Would you like some fat-free cheese with your whine?

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life172 Comments


In the haze of a deep-fried food coma at the Minnesota State Fair. Photo by Coleman.

I've been working on my health and fitness for almost 9 months.

For most of this time, I've been pretty okay with the Weight Watchers plan. I mean, you just choose foods with appropriate points values, eat them, and write them down. Done and done!

But since I've upped my fitness activities, I am not going to lie: I'm hungrier.

And I'm also trying to focus on better nutrition to help fuel my body for said activities.

I'm not an expert by any stretch, but I'm trying to get some good proteins, carbs and fats at each meal. Trying being the operative word. As soon as you add that teaspoon of olive oil to your tomatoes, they go from a nice points total of "0" to a whopping "1." And while I realize that "1" is going to kill your plan, it does add up over the course of three meals and two snacks if you aren't careful.

Then there's the craptastic foods I also still try to get away with. You know, Kettle brand baked potato chips ("But they're baked! They're GOOD for you!") Or maybe a nice serving of all natural Pirate's Booty ("But it's ALL NATURAL. It's GOOD for you!") Lord knows I loves me some crunchy snacks.

Then there's the healthier things I'm trying to add in, like the new Clif Mojo bars. Oh, sweet energy Gods. The Peanut Butter crunch bar? Divine. And, unfortunately, four friggin' points a pop.

Then there's just things like pizza. And cookies. And raw dough. And peanut butter straight from the jar. One spoonful after another. And another.

I feel like I'm in both a slump and a dangerous place as far as regression into poor eating habits go. It only takes me a few weeks of crap eating to put a serious scare into me.

In the past two weeks I've eaten crap at: 1) a huge anniversary party; 2) Famous Dave's; and 3) The Minnesota State Fair. I couldn't have calculated the points if I tried.

And now, I'm struggling to get back into a groove of 19 points a day.

I hate to be whining and obsessing about this, but honestly? I'm obsessing and whining about it.

And the reality of it is this: 19 points ain't a lot of food some days.

You know what I'm sayin', Gs?

Cathy ZielskeWould you like some fat-free cheese with your whine?

172 Comments on “Would you like some fat-free cheese with your whine?”

  1. #1
    Kathy Aylward

    I hear you sister……. however with all that exercise maybe you should use 2 points for food. I’m sure you are earning them. Everything you say is so true…but you look amazing and you’ll soon be able to maintain but there’s not a lot of room for movement even being good with the olive oil is there!! Great job so far Cathy. (kathy from australia)

  2. #2

    Hey Cathy, with all your exercise, can you eat some of your “bonus points” for exercise each day? I hear what you are saying about crap food! Surely it is better to donate yourself some extra points e.g. 23 a day and as long as you spend it on good food see how it goes? if you start to gain weight, reduce to 22? I’m no expert but 23 a day is better than the danger of 50 crap-filled points a day yes?!

  3. #3

    I try living on my 18 points a day but if I didn’t have activity points I’d probably starve. Know what you mean about Kettle Chips–heavenly.

  4. #4

    Cathy, I don’t counted point myself, but I SO hear ya on the temptation of not-so-great-for-you foods. Darn that friend of mine who got me eating Nutella for the first time three weeks ago. I’m two-thirds of the way through a decent sized jar of the stuff at work (danger zone for bad eating… my desk!), and suddenly my whole wheat toast and multigrain crackers are just a platform for a layer of that gooey chocolatey hazelnut spread.

    Sending you will power to get back on track. <3

  5. #5
    Jane Toft

    Maybe it helps to think ‘who’s in charge here?; Weight Watchers or me?’. You want to be healthy and fit and be the best you can be. They are not in control, you are! It’s so hard to discard the trap of being ‘on a diet’ that we as woman have been taught from teenagehood through watching and listening to our older female relatives. I know, I am one too! Keep making healthy choices – you’re an inspiration to more women than you probably know πŸ™‚

  6. #6

    OH I so hear ya! But it’s all about lifestyle changes and the effects over the long term….so you had a party and a fair? That’s life…just get back on it and you’ll be fine.

    Oh and thanks….because of you and some others in my life that have been successful as of late with weight loss and being healthier…I started back to WW on April 20th and have lost 26 pounds to date!!!

    My favorite quote when I feel like I’ve blown it – “Courage doesn’t always roar; sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow.”

