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Have you "gotten with the program"?

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  • I'm curious about what experience, if any, anyone's had with organized weight-loss systems and diet plans.



    I've been a Weight Watchers meetings member for almost four years. I hit my goal weight within four months - I was single back then, and frankly it was a lot easier to stick to plan then! - and have been a Lifetime member for 3-1/2 years. "Lifetime" means two things: you recognize that this involves lifestyle changes that you have to incorporate into every day, and if you stay within 2 pounds of your goal weight (you have to attend a meeting and weigh in at least once a month) you don't pay for meetings.



    I like free meetings, but I haven't gotten as many of them this year. I'm blaming my husband (I got married for the second time last October).



    Overall, WW works for me, but the maintaining is actually the tougher part. The way the Points plan works is that it gives you a framework - basically a daily "budget" that you can "spend" any way you choose, which as an accountant has always made total sense to me - but leaves you a lot of choice, so you have to learn to manage it, and some people need more structure, like a list of allowed foods. Tracking that Points usage is essential, though, as I've learned the hard way.



    But if you don't want the weight back, you've got to be willing to work at this nearly all the time - it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change. I'm 4'8" tall, so I'm not built to carry a lot of extra weight - and believe me, I did when I was around 140 lbs! - and it doesn't take much for pounds to add up. Also, I'm a few years over 40 and that's another challenge.



    So, has anyone tried WW or another weight-loss program, and what was that like for you? If you haven't, is it something you'd think about, or why wouldn't you?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 17th August 2007
  • Hey I am 4'9"



    I to am a weight watchers girl also. Right now I am at the 145 and it is making me nuts!

    So I am back to point I like points better.

    Congrats on getting married.



    I met my goal 10yrs ago and stayed that way until my mom became ill.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kim Begnaud on 17th August 2007
  • Hey Kim - I haven't tried the Core plan. I think it has some good aspects, like the emphasis on higher protein and fiber, but Points makes sense for me, and I still get to have bread, as long as I count it! Carbs are definitely my weakness, always have been.



    A big stress in your life, like your mom getting sick, can certainly throw you off for awhile. But 10 years in, you know what it takes.



    And yes, it's an extra challenge for us shorter girls who don't have a lot of places for the weight to go!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 17th August 2007
  • how tall is your husband?

    mine is 6'
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kim Begnaud on 17th August 2007
  • My husband is 6'1" - I call him "Tall Paul" on my blog. I tend to keep my eye out for couples like us with big height differences. We won't be having kids, so we'll never know how tall they might turn out. My son's about 5'8," and probably lucky he made it that far - he's 23, done growing - since half his genes are mine (his dad's 5'11";), and Paul's kids will both end up tall - my stepdaughter is going on 13 and already 5'6";(!). And of course, all the kids are rail-thin...we'll see how long that lasts.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 17th August 2007
  • lolol my husband is Paul also!lololol

    Ok, my 10 yr old panics about being short .........he is 4'11" now and I tell hime don't worry you'll be talll................well god I hope he gets as tall is Paul.

    My daughter is 5"5.............and 23 so she is done grown as well and plus she has 2 babies and her ex was 6'8"................
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kim Begnaud on 17th August 2007
  • I need to preface this by saying I'm the current president of a local eating disorders and body image organization.



    I quit dieting a year ago. I quit for good. I truly believe that we have been taught to distrust our ability to eat healthfully and tune in to our true appetite by the weight loss industry. That, coupled with our sedentary lifestyles (not all due to laziness, but the way our workforce has changed has made us less active over the course of the day), are detrimental to our health.



    So rather than focusing on counting calories. I work hard to tune into recognizing hunger and satiety cues, and getting more activity every day. It includes getting up from the computer once an hour and walking up stars nd stuff like that to just move.



    My body is a great example of the law of inertia: things at rest stay at rest! things in motion stay in motion!



    I'm working hard to stay in motion
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Trudi Evans on 20th August 2007
  • Hi Trudi,



    I think you make some really good points about "typical" diet/weight-loss plans - and it definitely is an industry - and also about sedentary lifestyles. My own experience with Weight Watchers is that for the most part it embraces a healthy-lifestyle approach that helps teach how to eat and includes activity - but the program has been around for 40+ years and I don't know if it's always worked that way. I understand that a lot of more traditional diet programs, especially those that require special foods, still don't.



    I think a lot of us - especially as we get older - have bodies that understand the law of inertia pretty well.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 20th August 2007
  • Not to trash on WW, but I think their plan 25 years ago, was more health oriented than it is today. I was a member of WW not too many years ago (maybe 3?) and I remember the woman leading the discussion would always make the point that you could consume only beer and chocolate and still lose weight as long as you counted the points. That really nailed it for me - it was about calorie consumption not healthy living at its root.



    Back in the olden days, you used ot check off how many servings of each food group you had. You'd have 6 boxes for veg and 3 for fruit or something like that. And you just ticked them off as you went through the day to make sure you ate a balance of everything. Of course, they still had you weigh and measure food so you'd learn what a serving looked like, but in retrospect, that seems like the best way to do it - you're really focused on balance and nutrition and not so much on calories.



    But its a harder sell in this climate and personally, I'd do away with the weigh-ins because I think they are the wrong focus, but that's just me
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Trudi Evans on 21st August 2007
  • Trudi, you're making some good points. One of the big pitfalls with the WW Points approach, for some people, is the whole choice thing. The official program literature does advise about balancing your diet, proper portion size, and meal planning - and depending on the meeting, it should get discussed too - but it's up to the individual members to decide what they're going to eat every day, and for some people that's not the best thing because it's not enough structure.



    The leader of that meeting you mention wasn't wrong about the fact that you can pretty much eat anything that keeps you within your daily Points target and still lose weight - but it seems to me that not adding advice about more sensible ways to use those points is irresponsible, especially for a meeting leader, and sounds like a "diet" as opposed to a "lifestyle" approach. I've been lucky to have good leaders who help educate about making better nutritional choices - yeah, you could eat 2-point snack bars all day, but low-point vegetables, fruits, and protein options are smarter choices if you're looking at making long-term, lasting changes.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 21st August 2007

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