Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thursday Review...(yeah, I know it's Tuesday...)

However Cheerleaders, there is a means to my madness.

This is a long post but I think you might find it worth the read, just a heads up.

As you know when time permits I have a schedule that I try to stick to.  Things have been a bit wonky these past few weeks, however they should be settling down somewhat.  Except...

*Cue ominous sounding music*

The holidays...

Yes I said it.  Turkey day is coming up.  Which got me to thinking.  The holidays will be over and people will be wanting to lose what they've gained over them.   I've mentioned that I do Weight Watchers (Points Plus), but I've never done a review on it.  Yet I've never done a review on any of the diets that I've done.  Nor have I given my personal perspective of how it came to be that I decided to use WWPP and what other plans I looked at.  So let me start at the beginning.

Using a BMI calculator from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) I calculated my BMI and found that I was morbidly obese because my BMI was over 40. (To be exact it was 46.2, rather scary and alarming looking back on it now)  With a BMI of 46.2 I was morbidly obese and could have probably qualified for bariatric surgery.  I know of several people who've had it done.  I'm hoping I can get one of them to be a guest writer one day to write of her experience, but until I get the chance to approach her and we talk about it, that post will be for another time.  Mooooving on....

I did my research with regard to bariatric surgery and lap band surgery.  The thing that disturbed me the most in all of it was that two of the people that I know had some major complications and very nearly died.  As well, I was unable to find any long term studies to show long term results.  There were no findings to show that after 5 to 10 years those who've had surgical intervention kept off the weight they had lost.  To me, that was not an option.  I knew that once I'd worked so hard to get this weight off, I wanted it to stay off!  Don't think that just because you've had surgical intervention that it's not work neither!  Just ask anyone who's had it done, they can tell you.  It's still a battle.  I felt this wasn't a fit for me as I didn't have any life threatening medical conditions that required me to lose weight quickly (which most, not all lose weight quickly in the beginning then it slows down) and I felt that it was a permanent solution (cutting into my body) for a temporary problem (the excess weight which will be lost once I put forth the effort) because I know, I'll get this weight off, come hell or high water.  I know that for those that have had it done, they made the decision and did their own research very carefully and for them it was the right choice.  I applaud them for doing it, I support them in that endeavor.  I just couldn't personally make that decision for myself.  I know as well, for all of us, this journey we're on, this fight that we fight daily with our bodies to get it to do what we want, is a constant challenge.  There is no easy way and I'll fight with anyone who says that using a surgical intervention is the easy way out.

In the past I'd done WW, with little a little bit of success.  The last time was with the Points plan but in that incarnation, I felt it was a miserable plan and had no luck at all because even though I followed the plan to the letter, I didn't lose any weight.  I think I actually gained a pound or two.  Talk about frustrating!  So I was quickly a WW dropout (again).  Also it seemed to be that any time I'd been on WW I'd go to the meetings then I'd miss a week then the following week I'd have to pay for the week I'd missed, etc.  In that form of the plan, it really didn't suit me.

I'd also done the high-fiber cookie diet.  It's this super dense super high fiber cookie (the damn thing has 40% more fiber than rope!) that you eat before each meal with 8oz of water.  It blows up in your stomach, makes you feel queasy, then you run to the bathroom to blow out your butt.  While I had the cleanest colon on the west side of Columbus, I knew that this was not a long term solution as I hadn't learned to eat right and exercise, two things I had unlearned in order to gain all the weight.

I've done The South Beach Diet.  It's sort of like Atkins in that you have a "phase" where you limit your carb intake. Which if memory serves me correctly is 2 weeks.  Speaking of memory....seriously....anytime you have to seriously cut back your carbs like you do in any of these sorts of diets, it's a bad bad thing.  You NEED carbs for vital mental functioning.  If you don't have a balance between carbs and proteins your brain won't have anything to feed on and it gets all sorts of ugly.  I'm just saying.  You can only do it for so long.  If you've done an extreme low carb diet and you've felt that woozy light headed giddy feeling that's why.  It's your body's way of saying "Danger Will Robinson, Danger Will Robinson"  Then after that 2 week first phase you go into another phase (the length eludes me) and you stay on that for however long and the reigns loosen up somewhat however, not by much.  I say that because South Beach says that there are certain foods that you CANNOT eat!  I'm sorry, say what?  Say that again?  I cannot eat certain foods?  Wait a second, hold up, I cannot eat certain foods because why?  I mean it's one thing if I'm allergic to certain foods and I can't.  **Side note:  It was because of the South Beach Diet that I found out that I'm deathly allergic to shellfish so I guess that's a good thing.**  But to flat out tell me I can't eat something like.......pineapple.  Which by the way is one of my favorite fruits........that sent up warning signals.  While Queenie, who had done South Beach with her hubby (The Wonder One's brother) and met with great and amazing success had explained that it was due to the high sugar (i.e., carb) content, that is why it was forbidden.  I'll let Queenie comment on her end results and how she's done since being on the program in the comments section.

