Finding the Relevance

I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers for six years now.  I feel it’s the best weight-loss plan out there for several reasons:

1)  No food is off-limits; this teaches you portion control
2) There’s no blame on the program; it’s all about recognizing choices and learning to make the healthier ones.
3) There’s so much support at the meetings.  People have gone/are going through the exact same things you are/have.

There are many more reasons to like the program, but those are my top three.  Another one is that–while Weight Watchers has one main structure–the program also realizes that not everyone is built the same way, and there are allowances for that.  There’s enough flexibility to allow each person to find workable solutions to the program.  My meeting leader, Julie, is amazing for helping people find those workable solutions.  She’s been a member since the 70’s, and knows every emotional roadblock, excuse, and reason that can come up.

For those of you who don’t know the program, the basic gist of it is that you have to track your daily food points.  Not calories . . . food points.  The program has already done the math on nearly every product a person consumes.  And if you can’t find something in their seemingly endless list, there’s a handy calculator where you plug in the calories, fat, fiber and protein grams and voila!  You see how many points are in a serving of the food you just entered.

So, track your food points.  That’s it.  You get a certain allowance of points a day, and even a cache of extra points to use throughout the week.  You can either use those points to splurge one day on a meal that you really want, or you can portion them out any way you want to.  Like I said, flexibility.  You can also gain more food points by exercising, but it’s not necessary.  There’s a woman from my group who lost nearly 100 pounds simply by eating healthier and tracking her points.  I think she went on a walk once a week, but it wasn’t anything too strenuous.

When I first started the program, back in 2006, I was GREAT about tracking my points.  I got halfway to my goal weight in the first six months on the program.  Then, I hit the roadblocks.  Once I started reaching a point where I was going to have to make tougher food choices, all my emotional reasons for using food as a crutch came roaring to the forefront.  I stopped tracking as diligently as I had been before, and have been tracking sporadically ever since.

I’ve struggled to get back to regular tracking, because as I’ve said, I’ve seen the results of doing so first hand.  I KNOW it works, if you just do it.  I’ve got reminders on my work calendar to track–two of them to be exact–but I often end up dismissing the reminders, and not doing the work.  I’ve tried so many things to get me back on track with . . . well, tracking, but none have stuck. I recently asked Julie for some suggestions to help me want to track again, and she basically told me that I have to find the relevance.  Find out what will trigger my determination so much that I’ll WANT to track my food points.

This phrase stayed with me long after I’d gone home for the night.  Where would I find the relevance, I wondered.  Some would think that getting married would be relevant enough.  And while, yes, I want to look amazing on my wedding day, I have the most wonderful man who thinks I’m beautiful, whether I’m as large as I am now, or lose a bunch of weight.  So that’s not applicable.  Someone else suggested that I might find relevance in wanting to set a healthy example for Athena, but that just sounds like a guilt trip waiting to happen.  I don’t do guilt trips.

I’m not sure what exactly will be the catalyst for me to jump back on the tracking bandwagon, but now that I’m on the search for it, I’m sure it won’t be long before I find it.

Have you struggled with weight loss?  If so, what was the defining moment when you realized you were done with the excuses?  What made it relevant for you?


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dolly Chamberlin
    May 18, 2012 @ 05:24:31

    I have watched you struggle in many different aspects of your growing, & I just want to say I know you will find what you are looking for & apply it. You have always been one to face the issue forward. I will just reiterate YOU ARE WORTH IT!! :} Once you set your mind, you are on your way. We all slip & slide from time to time, but once you have regained your focus, you’ll be on your way again.
    I want to thank you for the tribute you gave me last blog, & am offering you that same support & belief in you. LOVES 🙂


  2. Maddy
    May 18, 2012 @ 09:56:26

    I’m a skinny one, but both my mum and my sister have struggled with this for as long as I can remember and it seems so unfair. For my sister it was her daughter’s wedding and ‘the dress’ that helped her stick to it. For my mum it was increasing health issues. The only practical suggestion I can make is to increase output rather than limit input – although I’m congenitally allergic to exercise of any kind, I find walking the dog every day is fun. Any chance of adding a pet to the household?


