By Kalisa Hyman from I’ll Be the One in Heels
When I went to Toronto in May for my anniversary, the scenery in my photographs was lovely. I was less happy about the way I looked in them.
That’s when I finally decided to do something about my weight. Inspired by a friend who had lost over 40 pounds on Weight Watchers, I went online and checked out their PointsPlus program. It looked like something that might work for me, because I’m such a picky eater. I don’t like salads. I don’t like grilled chicken. I like my veggies with lots of butter and bacon and breadcrumbs. At least on the WW program, I could select what food I wanted to eat. That offered the only hope of something I would stick to.
The program was great – the online version provided me all the tools I needed to assess the Points value of everything I ate. It even gave me Points values for exercise. And there was a mobile version so I was never at a loss for information. I found it very easy to stick with healthy eating and to keep my meals within the allotted daily Points.
Last weekend, I went back to Toronto with my husband for my birthday, twelve pounds lighter. (Twelve pounds may not sound like a lot to you, but it’s a lot of extra weight to carry off when you’re only 5-foot-2!)
So, yay! Success story. But sticking to an eating plan is a lot easier in the summertime when skin is showing than it is in the winter, when I’m faced with HOLIDAY FOOD. So now I’m looking at Chapter Two: How do I get from Thanksgiving to Christmas without putting it all back on?
Luckily, there are some basic principles that I’ve learned following the Weight Watchers program that can be applied to holiday eating.
#1. Keep track of those Points. By now I know the Points value of pretty much everything I eat. I know the range that I have to stay within if I don’t want to put weight back on. It’s about balancing the Points throughout the day. Give and take. Keep it between the lines. If I’m going to a party where I will have less healthy options, I should eat fruit for breakfast, a lean turkey sandwich for lunch. I can balance it out.
#2. Make a splurge worth it. Following a strict eating plan when I was actively trying to lose taught me that I can say no to that doughnut. If I’m tempted by Christmas cookies in the break room, I ask myself, “Are these good enough to blow this many Points on?” I don’t have to go without, but I can make educated decisions to make sure using all those Points will be worth it to me.
#3. Drinking away Points. One of the first things I realized about myself when I started WW was that I drink away a lot of my Points! And I don’t mean alcohol – I mean juice and milk and sweet tea…Three Points. Three Points. Three Points. For three Points, I can have a high-fiber fruit and granola bar that will actually curb my hunger! So I had to give up (or cut back, in the case of milk) those other drinks. I’m not familiar with the Points levels of alcohol but I do know that your body metabolizes it the same way it does sugar. And beer? Come on! That’s just liquid bread! If you’re going to drink over the holidays, chose something with lower Points, like wine; limit yourself to one or two and make sure you figure that into your overall Points value.
#4. I’m not alone. Like everything else in life, this will be a lot easier if I make use of the resources at my disposal. With websites like Diets in Review, personal blogs and online magazines – there is an endless list of places to turn for support these days.
#5. Stick to it! This may be the most important point of all. Deciding to “go off” WW until January will undoubtedly be the death knell for me. I could easily put 12 pounds (or more!) back on and then be too disheartened come January to start over again. It’s like quitting smoking, right? Much easier to stay quit than to give it up again. So if I stick to my plan, allowing myself splurges but making allowances elsewhere in my meals, I can cruise through the holidays on a relatively even keel and face January still fitting in my new size 6 jeans.
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