Hi Roni! I have a quick question. Do you think that if you haven’t followed WW so strictly in the beginning you would be where you are today? You keep saying that diets don’t work, but how did you lose the 70 pounds? By dieting, right? I think that all diets work as long as you follow them. See the long term use is another story.
I LOVE your question as it helps me sort out some thoughts I’ve been having about this very subject.
First, let me answer your first question quickly and simply:
No. I do not think I would be where I am today if I didn’t follow Weight Watchers in the beginning.
Now, you used the word “strictly” and I didn’t include it in my answer on purpose. I can’t say I followed it strictly. I made it “my own,” which is a phrase I’ve used since the beginning and it’s one that is easy yet hard to explain. I hope by the end of my response it will make more sense.
Your second question perplexes me a bit. I never said diets don’t work. Actually, I have always said I believed any reputable diet works if you follow it. That being said, following said diets seems to be the problem for most folks and that’s usually who I’m blogging about or to because it’s who I was for a really long time.
I have said I don’t believe in any diet that demonizes or glorifies specific foods or provides strict rules on exactly what to eat.
Do those kind of diets work? Maybe. For some. I’m not really in a position to say as I’m not an expert and I refuse to follow them.
Because I don’t believe there is a smoking gun when it comes to weight gain and I don’t believe excluding one type of food from your diet will solve your weight problems.
How did I lose the 70 pounds? Dieting?
Well, yes and no. Let me return to that concept of making Weight Watchers my own.
When I started Weight Watchers in 2005 they were promoting 2 plans: Flex and Core.
Flex was the basic point-based program that basically said eat whatever you want but stay in this point range. Oh! And here’s a few extra points for the week if you want to indulge or have a treat.
Core was a non-point plan that said don’t worry about points, just eat anything off this list of approved foods and you’ll be fine. If you want something not on the list, then here’s a few points to use for the week. Don’t go over them with non-core foods.
I always followed Flex as I wanted the accountability of a daily point goal since I have a problem with overeating and portions. So that was the “diet” I followed to lose 70lbs, Flex. However, I made NO foods off limits. If I wanted Lucky Charms for breakfast, I had Lucky Charms for breakfast.
My original food journal from week 1 on Weight Watchers – First entry is Lucky Charms
Over time, however, I realized I could eat a heck of lot more All Bran or even a huge egg-white omelet loaded with veggies instead of Lucky Charms for the same, if not fewer points so I started to make changes to my food choices.
I basically figured out if I used the Core list of foods as a guide but still followed Flex it was the best of both worlds. I was learning how to eat healthier while having the accountability of a point (calorie) goal. Some of us online jokingly called the plan, “Flore.”
Is that dieting? In the sense that I had a daily point/calorie goal, sure, but it wasn’t a plan that made certain foods off limits or provided a regimen. This “diet” was more like learning. I made it my own and it’s what started me down the path to the “diet” I eat now. And I have no doubt my diet will continue to evolve because I continually push myself to try new, healthy things even though I’m not on a “diet.”
When I hear the world “diet” (the way you used it in your question) I still think of a short term meal plan or an approach to eating that doesn’t allow certain foods all in the name of seeing a certain number on the scale. If that’s the case then in the beginning, when I lost 70 pounds, I guess “dieting” would refer more to the accountability I gave myself by following a points-based plan. However, my DIET (as in what I eat) has continually gotten better over the years and it’s not something I “break” or “stop” or “fall off the wagon” with, so I have a hard time seeing it as a “diet” — it’s just how I eat now.
Does that make sense?
I guess it really comes down to how we define the term.
Bottom line: If people continue to look at “diets” as short-term solutions to lose weight I don’t think the light bulb went off for them yet. If, however, they are looking for a “diet” that will help them learn a long-term, lifestyle-changing approach to eating that will teach them a better way to find balance with food, then I think they are on the right path.
All that being said, this is only my opinion as an ex yo-yo dieter and I hope it helps fellow yo-yo dieters who may be struggling with the same mentality I used to have. If you have found success on a diet, any diet, I don’t mean to trivialize your experience. I can only share what’s worked for me.
I used to be a person who looked for a “diet” to solve my problems. Once I decided to stop looking and actually did the work of learning how to eat, I stopped the crazy cycle I was stuck in.
I hope that clarifies a few things, Iva. Thanks for the opportunity to share those thoughts! I hope they made sense.
- 7:15 a.m. Post-workout shake (1 scoop).
- 9 a.m. leftover oatmeal made like this minus the chocolate chips plus hemp seeds.
- 12:30 p.m. A fun 5-ingredient lunch I made with what I found in my fridge. Hope to get the recipe up tomorrow on GreenLiteBites!
- 4 p.m. Handful of granola. My stomach was growling and I was headed to the grocery store.
- 6 p.m. Chicken, sweet potato, green beans and a few nibbles of cheese while making Evan’s lunch
- 8:45 p.m. Strawberries with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter — holy yum!
- 9:45 p.m. Handful of chips and then I went to bed because I felt the munchies coming on.
- 6 a.m. – warm up was a little rowing and stretches
Strict Shoulder Press
10 @ 33 lbs
10 @ 53 lbs
10 @ 63 lbs
10 @ 53 lbs
10 @ 53 lbs
Workouts was 6 rounds of the following:
5 deadlifts @ 133 lbs
10 Burpee Box Jumps
I did it in 13:07 and lightened the deadlifts at 165 is a little too heavy of a working set for me.
Afterwards I ran 400 m with the guys. I would have done a mile but I had to go. :)
- 8 a.m. 2 mile run/walk to and from Evan’s school
- 3:30 p.m. Left 10 minutes before the bus arrived so I can walk a half a mile around the community. I was contemplating running but I haven’t been in the mood recently. <– have to get my groove back.