WIW: Making the Lifestyle Change

Real weight loss is about making lifestyle changes that last forever.

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I think that is ultimately the hardest part of it–the FOREVER part. I long for a day when I can sit around and eat lots of cookies, chocolate cake, and buttery popcorn.  And as gross as it sounds, I’d like to do that every night.  See, as a mom of three, every evening I am just exhausted.  And nothing sounds more appealing that to just RELAX and INDULGE.

The relax and indulge impulse is something I have to fight pretty much every day.  There is rarely an evening when I don’t want to eat something sweet and unhealthy.  And when I go on a trip–I give myself a free pass to eat whatever I want.  

So when I went to SNAP I fully intended to not even try to eat healthy.  But then I met my friend Vivienne of The V Spot:  a beautiful and health conscious craft blogger.  She was always urging me to make the healthy choice–take the stairs, for example.  As I hung out with her, I started to notice that she would always make the healthy choice, even being on a trip!  I watched her with her lunch, choosing to eat the lunch meat and not the giant white sandwich roll.  I saw her always walking and going up and down the stairs.  And she would talk about her workouts, going to yoga, etc.  I realized something–Viv has made the lifestyle change.  She has committed to good health.

I want to make that commitment too.  But it’s a very different mind set.  I have to stop thinking of myself on a “diet” and just start thinking that eating healthy is just the way I eat.  But what do I do when I want a dessert?  When is it okay to indulge?  And could I really ever just pig out and eat what I want?  It’s not like Vivienne never ate junk food–I was with her at Cafe Rio.  How do you find the balance between being a health nut and being a generally healthy eater?

The thing about Weight Watchers is that you actually CAN eat some junk food–as long as you stay within your points.  But the longer you are on it, the less wiling you are to spend your points on empty calories.  You want each thing you put in your mouth to be the least amount of points possible.

My question is–once you go on Weight Watchers, are you on Weight Watchers forever?  Do you count points until you reach your goal weight and then what?  You stop?  The hope is that by the time you reach your goal weight you have made that lifestyle change.  And hopefully you’ve started exercising to aid your weight loss and you don’t even crave junk food as much.  What do you think?

 

Comments

  1. I think I WISH I KNEW! Eleanor turns one in two weeks and I have 30 lbs to go to hit my pre-pregnancy weight. I did weight watchers and already dropped 20, but once we hit the holidays I got lax and then altogether stopped. I don’t want to track, or count, or think about my eating constantly. I don’t want to be fat either. ERR! The combination of her turning one (the end of nursing is in sight=more control over my body) and it being MAY I am all the sudden like “OMG! Time to drop this weight”. But it is hard, so hard. I so want it to be a lifestyle thing, but I am with you. Life is CRAZY. I just want to relax and indulge. Nobody else is tracking points or calories, why do I? Enough whining. Good luck on your quest for a healthy lifestyle.

    • Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Tracking is a pain but (as I’m sure you’ve found) I don’t actually have to write things down as long as I tend to eat similar things each day and keep track in my head. My goal every day is to distribute the points fairly evenly throughout the day so that every few hours I eat 3-5 points and stay under my limit. It’s hardest at night though!

  2. Lechelle says:

    I’m on WW. I just switched from tracking all my points to the simply filling technique. Here’s the summary the ww site says “track foods that are not Weight Watchers Power Foods, they’ll be deducted from your weekly PointsPlus Allowance. (You also won’t count 0 PointsPlus value drinks, or seasonings and condiments that are PointsPlus in the portion you use; nor will you count up to 2 teaspoons of the healthy oils you eat each day.)” So as long as I eat the power foods (green triangle foods like fruits, veggies, lean meats, whole grains) and stop when I’m not hungry anymore then I don’t have to count those foods. Our ww meeting leader said this was how most ww lifers maintain without the hassle of counting every point, because like you said, you’ve made the lifestyle change and eating these healthy foods and stopping when not hungry is what you want to ultimately do. They recommend starting with the counting points program first because the other method is much harder to follow in the beginning. You should ask your team leader about it.

  3. Ashley C says:

    I just try to think about the phrase, “moderation in all things” when I’m eating. If you are wanting something sweet, eat one cookie instead of two. It takes will power, and it’s difficult, but when the weight starts coming off, it’s so worth it! Just follow the word of wisdom, too. I know that sounds silly, but you will be amazed by the results. My thinking is, don’t deny yourself something if you really want it, but just be careful of how much you eat. Like I said above, one cookie instead of two (or, you know, 5) :) and when all else fails, guzzle water until you don’t want something sweet anymore lol :)

    • Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Moderation is definitely something I struggle with. I’m embarrassed to say I could eat like a whole box of cookies without a second thought. So I really do need to be extra careful–like an addict!

