A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Starting the year on a new foot

on January 7, 2015

To kick off 2015, I did something that felt drastic:

I was due to renew and made the leap to cancel instead. I can always rejoin later if I choose. Whew.

I was due to renew and made the leap to cancel instead. I can always rejoin later if I choose. Whew.

That’s right – I officially cancelled my Weight Watchers account. There are so many things I love about Weight Watchers and I absolutely think it was the key in losing over 100 pounds in a year (and there’s more about why I chose WW here). While I love Weight Watchers for weight loss, I’ve been less in love with it for maintaining that weight loss (for reasons I talked about a lot here). Over the last 6 months I’ve watched my weight creep back up little by little despite that I still weigh and measure and track everything with the Weight Watchers program. I’ve only regained 10 pounds, which is a sliver of what I lost, and I know my weight is by no means unhealthy, but I don’t want to continue to watch this gradual slide and more importantly, to start paying for Weight Watchers when I know it isn’t working for me.

Gorgeous, shiny red, fresh apples

Gorgeous, shiny red, fresh apples

The failure is absolutely not in the Weight Watchers program, I want to be perfectly clear. The problem is with me and my inability to self-regulate the free fruit. 🙂 The whole idea of fruit being more filling and having less binge potential definitely came from someone who’d never seen my fruit budget and how quickly I can put away a 2 pound bag of grapes (about 10 minutes, if you’re curious). I’ve played with lots of ways to limit my fruit, but without that accountability built into the tracker I was using, it was too easy to “cheat” and slip back into bad habits. “Cheating” with fruit is possibly the healthiest cheating ever, right? Still, I want to fit in my pants and eating 1000 calories of grapes a day isn’t going to help that. More importantly, it really isn’t helping make the next steps in finding a healthier balance with food and avoiding overeating. Overeating healthy food doesn’t actually feel much better emotionally or physically than overeating Doritos, turns out. You end up with the same twinges of shame only now they argue with this sanctimonious inner voice that says it’s “healthy” so it’s okay. If I’m not happy with myself for eating it and not feeling in control of the amount I’m eating, it’s not healthy.

A little over a week ago, I started tracking with My Fitness Pal (I think you can look me up as jessanic). It’s taking some getting used to, but weighing and counting the calories in all of that fruit was really eye opening. For the first couple of days, I counted absolutely everything and found myself constantly comparing the Weight Watchers tracking app with the My Fitness Pal app. I hate the way food options come up in the MFP app when I’ve searched for something – when I put in chicken breast, please offer me a generic chicken breast option first before a thousand randomly ordered variations of chicken! However, I can’t deny that putting a number value to the fruit has really curbed my mindless fruit snacking, especially at night. I call it mindless snacking because that’s what it is – when I have to force myself to stop and think “am I hungry enough to pay 200 calories for this banana” I usually decide I’m not actually hungry, whereas when it was “free” and healthy I’d grab several a day. Even healthy foods have a calorie cost.

That said, in MFP 150 calories is 150 calories whether it comes from something healthy like lean protein or fruit or veggies or a handful of chocolate candy from my stocking. I would not have done well with this while I was trying to lose weight. I like that I learned that I could eat more if I ate healthier things on Weight Watchers. After a couple of days with MFP, I decided that any veggie that was free on WW would be free forever. A) My favorite thing about WW was that I was never deprived. I always had the free foods as an option. That was huge in the issue of binge eating, because feeling deprived is a huge trigger for me. B) If I have to choose between spending 100 calories on junk or 100 calories on veggies, veggies probably won’t win as often as they should. Finally, C) I can eat a lot of veggies, but they never leave me with that physically and emotionally icky feeling I can get after eating pounds of fruit mindlessly. If my goal is to find a way to have a balance with food that I can sustain for the rest of my life, veggies get to stay free (those that were free with WW anyway – everything but potatoes, beans). I track a token amount of any veggie I eat, mostly so I can keep track and be sure I’m not skipping them all together, but I don’t really weigh or measure them. All fruit gets tracked though.

My plan is to stick with this for at least a couple of months, with the goals I set for the year in my mind. I’m going to stay off the scale except for Tuesday morning (and I’ve already decided I’m skipping the Tuesday morning after Disneyland – between travel and the races, I know I’ll be up because of fluid retention). I’m going to focus on the quality of my food and my NSVs. I’m going to use the slightly different structure of the calorie counting (as opposed to points) to practice finding balance with food, in deciding when I’m really hungry and making good choices because they’re fuel for my healthy lifestyle not because they fit my points.

I got to the end of all of this and forgot the weigh in part: 173.6. A loss but I’m not going to get excited about it because I’ve had little dips like this before only to be followed by frustrating gains. My pants fit better and I’m more excited about that, for sure.

The change of pace will be interesting. Anybody else on MFP? Look me up. I’m “friends” with my husband on MFP but he teases me for “liking” it when I get the notification that he’s done a workout for the day. Boys. 🙂

14 responses to “Weight Loss Wednesday: Starting the year on a new foot

  1. Just sent you a request with MFP. I do like it because you can key in whole recipes and once you get them all in and established, it’s easy to add. But your right, the general ‘search’ is um, wonky.

  2. Kristin says:

    You rock!! It sounds like you made the best decision for you! I love it! Have a fabulous Wednesday!! XOXO

  3. I’m on MFP and jsut sent you a request 🙂

  4. Sounds like you are making the right decision for you after giving it a lot of thought, so that’s great! I am a Lifetime member & will have maintained for 3 years this month…though I did it online first so didn’t reach actual lifetime status until I went to meetings & lost more last summer. I will probably never leave WW because it works for me…BUT I have also credited my loss & maintenance to being vegan, which essentially eliminates 99% of processed & junk food, & a focus on strength training instead of cardio, since muscle burns more calories than fat. My weight recently went up over my goal weight range when I stopped tracking points or thinking about what I eat whatsoever for three whole months plus cut way back on strength to focus more on running. I know that tracking & strength is the right recipe for me, so I’m back at it. Good luck with MFP!

  5. Mama Ames says:

    I have heard a lot of people have problens staying on WW after they reached goal. Finding what works for you is most important. You are such an inspiration. Best if luck with MFP.

    • Thanks! At our local meetings there were never many maintainers, which made it harder to have conversations about maintenance issues.

      • Mama Ames says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I love Weight Watchers, but I’m sure they ARE aware that others feel this way. From a business standpoint, I wonder if they haven’t invested $$ in assisting lifetime members more because lifetime members are no longer an income source for them…unless they purchase products.

      • On my more cynical days, I think you’re right unfortunately. It seemed like every time I said I had no interest in working for Weight Watchers (everyone was always very excited to offer me that), all interest in me as a Lifetime member and whatever that might entail completely disappeared.

        On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 2:12 PM, A Little More Each Day wrote:


  6. […] whether you’re paying money for something like Weight Watchers (see why I chose WW here and why I switched here) or just paying attention to the latest fad on Facebook. Do your research and know that research […]

  7. […] 6 months into my experiment with My Fitness Pal (see why I made the switch from Weight Watchers here) and it seems like a good time to stop and reassess things. At this point in the weight loss game, […]

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