I had been doing pretty well on my own at the end of last year. Breaking my ankle was depressing and upsetting and added challenges like not being able to go to the grocery store and not being able to do any exercises I enjoy, or really any cardio.
In addition to whining about it here, I gave myself several passes. I ordered pizza and felt totally justified. I ate the carb-heavy lunches available in my building at work. I didn’t exercise.
Trying to get back on track has been awful. There is nothing that makes me want to eat good food like working up a sweat, and in winter in the midwest when biking is the only MD-approved cardio option I have, there is very little sweat happening. Plus, it’s deadline season at work and when I’m getting home at 10 and getting up at 5 the next day, I just don’t have it in me to pack a lunch. Even when there is something in the fridge, sometimes I want the extra 2 minutes it takes to put it in tupperware for sleep instead.
I need help. I need some sort of external checks and balances.
About 8 years ago, I lost 60 lbs on Weight Watchers. What I don’t like about WW is that they encourage low-fat and no-fat everything, even when it ends up being very processed and less nutritious. I think they’ve come around a bit on that in recent years, encouraging more fruits and whole foods, but the encouragement is strictly words. There’s nothing built into the program to reward choosing proteins over lean pockets. Obviously, you’d feel better and more satisfied if you ate the protein, but in the moment, it’s easy to pick the processed food. I should say here that I never attended a meeting; I used the online program exclusively.
What I do like about WW, is that it is something tangible. There’s a number I can look at that tells me when I’ve eaten too much. They provide recipes with portion sizes specified and make it easy to build a shopping list.
Given my recent learning about carbs, it seems like the Atkins diet is more up my alley. However, the people I’ve known who have followed that diet have tended to drink and eat a lot of Atkins-brand shakes and bars and snacks. Again, they’re highly processed and they have some sort of net-carb voodoo that I don’t trust. I knew one guy who was eating low carb on his own and he took some Atkins bars on a work trip. He used their “net carbs” and made sure with that math he was eating the same on his trip as he was at home. He gained 3 pounds. So, basically, I don’t want to invest in that diet only to find out that what it really offers is a way for people who are restricting their carbs to still eat sweets, in the form of low-net-carb, processed, Atkins-brand bars.
So, I guess I’m back on weight watchers. I feel pretty good about it. Yesterday I signed up and again worked late and had a disastrous dinner. I signed up yesterday intending to look at menus and plans and grocery shop and cook this weekend and really start on Monday. I thought about not tracking until then because I knew it would be kind of bleak. By the time I registered yesterday, I had already eaten several foods I knew I shouldn’t. But I tracked. I used something like 60% of my weekly points in 1 day, and that’s OK. That’s what they’re for. And it’ll make it easier to see my improvement if I have a record of my stumbles.
I am still trying to decide what to do about the exercise. $50/month seems steep for a stationary bike and the few weights I could use, but maybe when I’m healing I’ll progress to other things. I need some endorphins in a bad way, though, so I’m going to have to figure something out.
Wish me luck, and I will hope that you all are feeling healthier than I am today.