So then moving on to using some common sense and not really following a diet plan at all.  I did that for a few months as well, lost about 30 pounds.  Then over the course of time put it back on.  So I was back where I started plus 3 pounds at the end of April, beginning of May when The BFF mentioned going on WWPP because they had the new Points Plus, check it out for a week for free, what could it hurt?  So I decided to do it online and have The Wonder One and The Barnacle do it with me because we all needed to lose the excess weight that had been slowing us down and let's face it, misery loves company.

I have to say, since being back to WWPP, it's the longest I've stuck to a plan and I don't view it as a diet but a game plan to meet a goal.  It's livable, and workable.  When need be I take my scale with me (to family dinners to weigh out meats) and I make sure for those sorts of events there are plenty of things that I can eat that fit into my eating plan.  With The Wonder One having done the plan with me and lost his 57 pounds he understands what all this means because he's lived it.  I allow myself days off and plan for it because I know they're coming (such as Thanksgiving) and work them into my eating strategy.  When I know that I may over indulge I also try to work on a bit more cardio because that gains me a few more points for the week that I can use.  It's very flexible which I think is the key here.

Any extremes in any one direction or another in my opinion is a very bad thing.  When a diet plan tells you that all you have to eat is pounds upon pounds of bacon to lose weight, ask yourself......can my arteries take that kind of abuse?  Then when another plan tells you to give up something like fruit, something that's supposed to be good for you (yes, I know it's got a high sugar content) guess what ends up happening when you can't have it at all?  You are a glutton for it.  Since being on WWPP, I've had pineapple MAYBE a half dozen times, but it's been fresh, not from the can.  I can take a certain amount of pleasure in that.

I don't want to feel guilt for eating something I enjoy.

Do you?

I honestly can't recommend WWPP enough, if it's something that can work for you.  If  you enjoy grazing, it probably won't work for you if you don't like grazing on fruits and vegetables.  The BFF hates fruits & vegetables so WWPP ended up not working out for her.  Pity because if she'd tried working on that disdain for the fruits & veggies I think she would've had a better time of it.


  1. Good post Shannon, Wonder One's brother and I went on South Beach 6 1/2 years ago....We both did great....only fruit we couldn't have was pineapple and watermelon....like you...no one can tell us what not to eat and we did and lost a lot of weight...I lost 67 pounds and Kenny 50 pounds....I started working and we got back in the habit of eating out every night....I gained 27 pounds and Kenny gained more then he lost...I give up pop this summer because it would make me sick when it was hot.....so we didn't have any pop in the house because I was too tempted but I didn't want to get sick...I started losing weight....I ask Kenny I said hey we are losing a little weight buy not drinking pop...let's stop eating out...so we have.... We started in Aug, and so far I have lost 20 lbs and Kenny last he check was 12 lbs...but the main thing is potion control...which Kenny still fusses about..lol..so the first of the year Kenny wants to go back to South Beach...so we will....WWPP sounds great also....but the main thing is Whole gains, fruits , veggies and lean meats...I would love to give up meat..but I like to much and Kenny wouldn't dream of it...oh yes, we are both on a greek yogurt kick ....like Shannon we are eating what we want doing Thanksgiving and Christmas but with portion control....Happy Thanksgiving everyone...Queenie...

  2. I'm still grateful that you suggested going on WW, I knew I needed to lose weight, but I knew I couldn't do it alone. I thought it would be hard, but it really wasn't. For me it was all about combining portion control (the way Shannon always said I needed to) with making better food choices (or at least fewer bad ones) and triathlon training (swimming, biking, running). I also eat a lot of fresh vegetables in between meals. What I really like about the program is that you start off eating the same stuff you always have, you just calculate the points value of a portion. We ended up eliminating some foods we liked (chocolate milk) because they contained more points than they were worth; I didn't like them more than I liked losing weight. My opinion of "diets" is that they only work when you're on them, and it's easy to fall off them, then you're back where you started.

  3. The best part about weight watchers is the power foods; fruits and vegetables that you can eat without having to add the points to your total. Because the power foods are nutritious and beneficial, you can eat what you want (within reason) in between meals while saving you points for the next meal.