Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Weigh in and PointsPlus Update

First of all, our friend finished the Boston Marathon this morning in 2:55:56!!  Woohoo!  That is just amazing to me.  Wow!  This was his first ever marathon, too.

So I didn't lose any weight this week, but I also didn't gain any so it could be worse.  The problem is I'm getting discouraged.  It is apparent that I'm at a plateau or in a slump of some kind.  Everyday for months I weigh between 155 and 157 (with a few weights higher or lower) and I'm getting tired of it.  Last week, I had 5 great workouts including just under 14 miles of running.  I thought the added workouts would help me bust through, but that was not to be.

After several months following the new WW PointsPlus plan, I've come to a few conclusions.  As I posted before, I was not very good about tracking my points from the plan's start date until January/February.  Since then I have been tracking fairly well.  While I have had a few weeks that I've gone over my points by like 5, I haven't had any major overeating weeks.  What I have been doing, though, is using all the daily, weekly and activity points and it's become clear that I cannot consume that much food and still lose.  I don't want to blame the plan, but I have become a little bit annoyed that I have no choice but to follow the PointsPlus plan.  I know, I know, it's not just the plan.  I know how to eat and how much because I was doing that and successfully lost over 75 pounds.  The problem is, I know the old WW plan like the back of my hand, but I've been trying to forget all that and learn the new points values.  But something just isn't adding up for me.  The points values for most things are higher and so is my daily and weekly points allowance.  Activity points earned are also higher.  But if I use all those points, I'm not losing.  On the old plain, I could use all my points and still lose.  And that's what I loved about it!  I might not lose big, but I would still lose and I certainly would not gain!  I haven't taken the time to calculate the points based on the new and old plans to see the difference because I just don't want to.  That would take time and effort and what was always so nice about counting points is that it was so easy and effortless.  I also didn't have to play and trial and error games to see how many points I could actually consume while still losing weight, however, that seems not to be the case anymore.  Ugh!

This week I'll be experimenting a little by trying to cut points out of my days.  My goal for this week is to not use any weekly points and very little activity points, if any.  I feel like I need to shock my system and kick start the losing process again.  That first week of any diet plan always shows large losses and if I cut down from 42 points or so each day to 29, that should be a pretty big shocker for the ol' system, right?  It might sound drastic, but it's really not.  29 points is my daily allowance and according to the experts at WW, that should be how many points I consume for maximum (healthy) weight loss.  What I don't understand is how 29 is the lowest number of daily points while I still have 20 pounds to lose.  Under the old system, I usually lost a daily point or two every 10 pounds or so, but on the PointsPlus plan I'm at the bottom already.  How can that be?

I feel like I've given myself ample time to embrace this new program and I just haven't.  I think the changes are awesome for people who are just starting out and have no idea how to eat healthy.  By putting more emphasis on eating whole foods including fruits and veggies, they have really added to the overall plan and made it less appealing to fill your day with processed low cal/low fat junk.  Brand new members of this plan will learn way more healthy habits than under the old plan.

But for this old dog, I'm not loving these new tricks.  I want my old plan back and I'm feeling a bit resentful that I have to switch from something that was working to something brand new.  I still think there is a caloric component to weight loss and although it might be old school, I want calories to be part of my equation.  PointsPlus takes away this component and adds a more complicated points calculation.  I can't look at a food label and automatically calculate points.  Now it's 4 nutritional components instead of 3 and calories isn't one of them.  I cannot change my mindset on this as I know weight loss to be calories in vs. calories out.  Period.  I don't apologize for thinking this way; it is the facts.

I am seriously considering switching to a straight calorie counting plan, but I'm willing to give WW one more chance.  I just don't want to have to think so much about calculations.  When I first started WW when they introduced points, it's was new and fun.  Then point calculating became old hat.  The new calculations seem like work and effort.  I'm too lazy for that!  I always felt like WW was a tool that would help me reach my goals.  Now it sort of feels like an obstacle.  And it also sort of feels like a gimmick, a diet corporation like any other.  They do not stand out to me like before.  I used to find inspiration in the success stories, now every one of them begins with "this person lost weight using a prior Weight Watcher plan".  I'll be honest, I did have a dream of being a WW success story, but not so much any more.  It has lost it's allure. 

This morning's run:
5K in 34 minutes
I wasn't feeling it today and almost didn't get out of bed.  I had trouble sleeping last night and I was awake several times in the night.  When my alarm went off at 5:00, I turned it off and crawled back in bed.  But 5 minutes later the guilt won over, I thought about all those running Boston today, and I trudged downstairs.  It was a slow run, but I did it.  And now my workout is done for the day!  That is a wonderful feeling!


  1. I had a plateau this time last year that lasted close to six months. I gained and lost the same 2 pounds repeatedly, but I'm glad I stuck it out. I eventually reached goal and I've been on maintenance since October.

    As for the new plan, I was skeptical at first, too. I actually gained a bit (never exceeded two pounds over goal, thankfully) the first month or so on it. It eventually clicked with me sometime after the new year, though. For me, it meant ditching all of the processed snacks that I'd relied on with the old points system (the 100 calorie pack cookies, crackers, puddings, muffins, etc). Once I got rid of those, started eating 4-6 points at breakfast for something filling, and eating fruit for snacks, the PP plan suddenly started making sense.

    Give the new plan one more chance, make sure you track and then take a look at how you're spending your points. If it still doesn't work out, then maybe it is time to find a new tool to finish your journey.

    Either way, you're in a much better place than when you started! Good luck!

  2. I feel the same way about already being at 29 points. How can this be possible? I started at 29 so I will never move down. It doesn't make sense.

    But you can do this, Lori! Your body might take a while to adjust to the change but it will.

  3. I do not do WW and have never done it, so I am very ill informed about their program. But...can't you still do the old program? I have seen so many people in blogland say they were giving up on WW (even after losing lots of weight on the old plan) because they didn't like the new plan. Many went to Calorie Counting.
    I don't understand why you can't just keep using your old plan.
    Like I said, I know nothing about there is probably a reason you guys aren't using the old plan...but if you knew the old plan and it worked for you...why can't you just keep following it...and use the meetings just for support :)
    **I really hope this doesn't sound like I am being a smarty-pants...I have honestly been very confused about this :)

  4. I wanted to do the new plan but could not get one of the new calculators. I still have all the items to work the old plan. SO for me I'm staying with the old plan. I know some people dont have the old pamphlet to go by. But I dont throw anything away. Have all the material still for the old plan. I'm sticking with the old. Good Luck on what you decide.

  5. I can follow the old plan if I want to track things manually. I like using the WW iPhone app or my computer to log my foods/exercise and I have always really liked using the etools program. In order to keep using it, you have to switch to the new program. I do still have the old program materials and a calculator so I could do that, but if I can't use the etools app, I'd rather pick a different tracking app for my phone/computer like SparkPeople or Livestrong.

    I'm not ditching it yet. I'm just going to cut point first and see how it goes.

  6. Gotcha! I get it now :) Those e-tools are so helpful. I used Sparkpeople for years!!

    Thanks for explaining to me :) I have been wondering about it for so long(since people started complaining about the new program, but I have been too shy to ask about it :)

  7. You know what might help? Trying something new! Have you tried a spin class? I absolutely LOVE my spin classes and I don't think I've sweated more in an hour than when I'm spinning. It's a great, intense cardio...but it also loosens your legs and make them feel ready for running.

    Another thought... instead of fruits, eat vegetables for snacks. I realized that I was getting a ton of carbs during the day just from fruit. Even though fruit is healhty, I think that I'll swap at least one of my fruits during the day for baby carrots or pepper slices.