Weight Watchers – Pros and Cons

Obviously, I decided to take a break from blogging. That break turned into an extended hiatus!┬áSo what have I been doing all this time? Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you know the answer to that – I’ve been “up in the gym, workin’ on my fitness” (queue Fergie) and following Weight Watchers to lose the extra fluff that tends to creep up, especially after age 40! I am also working as a school nurse, as a sub…so my hours are sporadic – which I like.

Since I follow so many other Weight Watchers on Instagram, I thought it might be a good idea to share my experience here on the blog. I would also like to do posts on tips & tricks for keeping points low, etc. But first, why am I even doing Weight Watchers? (and no, this is not a sponsored post.)

I started doing Weight Watchers because I felt fat. I started back in March 2016. I had put on extra weight and even though I wasn’t hugely overweight, I was definitely over my comfort level, my clothes didn’t fit, and I just plain didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. Therefore, I made up my mind to do something about it. *And that is THE BIGGEST STEP in weight loss (or anything for that matter), you have to make up your mind to make a change. You have to be determined to see it through. You have to put in the work. There are no shortcuts.

Since I had done Weight Watchers in the past, I knew it was a program that worked for me. I also knew that I should have a little bit easier time this go round because I have my hypothyroidism under control…which I didn’t before (and still managed to lose weight, albeit slowly)

I am not a meetings person, so I opted to do the program strictly online. This works for me, others may enjoy the interaction & support system you get in going to the meetings. So, on to my pros and cons –

PROS

(1) Easy to use app that is downloaded on my phone. It tells how many points you have for the day, it has a barcode scanner to see how many points are in packaged foods, it has an extensive list of foods & points available to look up if it doesn’t have a barcode, many restaurants are listed, and it tracks activity points.

(2) The WW app links up to my Garmin so my exercise/steps can automatically be configured to activity points. (You get points for activity & those points can be “traded in” for food. So, the more active you are, the more you can eat, and still lose weight. And let’s face it, if you are looking into Weight Watchers, it’s because you like to eat.) *hand raised* I love food. Hence, the food blog.

(3) It’s much easier to track with Weight Watchers than to calorie count (with programs like My Fitness Pal) because when counting calories, everything you put into your mouth needs to be tracked. With WW, I automatically know that all fresh fruits and vegetables are zero points (unless they are juiced or being put into a drink/smoothie). For example, if I eat a salad, I know that I only have to track things other than veggies – like cheese, meat, dressing, etc. If I were tracking calories, I would have to enter the lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, etc. I think it is also a mental thing of “I’m hungry and if I eat this apple/orange it won’t cost me any points” leading me to eat more fruits & veggies and make healthier choices.

*There are other “perks” to the app, like online recipes, a community to connect with others, and other resources that I do not utilize.

CONS

(1) It cost money. That is what kept me from joining a long time ago. It seemed silly to me to pay money to track what I ate, when I knew it could be done for free. I have actually used My Fitness Pal, and it works well, and it’s free. But as stated above, it’s just not as easy for me. What can I say…I’m a lazy tracker. It basically comes down to about $20 a month. However, I’ve decided that losing weight was well worth that. I always catch the promos too, so I’ve never had to pay a joining fee.

(2) Not everything is in the app. This isn’t really a big deal, but if you make a recipe from scratch, you have to add everything into the recipe builder and then it will tell you how many points per serving. Or if you go to a restaurant that isn’t in the app, you have to use your best judgment on points based on what you’re ordering. As I said, this isn’t a big deal really, it’s just time consuming to add everything for a recipe, but I don’t see any other way to do it.

So…how much weight have I lost? I lost almost 30 lbs! I started March 3, 2016 at 150 lbs. (I’m 5’2″). On August 19th, I reached my goal weight of 125 lbs. When I stopped tracking with WW on 10/7/16, I was at 122.4. Anddddd……then the holidays happened. And I ate all the cookies and drank all the egg nog. I rejoined WW on 1/2/17 at 132 lbs. Today I am 127 lbs. I could be less if I would eat sensible on the weekends, but I basically splurge all weekend. So it’s 2 steps forward and one step back. However, I’m basically happy maintaining at this point. The moral to this story is – you have to maintain calories in vs calories out, because fat cells have an excellent memory & it’s SO much easier to gain than it is to lose! It truly does have to be a lifestyle change or it will be a constant yo-yo. I know people like to see awesome transformation/before and after pics, but I don’t really have any. When I felt fat, pics got deleted! And a loss of 25 lbs isn’t nearly as dramatic as a 50 or 100 lb loss…but it’s all doable! I firmly believe that if you follow the program, it WILL work. Follow just about any program, and it will work…but is it sustainable? That’s the key. It must be something you can live with. Weight Watchers makes me much more conscious of my choices.

This is the best I could come up with for now. It feels so weird posting these too. My girls are constantly taking selfies & on Snapchat…it’s amazing the difference in the times! Kids today are so narcissistic…says the mom who posts flexing bicep pics on Instagram. hahaha