EDITORS NOTE: A little while back, I saw a friend who I hadn’t seen in months and was stunned by what I saw. In a few short months, my petite friend lost an enormous amount of weight. Naturally, my first question was how she did it and I have to say, I was even more stunned by her response: Weight Watchers. I knew she had been struggling with her weight for quite some time and had tried everything to get rid of the excess baggage on her small frame to no avail. Not only was she able to surpass her weight loss goal by following the Weight Watchers system, she did it without depriving herself and while still eating all the foods she enjoys (in moderation, of course). I know many women face the same struggles as my friend, so I asked her to write about her experience with the program.
I have been trying to get back my old body since my sudden 30-pound college weight gain. I am very short and it used to be that I was always small, so when I gained all that weight it was a shock to my system, as well as my family and friends.
I gained that weight five years ago, and though I was able to lose some of it after college, most of it decided to stay with me. During these years I was always trying to lose weight but never actually losing or keeping off a substantial amount. I constantly worried about what I was eating and my need for exercise. When I did exercise or diet, I could not stick to a routine and did not see motivating results.
I made an impulsive decision one morning to join Weight Watchers, which turned out to be the best decision- impulsive or otherwise- I ever made. The system gave me a healthy sense of control over my body and my eating habits. I never felt starved, and yet the pounds were literally melting right off.
Call me crazy, but I had a lot of fun measuring my pasta and weighing my cheese. It allowed me to eat these things without the guilt or confusion, because I was making informed decisions as to when and how much of everything I should be eating.
The only really stressful part of the program was figuring out how to “count” food at restaurants, but that became much easier over time as I learned how to estimate the points of most dishes, or sacrifice weekly points for a crazy night out. Most importantly, I truly believe that carrying out a program that did not torture me, but did require me to be thoughtful, organized and exert some self-control throughout my day, influenced other aspects of my life. I began to exercise more and eventually quit smoking. I even think weight watchers helped me become neater!
For those of you put off by the points, I understand your fear. However, you don’t realize how much you don’t mind counting until you start counting! With the Weight Watchers Online, you can enter the food you ate and how much of it you had, and they figure out and track the points for you. For example, if I ate some dried cranberries, I could type in “dried cranberries,” and then when “dried cranberries” popped up I would select how much I had. I would then either estimate, or if I had been getting really into weight watchers, I would insert the ¼ cup of dried cranberries that I measured out, which is three points according to their system. I would then select that and three points would be added to my tally for the day.
Weight Watchers also has a lot of brand names in their database, so even typing in something like “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” or “Nabisco Wheat Thins” will get you your answers. You can also enter the nutrition facts of food you have eaten into their “points calculator” to get points calculated for foods not on their list. Part of why weight watchers got me so on track in the beginning was because it was much easier as a novice to calculate my food when I was preparing it myself, and that extra motivation to prepare my own snacks and meals at home had a very positive influence on my lifestyle.
Not only was my experience with weight watchers emotionally empowering, it also means that I am now 5”0 and 105 pounds, instead of 130 pounds. I lost the first 20 pounds in 4 months. I do not think I should have felt miserable about the weight I was before I began Weight Watchers, but I am thankful that I found a system that helped me take care of myself and feel proud, in control, and awesome in some VERY old jeans! (Note: People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.)
- Author wishes to remain anonymous
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Do you have a diet success story? Tell us about it in comments or submit a testimonial of your own to firstname.lastname@example.org (submissions will remain anonymous upon request).