A Brief Word About Points

It seems like I’ve been bad-talking the Points system in my past few posts.  And I just want to say that that is not the case.  If it were not for the points system I don’t think I would have lost as much weight as I have.  But more than that, the points system taught me how to eat differently.  They rewarded me for making better food choices, specifically low-fat, high fiber foods.  I don’t think I ever would have tried whole wheat pasta, or whole wheat flour, or brown rice, were it not for the points system.  Just because I learned to misuse the system doesn’t make it a bad thing.  Just like my illustration of being in college and figuring out how well I needed to score on a final exam to pass the course–doesn’t mean the grading system is a bad thing.  Now don’t get me started–Weight Watchers and the Points system are not perfect, but they are one of the most well-rounded weight loss systems out there.  (And in case you’re not a regular reader, me and W.W. are divorced, but it was on friendly terms…)

So today I went for my weight training session with Vicky (You were right, Vickie!) and it was MOST EXCELLENT!  I am so enthused about this.  Today she worked mostly on upper body stuff, but also did a lot of core stuff, which I really need, and a LOT of work on balancing.  I am really happy about working on this, since I see my dad, and how off balance he gets, and I see the same tendency in myself already.  She had me do some of the arm exercises while standing on ‘balance pods.’  And then she had me do a few while standing on one foot on the pod!  The pod is kinda like half a ball.  Anyways, I loved the challenge of it.  And when you are working this hard at exercising, you think twice about going over your–oops, I almost said points–calories for the day.  She is really big on refueling your body after exercise with the right proportion of carbohydrates and protein.  Roni had an excellent guest post who seems like he thinks along the same line as Vicky.

The last thing I wanted to pass along was from my 100 Days of Weight Loss book.  She had a chapter about savoring the flavor of some food you really love.  She said to take a small square of chocolate, unwrap it slowly and smell it.  Then bite off one corner, and savor it.  Then do the same with each corner, and finally 2 more bites with the center that is left.  Enjoy the texture as well as the flavor.  I do try to do this, sometimes better than others.  But I think it is key to being satisfied with smaller portions of food.

It is really warm today.  Took the dogs out for a 2 mile walk this evening.  Spring is so wonderful this year.  There are some birds that sing right at twilight that I am really enjoying!


5 thoughts on “A Brief Word About Points

  1. Very glad we have the vickie/vicky’s sorted out so I don’t have to be startled each morning – thanks!

    I think that WW is a very good starting place for many people. And I think that it is common for people to ‘outgrow’ it as time goes on – and I am so glad that you figured this out for you. There are a few that stay on it ‘forever’ but I think your experience – milking the system – happens quite frequently – and there is empowerment in recognizing this.

    I have a series of leg lifts (balancing) that I do while brushing my teeth – knee lift to the front and hold, knee lift to the side and hold – repeat on the other side – I love having the mirror there – because I work on lifting UP out of the standing leg and try not to have my hip move out/slouch when I lift the other leg. Lifting a leg is about releasing the hip/butt of that raised leg down – so that the hips stay parallel to the ground – mirror really helps. I do tiny ones of these in church and while standing in line – foot just off floor.

  2. I know I’ve bashed WW in the past, but I really do think it is a good starting point, like Vickie said. I just had a really hard time with the points, but I know a lot of people who do really well with it.

    I love all the pretty flower pics you’ve been posting. Our flower bed is in need of some TLC. Hopefully it will get it soon!

  3. I just want to jump on and “ditto” everyone else who says WW is a goof jump-off point. After my At-work meeting ends (I’ve already paid in advance), I will also divorce from WW. But I am glad it exists, because it has taught me a lot.

  4. Now that two people have not been offended by what I said – I feel brave enough to say more:

    I think it is the 1 point or free food thing that first messes with people (as they outgrow WW). If you take a group of people that have no/little impulse control and let them wean themselves slowly – I think that is the part of WW that is helpful in the beginning. But one has to progress/learn/grow. I think that people have to learn MORE impulse control as the mature in their process/journey. And, I think that is what you mean when you say you are now counting calories – not points – I think you are saying that you are now counting everything that you put in your mouth.

    And the activity points – don’t even get me started on the activity points – really messes people up – lifting a finger becomes ‘exercise’ under this philosophy. How many people do I think work at a hard enough level to need to add back food? In my opinion – not very many – but the system appears to be constructed so that the beginners add back those points with gusto. And I think that is a very dangerous habit. In the beginning – it is okay – because as long as they are moving (and perhaps not eating – being distracted from food while they move) – it helps. And at that stage – it is fairly easy to lose. But it is not a habit that seves well when people get close to or all the way to goal. I think the addict perched on people’s shoulders loves those activity points – another way to beat the system – that only hurts themselves (not the system).

    and my third and last point is this –
    I think that WW has tried to get people to look at the nutritional balance – food groups – of spending those points. And I don’t think this has worked very well for them.

    I personally think that to be successful in maintenance long term – there has to be nutritional balance.

    I just happened to have this pointed out to me very early on. so I started with balance in mind and have stayed with it. I think nutritional balance is another form of impulse control.

    This concept got me to lower my carbs to be proportional (looks like low carb because of our society’s over indulgence in carbs – but is actually ‘right on’ carbs) and to always eat protein and carbs together – and to not over indulge in fruit and dairy – and to eat those vitamin packed but calorie light veggies.

    I think that it is hard for people to go straight from their highest weight directly to the habits that they have to have in order to be in the middle of their healthy range and stay there. And I think most of this is learning about nutrition and learning impulse control and UNlearning imprinting. How long WW serves this purpose – I think depends on the person. There are bloggers in the middle of their healthy BMI range that still use the WW system – but I think that every one of these maintainers keeps nutritional balance and does NOT play the game – they understand and can compensate.

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