Weight Watchers: When Points Don’t Matter

I knew this all along, but it really came home to me this past weekend.  Sometimes, you can eat within your points and smugly think you’re doing so well….and gain.

It’s not just the weird and frustrating way the scale can lie sometimes when my body retains fluid for whatever reason.  The FOOD I choose to eat does MATTER.  Points — or calories — are not created equal.  Those choices affect my weigh in.

I chose to go back to Weight Watchers because I was tired of having a near-panic attack because I ate something that wasn’t on the “allowed” list.  Struggling all the time.  Making two separate meals everytime I had to cook.  I’ve been on diets that involved no salt.  No carbs.  No meat.  No sugar.  No fat.  You name it.  I didn’t want to be that exclusive.  I wanted to eat with my family on a normal basis and not have to worry that I’d just blown it.

In that regard, Weight Watchers is perfect.  Most of the time, we all eat the same thing.  I just choose parts of the main meal to replace with something slightly healthier.  More and more, the family is also joining me.  Tonight, Middle ate sauteed cabbage and loved it.  That’s 4 out of 5!  Just one more monster to convert…

But I blew it this weekend.  The stress of That Man’s job situation got to me, combined with travel to the in laws and frustration because I didn’t have time to get my workout in before heading out.  I ate my healthy brunch at home while the family ate fast food in the car on the way over.  I made the mistake of not taking some healthy snacks to tie me over… and dinner couldn’t come quickly enough.  I was starving.

And out came the chips and dip.  Sigh.  My old nemesis.

I resisted for at least an hour, but I just got hungrier and hungrier.  One taste of that evil salty goodness and the old addiction kicked in.  I wanted more salt.  More fat.  It was soooo good.  I made myself leave the area and managed to avoid it the rest of the night, but the damage was done.

I indulged in chips again on Sunday while watching movies with the family.  Then we ordered in pizza.  Sigh.

I counted EVERYTHING.  I had to guessimate on a few things, but I did the best I could.  I had the activity points to cover everything, limited myself to only two pieces of pizza, and thought I was okay.  I didn’t even touch my weeklies.  People eat all their APs and weeklies all the time, right?

Yeah, but not with a SALT fest.

(Top that off with a trip to see Brave last night.  That Man couldn’t pass on the popcorn.  I had to listen to that endless munching and resist.  I did it, but man, it was hell after all that salty evil deliciousness I’d allowed back onto my tastebuds.)

So this was week #2 that I saw a 2 lb gain.  That’s right, I’m up 4 pounds in two weeks.  Do you know how long it’ll take me to lose 4 pounds again?  Probably 4-6 weeks.  I’m so mad at myself I could cry.  I know it’s just fluid retention.  I know it’s not really 4 pounds of fat.  But it’ll still take me weeks to get it off again.

On the bright side, I am still managing to do Power 90.  I only made 4 days in a row (instead of 6 as the program specifies) but as sore as I was, I needed the weekend to recover.  I’ve made it 2 days this week.  Even if I can only manage 5 days a week and skip the weekends, that’ll still be a really good goal until life settles down.

I know what the stressor was.  Looking back, I can see the signs.  I don’t know what I could have done to prevent it, but I know working out would have helped.  Next time, if we have to be late for an event, then we’ll just have to be late.  If nothing else, I have to get my workout in!

There are still chips in the house, but hopefully I’ve got the lid clamped back down and my willpower is fully in place.  It’s so funny–the family can indulge in ice cream all the time and it doesn’t tempt me.  Birthday cake.  Even donuts.  Very little temptation.  But oh man the chips.  It doesn’t matter what kind.  Plain.  Cheetos.  Fritos.  I can sometimes handle them in small measured amounts, but when the stress is too high, I can’t.  I can’t even see the open bag on the counter (a huge no no but the monsters continue to forget), I have to really physically rein myself in and get that evil bag shut and put in the cupboard.

Out of sight.  Out of mind.  The points may fit in my plan, but the salt is crack for me.  I just can’t risk it.

8 thoughts on “Weight Watchers: When Points Don’t Matter

  1. Hi Joely,

    I’m at approximately week 20 or so of WW. I’ve lost almost 29 lbs. And I know what you mean about salt, being hungry, and not keeping appropriate snacks available (especially while traveling). I went up and down for about 4 weeks until I finally got it into my head that salt was my enemy. And that I absolutely needed to plan for traveling and eating out. I know how frustrating that is when you think about how long it takes to lose lbs you’ve gained on those tough weeks. You have the right attitude. And to quote my little sister, who went back to WW when I started (she was a lifetime member for 10 years before her hubby became ill), “Tomorrow is a new day!”.

    • Hi, Kathleen, you’re absolutely right – tomorrow is a new day! I’m going on 18 months with WW this time. I’ve never lost this much before. I’m certainly not going to stop now. It’s just frustrating when I sabotage myself.

      • Bless your heart, Sis. You have to allow that you’re currently in an ungodly stressful situation right now and cut yourself a little slack. You’ve proven you can lose the weight, and you don’t want to backslide too much, but please remember that it’s not entirely your fault. You can’t take credit for a bad situation, only for your renewed determination to not let it continue to drag you down.

        You’ll get back on top of it. You’re doing all the right things. It is water weight, retention from the sodium, and it’ll pass. I’m more sorry that the situation has you so stressed out than that you’ve reacted to it normally. I hope it clears up for you, beloved sister. You deserve smooth sailing.

        I love you!

  2. Keep your chin up !! I just went back to WW too. There will be ups and down and I know this. I can leave the chips it’s the wings and potato skins that call to me! Not planning or getting too hungry is my problem. Good luck !!!

  3. Congrats for realizing that not all points are created equally. Something else to keep in mind is that when you’re exercising hard enough for the muscles to be sore, that can cause you to retain fluid also. It has always driven me wild when I hear scientists claim that losing weight is simple math–consuming more calories than are burned = weight loss. The only people who believe it’s that simple are the ones who’ve never had to lose weight. I’ve got to get back on track and get rid of some of what I’m carrying, or I’m going to wind up spending my “golden years” as an invalid.

    • Robin, that’s it exactly. It’s NOT as simple as burning more calories than you intake. If that were the case any idiot could do it. Not all calories are created equal, and not all bodies are as efficient as some scientist seems to think they are.

  4. Oh, I LOVE the salty/crunchy! I just don’t buy it anymore (and since I do all the grocery shopping, no one gets any). Even with the bump up, I still think you’re doing GREAT and please remember that we’re going through an awful heat spell right now so *maybe* that combined with the salt helped you retain water weight. Heck, a couple of weeks ago I went up 6lbs in one DAY and didn’t eat even close to badly, was just heat. Yeah, it took me a couple of weeks to flush it out again, but it’s gone and yours will be gone too. You know what to do and, sweetie, I am so, so proud of you and the Power 90 and how far you’ve come with WW.

    One day at a time, no one’s perfect, and I bet if you up your water intake for a couple of days those extra pounds will just ‘flush’ away. Hang in there, you’re gonna do great!! {{huggs}}

  5. What is bad is those of us who have yo-yo dieted actually need less calories than those of us who have been at the same weight without losing weight. In other words a 215 pound women who recently gained 50 pounds cannot eat the same amount of calories as someone who has been 215 pounds their entire life.

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