At the beginning of July, I set the goal to stick my new eating plan for one month, regardless of the scale. I went into detail about my decision here, but really I was looking for a way to maintain my weight without tracking every day and to get my whole family eating healthier meals, instead of just me. I made the switch to Simply Filling, which means eating “to satisfaction” from a list of healthy foods with theoretically less binge potential than other foods. For the last month, I’ve only tracked things I’ve eaten that are not on that list. This has resulted in some interesting changes in my food choices.
– I eat a lot less processed food now. For example, instead of the non-food half calorie crackers I used to take with my lunch each day, I now take these super cute little packets of edamame. What is really interesting to me is that these would have cost me the exact same 2 points as the crackers did before, have a lot more nutritional value and bonus: more filling, which means less afternoon hungry time! Also, it gives everyone at work a chance to laugh at my little Dora packets (can’t beat the convenience!). I have plenty of energy to run and actually feel really good, which is fantastic.
– I’m now using that list of healthy foods to make dinners for my family each night, which means we’re all eating healthier. That was a big goal of mine in making this shift and I have to say, I’ve loved having all of us sit down for the same meals. It’s great for O to see us all eating the same thing and he’s definitely done better with trying new things as a result. This week, he ate a soup with squash (among other veggies) and declared it yummy! This part of this new eating plan has been a definite and HUGE win in my book. Some of the new recipes we’ve tried out from this cookbook have been great – I’ll share more details next week!
– It turns out, I don’t really need those activity points or weekly points after all because I haven’t found many things worth actually spending the points on. Even my beloved PB2 has become a once or twice a week treat rather than every night like I had before. At the beginning of the month, I was using more points at restaurants because I’d order what I was used to ordering back on the regular points plus system. It’s interesting to re-evaluate my usual restaurant ordering with this Simply Filling food list in mind, but I’m getting the hang of it. Sushi will still be worth the points. I’ll just have to save it for long run days when I’ve earned it!
– It’s taken some getting used to self-regulating what I eat. I got very used to eating as much as I had points for, rather than eating when I was hungry. I don’t think I could have lost weight on this Simply Filling plan, just because I didn’t have any idea how to self regulate. Now, I know intellectually that I don’t need to eat as much food as I sometimes want to eat and I know that wanting to eat isn’t the same thing as being hungry. It took two years of tracking with points to learn that. Over the course of this month, I’ve gotten better at stopping myself before I grab a snack to determine how hungry I really am rather than eating just because I can. It’ll take more practice, but it’s definitely worth another month of practice.
– At the end of the day, my weigh in on Saturday morning was a half pound up from where it was when I started this. If I maintain this slightly higher weight (between 171-172, when my Weight Watchers goal weight is 167) but as my whole family is eating healthier meals and I’m feeling good about my food choices, I’ll take it. Especially since my clothes still fit 🙂
During all of this, I haven’t actually been to a Weight Watchers meeting in over a month. That’s honestly partly because I know I’m over my goal weight and partly because of work/travel/long runs on Saturday morning. I still use the app to track, but thanks to a year of maintenance, I have built up a lot of credits for access to the eTools so I can keep using the tracker despite having not weighed in for a while (every month you weigh in within the goal range, you get a credit for 8 weeks of access to the tracking tools). We’ll see how this goes over time to see if I’m going to eventually find my way back to meetings or if this is the start of a gradual weaning from Weight Watchers. Time will tell. You guys make a great virtual meeting 🙂