Friday, August 01, 2008

Weight Watchers 101: Activity Points

For me, Weight Watchers is all about learning how to take care of yourself. The program is based on points. Each day I am given a number of points that I must eat. These points represent the amount of food I must ingest to loose weight at a healthy pace.

Every food is assigned a point value, so when I put something into my mouth, I must subtract the corresponding number of points from my daily allotment. Daily points are not optional, you must eat every point every day.

In addition to daily points, you have the option to earn activity points. That means when you exercise, you earn points that you can add to your daily allotment, giving you more points to eat that day. Earning activity points is optional, as is eating them. The program is set up to work so that you loose whether you're exercising or not. But, your loss might happen more slowly, and it's harder to maintain your loss once you've reached your goal without exercise.

I love the simplicity of the program. It's teaching me a better way to eat while also addressing my lack of physical activity. The minute I signed up, I began learning a new pattern of eating. Since week 2 on the program, I've tried to establish a habit of exercise in my life. It's a two pronged attack. I'm counting on these two new life patterns to cause me to loose weight and to be able to keep it off once I've reached my goal.

I'm really in this for the long haul. I know that I'll always be adhering to Weight Watchers in some form or fashion. It has to be a lifestyle for me. If it's not, I'll get fat again. And this girl ain't goin' there agin.

Along the way, I've stayed pretty steady on the eating plan. The exercise has been a challenge for me though. I've never enjoyed exercise, of any kind. I wasn't athletic growing up. Oh, I tried tennis in high school. It was fun, and I lettered, but only because my coach retired and she wanted to be the one to give me a letter. I'm pretty sure new coach got a great laugh when he saw this varsity letter man play for the first time.

And then one semester, while I was in college, I went rollerblading 3 or 4 times a week. It was fun, but mainly because we went at like 11 pm so there was no sweating involved. And there were guys. A girl will do just about anything for guys, right?

So this exercising? It has been a radical change for me. It's evolved as I find a way to fit it into my life. But here's how the last week has shaped up. I think I've found a balance that I like. It's got some variety and doesn't require me to wake up at the crack of dawn so I can get it over with before the other adults in the house leave for the day. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday: rest, no formal exercise, but we try to swim or ride bikes as a family, I don't usually count this informal activity towards my activity points

Monday: 30 min walk/jog

Tuesday: 25 min pilates video

Wednesday: 30 min bike ride

Thursday: 30 min walk/jog

Friday: 30 min walk/jog

Saturday: 25 min pilates video

I'm trying to build up to be able to jog for 30 mins straight. Right now I jog about 10 and walk about 20. I've come a long way in my weeks on WW. When I started, I could barely make myself walk 1 mile in 20 min. Now, I can walk 2 miles in 30 min.

It's a process, just like learning how to eat. I've just decided that I'm in no hurry. There's no deadline. I'm just doing my best and pushing myself a little more each week. One step, one bite, one ounce at a time.


The Binkley Family said...

That sounds really good. Can you divulge how the point system affects what you might have for dinner. For example when your family is having "x" you choose to eat "y" to cover your points? Did it change your menu planning?

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Any person that I have known that has used W.W. has always had GREAT success. It is an awesome program!

Mommy Cracked said...

I admire your gameplan here. I sooo need to do this myself. I;m getting there about the making up my mind thing. Keep up the great work!

Larissa said...

That's so awesome! I'm glad you've found something that you like and that you're enjoying it. Simplicity really is the key!

Amanda said...

I am also doing WW, and I am good with the food. However, the exercise is killing me. I am so tired in the morning, I can't get up. When I get home, I am a zombie. I just don't have the energy.

I applaud you for your willpower! Pass a little this way, if you can spare some!

SJ said...

That's so wonderful! I'm glad you found something you like...and of course that works.

(rollerblading with guys - *giggle* Not to mention peer pressure. C'mon Jenni! You HAVE to come!)

realitymomma said...

i am so proud of you. your determination will get you to your goal. any exercise is good and you are doing a great variety! stay motivated and keep it up. WAY TO GO!!!!