  7. #7
    Susan in MD

    I know what you mean. I always thought it was hard with Weight Watchers when you lose weight and you get fewer points to eat. Felt like I was being punished for doing the right thing.

    The fact that you can acknowledge this challenge means you will perserve another day!

    Susan in MD

  8. #8

    I hate to tell you this but the formula for a healthy lifestyle including a fit healthy body, is 10% genes, 10% exercise and 80% what you put in the ole pie hole. I have been following you and you have inspired me to exercise-just made it to level green this week!-but to really be free of the body weight burden (no pun intended), you have to get the nutrition part right. Don’t give in. There is no food that you love nearly as much as you hate being fat. You hate what it does to your self worth and your confidence when you are heavier. You LOVE how you look and feel. Those junk foods are just that-junk. You are a well oiled machine. Don’t give in, not NOW! You are great example to your daughter. Go to the next level and truly make the committment of treating your body with respect by eating worthy foods and not junk. Your daughter is watching. She’ll remember in 20 years when she’s struggling. She’ll do what you did. Show her the way. Be careful about adding points because you work out and deserve it. Do it in a very purposeful manner. Add a specific meal, like a post work out protein shake or snack. Don’t just decide that you deserve a little more because you’ll take more than you thought and you’ll slide slowly but surely and it stinks. By next spring you’ll be thinking, “How did this happen.” Don’t let it happen! Good luck. You are such an inspiration. There are LOTS of people who don’t make it to the two year mark in weight loss. Most weight losers, really. Show us the real success-the success with longevity. You look amazing and you have told us you FEEL SO GOOD! You can do this!

  9. #9

    My husband and I have gone to nutrition classes to learn how to deal with his diabetes. We should have learned this in school! Carbs, portions and easy on the fat – it all makes sense when you find out what your body needs. It hasn’t been a major upheaval and we are doing a pretty good job of it. We have to take it very seriously because with his medications it could be catastrophic.

    I’m like you Cathy, when I get interested in something I dive right in and become consumed with it. So right now I’m trying new recipes and finding out all I can. It’s all about being proactive.

  10. #10

    Oh Cathy, we all know the secret: EAT LESS MOVE MORE… I’d like to think now that summer is “over” the eat less part of this equation will “fall” into place. The sad reality? Once ya fall off for awhile it’s so damn hard to “climb back on that horse”… here’s to all of us Gettin’ back at it & taking charge!

  11. #11

    Have you ever tried another method of tracking calories/nutrients in and amount expended through activity/execise? In the past I have tracked with a free online site called fitday.com. It is pretty easy to set up and shows you the calorie content of common foods you eat or allows you to enter them and keep a running list. It also gives you the nutrient breakdown such as fats, proteins, carbs, vitamins, etc. It tracks calories used in daily activity and exercise and weight loss.

    Just a thought if the point counting is aggravating you–not to replace it but to give you another insight into how you are treating your body.

  12. #12
    Andi Sexton

    You still look and are fabulous!
    I gained 5 lbs. (probably more, took me a few days to face the scale) from last week’s ever so ‘no holds bar’ vacation… Talk about crap food. Pizza 3x, pasta, Mexican 2x, ice cream every single day, fun appetizers and big girl drinks… But hey, it was vacation. And now it’s time to get back into the skinny mentality. A little diversion now and then is AOK in my book!

  13. #13

    I’m with you on the points……I’ve just started and have 26 points…..and some days it’s a struggle…but it appears to be working, so I am trudging along and trying to keep the slip-ups to a minimum and not exhaust all of my weekly points.

    But…….I would KILL for a slice of Costco pizza….any decent pizza…….and cheese…..we have to break up….wah…..wah…..


  14. #14

    Yeah, I do hear you sister. I have been toying with a WW membership for months, but I keep coming back to the fact that it really seems like its geared toward a more sedentary lifestyle. I can see that my nutrition and calorie intake don’t match up with my lifestyle, but I can’t seem to figure out how to fix it, and it seems like most of the “athlete’s” that I go to for advice either struggle with the same thing or eat like birds and look at me like I’m an alien for struggling with weight loss. Sigh.

  15. #15
    Creative Junkie

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. I’m at 18 points a day and it’s friggin’ hard. *HARD*

    I’m on maintenance so I could probably have upwards of 22 points a day to maintain but I know how I am – give me a few extra points and I’ll be driving away from Macaroni Grill with a UHaul so it’s best that I stick with 18.

