Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How Do I Love Weight Watchers Online? Let Me Count the Ways!

Jack Sprat and I are on our 23rd Day of Weight Watchers Online.  I call my hubby Jack Sprat because we've always been "that couple."  He prefers eating no fat.  I prefer eating foods that are not so lean.  You can actually tell by looking at us.  Every single person who knows my husband would say that he absolutely does not need to lose weight, and they are right.  However, Mr. Sprat wants to get down to what he weighed the day we got married.  That was 32 years ago.  We were 22.  Every person who knows me simply says, "That's great!" when I mention being on WW.  I would like to lose enough to not look like I'm a 54 year old pregnant woman.  All of my kadunkadunk is in the front where my abs used to be.

So, together we have learned how to "do" Weight Watchers Online.  Here is what we like about it:
The Toys
Alan is all about numbers, and I'm all about electronic convenience.  So, we love the whole online aspect of the plan.  We can track our daily points via the website or on the WW iPhone app.  Online is where you go to read inspirational articles, learn to develop "new habits," and find recipes.  I also have 3 WW related apps on my iPhone.  The first is Weight Watcher's Mobile.  It's a mini-version of the online tools.  When we sit down to dinner, we both immediately whip out our phones and enter in the food and the point value..."Italian Beef Stew with Lentils - 6."  Love the handiness factor.  I also have the Weight Watchers Scanner app.  It is the coolest thing!  You can have fun at the grocery store!  You simply open the app, scan the bar code on the food's packaging, and walla, up pops a box that tells you what the food is and how many points it has per serving.  One morning I spent about 10 minutes on the cereal aisle scanning boxes looking for the cereal that would give the most bang for the buck.  I gasped out loud when I discovered that Wheat Chex has 5 points per serving while Honey Bunches of Oats has only 3!!  Glory!!  My favorite Greek yogurt let me down when I saw that it has 7 points per serving.  Once you scan in an item, you can choose to add it to your daily total.  "Yup.  I'm eatin' me a bowl of delicious Honey Bunches of Oats...heavy on the Honey Bunches."  For the store brand items, there is an option to calculate the number of points by entering in some of the nutritional information on the box.  Suh-weet!  The 3rd WW-related app is Dotti's Food Score. It lets you explore the menus of 500+ restaurants to see the WW point values of all menu items!  

The Plan
The plan is...there is no plan.  You can eat whatever you want whenever you want.  You must simply stay within the point value that is prescribed when you sign up and enter in all of your info.  My daily point value is 26.  Jack Spratt's is 30-something.  Gone is the drudgery of the "Week 1 - Day 1" prescribed foods!  That little bit of perceived freedom works wonders for my self-control.  I also have 49 "Weekly" points that I rarely use.  I think those points are there as a kind of safety net in case you end up eating a big ol' piece of birthday cake or something.  That safety net keeps me from feeling like a deprived, starving she-bear.  Simply knowing that I "can" use the points psychologically wards off the "need."  Brilliant, WW gurus.  Simply brilliant.

The Food
I love casseroles.  I enjoy cooking.  I love pasta.  I have a certain need for cheese.  Carbs are very, very important to my sense of well-being.  All of this rules out most of the diets out there.  With WW Online, I can browse through literally hundreds of recipes that have been rated by fellow WWs.  The list can be sorted by type of food, point range, average rating, and cook time. I have yet to repeat a recipe!  They have all been very, very good and don't taste like "diet food."  We've had Italian Pasta and Bean Soup with Sausage,   Chicken and Dumplings, Veal Picccata, and Moroccan Chicken with Apricots.  Tonight, I'm going to whip up some Cashew Chicken!  This has been great for us as empty nesters.  It has broken our habit of standing at the pantry saying, "I don't know.  What do YOU want for dinner."  Jack Spratt is no longer texting me mid-afternoon to let me know that he's going to eat a "tray dinner" (WW frozen entree) because he really needs to watch his weight.  Where I come from, a "tray dinner" does not an evening meal make.  We are eating lots more fruits and vegetables.  The food has, thus far, been delicious and satisfying.

What We're Learning
  1. Breakfast truly is a great way to start a day.  (I'm not a breakfast person...)
  2. A half of a chicken breast is an appropriate portion size.
  3. Portion size makes all of the difference in the world.  (I now know that my big blue ladle holds exactly one cup of chili.)
  4. Weighing and measuring food helps us realize how "off" our portion sizes used to be.  (You'd be surprised how much 1 oz. of shredded Parmesan cheese really is!  Sounds like a thimbleful.  It's not!)
  5. Awareness of what you're eating and how much you're eating is half of the battle.
My One Regret
I totally regret that I did not video myself singing some song about believing in my fat self so that I could superimpose a video of my skinny self singing along in harmony.  Dang.  Missed opportunity.

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