Weight Watchers Original Diet – Gains and Losses

The Elephant in the RoomWell, it’s been three weeks of the Original Weight Watchers Diet for us and we are ready to talk about what we lost, what we gained, and whether we’d do it again.

We were both excited the first week of this diet. We were doing it! We were going to lost weight! This diet created sea change in our eating palettes and those changes allowed us to make a few observations about ourselves.

What We Lost:

  • The beginning of this diet found us whining. We really did not like the restrictions it was placing on us and the changes that were being foisted upon our lives. We came to realize that, much like the grieving process for loss, we were experiencing a grieving process for our relationship with food. Everyone eats for a variety of reasons and a diet gives us the opportunity to redefine that relationship in a healthier manner. Using this diet aided us in beginning to lose our unhealthy relationship with food and move on to the next phase of dieting: aligning.

What We Gained:

  • We began to align our lives to better fit the constricts of our chosen diet.  We gained a new appreciation for breakfast; not the bowl of cereal eaten on the fly but the real sit down breakfast. We have found we quite enjoy preparing our breakfast and sitting down together to eat it and begin our day.
  • Brooke gained a new appreciation for many new foods. She now eats grapefruit, salmon, oranges, shrimp, and leafy green vegetables. We both committed to eat fish at least once a week. Our favorite so far is Cilantro Rosted Salmon; it’s tasty!
  • We never considered ourselves to be picky eaters but have gained new insights into our eating issues. We doubt we’ll ever eat onions or cooked tomatoes but we are working on expanding the variety of foods we will eat to increase the nutritional value of our meals.
  • Brooke gained 3.2 pounds overall.  Sherry gained 3.9 pounds overall.  The scale is going in the wrong direction! We had maintained our current weights for the past 6 months so gaining weight while on a diet was a bit disgruntling.

**Update**  If you want a diet that is very effective at taking off the weight, check out The Cupcake Time Diet. It’s a healthy and effective way to lose weight and is based on the latest research!

Diet Details:  We had a difficult time sticking to this diet. We even gave it an extra week so that we were out of the whining phase and actually following the diet. The secret for success on this diet is creating a very tight menu up front and then being willing to follow it. We did well the first week and both lost a small amount of weight. The next week brought stressful midterms for Brooke which left her not willing to follow the strict structure and her wanting comfort foods that weren’t allowed. The final week we enjoyed Spring Break in the Poconos with Emma and Jake. We really weren’t willing to closely follow Weight Watchers Original Diet while vacationing. We carefully packed our food calendar and the correct foods for the trip. And we ate the food (and then a lot more other food.  We found the best Thai food restaurant there!).  A veteran dieter may succeed with this diet but we just don’t seem to have the skills to cope with stress and vacations without using our deplorable past eating habits. Not yet, anyway. When life took over, we ignored the diet and the food calendar and then couldn’t find our way back for the entire day. This is probably why Weight Watchers changed their diet strategy and now use a Points Plus system that allows you to eat what you want when you want as long as you don’t exceed your points.

We started with the Original Weight Watchers Diet because we had heard so many people say they preferred it to the new Weight Watchers Points Plus system. If we were to use Weight Watchers again, we would choose the Points Plus system all the way. However, we learned more about ourselves and our relationship with food using this Original diet. We believe that alone is extremely useful as it has pushed us to commit to eating a wider variety of foods.

Weight Watcher’s Original Diet:   2.7

Educational: 5    Doable:  2    Did we lose weight: 1

What’s Next?  We know it’s important to lose weight in a way that redefines our relationship with food. There are tons of programs to choose from that may (or may not) meet our needs.  After much research and a long discussion about diets, we decided that perhaps some drastic weight loss up front might cheer us up and at least get us back to our original weights. We have decided to next try The Satan Diet.

Thank you to those of you who suggested diets for us – we really want to succeed at this! If any of you have a suggestion for a diet program you would like us to try, let us know!