    I went from a size 16 to a healthy size 6 so I try to remind myself that the ultra thick, dense cake made with 32 different kinds of chocolate isn’t worth it.

    “Try” being the operative word.

  16. #16
    Barb M.

    As as former smoker (and I know we share that) I live with the mantra, ‘don’t stop quiting.’ Two weeks of crap eating won’t wreck you, but two months surely will. Just do your points today. Start again today. I went on Curves plan for a year and lost 60 pounds then started working out more ( not CZ more, but more than I had ever in my life) and I needed more snacks. I stopped counting fruits (I never counted veg on the plan.) Just being about to eat fruit without counting, freed me up so much. And less face it, and extra banana or two a day is not going to make anyone gain weight. Be kind to yourself when you slip and then start over.

  17. #17

    Are you adding activity points? 19 seems pretty menial for someone moving like you. My WW leader always says if you are hungry your body is trying to tell you something. Also, I think you need to figure in “fun/junk” to your points. My theory is that I was ‘too perfect’ the first time around and I finally broke big time and needing to get back on it.

  18. #18

    Well my theory is people fail at “diets” because they deprive themselves and you can only sustain that for so long. Then u get frustrated and give up. Allowing yourself to enjoy treats occassionly and not beat yourself up over it is key in my mind.

  19. #20

    thanks Jane. I just need to also remember, a few weeks of eating over points doesnt mean ive thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
    : )

  20. #23

    I hear you. I woke up the other day and realized that by fudging with my food tracking (i.e. recording 1 tbsp of peanut butter instead of the more-likely 1.5, or *forgetting* to write down the giant chocolate chip cookie), I’m actually just working against myself. So I enlisted my sister to help keep me accountable (and I’m trying to keep her accountable on her exercise regimen).

    I’ve never done WW, but I have been inspired by Michael Pollan’s idea that in worrying so much about nutrition, we’ve actually become less healthy. So while I still pay attention to calories/fat/carbs/protein, I’ve been trying to shift toward a real food/Clean Eating approach (http://www.cleaneatingmag.com). It’s helped to hit up some Mpls farmers markets and then create weekly meal plans to help keep me eating healthy.

    Good luck with the slump, and I know you’ll figure out the balance!

  21. #24

    I have tried Daily Plate, and there is another site that my friend uses (I cant recall the name, but it does cost 10 bucks a month to use and is a calorie/activity counting site). I just feel that WW is something I know, and I have to pay 17 bucks every month, which keeps me honest!

  22. #27

    So on maintenance, you only get 18? Ouch. I thought, naively so, that itd be higher. Sigh.

    If i get to my goal (135) I will be trying the maintenance route as well! good for you!

  23. #28

    Good words, Barb! This week is slowly coming back to normal. And yep, I just have to get back into the groove with the healthy. More fruits. More veg. : )

  24. #29

    Jill, i too have that perfectionist goal when im doing WW. But i really have allowed some fun/junk in, you know? And ive been able to handle it since January. I just need to refocus. Great comments today, all around!

  25. #32

    Well Minda, the thing is, when you combine it with what you are doing, you see results.

    I think all of the before and afters on the WW sight are interesting. If you read them closely, you realize, these women are not just eating right. They are working their asses off with fitness. I think WW downplays that sometimes, as if eating is the only key to success and we all know, especially in our 40s, it aint!

  26. #33

    19 points is nothing my friend, and my WW leader told our group that it starts out pretty easy and then we all hit this slump. One practical suggestions, start counting your points at dinner.

  27. #34

    I hear ya sister! I’ve lost 70 pounds and am not at goal yet. Every now and then I look back and think “WTH have I been eating this week?!” but then can’t seem to reign it in, ya know? For me, it just takes perseverance through the first three or four days of getting back on track. Once all that crap is out of my system I honestly do “feel” better, and my body feels like a more efficient machine during workouts. So I just have to focus on that feeling when the crunchy-salty-monster is calling.