    • Alyx Morgan
      May 18, 2012 @ 10:14:46

      Unfortunately, I’m allergic to animal dander, so walking a dog is definitely out.

      I get my exercise – I just finished a 10-week boot camp in fact – which is good, because I’d probably be much larger than I am now if I didn’t. My issue is paying attention to what I’m eating. I don’t want to think about it; I just want to be able to inherently know when I’ve had enough, & am eating the right things. But in order to get to that knowledge, I need to track what I eat.

      Thanks for the suggestions, Maddy, & for stopping by today.


  3. Dana Fredsti
    May 18, 2012 @ 10:12:27

    I have struggled with my weight and body image all my life, including being bulemic when i was younger and having a really screwed up sense of what I really looked like. What I found worked for me finally, after gaining forty pounds over the course of a few years when I moved up to SF, was knowing my health was going to be affected…and I just didn’t feel good about myself. So for me, vanity also played in. But my health was the main thing. Not setting a healthy example, but wanting to have the best quality of life possible for as long as possible. And exercise is something I began to enjoy more as I dropped off the weight (I used, which tracks calories, btw… I needed to be confronted with exactly how much food I really was eating each day in order to “see the light) because I gained more mobility and flexibility. I don’t agree that it’s enough to just limit intake. Sure, you might drop off the weight, but exercise and the endorphins it releases add so much to feeling good, both physically and emotionally, and I find it helps me reduce my comfort food cravings… and also allows me to indulge those regularly enough to not feel deprived. I hope you find your relevance… heck, I know you will!


    • Alyx Morgan
      May 18, 2012 @ 10:21:41

      I think you hit one of my nails on the head, Dana. The craving of comfort foods. I really do LOVE the taste of food (especially salty ones), & it was always hard for me to not give in to my cravings. In fact, the very thought of “denying” my cravings makes me want them more. I’m learning & getting better at saying “no” though, so maybe I’m just at an in between stage, where I’m doing things right, but not seeing the results as quickly as I want to.

      I’ll check out, but if it also requires me to track what I eat, I’m not sure it’ll do me much good. It’s like I have this aversion to writing down what I eat…like it’s one more chore I just don’t want to think about.

      Thanks for stopping by, & for the words of encouragement, lady! 🙂


  4. Terry Shames
    May 18, 2012 @ 20:48:21

    Alyx, for years this has been a hard part of my life. I know how much better I feel physically and emotionally when I am 20 pounds lighter–so how come I can’t do what needs to be done? I know how to do it. So why? I just say this to let you know you aren’t alone. If you find the answer, let me know :).


    • Alyx Morgan
      May 18, 2012 @ 22:05:50

      Yes, Terry, that’s exactly what goes through my head from time to time. I realize I’m not the only one – otherwise Weight Watchers wouldn’t be so popular – but thanks for commiserating with me. 🙂


  5. KW
    May 19, 2012 @ 11:40:45

    I finally had success with weight loss when I saw a hypnotherapist who taught me to eat more slowly and pay attention to how full I felt (among other things). She had this system where zero was “I’m starving!” and two was “my stomach is feeling pretty empty, time to eat.” The idea was if you wait to zero, you’ll gorge yourself. A three was “I could eat, but I’m not quite ready so I’ll have water.” Five was “comfortably full so STOP EATING NOW.” Anything over a feeling of five was too full, verboten. I don’t think hypnosis is for everyone, and it only works if you really want to lose weight.


    • Alyx Morgan
      May 19, 2012 @ 15:22:59

      I’ve actually toyed with the idea of hypnosis, KW. I might have to look into that some more. I’m glad it worked well for you. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by today.


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