  4. That is so the hardest part, just knowing that you may never get to have the yummy food again. I’m still struggling with the fine line between when can I eat dessert. :) Someday it’ll just click I”m sure and we’ll just have it. Good luck girlie!

    Natalie
    http://www.projectdowhatyoulove.wordpress.com

  5. I hear you. I feel you. I am there. I’m a worn out mom who sometimes (okay, MOST of the time) views food as her only real indulgence during the day. I look forward to it, then I relax with it.

    Changing how you view food is a slow process. Make sure you don’t push yourself to “be Viv” today. Just remind yourself of the little changes you can make each day until those changes become habits and eventually, you too are “naturally” healthy. I’ve been working on losing weight since last July with bouts of success and many more of failure. The trick is to just keep working at it.

    As far as WW, every person I’ve known who has lost significant weight on it (20 pounds or more) has gained it back once they stopped doing the program. They all lost steadily and in pretty big numbers (3#s a week sometimes!), but the success wasn’t long lasting. In my opinion, WW cuts calories to a very low level and that can change your body’s metabolism making it easy to put on weight as soon as you stop following that caloric guideline.

    Best wishes to you (and everyone else struggling with getting healthy!).

    • Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Yes–that’s why I keep doing this post every week. It really has helped me stay on track, even though I’ve gotten off track a lot lately.

  6. I too have a crazy sweet tooth. I’d love to eat dessert every night (like I did when I was a kid), but I know that’s not very healthy. I often snack on something sweet when I feel bad or am run down by an extra hard day with the kids. I have (mostly) learned to only have dessert once a week. Since I’m only having it once a week I want something really good and not just quick junk. I treat myself to something really delicious and satisfying and then I look forward to the next special treat and I don’t usually miss the cheap, filler snacks. I also like to freeze banana slices or have other fruit on hand if I want a little, healthy sweet snack at the end of the day. The frozen banana slices taste like ice cream and since you can get about 20 slices out of a single banana it feels like you’re eating more than you really are.

  7. Paula Bergeson says:

    One thing that might help is reading books that focus on the benefits of healthy eating, especially when you’re feeling less motivated. That way it’s less on how you look and more about the health benefits of eating nutritionally-dense foods. I really liked “Mindless Eating” and “Eat to Live” (or something like that) and I’m sure there are many, many others. I do think that the more healthy (and good-tasting) foods I eat, the less I enjoy the really decadent stuff.

    • Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      That’s a good idea. If I had time to read. Maybe if they are audio books…

  8. Livia G. says:

    I absolutely understand your situation and I don’t claim at all that I have figured out how to live healthy, but what I discovered is that most of the time I eat something unhealthy I want to reward myself with it. As in: “Nothing worked well today and now I at least want to have some chocolate”. What I am trying (and often failing) to do is to reward myself in other ways like taking a bath after my kid went to bed or allowing myself to buy something nice I don’t necessariliy need. Another thing I found out that during the day when I want to eat sweets I am actually thirsty, so drinking a glass of water can also substitute chocolate sometimes.
    Greetings from Germany!
    Livia

  9. My friend who went to counseling for an eating disorder recommended the book Intuitive Eating to me, and I really like what I’ve read of it. The whole premise is that you CAN free yourself from the “diet mentality” and still be thin and healthy.

  10. I’ve been on WW (online) since January, and have seen some really great progress. I feel about a million times better now than I did in January, and my confidence has gone through the roof.

    But I feel like I can identify with everything you’ve said here. I love food. I love to cook and I love to cook delicious things. And then eat them.

    In the beginning for me, learning to moderate what I was eating was tough. BUT, I’ve found that as time has gone on, I’m used to eating less and I don’t even want to indulge with more. I don’t feel like I’m explaining myself very well, but what I’m trying to say is that for me, I’ve found myself feeling both indulged and satisfied with less.

    Unless we’re talking about chocolate chip cookies. I could eat those forever. So, I don’t make them as often. Or if I do make them, I give most of them away. I’ve found that it’s easier to keep junk out of my life than to bring it into my life and try to avoid it.

    Anyway, I don’t know how long you’ve been on WW, and I don’t know if these same things will happen for you, but I bet they will. But don’t beat yourself up if you over-indulge every now and then. After all, this is a long-term lifestyle change, right? So long as your “every now and then” doesn’t become every day.

    Good luck to you!!

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