Thursday, March 1, 2012

Weight Watchers 101

I've gained 25 pounds in the last 4 years ... nearly all of it in 2009 alone.

I weigh as much today as I did when I delivered each of my children.


So...  Now I am two hours into a Weight Watchers membership.

All of this is so shocking to me.

Five years ago, I could down a Totino's Party Pizza, chase it with a Coke and dessert if I wanted, and still have my size 6's falling off of me.

Then the reality of aging and living with PCOS came down on me.  I've got to exercise and carefully consider what I eat.  Blech.

The first thing I wanted to log into my Weight Watchers food tracker was a fruit smoothie.  Three strawberries, half of a banana, 1/3 of a cup of blueberries, a few blackberries, 1 cup of skim milk, 1/2 cup of grape juice, and 1 TBS of chia seeds.  Now, I will concede that this makes for a HUGE smoothie.  (But I totally would have drank the whole thing yesterday!)  And, on their own, each of the fruits has no points, but - for whatever reason - these foods, blended together, come to NINE points.

I'm only allowed 26 points a day.

I wanted to jump off a cliff.  Or strangle someone at Weight Watchers.

I love fruits.

But even my doc told me that I needed to adopt a diabetic diet for optimal health and weight control.  PCOS equals a pancreas that doesn't properly process insulin.  And now Weight Watchers is telling me - again - that all that fruit is not a good thing.

After concocting my NINE point smoothie, I settled for 2/3 of it and put the rest in the fridge...

Then I began building my grilled chicken salad that I'll have for dinner.  Mixed greens, cucumber, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and grilled chicken.  Only the last two ingredients have any points.  The total for the salad (which will certainly leave me feeling more satisfied than that delicious smoothie) is only FOUR points.  Evidently vegetables and fruits are not created equal.

Darned sugar in fruits...

Neither are salad dressings.  My full-fat favorite blush wine vinaigrette is three points.  An almost-equally yummy fat free raspberry vinaigrette is only ONE point.  Salad with dressing comes to a total of FIVE points.  Salad, glorious salad!

But I wanted to throw in TEN - count 'em, just TEN - yummy multigrain club crackers...  Another FIVE points.  Those ten measly (delicious) crackers DOUBLE the points value of my dinner.  I also left off shredded mozzarella cheese.  It probably would have only added one point, but I'm sure I'll be jonesing for a Tootsie Roll or two later ... and I love chocolate more than cheese.

For lunch?  Steamed broccoli and shrimp with some brown sauce (we picked up the sauce up at Chinese restaurant up the street).  Before the sauce, the broccoli and shrimp come to THREE points.  I'm thinking about throwing in a 1/2 cup of brown rice, but that about doubles the points of the broccoli and shrimp - as does sauce.

While I still hate Weight Watchers for showing me - mathematically - just how bad cheese, crackers, rice, bread, sauces, dressings ... and even fruit in bulk ... can be for me, I am grateful.  I just can't ignore this stuff anymore.

A sleeve of crackers and half a cheese ball has got to come out of my dinner rotation.  Sob, sniff...  Get out the plates, serve up proper portions and step away from the kitchen, Woman!

In under two hours, I have begun to get the concept of portion control and ingredient selection.

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