Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Goodbye Weight Watchers...

(...or sort of!)

Hi everyone. Hope you are all having a great week!

So an amazing thing happened on Sunday the 28th of October...I REACHED GOAL WEIGHT!!!

WOOOO! In total I lost 1st 8lbs. Something that I quite honestly didn't think would happen when I started Weight Watchers and exercising. I was always quite optimistic that I could lose about 7lbs, as I'd done that previously, before falling back into the junk food trap and gaining that plus more! Not good! However...doing just that, losing 7lbs, more than THREE TIMES OVER is simply amazing (knowing how I usually massively struggle to lose weight).

So...what changed? ...Well, first of all I think it is very important to find something that easily fits into your life.
1. I am not the greatest cook, nor do I particularly enjoy cooking
2. I cannot count calories
3. (When I started, at least) I had heaps of time on my hands
4. I have some OCD tendancies
5. I had previously enjoyed the odd exercise class, not a huge fan of the gym

1. I needed some sort of of plan whereby any lavish cooking wasn't required. Ready meals, even. Weight Watchers therefore seemed like a good choice for me, with many tasty quick meals in only a few presses of the microwave. Even I could manage that!
2. Many a time have I tried to count the pesky calories...many a time have I failed miserably. I cannot survive on the measly 1300cals I'm supposed to follow!!! (according to the likes of Fitness Pal etc) Especially when  the likes of a banana can be a whopping 80-90cals...I mean, it's a banana for christ sake! :) Trying the WW points system seemed like a good idea...maybe I would get on better with these?! The lowest points you'll receive is 26. Mine was 26 and I found it so much more generous than counting calories...fruit and veg are free! 0 points...bargain!
3. Lots of what's an hour a day? Nothing. Fit in exercise to see results *mental note to self* However starting off small could be recommended...maybe 30 minutes every day or an hour every other day? Push to your own personal limits.
4. Recording or tracking what you've eaten is half of the battle. You may not think you've eaten much but actually it adds up rather quickly. The OCD in me liked recording my food consumption and it helped keep me on track. Big gold star to the Weight Watcher's App which was very easy to use on the go, so I never forgot to track anything!
5. Book in for a load of exercise classes. They are more motivational with group pressures and instructors yelling at you! Ditch any you dislike and stick with the ones you enjoy. Alternatively you may prefer the gym, running or simply walking the dog. Pick one and be consistent with it. For me one of my goals was to fit in at least one gym session per week (when classes aren't available)...sometimes you have to do things you don't enjoy to get to where you want to be. Doing exercise also meant Activity points for Weight Watchers...I liked watching these rack up, though I chose not to munch through mine.

So Weight Watchers and exercise classes were the things I chose to help me reach my goal weight...but as I say everyone is different so you need to work out what is going to get results for you.

I have to say that I believe Weight Watchers has not only changed my weight but also the way I look at food. Before I started I was obsessed with junk food, addicted even. I often needed a McDonald's fix, or a Chinese takeaway, whereby I'd eat to the point of feeling sick.

Weight Watcher's allowed me to reduce my portion sizes so that I wasn't eating to bursting, but actually acknowledging when I was full. And that's not to say that I didn't find it hard at first. I did. Sometimes I felt hungry but I learned to fill up on the healthier options like fruit or vegetables. There were times when I felt like giving in and occasional moments of eating something I probably shouldn't have. But the good thing is, as long as I recorded what I ate and it was deducted from my daily or weekly points, then it was ok to treat myself every once in a while.

In fact every week I would save up my weekly points so I could have a 'treat day' where I might have a meal out, a takeaway or maybe popcorn/ sweets at the cinema. This was one of the things that made Weight Watchers so easy to follow. Personally that weekly treat spurred me on to be good on those other days, then when I got my treat I knew I'd earned it and I enjoyed it even more.

Exercise started off as something I needed to do but I didn't really want to do it. However, as I started reaping the benefits (getting fitter, toning up, having more energy) I began adding more into my routine and actually started enjoying it! By this point it had become my hobby and I was had actually made friends through doing it, which of course made it even more enjoyable, chatting to people along the way.

As for the gym, well I'm still not its biggest fan...but you'd NEVER guess as I now go at least 4 times a week. (During term time I can't do my exercise classes so it has to be gym-only and I have less time on my hands too!) People say that if you do something you enjoy then it's easy because you enjoy it, but if you do something you don't necessarily enjoy but you do it anyway, then you're committed to it. This pretty much sums up my relationship with the gym. I can't always be bothered to go and often feel like 'sacking it off', but I make myself go because I'm committed to it as I know it'll be one step closer to results. Personally, I would much sooner spend an hour doing something I don't always like, than to go back to finding clothes shopping a depressing chore or back to hating the reflection staring back at me.

Now, I said goodbye 'sort-of' because although I have reached my goal weight I still intend on following the Weight Watchers plan...however perhaps not with so much scrutiny. I was recalculated 36 ProPoints in order to maintain my weight and so far loosely following this allowance has proven a success. I stayed exactly the same last week but obviously time will tell as to whether I need to adjust my eating or exercise.

However, for now, I am happy and confident that I will be able to maintain. I never saw this as a quick fix, it was always going to be a lifestyle change. This is it...this is life. And to be honest I am happy with the setup for the foreseeable future :)

It took me nearly 5 months to get to where I am now and I am over the moon with my progress! Hard work, blood (definitely blisters!!!), sweat and maybe a few tears have all gone into my results. However, realistically I still have my goals, getting ABS being one of them!...Wish me luck on this haha!

I would love to hear your thoughts, questions, comments... Tweet me: @ellie1989 or comment here. What's your story? What's your journey so far?

Ellie :)