So, I am a day early, but I weighed myself tonight in anticipation of my four-week weigh-in on Weight Watchers.
First off, it has already been four weeks?!?!
Time flies, even when you’re living on rabbit food.
And it flies even more when you weigh in at 5:47pm on the Sunday evening before your official 4-week check-in, and you are at 212 pounds. 212. I started at 232! You can do the math, but I have to brag anyway: I have lost 20 pounds in four weeks!!!
What’s my secret?
You know, I have to admit that Weight Watchers really does seem to be the ticket. Because it is not about dieting. This is not a diet. I have to keep reminding myself of that every day: this is not a diet. This is a change in my life; a lifestyle change; a new way of approaching food. This is not a diet that I will eventually finish once I reach a desired weight. This is how I need to live my life, the rest of my life, if I want to be healthy. It seems so obvious, and in a lot of ways, it really is, but it is much more difficult to follow than it should be considering how obvious it is. We all know that diets don’t work. I don’t need to preach to the choir here — giving up something entirely is not the way to long-term successful weight loss — no matter what that something is.
We’ve all been there. I’m never going to eat chocolate again. I’m going to give up sweets. I’m never going to drink again. Fast food has gone buh-bye. That kind of promise only leads to failure. You love it, you know it, and you’ll never really let it go … and you don’t have to let it go. Because once you tell yourself, “I’m never having it again,” then whatever that “it” is, it is all that you can think about. I’m starting to sound like Jennifer Hudson here (minus the 28-octave range she has) but it is true, true, true: it is all about moderation. Eat that pizza, that cheeseburger, those french fries, and for god’s sake, have that glass of wine. Just make sure you complement it with fresh veggies, fruit, healthy proteins, and whole grains.
My problem, as I may have mentioned before, is not the healthy eating. I love healthy foods, and actually do eat them quite a bit. My problem has been the volume. The portion control. And my first week on Weight Watchers, I felt like I was starving to death. I don’t know how I made it through that first week except every time I felt my stomach grumble, I drank some sparkling mineral water. The carbonation helped me feel full.
Then I figured something out — there are quite a few foods on Weight Watchers that are worth 0 points … no matter how much of them you eat. And I told myself, “okay, what the hell? I’m not going to have 2 cups of mixed greens; I’m going to have 4 cups of mixed greens. 2 cups or 4 cups – it is still worth the same amount of points.” And it is allowing myself that extra volume, that larger portion as it were, that I think has been the true kicker for me. 4 cups of mixed greens, a tablespoon of low-fat shredded cheese, a light salad dressing, and I’m looking at maybe 3 or 4 points on Weight Watchers. And believe it or not, that “large salad” I am having is my entire meal. And after I have enjoyed every last bite, because I love salads, I feel full too.
In fact, I tried this tactic just this morning. I made a breakfast sandwich – one egg, a third cup of whole black beans, 1 tablespoon of fat free cheese, and a light english muffin. A delicious sandwich, mind you, but I also had something like 4 cups of sliced watermelon to go with it. Now, I absolutely and for truly love watermelon. I could eat it everyday. And 4 cups of it is surprisingly filling. So filling in fact, I wasn’t hungry all morning! I made myself some lunch around 1:30pm – 2:00pm … which for me, is a late lunch … and I was so ecstatic (yes, ecstatic – when weight is an issue, you get excited about the littlest things) when I saw how long I had gone without feeling the usual grumbles of hunger.
When I hit the grocery store tomorrow, you can bet that watermelon is going to be in my basket.
You know what else has helped me? Distraction. This blog has been an incredible outlet for me because it is literally keeping me on task. And forcing me to direct my attention away from food and on to other topics, like my crafting projects … and my reading … and my travels … and other aspects of my life I want to spend more time reflecting on anyway. I come home in the evenings and rather than hitting the kitchen as soon as I walk in (even after the 5-mile bike ride home from the train station), I head straight for the laptop. Or I head straight for a project I want to work on… and it’s amazing how quickly hunger pangs stop once you realize you aren’t thinking about them anymore.
At least in those moments.