A lot has changed since then -- I've lost 170 pounds (give or take), WW revamped the way they determine points, and so much more. So this spring, I had updated the text. I just now realized I forgot to post it........
So without further ado, here is the updated list of "My Secrets":
- Bringing snacks with you helps a lot – an apple, an orange, a Ziploc bag with baby carrots. Maybe even a bag of 100-calorie treats. Money a little tight? Buy the regular items, a box of snack-size Ziploc bags, and make your own treat packs. It will work just as well, and you can reuse the Ziploc bags!
- Eat breakfast every day – do not skip it, at all!!! My favorite is a cup of Kashi GoLean cereal (a little more money but worth it) with a cup of skim milk and a banana – 6 points and keeps you full! Pressed for time? Scramble a half-cup of Egg Beaters – lots of protein to keep you going. Add a cup of skim milk and 1/2 cup of fruit and be on your way! Too busy for that? Go through McDonald’s and get the yogurt parfait WITH granola (with or without, it’s 3 points). Extra hint – use at least 25% of your points on breakfast. It is worth it!
- Eat often. I have breakfast around 7:00, then a snack by 11:30. I take the late lunch (after 1), then around 4:00 is another small snack. I come home, have dinner around 7:15 or so, walk the dog, and then around 10:00 I have a final snack (usually a cup of yogurt and piece of fruit). How does eating all the time help? It keeps your blood sugar stable; it keeps you full; it keeps your metabolism working!
- Exercise at least 5 times a week. Exercise is my hardest area, as I can be pretty dang lazy. I started out with a membership to the Y … once I got my dog, and realized he needed the exercise as much as I did, then I gave up the Y membership and started walking my dog daily. I do use weights at home – but there’s also 100+ pounds on the end of the leash too – ever tried to tug a stubborn dog out of a favorite grassy spot (or on occasion, pick him up out of it)? Bad weather? Pop in a DVD – even the libraries have them in stock, if you just want to try before you buy (or don’t want to buy!). MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!
- Water, water, water, water and more water. Weight Watchers suggests 6 cups (48 oz) a day but I usually go beyond that. I keep a one liter bottle on my desk. I fill it in the morning and make sure that I drink it all before lunch. I treat myself to a Diet Coke at lunch. In the afternoon, I fill the liter bottle again and drink it all before going home. After walking the dog, I usually have another twenty ounces of water. There are ways to get it in – just do it!
- Get in your fruits and veggies. I used to hate vegetables, but I found that a lot depends on how they’re prepared. Limp and dripping in butter or oil? No thanks! Crisp and tender and yummy? You got it. In the summer, I especially love grilled cut vegetables – broccoli, red onion, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, and mushrooms. I just cut them up, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over them, and put them on the grill in a non-stick wok. DELIGHTFUL!
- Bread/carbs are not the enemy! Just pick carbohydrates that will be better for you -- aim for complex carbohydrates (higher fiber, non-refined flours, breads, sugars, etc.). Brown rice, whole wheat (or even half-whole-wheat) pastas and breads. Sweet potatoes. Higher-fiber fruits and vegetables… all of these will take longer to break down, won’t spike your blood sugar too quickly, and help provide the fiber you need to keep you fuller, longer.
- Get creative in the kitchen. Experiment with new ingredients or new foods. Try things out to see what will work and what won't. Learn how to make good substitutions (reduced-fat for full-fat, ground turkey for ground beef, etc.). If you have a wild idea, just try it – you may find it is one of the best things you could ever do! And if you have Weight Watchers'eTools, use the Recipe Builder!!! It is the most valuable tool you could ever use!
- BUT .... the most important thing that I have done was to put my stubbornness and iron will to make myself better – in every area of my life. Long before I even thought of joining WW, a dear friend and I had a discussion about weight loss. I mentioned all the failed diets I’d done, and that I didn't seem to have much “willpower.” She just fell out. She told me that excuse was total BS -- she'd seen the real me in action. Puzzled, I asked her to continue. She stated that when I wanted something badly enough, I usually found a way to get what I wanted, but in a non-threatening, easygoing manner. I realized then that I had lots of willpower -- and I needed to learn to tap into it. It took a few more years (and the horrible numbers I read on the scale that day) to galvanize me into action but I am SO glad I did!