A Weight Non-Watcher – Update

Almost exactly one month ago, I announced to the (blog) world that I was no longer going to be a slave to the scale. Today, I cancelled my Weight Watchers (WW) online subscription. Here’s an update to that post…

For those of you that don’t know, Weight Watchers has totally revamped their Points Plus program. If I kept on it, would I have had more luck and gotten off of my plateau? Maybe. Maybe not. While Weight Watchers has been good to me, I wasn’t in love with my leader in North Carolina and just felt non-committed.

I found something free that works better for me. It is a tool called My Fitness Pal (MFP), which I started using about a month ago, when I decided WW just wasn’t for me anymore.

The Transition:

In my process of weaning myself off of WeightWatchers.com tracking, I decided to dual track in both systems for about a week. According to My Fitness Pal, I should be eating around 1200 calories per day to lose weight + working out if I want to lose faster. WW had me eating around 1500 calories per day on the Points Plus program. Not surprising that I lost so easily in the beginning, but now that I am down to the last 10-ish lbs, it was almost impossible to lose.

My Fitness Pal counts calories… along with many other nutrition facts that you may want to track! Here is a screenshot of yesterday’s totals, which was a very typical day of eating for me – aside from the sodium, this number was not correct (my Brixx pizza did not have sodium accounted for in the database.)

After quickly realizing WW had me eating far too much food, I quickly made the switch over to 100% tracking in MFP. While counting calories may not work for everyone (if this is a ‘trigger’ for you, please don’t try it!), this plan is working for me.

Since joining the program, I have lost 2.6 lbs (this includes my Vegas trip + Thanksgiving, pizza + beer consumed on multiple occasions while hosting visitors, and dining out more often than I should). This proves to me that My Fitness Pal is a live-able plan. I would travel, gain weight, and not be able to lose it again on Weight Watchers. With My Fitness Pal, if I gain a pound or two, I need to stay on track for a week, drink lots of water, and it will have disappeared once again. With the holidays rolling around, I am just trying to maintain my weight. I don’t think it is realistic to expect to lose, but I am going to try as much as I can not to over-indulge.

The tool:

Not saying that weight loss is easy by any means. It will always be a struggle for me… however, MFP is making the process a lot easier. Their food database is HUGE because it is maintained by people like you and me – almost everything I have ever searched for has been in there -and remarkable accurate (except for my own, made-up recipes of course). They have a recipe builder. And with the smart phone, they have an app that includes a barcode scanner. While I don’t eat a lot of processed foods (I have realized…) the barcode scanner is really awesome. I got sushi at Trader Joe’s for lunch one day, scanned it, it was in the database, and I had it tracked for lunch before I even made it through the checkout line.

The scale:

The last topic I want to address is the scale. A month ago, I was weighing myself way too much. Multiple times per day. Not healthy. I had to cut back – I restricted myself to weighing only on Friday’s (my old WW weigh in day) and put the scale in the closet the rest of the week.

This is my scale. This is not my weight nor will it ever be.

I am telling you, that first week was so hard! I had constant urges to go and pull the scale out. In the morning after my usual ‘wake up routine,’ I was having severe urges to weigh myself! I have now broken myself of the habit, and feel like I have a healthy relationship with the scale again. My official weigh in day is on Friday’s… I sometimes have a post-weekend ‘reality check,’ and really only weigh myself a few times a week. I bumped my weigh in day to this morning for this week – our work Christmas party is tonight and I didn’t want to have weigh in on the back of my mind the whole time… and then I put my scale in the closet. Maybe I’ll bring it out again Monday or Tuesday.

The community:

I am glad to have My Fitness Pal… as… well, my fitness pal during the holidays and after! The website has a lot of great people on it and is very similar to Facebook from a feed standpoint. You can see what exercise your friends have done, if they have logged their food, their weight loss progress, and (my favorite) if they have or have not logged in for a few days! You have the ability to comment on these posts as well! It is a very supportive community, I have found. And I have gotten some friends and co-workers hooked and they have had great success so far!

If you would like to be friends on MFP, my name is kev114. It is always nice to have more accountability partners!!

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