ADF/WW: Day 11

December 18, 2008 at 10:45 am 6 comments

Sadly, the reason why WW hasn’t been working for me in recent years has come back to me.  Journalling is good, and I know this… but it can be very discouraging too.   Presumably, on eating days I’m supposed to eat ‘whatever I want’, since that’s the reward for restricting calories.  The ‘right’ to splurge a little without guilt.

But still… when your children are, for example, Boy Scouts, and they sell, for example, caramel corn packs with pecans, peanuts and cashews, and you, for example, really love that sort of thing, it is really disheartening to find that 1/4 cup of that stuff is something like 6 points.   I mean…seriously, what is that? Four pieces of popcorn?   How do you measure 1/4 cup of caramel corn anyway?  It doesn’t exactly fit nicely in a measuring cup.   Is it 1/4 cup by volume, or is it the equivalent of 1/4 cup crushed up?

And for heaven’s sake, WHO EATS ONLY 1/4 CUP OF CARAMEL CORN?  I thought popcorn was sort of the go-to snack food for dieters..  There aren’t even that many nuts in it!  By this logic, eating 1 1/2 cups of Caramel Corn would consume an entire day’s worth of points, and I have a LOT of points, given where I am on the scale!  I guess a ‘normal’ person would have to stop at one piece of popcorn?

Obviously, I will not be eating caramel corn today.  (And I’m exaggerating a little for effect, too, I admit.)  But this is what I mean… It’s good to have an idea of your intake and good to know what foods need to be eaten in moderation.   No disputing that. But it can be really easy to get resentful about it, too.   You say I can eat whatever I want, and then turn around and tell me that ‘what I want’ is going to take up an entire day’s worth of points if I eat it, unless I just eat, like, one piece of it?  What the hell is that?  I ate this before without gaining a ton of weight, and  other people eat it without getting fat overnight.  This is a crock!

And THAT is where I get derailed.   For me, it’s not the, “Well, great, I screwed up.   I might as well eat whatever I want now.” mentality.  It’s the “Screw this.  This is stupid! I’m not doing it anymore!” mentality.   As we lose weight, our points allowances go down, so what is the good of doing Weight Watchers, if it’s only going to get harder and harder the more I succeed at it?  I might as well quit now!

I am not ACTUALLY going to quit now.  I’m just saying…that’s how MY thought process tends to run.   It’s not WW’s fault that so much of what we tend to eat tends to be high in points, and it IS good to have an appreciation for just how much we’re eating while we’re eating it.

If there’s one thing this ADF thing has done for me, it has been that it has helped me put food into a better perspective.  As much as WW preaches the Lifestyle Change, I think it’s still easy to think of dieting as doing a sort of Purgatorial penance for past careless eating, and to feel that the goal is to reach a point where one can ‘eat freely and without restraint’ and stay thin.  Whether that happens simply because we’ve trained ourselves to freely and unrestrainedly eat less  or because we’ve learned to enjoy lower-calorie foods that can be consumed en masse without causing weight gain, I don’t know.  Either way, though, it’s easy to feel that at some point, you will be allowed to relax and enjoy food again, once you’ve done your time.  Once it becomes clear that that reward is not, in fact, ever going to come, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up.

And thinking back, there is sort of a culture of ‘cheating’ that goes on in the WW world, too, that doesn’t help very much.  The goal becomes, ‘How much can I eat and not go over points’ rather than ‘I have this many points.  What should I eat that would make the best use of them?’   Much is made of fat free, low-calorie versions of the food we eat anyway, and we were encouraged to make use of these as much as we could.  I remember that, for example, Fat Free Cool Whip was ‘technically’ 0 points per serving… so we would freeze it and eat it like it was ice cream.   Technically, yeah… we consumed fewer calories that way..  But A) it’s 0 points per  2tbsp serving; that doesn’t mean it’s 0 points per FULL TUB, and B) consider what you’re really consuming there!  A whole tub of essentially doctored up hydrogenated oil?   You’re not forming better habits, you’re not eating something that’s GOOD for you.  You’re just…faking it!

Some of this is just the segue, I guess.  The way to help people who are ease into doing the right things gradually.  And this is also based on my experiences of years ago, too.  WW has apparently realized that this was going on before, and has made an effort to place greater emphasis on nutrition in more recent variants of their system.  Ultimately, it’s always going to come back to the same thing every time: eat better and exercise more.

So for me, at least, ADF has helped me make nutrition a priority, where Weight Watchers (at the time) did not.  WW is a great measuring tool for me, and I appreciate it for that, but I think even now it doesn’t put enough emphasis on nutrition to really help me as a standalone approach.  At any rate, I have to continually remind myself not to value foods entirely based on how much my mouth enjoys tasting them, but rather based on that plus their nutritional value.