    Oh ya, and 19 points isn’t much at all! I’ve heard other 18 and 19 pointer’s tell me that they MUST workout like crazy to be able to eat like a normal human being. πŸ™

  28. #35

    I would die if I could only eat 19 points a day. I started with 25 points and still, after almost two years, I eat 25 points as a Lifetime member (it pays to be tall and large boned for those extra point). I have activity points and the extra 35 a week they give you. Plus only weighing in once a month gives me the bonus of losing any weight gained. I went on a four day vacation and gained four! Bed & Breakfast stays…they kill you with wonderful food. And can you say pumpkin funnel cake at the local county fair? 25 points right there. I went from 158 to 162. My goal weight is 160. One week after working out and not eating like a Hoover my weight is 158.5. I still want to lose 2 more pounds to give me some holiday leeway. Don’t give up! Some weeks are bad, some are good, but if you get back on track, all will be okay.

  29. #36

    OMG, 19 points a day. I’m afraid I probably had 19 points at breakfast. Perhaps that’s why I can’t shed the 30+ of baby weight that I’ve been hauling around for 4 months. I keep telling myself, when he weens I’ll loose it. Lets hope that’s true because only having 19 points a day scares me.

  30. #37
    Sue in Grapevine

    I am having the same problem. I am mourning not being able to eat everything I want. I know that I can eat some of everything I want, but I admit that I love eating amounts that my metabolic rate cannot cope with. I’ve been maintaining a 40 lb loss since February. I go to WW every week, but I’ve lost my resolve & I will not exercise. I have to remember that maintaining my weight loss is an achievement, but I need to lose more to be at a healthy weight. When what I know about exercise begins to manifest itself in action, I will see the scale budge.
    Sticking to eating mostly from the Filling Foods list helps me feel satisfied for longer & REALLY reduces cravings.
    I will go weigh at my mtg. this morning & I expect a moderate gain. My son is home for a visit, haven’t seen him since June & we have hit all the old fave Mexican places for the last 5 days. But that is living & I accept the consequences. I can console myself w/the fact that I did not eat the same amts of food that I used to before I lost 40 lbs.
    Hang in there! You’re looking great!

  31. #38

    I’m not alone!!! I tried so hard not to eat my extra points during the week, but a little bit here, as little there and voila: maintenance. Maintenance is NOT my goal. While I love those extra points, they are the devil. Up next, jump back on the plan and off the craptastic foods I’m trying to justify.

  32. #39

    I hear you too – and I’m just beginning (AGAIN) on my journey. I’ve found soup to be my friend – the zero and 1 point varieties – the excellent veggie soup and the wonderful taco soup. Hang in there – you are an inspiration! πŸ˜‰

  33. #40

    I will pipe in too. You have done such an excellent job…do not give up. In the diet world it seems to easy to put our life into a category of good days and bad days in regard to eating. I have done it for too many years and then gave up the whole calorie counting thing and worked too much, stressed too much and put me last. I became Type II diabetic. In mid April our company gave us the Shape The Nation Program to create teams, log steps walked, minutes of exercise, weight loss and track eating. It was a kick start to get me going. I added Nike+ in May when I saw you using it. When my position was eliminated in July I thought I am not going to get lost and go back I am still going forward. (although Punch’s Pizza was totally awesome) I put the APP Tap and Track on my I-Touch. It is not exact but it is good. It works for now. You can add exercise and track what you eat. You can email reports and drop into excel if you want. The weight reduction is so s l o w at this age (47) but I have lost 38 lbs so far and have another 40 to go. Past couple of days I have also had things “non-nutritional” but I am also trying to exercise to counter it. (Thanks to 50+) Did you see Eat, Pray, Love – The Pizza scene? Well I think sometimes you just have to give yourself a day off. You are doing a great job with exercising – The weight loss and inches lost proves how hard you have worked. We went to Disney this summer too. Talk about a calorie bust, I was not going to miss the whole experience with everyone just because I could only eat 1200 calories per day. The choices are about your experiences with your family too. We have to be good examples for our kids. Especially our daughters. It is scary the web access to Pro-Ana sites. I have a daughter with severe Ulcerative Colitis who is on lots of meds and steroids at times. I want her to clearly understand that her good food choices help her but do not define her. Often she cannot help what impact the steroids have on her physically. We take it a day at a time. You are not whining. You have given all of us that read your blog a boost and it is our turn to give one back to you. I know you are healthier and I bet if you look back to a year ago you would definitely know you are in a better place. Next year you will be in an even better place. You will go to the State Fair, eat yummy things with your family and know that you had a great day and the choice was the experience with your family – not the choice of “I had a bad eating day”. Hope that helps a bit.

  34. #41

    I just hit 19 pts. (via weight loss) last week. And man, who would have thought losing 1 pt a day of food would feel like so much. I am trying to not obsess about the 1 pt.