Admittedly Reissued

Are you a picky eater? We’ve never ever considered ourselves picky eaters. You can live your entire life thinking you are this awesome person who has no food issues, only to realize you are the world’s pickiest eater. That’s what happened to us.  It all ended with the fish. The original Weight Watcher’s diet recommends you eat fish four times a week. We gasped! People eat fish!?!?! We were pretty sure the four times a week rule was a bit excessive and punitive for dieters. Maybe they assumed everyone would lose weight as they resolutely prepared fish and then refused to eat it?

You see, we prepare dinners every evening and we eat them. We don’t quibble about what is in them or how they were prepared. We sit down at the table and enjoy a quiet evening meal. Not food issues in sight. Enter Jake. See Emma has a boyfriend named Jake. (Emma is Brooke’s sister.) And Jake completely destroyed our inner tranquility at dinner time. Until Jake, we had (as I stated earlier) reveled in our lack of food issues.

Okay, that’s not completely and totally the truth. We assumed we had no food issues even as we were picking the cooked tomatoes from our spaghetti’s tomato sauce. Well, the ones who eat tomato sauce picked out the tomatoes while the other two enjoyed their spaghetti with butter and a little cheese. Maybe we are a little issued – but not much. I mean, we all eat asparagus. But Jake neatly destroyed our delusions of issue-free eating.

It probably started with the risotto. See, Jake had been tolerant of us picking our way through life without comment. He nonchalantly watched us enjoy our meals devoid of onions, green peppers (well, any peppers except hot ones if the truth were known), fish, cooked carrots (those are just gross), and frosting. One afternoon, in a fit of brash rebellion, Jake offered to make us a dinner of chicken and risotto. He put (gasp) onions in the dish – he diced them up small so no one would notice and was surprised at the magnitude of anger he faced in the wake of his misdeed. We (Brooke, Emma, and Sherry) were petulant children, picking out each and every onion from that rice while complaining vehemently. It was a day that almost ended an important relationship; though we’re not sure who was most serious about needing out.

Thinking back, maybe we shouldn’t blame Jake as the harbinger of bad news. There were a few vignettes at restaurants which suggested there mayhave always been slight issues lurking in the background. Like the confused waiter who helpfully cleared our plates and brought back to-go containers brimming with leftovers; we insisted he had the wrong table as our table had had no leftovers. He presented the boxes as evidence: onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, and other assorted vegetables carefully packed into them. We gave him a discerning look and carefully explained that those weren’t leftovers; they were the foods used to flavor the foods we do eat – but we don’t eat those!  We do indeed cook with onions: big chunks of onions that can be pulled from the dish and thrown away after they have provided the flavoring. There was also that waiter who was a jerk because Brooke asked for no onions in her food at a trendy restaurant. She was the first to order. He was resentfully quiet once the whole table had ordered and there was no food that he did not have to alter. We’re pretty sure he didn’t like us much. We have meandered through life NOT ordering food if it cannot be prepared to our specifications. However, most restaurants do have a few items that are served sans onions, peppers, fish, and cooked tomatoes; and we know where they are. We shake our heads in disbelief when the seafood restaurants appear to stay afloat despite their only selling fish.

Ha ha. We were just discussing this and trying to figure out what we don’t eat and Brooke thinks we pretty much eat everything. We just seem picky because we don’t like mainstream food much. Brooke, for example, has just this past month started to eat grapefruit, oranges, salmon, shrimp, kale, and lettuce for the first time in her life. What we discovered is that the children of a food-issued cook will be picky themselves. Yet no one considers themselves to be issued because everyone eats the food that was prepared.

But I digress; back to the fish. Sherry will enjoy a bit of salmon on occasion but Brooke has never willingly allowed fish to enter her digestive system until last week. A fan of southern cuisine, Sherry will make salmon patties, corn fritters, and steamed asparagus for dinner. The corn fritters and asparagus will disappear in a flash and the salmon patties will, too (as long as Jake is there to help Sherry eat them). But Jake and Emma are off at school so there was no one here to eat the salmon we were required to prepare for this diet. Unable to hide in the crowd, Brooke was dismayed to find herself facing a plate of salmon one snowy afternoon. (Ew. And the kitchen smelled of fish.) After much cajoling (and a little shaming) Brooke relented and tasted the Cilantro Baked Salmon. And she loved it! (That might be an overstatement but any form of acceptance is deemed good at this point.)  We did enjoy that salmon and were happy (although not overjoyed) when there were leftovers for another meal. So, see? We aren’t picky. We eat salmon!  But it has to be wild salmon. And fresh, because we fear mercury poisoning. The lady at the fish counter was laughing at us as we made our fish selections. She was recommending all sorts of spooky fish.

