Why Weight Watchers works for me!

I have am active Weight Watchers member and have been for 3+ years.  Without the tools, tips and tricks I have learned with many thanks to the Weight Watchers program and my original leader (Carol) I admit I would not have achieved the success I have found today.

I joined Weight Watchers because I KNEW it worked.  I was a member when I was around 18 years old and I lost around 40-50 pounds.  I stopped going for one reason or another (I was a member with my mother then – who I would like to note before she got pregnant with me lost over 100 pounds following the program).
The #1 reason Weight Watchers has worked for me is because I believed in the program from the very start.  Even if you start out as a mediocre believer – my only advise is to fake it ‘til you make it because believing in the program AND yourself makes the journey that much easier.  The program is very versatile; it fits into any lifestyle because there are absolutely NO foods that are off limits.  This is all about a lifestyle change – it’s not a diet.  There are no pre-packaged foods you live off of (admitted there are frozen dinners available but those are there for convenience for members, they are not a meal plan), you eat what you love (but the key to this is learning to eat it in moderation and being honest when you track it).
When starting a weight loss journey we should all remember that our journeys should be catered to us.  Since we are all individuals, we take things in stride because at the end of the day we are all different.  I personally dived right into the tools given to me from Weight Watchers and went chopping away.  Admittedly I was a little grumpy for a few weeks (because I went from eating everything and anything I wanted down to a regimented meal plan).  But I knew if I started it not 100% I would procrastinate until I got to that full 100%.  I know of members who cater the program to themselves so they can get acclimated with particular aspects so they don’t get overwhelmed and quit.  I say do whatever works for you, to help you get initially comfortable with the program.  Conquer the bigger aspects – whether that is portion, weighing/measuring, or even eliminating some “problem” foods/drinks (meaning the foods that tend to make you binge).  Once you got those key areas under control, the rest if a breeze and it’ll be the best decision you’ve made in your life.
I admit, even three years in, I still find I have some “trigger foods” that pop up from time to time that I am more comfortable having at a distance than right on hand in my kitchen.  It’s not always the same thing and sometimes trigger foods just happen randomly, even though I’ve never found them to be a trigger before. By the way – if you’re not sure what a trigger food is – it’s a food that when you have just a bite, you simply cannot stop and you will eat it until it’s essentially gone or thrown away.
Because this is a lifestyle and not a diet, I do go out to eat, I eat pizza fairly regularly (it’s my favorite food and if someone told me I could never eat pizza again I don’t know what I’d do) and I do enjoy my sweets. But the difference between me now (as a Weight Watchers member) and before is I enjoy the foods I love and crave in moderation.  I look up the points plus values – and if I cannot find them I do my best guest judgment and I enjoy what I eat.  No guilt because nothing is off limits.  One of the biggest changes is, I cook a lot more now than I have ever in my life. I actually prefer to cook my own means than I do go out and buy them because in my mind I know exactly what’s going onto it and I know the points plus values.  I love food, I would have never become a Weight Watchers member if I didn’t, but cooking gives me a nice, enjoyable outlet to experiment with new foods and flavors.
And remember … if you don’t tell someone something is a Weight Watchers recipe, 9 times out of 10, they’ll never know.  Just a little helpful tip!
If you’ve started your journey – how did you personally incorporate Weight Watchers into your lifestyle? 

Believe in yourself & anything is possible

One very important thing I learned very early into my weight loss journey was that I had to believe in myself. If I didn’t believe in me — who else in their right mind would?  If I didn’t care enough to believe I could do it, I would never be where I am today.  Even if you’re struggling with “liking” yourself in the current stage you are in — fake it ’til you make it.  You’ll get there as long as you don’t let negative thoughts, feelings, etc., get in the way and burden your path forward.

It’s so very important to believe in yourself.  Belief in yourself will get you anywhere and everywhere – it can push you through a workout, it can push you across that finish line, it can assist in you losing 2 pounds in a week. It can get you through a birthday party NOT having any cake or if you do want cake a small sliver.  Belief in myself has made my journey SO much easier because I feel as though I am an unstoppable machine — my views are set at that ultimate destination.

It’s the second guessing, the excuses and the sheer inability to believe in yourself and your program that will keep you from finding success.  Not believing in yourself will push you into “cheat days” and not tracking and eventually giving up all together.  As I have said to many … believe in you first and believe in the program because anything is possible as long as you believe.

Keep your head up and your mind right!

Never be afraid to ask for what you want at a restaurant!

Never be afraid to ask for what you want at a service establishment. You are paying for a serving & you have a right to get what you pay for. If a service establishment refuses to provide you what you request (as long as it’s not unreasonable — don’t ask them to go fetch a fish out of the deep sea that they don’t even have on the menu) calmly get up and leave. They’ll get the hint. Now onto a scenario I stumbled upon this Valentine’s Day:

So, my boyfriend and I stayed at a hotel on the beach yesterday for Valentine’s Day. We got a great Groupon deal which came with a $10 credit to be used at the hotels restaurant (which we have eaten at before and I knew there was 1 dish that I really enjoyed — chicken kabobs). When we got there, the chicken kabobs were no longer part of the newly revised menu (which is not reflected on their website BTW). So being the stringent WW person that I am I asked if they could tell me the sirloin weight in ounces (so I could justify the points because even 3 years in I’m not good with judging portions — the hand thing doesn’t work for me because I have BIG hands – damn those Jamaican genes lol). I was told 8 ounces and I felt that wasn’t worth it … so I asked if there was any way I could have just a plain ole piece of grilled chicken with a plain baked potato and plain steamed veggies (instead of the mashed potato and sauteed chicken monstrosity on the menu that I would be so uncomfortable trying to eat). My waitress walked outback, came back like 5 minutes later and was like “No. You have to order off the menu.”

