Thursday, August 15, 2013

Watchin' Weight

Every now and then, I feel the need to toot my own horn, and this is one of those times.  One year ago today, I made the decision that I need to lose some weight.  My chin was beginning to double, my pants were tight, and too many of my t-shirts were in the "maybe someday" pile.  I have since lost about 25 pounds.  My neck is thinner, my pants are falling off my hips, and I can wear t-shirts I haven't worn in probably 7 or 8 years.  I feel virile, lethal even.  People always ask me, "What's your secret, GMYH?  Did you get the Fuckout?"  To which I respond, "No, man, that's not an actual workout.  I just did Weight Watchers online."

I chose Weight Watchers because a friend of mine had lost a bunch of weight using it.  In my mind, I had mixed up Weight Watchers and NutriSystem, thinking that Weight Watchers involved buying pre-made meals, which it doesn't.

Once I straightened that out, I signed up to do it online, and then downloaded the mobile app.  I lost 7 pounds in the first two weeks, and lost weight pretty much every week thereafter until I leveled off at about 25 pounds a few months ago.

It is extremely easy to lose weight with Weight Watchers, and frankly, I don't know why everyone trying to lose weight (aside from the anorexics and bulimics) doesn't do it. 

The gist of it is that you get a certain number of points per day to use, and you can eat whatever you want to get to that point total.  When I started I was given 41 points per day, but as I have lost weight, that has been dropped to 36.  You also get 49 bonus points each week, which can be used if you go over your allotted daily total.

Foods are assigned differing point values depending on their fat, protein, carbs, and fiber.  For instance, most fruits and vegetables are 0 points.  On the other hand, a large Domino's hand-tossed cheese pizza is 61 points.

Also, doing physical activities (even walking) gains you points each week, and the amount of points you get for each activity varies depending on your weight.  For instance, when I started, I think 18 minutes of walking got me 2 points, but now it takes 20 minutes to get 2 points.  You can use those activity points after you have burned through your daily points and/or your weekly bonus points.  So, the more you exercise, the more you can eat or drink.

In addition to tooting my own horn, the other purpose of this post is to hopefully give you a boost if you're looking to lose some weight.

Here are the most important takeaways from Weight Watchers, in my opinion:

1.  I lost 25 pounds essentially without working out.  That's right, apparently, eating healthily and portion control equates to losing weight, and you don't have to work out to shed pounds.  For me, this was great, because I generally don't have a lot of extra time to workout, and I am very lazy.

2.  I lost weight without really changing my drinking habits.  Sure, I drink light beer more often now because regular beer has more points (5 vs. 4 per 12 oz.), but Weight Watchers allows you to craft your diet on a particular day to allow for the consumption of alcohol (or a big meal, if you're not a borderline alcoholic).  Whereas in the past, I would not change my diet if I knew I was going to be going out drinking or going out to dinner, now I eat a lot of fruit during the day if I know I'm going to be drinking or having a big meal at night.  Yes, I realize I am allowing myself to drink more, but I'm also consuming a lot more fruit!

3.  It is extremely easy to do.  You just enter the food and drinks you've consumed (or activity you've done) into the online tracker or your mobile app, and it tells you how many points you've consumed (or acquired by exercise) and how many you have left.  Just about any food you can think of, as well as menu items from most national restaurants, are in there already, and for any food not in the database, you can enter the grams of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber, and it will calculate a point total for you.  The mobile app is really easy to use, and pretty much gives you no excuse not to keep track of everything you consume.

4.  You don't have to answer to anyone except yourself.  Basically, with the tracking system, you have no excuse not to lose weight because you are responsible for entering everything you eat or do.  If you want to cheat and not enter foods that you eat, you're only cheating yourself, and you won't be getting any skinnier.

So, get out there, starting drinking, quit working out, and start losing weight.

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