health

"Instead of just reaching for a perfect ‘number’ on the scales, I’m reaching for a whole new lifestyle."

Weight Watchers
Thanks to our brand partner, Weight Watchers

It’s after midnight on the first of January. I’ve been on Weight Watchers for 34 whole minutes.

Thirty five minutes ago, I sipped the last of my champagne. Before that, I ate a small, slow-cooked calf, washed it down with a bucket of red and consumed France’s entire annual output of smelly cheese.

“What do you think?” I ask my partner as we cleaned our post-feast teeth. “Have I lost weight yet?”

Day 1 – New Year’s Day.

The thing about telling the world you’re on Weight Watchers – or at least the people who occupy my world – is that you say this:

“I’m doing Weight Watchers. Just want to shift the 2.5kgs I’ve put on since moving in with my partner and the 2.5kgs I’ve been talking about my whole life.”

And they hear this:

“I will not eat again. Ever.”

But in reality, I spend most of the day screaming, “I AM allowed to eat,” every time I put a grape in my mouth.

I spend the rest of it saying ‘bugger it’, consuming 20 of my 30 permitted SmartPoints™ in white wine and eating pasta. And a bit of fruit cake. By the time I hit the hay, I’ve downed an additional 20 SmartPoints™ on top of my allowance.

Not good.

But it’s so much bigger than what I’m putting into my mouth. With Weight Watchers’ new Program, Your Way, it’s all about lifestyle. This time around, instead of just reaching for a specific goal, a perfect ‘number,’ I’m reaching for a whole new lifestyle – a lifestyle based around three pillars: Food, Fit and Feel.

Day 5 – We be healthy.

It would be hard to find a more virtuous couple. I swim and gym and eat lots of fruit. My partner has stopped drinking (and, by default, snoring). He is being very, very supportive, cooking yummy stuff from the Weight Watchers cookbook.

His daughter, who is slim, lithe and 16, likes it because some of the stuff we’re coming to love is vegan, and so is she.

She’s less impressed on the days I scoff a steak and marvel: “Only six SmartPoints!”

Food, Fit, Feel. Images: supplied.

Day 10 – Hello, smugness.

Yes, that would be me. Down 1.5kg in 10 days. Not noticeable to the eye, but it looks very, very good on the graph in the Weight Watchers App where I’m tracking all this. It’s like quite a steep slippery dip, which is, in fact what I’d like to shove my partner down given he’s only doing Weight Watchers as a sideline and has lost THREE KILOS!

This is how things are panning out:

Breakfast – tea and honey, fruit, a couple of pieces of toast and maybe an egg. Sometimes not an egg.

Mid morning – fruit. Fruit is seriously working for me – I can have as much as I like INCLUDING BANANAS (as any seasoned dieter knows, these are too often off the list).

Lunch – a salad sambo, or a salad, or some soup and a roll. And I know even as I write this it all sounds very abstemious, but it just isn’t. I’m talking beef and lamb and cheese and roasted veggies.

Mid arvo – Fruit.

Dinner – pretty much what we were having before – meat, veggies, salad. But I’ve become much more adventurous with my salads. Fennel, oranges, chickpeas, cranberries, walnuts – they all make appearances, and they are yum.

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But I’m not sneaking in seconds, and I’ve done away with the bowl of ice cream or row of chocolate that was becoming a daily habit.

Day 16 – The deadly dinner.

So here’s the deal. On the Weight Watchers Program, you get an allocation of daily SmartPoints™ (I have 30), then an additional 35 SmartPoints™ each week to use however you like. Tonight, friends are visiting from Melbourne, so I’ve been saving my weekly SmartPoints™ for dinner at ours.

We eat. A lot. We drink. A lot. We are very, very merry.

As I drain the last of several shirazes, I tot up my points for the day.

69. Yes, you read that right. I have consumed all my daily points, all my weekly points and then a few extra that do not exist IN A SINGLE MEAL.

I wonder if I’m allowed to take out an advance on next week’s? The answer is no.

“We eat. A lot. We drink. A lot. We are very, very merry.” Images: supplied.

Day 21 – Swim club starts.

I’m down 3kgs. I HAVE RIBS, PEOPLE!! Not when I’m standing up – I don’t want to be that skinny – but lovely, ribby ribs when i’m lying in bed. Ribs that haven’t been felt for at least 18 months. There’s even a suspicion of hip bone.

Two others in the Mamamia office agree to start swimming with me twice a week. And the impact on how I feel is amazing. My mind is clear, I have energy to burn and, most of all, it’s fun. I wonder when I forgot that doing stuff like this just for the hell of it feels really good? It’s nice chatting with my workmates about something that isn’t work. I pledge not to forget it again.

I sign up for the Sydney Skinny (a 900m nude ocean swim) with three great friends, and for a one kilometre Mooloolaba ocean swim with my sister.

Day 31 – Bloody plateaus.

Ten days later, and I’m still hovering around 3kgs. I’m back in my happy weight zone, but can’t understand why losing weight has been easy to this point, and now I’ve stopped. Am I the only person in the world who can lose half a kilo overnight and gain a kilo in a day?

Honestly, I’m a bit despondent.

But when my partner offers me a wine after a particularly rough day, I decline and tell him it’s probably the worst thing I can do. Trust me, no one’s more surprised than me by this response.

Who even is this person?

“My mind is clear, I have energy to burn and, most of all, it’s fun.” Images: supplied.

Day 35 – Officially on my way.

4kgs. Yep. You heard it first. Just by sticking to my points – which by now is second nature – I’ve busted through the plateau.

My boyfriend jeans – which are supposed to be baggy but had started to look a bit like skinny jeans – rest on my hips perfectly. I feel so good in the pool it should be criminal. Everything about my body feels right, and my head is in a great space.

So I’m sticking with it.

Oh, and a couple of things:

Partner update: he’s relaxed his eating and drinking a bit, but is still 5kgs lighter.

Friends update: two of them have decided to sign up.

What I’m missing: nothing, really. I eat what I like – I just plan for it.

How do you maintain your health habits?

Tags: health , lifestyle , health-and-wellbeing , women
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