Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Review of Weight Watchers So Far, Plus OMW: Days 25-27

Friday and Monday I used the CrossRamp. My knee is doing so much better--I am careful to always wear a neoprene sleeve, but I haven't had any pain, which is awesome. I was getting depressed, thinking I would have to stop Operation Morning Workout in order to figure out what was wrong. Phew!

Monday I did all arm/trunk exercises in addition to the cardio. The (assisted) pull-ups are feeling easier, which is fabulous. That's one of my favorite machines because it just feels like such an accomplishment to do a pull-up. Also, you can really feel all the muscles in your back and your abs working in addition to your arms, so it seems like such a great all-purpose exercise.

Today I did the bike and added a little time on, since I have fewer leg exercises. I also did three sets at the weight machines instead of 2. I only have four leg machines right now, and that's partially because I'm afraid of hurting my knee. I have no quad machines, which I'd like to remedy (in a safe way, of course). I think I will add the leg press and see how that goes. Mr. T thinks I work the quads out enough in general, but I just love the look of some well-sculpted legs, and the quads are such a strong support system for everything, but in particular belly dance, that I don't want to neglect them.

Yesterday I signed up for Weight Watchers. It's only $100/year through my work (typically it's $17/month). My opinion so far is that there are good things and bad things about it. Note that I'm just doing the online tools part, not the meetings. I have zero time for meetings, and I just don't think the sarcastic part of me would survive the meetings. I like the idea of the online stuff better.

So, to start with the bad things. Your daily food allowance is given to you in "points," which is some wholly manufactured idea that seems to be based on calories, fat grams, and fiber. It could just be me, but that seems like a dated idea. Then again, I haven't been losing weight doing what I'm doing, so what do I know. The thing that strikes me most about the "points" is that the formula for figuring out how many points a given food has is so complex that you'd never be able to do it without WW, which I suspect is the ahem, point. So, while WW can teach you some things, you will always need it. That's a bummer. Not all of the foods I eat are in their database (almond milk, for example), but they have a calculator as long as you know the calories, fat grams, and fiber in a serving. I'm not sure what to do about eating out. Do I bring measuring cups and teaspoons in order to track everything? I guess you get better over time, but it seems a little daunting.

I haven't really explored all the online information, so I withhold any other criticism for now, but I will comment that the website was running very slow today. Painfully slow.

To end on a good note: I really like the exercise of tracking my food, and their points tracker is really easy to use and organizes the information well. You can also add your activity in to get extra points to swap in if you use all your weekly points. It's helping me develop some reality around portion control how much food I should really be eating in a day if I would like to lose weight (depressingly, quite a bit less than what I was eating), and it's helping me avoid dumb snacking for the sake of snacking, since I'm now accountable. That's kinda how I figured it would go. I needed some help to realize I'm not always eating because I'm hungry.

I'll give updates as I go. The MOH is also on WW online and promises to give me tips on stuff I can eat with low points values that's really filling.

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