Pangie and I joked once that someone needs to put on a Food Expo in which people gathered in a convention hall with hundreds of dishes that are nutritious.  Visitors could go around and taste, and then take the recipes of foods they liked.  I think WW ought to do this at their meetings.   Given the planning thing I was contemplating yesterday, I find my biggest challenge is that I don’t trust the recipes I find to taste good to me.   I am STILL looking for an Enchilada recipe for tonight; the one Weight Watchers offered me uses fat-free sour cream.  EW.  That stuff tastes TERRIBLE.  ‘Course, does it taste terrible IN the recipe? I don’t know… but knowing how it tastes otherwise makes me hesitant to take a chance on it.  If I’m going to invest the time and money into a meal like that, I want to be reasonably sure it’s not going to make me gag, you know?



Entry filed under: ADF, Successes, Weight Watchers. Tags: , , , , .

ADF/WW: Day 10 ADF/WW: Day 12


  • 1. Pangie  |  December 18, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Yeah, if you’re going to eat carmel corn, why the heck would you stop a 1/4 cup? Sheesh.

    What you’ve brought up in this post is a lot of why I don’t care for Weight Watchers’ points system. I prefer a more holistic approach where you evaluate the nutrients and such, too. That’w why I prefer SparkPeople.

    Don’t get me wrong, if Weight Watchers works for someone, by all means use it. But I still worry about the nutrients. In theory, you’d be making healthier choices and just getting the nutrients naturally, but then there’s the cheating you’ve described which leads me to believe that’s not the case for many.

    It does seem like you’re becoming quite a bit more aware of what you’re eating, though, which is good by all accounts.


  • 2. Pangie  |  December 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Oh, and re: recipes:

    That is why I like getting recipes from friends. That way I can get feedback from someone I trust and whose tastes I know. Then I can combine the recipe with what I know about that person’s taste and decide if it’s something I should try.

  • 3. run4change  |  December 18, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Weight watchers worked for me well and I feel that it is very livable. You have the freedom to eat junk and healthy. Of course you would want to eat healthier. If you do eat healthier food, you will feel more full since this type of food has more weight/bulk/quantity for its point values.

    No matter what though, just keep on moving forward towards a healthier life. It takes time to create a new life and habits as you know.

    I want to tell you great job on getting to the starting line. That is the biggest victory.

    Check out my weight watchers before and after pics for some inspiration if you want to. People say that it encourages them to keep on.

  • 4. melalvai  |  December 18, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    “it’s…easy…to feel that the goal is to reach a point where one can ‘eat freely and without restraint’ and stay thin.”
    I bike 8 miles a day. If I eat freely and without restraint, I gain weight.

    I keep thinking if I could find a way to put a little more exercise in my day, if my commute were a little longer, if I biked 15 miles a day for example, then I could eat whatever I like. I’d like that, but I don’t know if it is possible. It could be that balance will never be reached, that the more I exercise the more I’ll want to eat. I don’t know.

  • 5. Feaelin  |  December 18, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    I thought popcorn was the thing for dieters when it was unsalted and unbuttered (and unsweetened), since the popcorn itself is very low in calories. 🙂

    Regarding exercise: I didn’t make use of it, but one thing CalorieKing did is you had your ‘calorie budget’ (I forget what they called it), which increased based on the exercises. The database contained detailed information on various exercises, biking, walking, running, jogging, etc. It’d add back on the calories burned.

    It always felt like to me like “Hmm. If you work harder and get a bonus check, you can spend it on something”.

    regarding misuse of points: When I was calorie dieting, I found I chose healthier foods, since I was THINKING about what I was eating, since I was counting the calories.

    But with cash or calorie budgeting not everyone will react that way…calories, or money, someone might not think it thoroughly; eat some junk food, blow some required $ on a game; etc. 🙂

    Its all about finding a system that fits you. Maybe WW does…the points reduces the bookkeeping of calories to simpler numbers…a nice thing. But maybe isn’t the one that works. Maybe Spark would, with its more detailed database…who knows.

    Play, experiment, find something that works.

  • 6. Jennifer  |  December 20, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Ohhhh… unsalted, unbuttered, unFLAVORED popcorn. I see. 😉 Still, doesn’t six points for 1/4 cup of caramel corn seem like a lot to you? Crunch-n-Much is only 3 points for a WHOLE cup!

    And I checked, by the way… I thought I was exaggerating, but I was right. 6 points for every 1/4 cup.

    For me, it’ll be a traditional reward: wardrobe. I need new clothes ANYWAY, and obviously I’ll want new clothes as the things I have now cease to fit well. Already some of my pants are getting to be a pain because I have to hitch them up. 😉 A nice feeling, but not so good when they’re all I have.

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