Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Changing direction

I've made a major decision this week and this morning cancelled my Weight Watchers membership. Now this does NOT mean I'm giving up on my weight loss efforts. On the contrary, I'm just as focused and determined to get this weight off and be healthier. But I know I can do this without paying Weight Watchers $40 a month. And I really don't need the points system. I have learned a lot about nutrition over the years and most importantly I have come to understand how my body reacts to food. For instance, I know that if I eat an apple, my stomach will be growling in less than an hour. I know that if I eat pizza, bread or pasta, my body hangs on to those calories for days. I also know that if I eat foods high in fiber I am much more satisfied for a longer period of time and therefore less likely to snack between meals.

I also know that the science behind losing weight is easy! If I burn more calories than I take in consistently, then I will lose weight. That's it. There is no secret to it. There is no magic diet needed. And if I go back to a high-fat, high-carb diet and do not control my calorie intake, then I will gain the weight back that I've lost. That's a fairly easy concept as well.

The thing is, it's all up to me. Weight Watchers is a wonderful program for those who do not understand or who have no desire to count calories. It's a support group for those who feel they need that extra motivation to continue their efforts at home. But at the end of the day, each person has to do the work on their own. Nobody at Weight Watchers comes to your house and prepares your meals. They aren't there when you sneak an extra bite or comsume a whole box of Twinkies. But for some people, the guilt of facing the scale on weigh-in day is what they need to stay on track. Some need that accountability. For me, I really think it is important for me to be accountable to myself. I have a scale in my bathroom. It's fun to get stickers and be rewarded for losing weight but my reward is smaller clothes, feeling better and becoming healthier.

So what now? Well, I'm not really changing much at all. I still have to write down everything I eat so that I know how many calories I take in. I will continue to work out 5-6 days a week. I will still pay attention to my nutrition and make sure I'm getting the right balance of carbs, fat, protein and fiber in my diet. So really I'm not taking away the "work" of losing weight. I'm just saving money because ALL of the tools for losing weight are available for free. Calorie counters, diet calculators, support groups and nutrition information are all online for no cost. It just makes more sense to teach myself how to live this way and not rely on a "program" to do it for me.

So wish me luck. I am down 45 pounds so far!

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