Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back to Basics

We had a lady at our WeightWatchers meeting this week who weighed over 500 lbs when she started two years ago.  I'm here to tell you that while she didn't divulge how much she has lost to date, I think I am safe in saying she weighs under 200 now.  That is 300 lbs in two years - or 12.5 lbs every month - or about 3 lbs per week!  How Awesome!!  What did she say was the secret to her success?  In the beginning, she attended up to 5 WeightWatchers meetings per week and she went to the gym that often, too.  She explained how she was too big to use most of the equipment at the gym when she started, and how difficult it was for her to even show up...but in time, she got down to a size where she could use any equipment she wanted to.  Imagine that!  This woman is stronger than I think she realizes- it's all about what is inside a person...that is what I concluded after hearing her story.

Sometimes its good to look back to where we started - and see how far we've come. Take a long look at what makes us successful, too.  I am not the type to attend multiple WW meetings every week - probably because its already an effort to make it to one - but taking a look back at our Getting Started booklet can help me to keep grounded in good habits. 

I remember the first time I laid eyes on this next photo -
My apologies for poor picture quality - my camera is not the best for this type of stuff - but I can dream that one day I'll have a good quality digital camera, can't I?  This photo drove home the importance of learning that all foods are not created equal.  I LOVE croissants - just simply adore them - but when I realized that I could eat a really filling meal for less points - my eyes were opened.  Calories are calories - that may be true - but how some nourish our bodies is what makes the difference.  Both of these pages represent 270 calories...but on a PointsPlus value, the breakfast on the right will really fuel your body and keep you satisfied for a much longer time.  These photos made me wonder what other foods I could do the same with.  That was the first inspiration with the new plan.
This page was my second eye opener.  On former WW programs, I saved points for the big meal at the end of the day and for snacking at night.  I felt deprived almost all day long, and my aim was to reach my goal weight and get back to eating 'normally'.  You might say I had that "Yo-yo diet" thinking...but that was all I understood at the time.  This page -page 60 - had a chart that made all the difference to me:
I know it's hard to read - but for me - with 29 PointsPlus per day to consume - the chart suggests I try to break it donw this way:
Breakfast: 5pp
Lunch: 8pp
Dinner: 11pp
Snack: 3pp
Snack: 2pp

So in the beginning, I followed this guideline.  I LOVED IT!  Imagine...with two snacks planned, I felt like I was eating all day long.  No starvation for me!  I saved the larger snack for the evening - and often didn't even want all 3 points!  How was this possible?  I don't feel like I'm dieting at all!!

Here is secret weapon #3 - Power Foods.  On page 19 of the Getting Started brochure - it reminds us that power foods include fruits and vegetables, non-fat dairy and dairy substitutes, lean proteins, whole grains and more.  Power foods are indicated by a Green Triangle in the food lists.  The science of this program shows that power foods lead to health and satisfaction.  My aim is to have as many power foods included in each meal and snack as possible - so I feel full throughout the day.  I am constantly amazed how well that is working for me.

This trip back through the Getting Started brochure would not be complete without mentioning something that really helped me in the beginning - the "0" points Garden Vegetable Soup recipe.  You can find that on the "pull out" Kickstart Guide. 

I have added that to my list for meals this week...and I'll be following Week 3 of my menus the rest of the week.  I already have the Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Kale cooking for tonight- its a rainy April day so it makes for a great comfort food...besides...I'm getting some oral surgery done today, so I have soup to eat until the swelling goes down.

If you have any questions about how many PointsPlus you should be eating per day, or how that breaks down each day, contact me and I'll be happy to help you calculate it!    Make it a great day!


  1. I wish I could get the literature like you have but I'm only an online member (don't want to pay extra than what I already am!), but thanks for this post. I got off track for a couple of weeks but this week I'm doing better. Gonna check your menus and that veggie soup recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with, Denise. That is what my aim is for this blog, so if it helps you, it will likely help others, too. I'll keep trying to find some 'gems' in the materials and share them here. Keep checking back! Thanks again!

  3. Thanks Corinne, hope you're feeling better after your oral surgery :)