So here's the thing. Remember when I told you that I was on a "diet"? Well, I've been using the Weight Watchers Points+ program for about 5 weeks now. I'd say that I've had relative success in the "weight loss" aspect of this plan, but that relative success is also matched by what I would consider to be failure in other areas.
The measure of my own personal "success" is not related to a number on the scale.
I can't deny the fact that I've had my first few "binging" episodes in recent memory during the past 5 weeks. Not to say that I've gone into full-on 'eat everything in sight' mode, but I definitely did decide to eat the last 4 Girl Scouts Tagalongs last night simply because they were the last 4 Girl Scouts Tagalongs.
Maybe it's subtle, but it seems as though I'm covertly putting my ED hat back on.
It's not cool, man.
I've been focusing more lately on building muscle, so I reverted to many of the foods that I ate back in the day because I liked them and they made me feel good when I was lifting weights (a.k.a...doing more than just running).
- Ezekiel Bread (Cinnamon Raisin toasted was my favorite breakfast)
- Sprouted Grain Bagels
- Whole Grain Bread
- Cottage Cheese
- Peanut Butter (can't live without it)
Without going into a full tutorial on Weight Watchers PP, I'll just tell you that if I ate the following for breakfast:
Sprouted grain bagel
1 slice of cheese
[which is not an unreasonable breakfast], I would have consumed 55% of my points allowance for the day. Yes, I would also potentially be allowed additional points from my weekly points allowance, but if I had already used that allowance, I'd have to choose a different breakfast. Even if what I really wanted was this particular breakfast.
I get it...it's all about calories in versus calories out. If I've had a hungry day today, then it's likely that over the following few days, my appetite won't be so crazy. However, I think that seeing my points dwindling makes me a little Charlie Sheen.
My weekly plan resets every Sunday. Last week, I was extremely hungry on Sunday, and I proceeded to eat through all of my daily points and most of my weekly allowance points. In one fell swoop. It was impressive, actually. The problem was that I set myself up mentally for an entire week of austerity. I knew that I didn't have much to work with, and it caused me to want to eat more.
I'm such a rebel.
In my opinion, the Weight Watchers Points + program promotes what I call "little food". Rather than feeling great about eating a wonderful sprouted grain bagel, I went to the grocery store and purchased this ridiculous Pepperidge Farms "Very Thin" Bread.
This ridiculous bread is approximately the thickness of 1/2 of a regular piece of bread. Each slice of this ridiculous bread is 1 point, as opposed to 4 points for my Ezekiel bread. Ridiculous. Rather than eat a much more nutritious and filling 2 slices of my Ezekiel bread, I could instead just eat 8 slices of this bread. Right?
I hate it. I don't want to choose foods that I wouldn't otherwise eat just because they have less points value. When this problem started cropping up a few weeks ago, I instantly remembered that this was precisely why I hated Weight Watchers the first time around.
Over the past 5 weeks, I've progressively switched from full-fat, full-sugar items on occasion, to non-fat, sugar free items regularly. My eating habits have gone to a place that I didn't want to venture back into.
My other major gripe with the program is that if I weight train vigorously for 40 minutes, I only earn 3 activity points. If I run for that same amount of time, I earn 8 activity points. Now I'm remembering all too well why I stopped weight training and started running in the first place. Weight Watchers turns people into cardio zombies, because the activity points values for weight training don't provide much of an incentive to do it.
I get it...weight training doesn't burn as many calories at once as running. However, over time, the benefits of weight training are greater than running in my opinion (muscle mass, long-term calorie burn, bone density, tight asses, etc.).
All of these conclusions leave me pretty much in a state of indecisiveness. Right now, I'm still using Weight Watchers...but it'll likely be short-lived because it's just not serving me in a positive way.