Back to Blog

Sustainable Change

diet habits nutrition weightloss weightwatchers Jul 11, 2018

I remember signing up for weight watchers for the 3rd time.   At that point, I was about 35 pounds overweight and I felt like I had to face the music.   I needed some help.    After the first meeting, I dutifully went to the grocery store and remember thinking to myself... what can I get with the least number of points?   I remember instead of my normal bread, I bought weight watchers bread, instead of my normal ice cream I bought weight watchers ice cream sandwiches.    I chose the least delicious but highest fiber breakfast cereal and low-fat everything.   I bought giant tubs of popcorn and endless zero point diet sodas.  Instead of my normal French Vanilla coffee creamer, I bought the sugar-free!  I was going to do this!! I was going to lose weight.

Fast forward a few weeks/ months... I was hungry.   I had lost 10 pounds.   But...if I even had one meal "off" I felt like I was failing.  I wasn't any healthier and was completely addicted to diet soda to fuel the time in between my tiny meals.  I obsessively worried about points and even remember a specific day that I cried because my husband ate a bite of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.   2 points gone forever and I was out of my special bread.  Yes, I cried.

I joined a gym and did cardio by myself so I could earn more points.   I felt guilty and dissatisfied with my body.

It wasn't long before I quit.   I gained all 10# back and was no better off than before I started.    I think a few months went by before I joined again.

This was the cycle.  It was frustrating and defeating.  Obviously, there was something wrong with me..because I couldn't do it.

How did skinny fit people eat "healthy" all the time?  Why couldn't I do it?   Maybe I didn't have the willpower or maybe fit people didn't have 2 small kids, bad genetics, a bad knee and a busy job.

Yup, that was it... obviously, those were the reasons.

I needed direction....... sadly I didn't learn what I needed for a few more years.

Now, as a nutrition coach, my mission is to teach people the skills, habits, and mindset needed to be fit and healthy in the long run.  My goal is to share the information I desperately needed back then.

Here are some of the important differences between how I dieted then, and how I live now.  These are the tenants I teach to my clients.

Then -> Diet composed of mostly processed "diet food" that met the requirements of my points but had no nutritional values.

Now -> Diet built almost entirely around whole foods and high micronutrient food choices.

Then -> Worked out as punishment for food or to earn more food.

Now - > Exercise is to build muscle, improve health, stay mobile and have fun with friends.

Then - > Obsessively focused on the scale

Now - > Measure progress with body composition, overall health, performance gains and life balance.

Then - > Drank diet drinks, sugary flavored coffees.

Now - > Drink lots of water and black coffee.

Then -> Mindlessly ate inflammatory foods that didn't work for my body.  Suffered from eczema, reflux, and joint pain.

Now ->  Avoid inflammatory foods.  Certain ones I completely avoid.

Then - > Stayed up late watching Netflix or TV.

Now - > Regularly sleep 8 hours minimum and wake up without an alarm clock.

Then - > Ate out due to stress or lack of planning or to binge on junk food.

Now - > Eating out to enjoy special food and time with family and friends.

Then - > Hoarded points to have more "diet" weight watchers chocolate cakes.

Now - > Enjoy a delicious dessert on occasion without stress or worry.

Then - > Felt guilty about changes in my body and constantly questioned if I was doing something wrong.

Now - > Understand my body does not look the same all year and it probably shouldn't.

I'm not saying my current nutrition is perfect.  I know it isn't.   I certainly don't know everything and am always learning how to improve both my personal and family nutrition as well as the support I give my clients.   I am not specifically knocking weight watchers.  All of my "nows" are potentially compatible with that program or any program for that matter... the problem was... I didn't know how to do them.

If I think about how I invested my money, energy, emotions and time during that period in my life, it is easy to see now that the payoff wasn't sustainable.   I wasn't developing any of the habits and skills I really needed and any weight I lost would come right back.  Ultimately, I wasn't very healthy on the inside regardless of what the scale said.

Big takeaway.... Be honest with yourself when you start a program.   Are you doing the work to build real habits?  Or... are you doing what I did.... hoarding your points for another weight watchers ice cream sandwich so you can lose another pound but gain nothing?

Subscribe to Fitme emails!

Get blog posts, helpful tips and inspirational emails.

We hate SPAM. We will never spam you and you can always unsubscribe at any point!