You know what’s really annoying? Skinny people bragging about losing weight. Sorry, but I’m pretty proud of myself for losing 18 pounds– about 10% of my body weight. In fact, before the diet, I was technically overweight according to the BMI (185 pounds and 6 feet tall). Actually, I would often point to myself being categorized as overweight as implicitly demonstrating the flaws in the BMI. That said, there was a little more around the middle than I like and I was starting to get in danger of crossing the line I’m determined never to cross– waist size larger than inseam (34 x 34 feeling tight when I started; I’m now wearing 32 inch waist shorts). So, inspired by what I’d been reading in diet studies and the very strong recommendation of a fellow social scientist, I started Weight Watchers 12 weeks ago.
Wow, do I love Weight Watchers!! It was not exactly easy, but so much less hard than I expected. Basically, Weight Watchers has taken everything I’ve read about in nutrition science and everything I’ve read about with the psychology of eating and incorporated it into their plan. You get a certain number of “points plus” to eat per day, plus a bonus 49 to use over the week as you see fit. Follow that, and you will lose weight. In my case, tracking the points of every single thing I ate was hugely enlightening. I realized I had been totally doing myself in my mindless snacking (mostly cereal, nuts, and the various partially eaten snack portions of chips, etc., the kids always leave sitting around). I also loved that there was nothing this diet made you give up. By tracking points, it simply meant that an indulgence one place meant more self discipline somewhere else. Thus, I still lost all this weight while having pizza for lunch 3-4 times per week over the whole time.
Another awesome feature– most fruits and vegetables are worth 0 points. I have truly never been healthier in my life. There was a time in my life when I hardly had any fruits or vegetables in my diet (in college I believe I literally would have had scurvy if not for vitamin supplements). Now, in a typical day I snack on two apples, a handful of carrot sticks, have a salad before dinner, and fresh pineapple for desert.
The traditional weight watchers model involves meetings with other people on the diet for support. I did the weight watchers on-line version and relied on Kim (who decided to start two days after me and is also doing well on the diet) for support. It’s about $18/month for the on-line version. Best money I’ve spent this year.
So, mostly, this post is just to say that Weight Watchers is really a terrific diet plan. If you’ve got any weight to lose, I whole-heartedly endorse it.