    We went to the MN state fair on Friday and I did not even try to keep up with point counting. I “tried” to be conscience of what I ate this year, making different food choices and sharing small amounts of the junk food. So at least I felt better about eating at the fair.

    I agree on the exercise. Exercising makes me so much hungrier during the day. I am trying to find filling, low point, healthy snacks.

    Thank you Cathy for putting the struggles out there also. The good and the bad of the healthier lifestyle.

  35. #42

    thanks, sue.

    There are times when i too mourn the fact that I cant just sit and eat snacks all night with Cole, who will never eat enough food to hide his protruding rib cage….

    Its all a process!

  36. #43

    yeah, i can see that as the way it has to be. Im feeling a bit more focused this morning. But feeling guilty if i dont go out for a bike ride as today is either a rest or a bike ride day.

    Mama needs her activity points!

  37. #45

    thanks, Robyn. I do appreciate the thoughtful comment.

    And yeah, I need to realize that there IS something different in what i am doing this time, and I cannot live my entire life just focusing on 19 points a day. Thats what the fair was. It was LIVE IT UP for a day, Cathy. And take care of yourself on the other days.

    I think im going to go for a bike ride now!

  38. #46
    Tracy Blanton

    Hi Cathy-
    I have also been on a similar plan, and have never been more fit and strong in my life, but I also love great food and going out with my husband. My focus is on balance. I eat really well on a regular basis, focusing on food as fuel for my body (not just a hobby!) and I am working out really hard as well. But when I have the opportunity to go out with my husband I splurge and have the great cocktail and the fabulous dinner. My husband would be so bummed if I went out and ordered a salad! We just spent the weekend as tourists in Seattle and really ate our way around town because there are SO many wonderful restauruants. And becuase I don’t usually eat those kinds of foods, they were so fabulous–I really savored them! Now i am home and back to the normal routine, but my life would not be as rich if I didn’t truly splurge on some of those moments. Balance is the key I think…

  39. #47

    You know what else is challenging? They (nutrition minded folks) tell you to eat healthy things like good fats found in olive oil or almonds. Well 14 almonds have 2 points. YES, they are delicious, but you start snacking on that kind of stuff and boom, points go so fast.

    I suppose if this process were easy, everyone would be in the shape they wanted to be in, and exercising with wild abandon, right?

  40. #48

    I hear you loud and clear! It’s a bitch when you do something good for you like exercising, and it tries to sabotage your eating plan. Keep the faith, baby!

  41. #49

    Cathy, you are amazing! Your fitness transformation has truly inspired me and I am exercising more now with the focus on being “athletic” rather than just “I wanna look better”. In the same vein, I’m also seeing food as fuel and I’m less eager to fill myself up with crap. Whole food, proper portion sizes, eating every three hours, and lots of water (those are my goals). Having to worry about points, and calculating stuff…that would just make me crazy and force me to think about food too much!! But, your perseverance is inspiring for sure.

    Good luck on your journey!

  42. #50

    OMG, I sooooo understand! I was doing fabulously and then we moved, then were home visiting family for nearly 2 months and now we’re in our new place and not happy here. So, my eating habits and exercise have gotten horrid again. I’m just going for easy and not focusing. It is so very easy to fall off the wagon. One wrong move and it could happen. But you’re doing great and you won’t fall off! You’ve done so well and you won’t let it happen!

  43. #51

    May I suggest you have out grown WW. You are a very active person now and as such you need to make sure you are getting proper nutrition/fuel for your activity level. And that will mean more calories – good calories. You are going to want your body to have the energy to perform and also you want that muscle (which weighs more) to grow. You may want to consult a nutritionist.

    You such an inspiration! I am fighting to stay on a wellness path and having a hard time so I really appreciate you sharing your experiences.

  44. #52

    Hi, Cathy!!! I’ve been in awe over the transformation you’ve made this past year….I only hope that I can one day see the same changes in myself!!! In any case, I’ve tried WW in the past…the whole point system..doesn’t work for me. A friend has introduced me to http://www.sparkpeople.com it is a free website that allows you to enter your current/goal weight/date, types of exercise, and suggests the amt. of calories for ea. day to reach your goal. It tracks various nutrients such as fat, fiber, carbs, protein, etc w/ a specific daily goal. You use it to track all your workouts and provides workout & recipe suggestions. It provides reminders that if you are working out more than your plan is…it reminds you to adjust your calories! It has suggestions for various alements…such as diabetes. It includes tons of articles regarding exercise, food, etc. I have no connection to the webstie other than joining last fall and truly started tracking everything through it this spring. It has definitely made things easier…I could never live w/ WW….after learning portion control and healthier eating/exercising through this website…that I can live with πŸ™‚

    Keep up the great work!

