So far, January has been all about beginnings and fresh starts. I guess that’s pretty normal for the month at the beginning of a new year. One of the things that’s begun this month is I’ve started back on Weight Watchers. Well, that actually happened at the end of December, but I didn’t have my first weigh-in until January. I did great my first week back! I lost 4 lbs that first weigh-in and didn’t feel like I struggled at all the previous week getting there. The new Weight Watchers program really guides you towards healthier food choices that help you to make better choices and feel fuller. I’m hoping that this time I finally learn better eating habits that I can use the rest of my life.
The plan is theoretically the same – you still get a set number of Points – now called Points Plus – that you’re supposed to eat per day, plus a weekly allowance on top of that that you can choose to use on splurges, hungrier days, etc. Points are calculated differently now, though, and help guide you towards healthier and more filling foods. The best way that I can illustrate that is with “the banana example” (lol). On the previous program, a banana was 2 points. So was a sugar free chocolate pudding cup. Now, rationally I always knew that the banana was a healthier choice because it carried with it more nutrients and fiber and would be more filling in the end. But… for the same amount of points I could have chocolate. So I almost always went for the “fake food” chocolate. Now, with the new plan, a sugar free chocolate pudding cup is still 2 points, but a banana is 0 points. So what would I choose now? The banana.
On top of many “better-for-you” foods becoming lower in points, many of the “not-so-better-for-you” foods became higher in points, as did many “staple” foods. The daily and weekly points allowances also increased, though, so it’s pretty easy to fit in a lot of “good-for-you” foods and still have room for plenty of “ok-for-you” foods.
They also slightly modified the way that you could use Activity Points; letting you use them any time during the week that you earned them rather than having them “expire” that day. This has helped me to become super-motivated to work out, since I’m not beholden to using those points the day that I earn them and can save them up for the weekend, for example, when we might go out and have some drinks.
Overall, I like the changes to the new plan and I feel like I’m making healthier choices. In the past, I’d always recommended Weight Watchers because it was so easy – you just track what you eat and stay on target and you lose. Now I feel even better about recommending it because not only is it still really easy, but by following the plan you’ll also make healthier choices and develop good eating habits that should keep you from slipping back into the bad habits that got you to a place where you needed to lose weight in the first place. Oh – and I’ve had another weigh-in since the beginning of the month and had another 2.8lb loss, so I’m totally 6.8lbs down in the first 2 weeks. How can you not love a program that helps you do that?!
Another thing I’ve started this month is working out with EA Active 2 on our PS3. EA Active 2 is a “virtual personal trainer” game that uses sensors that strap onto your arms and right leg to monitor your movements and your heart rate. I really enjoy working out with it because it’s not JUST getting on the elliptical and doing the same repetitive movement until your workout time has elapsed or JUST lifting weights. It’s a video game that runs you through different drills and “exercise stations” – kind of like working out with a real personal trainer – and so you’re constantly changing up what you’re doing to keep things interesting. Now, unlike having a real personal trainer, it can’t modify exercises to accommodate injuries and it can’t really tell if you’ve got your form perfect. But it’s still a fun way to get a good workout in, without having to leave the house. There is also an online portal that you can join to track your progress online and join exercise groups. I haven’t played with that part of it too much yet, but it sounds cool. I ended up getting it for the PS3 rather than for the Wii because the PS3 version allows for completely hands-free exercises, so you can easily add in free-weights rather than using the included resistance band and you don’t have to hold a wii-mote during cardio exercises and feel your hands making it all sweaty (gross). Also, supposedly they will add downloadable content to the PS3 version in the future. There isn’t any yet, but I figured I’d go with the system that allowed for a little future-proofing.
Another new beginning – and a very exciting one – is for Dodi and her husband, Scott, who welcomed into the world their first baby on Friday, the 14th! I was fortunate enough to get to meet Emma Margaret on Saturday and am happy to report that she is a truly adorable little peanut! Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, but let me just tell you: she’s cute. She’s got impish dark blue eyes behind long eyelashes and tons of blonde hair that already comes down past her ears! I’m so happy for Dodi and Scott – congrats guys!
And now it’s time for another new beginning: me beginning to get back to work today!