Several years ago, I acted on a recurring New Year’s Resolution–to lose weight & exercise more. I signed up for Weight Watchers Online for a free trial offer & began following the Points System religiously. Instead of weekly support meetings, I relied on the forums available online at the Weight Watchers website. I lost 50 pounds while on Weight Watchers, & learned quite a bit about nutrition, balancing my meals, and exercise. However, I got “stuck” at that weight & became frustrated when my weight didn’t budge for almost a year, no matter what I tried. While I gave up on the program itself, I continue to use many of the tips that I learned on it.
One of the most important things I learned on Weight Watchers was the Points formula. Almost everything you can possibly put in your mouth had an assigned number of points. When I was on Weight Watchers, I was given a certain number of points that I could eat per day. Any remaining points were “bonus” points, that I could save up that week for a special occasion. I usually saved up those points to treat myself to something special on Saturday nights if I met my goals for that week.
Adapting to the diet was much easier than I thought it would be. I quickly fell into a habit that I continue to follow: reading every label of everything I buy, focusing on the number of calories, and the percentages of fat & fiber. To this day, I still walk away from any item that either has a very high fat content or uses up 7 or more points for a single serving.
Losing weight at first was quite easy. I lost 7 pounds on the first week alone, 5 the next, but afterwards, lost about 3 pounds a week. I eagerly began charting my weight loss each week, rejoicing as my weight continued to go down. Occasionally, my weight would remain the same, or go up 1 or 2 pounds, but it always corrected itself within a couple of weeks. At some point however, I hit more than a plateau. My body simply stopped losing weight after 50 pounds. I tried everything to break the plateau, including suggestions from my doctor to eat different things & change my exercise routine. After 6 months of this, however, even my doctor was stumped & I became discouraged. Eventually, I stopped charting my weight, stopped counting the points of everything I put in my mouth, & even stopped exercising.
Despite this set back, I still believe the Weight Watchers program is a good one to follow. Perhaps this year, I get the inspiration to jump back into the program & lose the weight for good this time.