Now, mind you, there’s a plain ole piece of chicken on a SANDWICH bread on the other page, and she tried to tell me different seafood dishes (lobster mac and cheese) was delish. Okay, I don’t eat seafood, aside from an occasional piece of fried fish, and I’m asking for grilled chicken and you’re telling me about mac and cheese? I looked at my boyfriend (who was starving btw lol) and he said “C’mon lets drive around we can find some place that’ll give you what you want.” I wanted to squeeze him. So we got up and left and after walking by the front desk the girl was a little surprised because she knew we had reservations. So I asked her if there was any restaurants around that were open (because it’s winter and a lot of places shut down for the winter months) & she asked me what happened. I let her know I was told I HAD to order off the menu and she said that’s not true so she got the big guy who runs the restaurant and the hotels food. He came out and told me that grilled chicken is not an unreasonable accommodation and told me and my BF to please come back in and dinner would be on him.

So with this, I say, never be afraid to ask for WHAT YOU WANT at a restaurant. You are paying for a service and if they won’t accommodate your request — simply don’t give them your business. Pre-WW I would have said “Screw it, I’ll get this and swallow it down” but now? No thanks. Give me my grilled chicken, it’s what I planned for LOL!!

Shannon’s experience: Weight Watchers – One Amazing Day


I had the immense pleasure of sharing my weight loss journey with a group of individuals at a Weight Watchers One Amazing Day event yesterday.  When I was asked to participate I admit I was scared to death and part of me wanted to back out.  I’m not the most comfortable with public speaking and being heavier practically my entire life I’ve always slid into the room (as unnoticed as possible), mingled in the back and quickly exited.  So the thought of being the center of attention panicked me just a little bit.  But the new me stepped into place and said “You’re passionate about this and a lot of people tell you you’re an inspiration to them.  Do this.  Do it for them.  Do it for yourself.  YOU deserve this!”  So I did it – I signed up and took the 1 o’clock spot.

I know I am not at my goal weight, but I have lost a significant amount of weight over the time I have been a member.  I openly participate at my home meeting and am not afraid to share my advice, my thoughts and any tips/tricks that I have found that work for myself.  If they work for me, they may very well work for someone else.  So my philosophy is why not share?
I joined Weight Watchers in February 2010 because I wanted change and for the first time in my life and most importantly: I wanted it for myself.  I’ve always been the heavier kid as early as my days in kindergarten all the way through college.  I was unhappy with my size and because I was an emotional eater, I would eat to pacify my feelings about my looks (while I would also eat to pacify any emotion I was feeling – happy, sad, angry, elated) – which only aided in me gaining more and more weight.  Family and friends would tell me I should consider losing weight because I had my whole life ahead of me – but I wasn’t in a mind frame where I wanted to take advice from anyone.  I was comfortably wearing blinders and those blinders did not allow me to SEE myself.  I knew the outside world could see me but if I didn’t see me, they couldn’t – right?
Months later, I had my “ah-ha moment” when I finally saw myself for the size that I had become (in a photograph).  I also found myself going shopping to buy clothes in a larger size and thought to myself “This is crazy… what am I doing?”  At that point, I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired I had decided that enough was enough – I needed to get healthy for myself and for myself only.  I knew Weight Watchers worked, I had joined with a family member when I was about 18 years old and lost a good amount of weight.  So, keeping my intended journey to myself (because I didn’t want anyone to tell me to join Weight Watchers because if they told me, I wouldn’t have joined – self sabotage at it’s greatest) I joined Weight Watchers on a Thursday afternoon, on my way home from work, and have never looked back.
To date, I have lost 175 pounds on the program.  I’m about 30 pounds away from my goal weight (BMI) and I plan on obtaining that goal weight this year.  It’s been a long, amazing and incredibly rewarding three years.  Weight Watchers has helped me change my life for the better  I’ve embraced this lifestyle change (including my tracking, measuring and weighing) with open arms and have praised the program and how fabulously it works (if you’re willing to work with it).  I’m a healthier, happier and utterly positive person today.  Such a night and day switch from the person I used to be.
So my advice to anyone who is considering joining or even considering giving up – BELIEVE.  Believe in yourself.  Believe in the program.  It works, but you just have to be willing to do the work and work with it.  It’s not something that’s going to eat up all your free time.  Once you get the hang of it and figure out the points for your frequently eaten foods, it becomes second nature.  And as you see results, you’re going to feel more in-tune and you’re going to want to try a little harder to reach that next goal.  My advice to anyone who’s frustrated: BREATHE.  You did not put on your weight in a week.  Think of how long you’ve been the weight you were/are currently.  Realize it takes time – but once you’re on the journey it’s the most fulfilling thing you’ll ever do.  My advice to anyone who’s struggling: RE-EVALUATE.  Dig into the problem area – what are you struggling with?  What are your goals at this current phase of your journey (because they do differ from when you first start).  If you’re bored – switch it up!  Switch up what you’re eating, add an extra 10 minutes of a different activity and remember continue to keep that positive frame of mind.
You will get there; just believe in yourself that you can and that you will … the rest of just a proverbial cake walk.