad. I’m making choices that are right, good and totally adjustable as my daily points decrease with my waistline.

I’m not hungry. I’m not too full. I’m satisfied.

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