“How about a nice piece of cod?”

“No way! Cod are full of parasites and are ugly, trash fish! Maybe we’ll get brave and try some halibut the next time we stop by. We’ll just take that medium-sized piece of wild salmon, again, thank you!”

We are trying to come to terms with the fact that we just might have a few food issues. We’ve realized that some of our unhealthy eating habits that make us fat stem from our unwillingness to consume a lot of the mainstream foods (i.e., raw and healthy) on the market. The first step, they say, is always recognition. We have recognized.

Whine and Dine 3/8/13

...this stuff here!

…this stuff here!

Okay. We didn’t post anything the past couple of days because all we can do is WHINE!!

So we spent some time thinking on this and talking about it and this is what we think.  (Follow this circuitous train of thought, please, it really will make sense.) We chose to start a diet. We want to lose weight. In fact, we are committed to losing weight! And we wanted to share our experiences with you, kind reader, in case you were interested in losing a bit of weight along the way. So why are we sitting around whining?

We find ourselves whining and trying to talk each other into cheating: I even talk myself into trying to cheat. (Okay, I have to make a confession here. We hid half a container of Trader Joe’s orange sticks in the freezer to keep us from temptation during diet time. While Brooke was at school, I cheated. She came home to completely empty container still sitting in the freezer with the lid ripped off and mercilessly tossed aside. (Did you know those orange sticks don’t really freeze? They stay soft in the middle – which is surprisingly delicious and I ate them all in a two hour period and I am so ashamed.)  Why why why?  We wondered if it was time to admit failure and quit the diet. So we talked.

We devloped some new insights on dieting.  Whether we like it or not we all have a relationship with food. Gone are the days where food provides only sustenance. Some of us eat when we’re happy. Some of us eat when we’re bored. Some of us eat when we’re sad. You get the point.  We realized starting a diet is a lot like having a DTR (i.e., define the relationship) moment with someone we truly love but are getting too much of.  It’s hard to break off a relationship; any relationship. And, although food doesn’t promise to change or get all clingy, each of us has to face a period of  adjustment if we are to set our relationship with food right.  So we whine.  We think about going back. We see someone enjoying food the way we used to and we get petulant.

We came to the conclusion that this must happen and it is healthy! In order to move forward on a diet – any diet – you have to grieve your old relationship with food a bit so you can get to a new place.  You have to figure out how to fill the holes left in your life that food used to fill.

Realizing this and acknowledging that it’s a very normal step in a diet plan has been cathartic. We aren’t big babies for whining about being on a self-imposed diet. We are actually taking a very healthy step in breaking off a relationship that, though comfortable, is making us fat. Sorry food, we have to break up. (I still love you!)  Brooke has broken out in song…..oh dear.  We aren’t fails for cheating or for wanting to revert to old habits – we don’t need to hang our heads in shame and quit – we’re succeeding because even with a few hard days behind us we can move forward and redefine our relationship with food.

Okay. We told you how I failed with Trader Joe’s (now known as Traitor Joe’s haha). Now we will tell you about a success. Brooke went to lunch with a friend at Noodles and Company. She loves pasta and was worried about wrecking her resolve to diet while there. She oredered a Chicken Caesar wrap for the first time in her life because she knew she was supposed to eat 4 oz of lean meat and 1 slice of bread as per our original Weight Watcher’s commitment. And she was surprised at how much she enjoyed it! She ate lettuce (a miracle for her), it was tasty and satisfying, and she didn’t have to break her diet!  Success!!!

So we’ve decided it’s okay to enjoy a little whine with dinner (or even with breakfast) because we are going to get past this and our DTR with food is going to make us happy in the long term. And cheating – well, one of us is worse at this than the other. (We’ll let you guess who has to work on that one.)