I recently joined Weight Watchers. Again. After quitting four years ago. I had originally signed up to (surprise!) lose weight. But this was in response to my blood pressure being elevated—not super high, not enough to warrant medication, but higher than it should be. In total, I lost 18 pounds. But then I started to plateau and lost interest. I figured I could just as well on my own.
But we all know how that goes; at least, I do.
So after hearing that some friends recently joined, and after finding the Filo Dieters United Facebook page, I decided it was time to give it a whirl again. Plus, I knew I had gained most of that 18 pounds back. I just became so fed up with myself; something had to give. (I cannot link to the Facebook group without being logged in. But search for it, and you shall find it.)
Upon signing up, I realized they still had my log in information from the last time I joined. I was surprised that although I had gained back almost all of what I had lost to begin with, I did not gain more than I started with. So there is a silver lining. I find that tracking food is so much easier now with the apps. I can scan items at the grocery store to see what the point value is; I can save WW recipes to my iPad; I can have all-day access, rather than having to wait until I get home to look up point values in a book. All in all, my experience so far has been good. I’m a little less than a week into it, and I have not had to “weigh in” yet. So I may at some point feel different, but for now, this is enough.
While I am using the WW website and app for tracking my food and activity, I still keep note of all of that in my planner as well. One reason is because I schedule my daily activity based on what I’m doing each day. I have to see what I have time for, what I want to include. Each day I do something different than the day before. The idea is to create muscle confusion so that they don’t get used to certain activities. When I was meeting with a personal trainer, this is what she told me to do. And since I messed up my knees by running everyday, I feel this is a good way to keep them in shape. I have noticed that after completing physical therapy for them, they feel much better when I’m active. The idea here is to keep the muscles surrounding my knees strong. That’s the only way they will feel good.
In my planner, I write down each meal after I’ve eaten. Then, when I have time, I add that same information to the app. When I have done that, I put a check mark next to the items in my planner that have been added to the app. So the end of each day, I make a note of how many daily points I’ve used, as well as activity points, and weekly points. Here’s a visual example:
Yes, this is more work, but it allows me to double check that I’ve gotten everything down. And, should the app ever fail, I still know how much I’ve eaten in a day or week. I don’t know that I will always do this, but it works for now.
Before I joined this time, I wanted to start myself off in the right frame of mind. Of course, we always want to be healthy. But it’s something that we can take for granted if we haven’t had to face any big issues. I didn’t want to lose sight of that. Plus, I want to keep in mind why I want to be healthy. It just helps to keep me focused and centered, as well as keep my eye on daily habits without losing sight of the big picture, the end result.
So I created a Health Inspiration Book. Surprisingly, I did not choose a Filofax for this project. I had a Franklin Covey Compass binder hanging out from when I tried that system.
Of course, I couldn’t find the notebook that originally came with it, probably long gone. However, I stopped off at Staples and picked up a Martha Stewart spiral bound notebook—it’s the perfect size (though a little shorter than the FC would have been).
I started with a list of reasons why I want to lose weight.
Whenever I feel frustrated or want to give up, I will return to this list as a reminder of why I want to keep going, no matter what I tell myself in the heat of the moment.
I stuck a MS Avery tab (apparently, these are no longer for sale) on the page where I started my notes—starting weight, goals, achievements, random thoughts about my process.
This is my first set of notes, the day I rejoined WW.
I don’t know how often I will update my notes. I suspect at least once a week, upon weight-in, though I guess that will depend on the results. If I stay the same one week, that might not get a written note, unless I thought I did extremely well or should have seen some sort of result. Only time will tell exactly how I will keep notes.
Between my list of reasons why and my first page of notes, I have visual reminders of why I want to lose weight. Pictures speak volumes, and I’m a very visual person. I can really relate to an idea if I can see its meaning portrayed. So that’s what I’ve done. My cutouts are from the Title Nine and Athleta catalogs. I love both of these catalogs because they show beautiful healthy women being very active. The clothes are awesome too!
I started with an overall feel for what I want:
“Tomboy tough, princess pretty” says it all really. That’s what I want.
Looking at the details of what that means to me, we have the following:
When you join Weight Watchers and supply your current weight, they set your first goal for you—mine is to lose 5% of my weight (this might be the first goal for everyone, I’m not sure). I just decided (while writing this) that my reward for achieving this first goal is to buy myself one piece of clothing from Title Nine and Athleta each. I have long wanted to purchase something from both of these companies, but the prices are a little higher than I like to spend. Plus, I have always felt that my overweight body undeserved of the beautiful clothes these beautiful women model. However, (at the risk of sounding hokey) the reality is that I’m beautiful too, in my own way, and since they make most of the items in my size, there is no reason not to purchase something.
I just added this goal to my notes page. You can see that each line of my notes pages is color-coded. My reward note is written is orange. And when I make notation of my first goal that will go in green signifying mission accomplished.
As an aside, the FC binder also has a slot on the back cover for a notepad, which I have included, though I don’t know if I’ll use it much.
All in all, I am quite happy with my health system setup. If you are thinking of starting your own weight loss program, I can’t recommend the Filo Dieters group enough. Everyone is so caring and supportive. It’s a great way to get tips and tricks.
I will randomly post on my system, goals, and successes. Hopefully it won’t be too long before announcing my Goal #1 reward!
*I am in no way affiliated with any of the products or companies mentioned in this post.