Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Beck Diet Solution

I've been thinking a lot about why I gained all my weight back, and why I have been struggling to lose it again. At first I blamed the new Weight Watchers program, Points Plus, but even though I still think there are issues with it, I thought that perhaps I needed to re-approach the program fresh. So I turned to the WW message boards for thoughts, tips, others with my same problem, anything to help me make the adjustment and try to get this program working for me again.

What I found was the Beck Diet Solution. Everyone was talking about it. It's a cognitive therapy program to retrain your brain so you are more successful during the weight loss phase, and you are more likely to keep the weight off. I looked it up on my library's website and went to pick it up the very next morning.

It's a six week program, and you focus on one thing a day to try and ingrain the lessons into your mind. After a short intro in the book, you dive right into the lessons. Since I am a bad blogger these days, I'm more than a week into the six week program. I have to say, most of the lessons so far make a lot of sense.

Day 1: The first day is focused on you writing down all the reasons you want to lose weight. The point is to have these on hand at all times and you should read them at least twice a day. They tell you to put them on an index card, but I am way more likely to have my phone on me than a purse or anything else, so I put mine into the notepad app.

Day 2: Pick two diets. Because the Beck Diet solution is based on cognitive therapy, it will work with any reasonable diet. They also suggest you pick two diets, a primary diet that you will do, and a secondary diet in case the primary diet doesn't work for you. This keeps you from giving up altogether, by already having an alternate plan in place. By the way, you are not supposed to start the diet until day 15, but if you're already trying to lose weight, it's okay to continue as long as you start the program from day one. No skipping! I picked Weight Watchers, since I am already paid up through the beginning of July, and then My Fitness Pal Calorie Counting as a backup.

Day 3: Eat sitting down. Once you think this rule through, it's amazing how much you might eat standing up. Tasting while cooking, grabbing a snack on the go, taking another bite after you're done eating your meal. It all adds up even though you may not feel like you've eaten. You should eat off a plate while sitting to get the full effect of your meal, which will help you mentally realize you have had your meal. This one is hard - I am constantly reminding myself! But the purpose is not to be perfect, but to improve, right?

Day 4: Give yourself credit. We tend to beat ourselves up for our mistakes and failures which isn't doing any good. This is to give ourselves positive reinforcement, and to keep us from giving up. Give yourself credit for everything that you do right, and when you make a mistake, give yourself credit for your successes up until the mistake, and then give yourself credit for getting back on the program.

Day 5: Eat slowly and mindfully. I do have a major issue with this one, because I'm usually eating on the run. But I am definitely working on eating slowly, and not allowing myself seconds. This way I give myself a chance to feel full before I stuff myself with more.

Day 6: Find a diet coach. This is one I have trouble with. I have a lot of people I talk to about dieting, but not everyone is helpful or even understanding. In fact, I have one friend that makes every excuse in the book as to why she's fat. I am working on making my husband a diet coach, as well as leaning on my mom a bit. She's also in the process of losing weight once and for all, and I'm really proud of her. I'm also hoping that you might be my diet coach in a way - I will try to post my struggles and successes here and remain accountable to you. We'll see how it goes.

Day 7: Arrange your environment. This is a suggestion in almost every weight loss article and plan. If something tempts you, get rid of it, right? Since I have been a habitual dieter for a while, I don't have issues with this - my home is fairly healthy. I just have issues other places! Hahaha

Day 8: Create time and energy. Time management because losing weight takes time. This is also something I have been better about than perhaps most. The things that Weight Watchers teaches you! I am good about planning meals and grocery shopping and putting lunches together. I do need to work on fitting in planned exercise on a regular basis during the winter, but the good news is the days are getting longer, and in less than a month we will be in daylight savings time!

Day 9: Select an exercise plan. I have decided that I will break out the old Wii Fit and EA Active Sports and do their 30 day challenge to start. In addition I will still work on getting my 10,000 steps a day in, as well as some extracurricular activities such as cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Day 10: Set a realistic goal. While we all have major goals, setting 5 pound goals is easier to reach without getting discouraged. Good advice right? I especially like the story about the woman who bought a charm bracelet and would buy herself a charm for every 5 pounds lost. Great idea, keeps it top of mind every time you look at it!

Here's where I am right now. Working on Day 11, which is figuring out the difference between being hungry, having a desire to eat, and having a craving.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I'm Pissed at You, Weight Watchers

So, this is the third time I have tried to lose weight on Weight Watchers since they changed the plan from Momentum to PointsPlus. If I still have any old school readers, you might remember that I actually reached Lifetime on the Momentum plan, just a few months before PointsPlus was introduced.

I've since struggled with the plan, even though I feel like I'm eating the same way as I did before.Granted, I'm not running like crazy like I was before. However, I was running like crazy my first six months on PointsPlus. That's when the weight started to creep up. Add a few years and a lot more pounds.

Maybe I can't blame Weight Watchers for the weight creep, but then again, maybe I can. Weight Watchers didn't give lifetime members free etools back then, and one thing I think I realize now is that I'm going to have to track the rest of my life to stay on track. Apparently Weight Watchers finally got a clue and is giving etools to all the lifetime members that are weighing in once a month to maintain their Lifetime membership. So now, all I have to do is get back to goal and I can maintain it. Easier said than done.

Why? Because everything is different. If most of your diet is fruits and veggies, you might not track any of those as points. This includes calorie heavy items like bananas and butternut squash. Hell, even an apple has almost 100 calories, but is 0 points under the new program. But, put those items into a recipe - a smoothie, a fruit salad, and all of a sudden they add up into points. WTF? How is that right in any universe? I don't mind counting points for my fruits but why does it have to be so flipping complicated?

So, I'm talking to you, Weight Watchers. Perhaps some sort of automatic calculation would be good - you used to have one. If I had one artichoke, it was 0 points but if I had two, the tracker counted 1.5 points. I don't want it to be so complicated, and I certainly don't want to have to decide how many points I'm going to track. If counting calories worked for me, I wouldn't be paying for Weight Watchers, so get it together.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Still Stuggling

So here I am, several weeks later, not an ounce lighter. Ugh. I'm super duper frustrated and I'm not sure what is going wrong. If there are any Points Plus users, especially those who have used regular points in the past, please give me your thoughts.

I'm so frustrated I'm considering some more drastic things - slim fast shakes, juice cleanses, stupid crap like that. I should just sign up for a race, but the budget doesn't really have space for frivolous stuff like that.

In the meantime, I'm secretly, stupidly, hoping beyond hope that I might experience a miracle and wind up pregnant. I've also started looking into foster care. My life is on hold though, until we can get caught up on bills. Heh, maybe I can cut my grocery budget and kill two birds with one stone. Ha!