  45. #53

    I have been on maintenance for three years.
    Here is the cycle:
    Get down to the “bottom” of my ideal weight range.
    Feel pretty good about myself.
    Get cocky.
    Start eating crap, because I think “I can!”
    Gain five pounds.
    Self loathe at the “top” of my weight range.
    Starve back down.

    It’s exhausting.
    But, at least I have the tools to get back down.
    I don’t think a food addict ever loses the cravings for crap. Or truly chooses celery over white chocolate covered pretzels…

  46. #54


    When you started your change in lifestyle, what was your goal?
    Look at your recent before / after; the metamorphosis is clear for everyone to see – you look absolutely fantastic; but what is your goal now? (Is the goal you set yourself then still valid now?)
    Eating 19 points for the rest of your life without fail? Good luck…
    Seems you are starting to feel guilty about eating some foods that perhaps you believe you shouldn’t; guilty?? hey it’s not as if you just snogged your best friend’s husband…

    I started to ‘exercise more and eat less’ following your inspirational blog posts armed with Nike+, I run 3 time a week, play 5-a-side indoor soccer once a week with my friends and do some cycling in between, all with MyFitnessPal iphone app in support.

    My goal is to shed 15 kg and then hover around that weight there after. There are days / events esp. during the summer holidays where things may not go according to plan on the food side – so what. An extra few miles that week may take care of that; then again it may not.
    I don’t really care because I continue to exercise more and eat less than I used to and feel much much better for it.


  47. #55

    Girl! 19 points??? I would NEVER survive! Maybe you should think about switching to the Simply Filling Technique. That way you would be able to eat all the healthy foods you want to satisfaction and still be following the WW program. That’s what I’ve been doing and I’ve lost 20.6 pounds! I absolutely HATE counting points and know that if I’m in this thing for life (and I am) there is NO WAY I could handle counting every stinking point for the rest of my life.

    Don’t give up! πŸ™‚

  48. #56

    You are an inspiration – Every time I think of quitting (I made a goal to lose 52 lbs this year), I think of you! I’m now down 35, but the year is flying by.

    My suggestion, try upping your 0 pt veges per meal. I try for two cups when I am feeling especially hungry or have been working out a lot. This really helps with my energy level and satisfaction, too!

  49. #57
    kim heffington

    Couple of things…

    – try to eat a little protein with every meal
    – use your 35 extra points – 5 extra points a day
    – are you drinking enough water?
    – break down your meals to 5 a day if you are doing 3 plus a snack. your brain thinks you NEED 3 “big” meals and you really don’t. maybe this will help shake up your cravings.

    you are doing fantastic! i love following along on your journey. i’m down 63 myself. πŸ™‚

  50. #58

    Cathy, I started out at 19 points, and am now at goal. I have really increased my activity level which gives me more points, but if I use many of my bonus points in a week I gain! The tricks for me are to stay away from situations/environments where I’m likely to “make choices that go against my goals” as my WW leader says, and to really, truly drink lots of water. I also focus on my longer term activity goals like completing a triathlon next year. The activity goals won’t be achieved if my food choices are the yummy junk/crap stuff!
    I hope you had a great bike ride!

  51. #60

    Oh how you speak to me. Seriously. I’ve been doing WW since April and lost 23.5 lbs. 1.5 to goal and it’s going slooooow.

    So I started running – doing a C25K program and I’m on week 5. Why am I so freaking hungry? I’m not out training for a marathon – I’m just running & walking (and some strength on the other days).

    I’ve been reading and making some different choices with food (different grains, good fats) – loving it – but you’re so right – it’s hard to fit those choices in the points.

    Ok. I’ll quit MY whinning now. Just the timing of your post is uncanny.

  52. #61

    I’ve never done WW, so I can’t really comment on it or on points. I just wanted to lend a “girl I hear ya!” to you. I have the “Lose It” app on my iphone to track my calories. I cut myself to 1200 calories a day because this weight was NOT moving. I have 5-10 lbs left to lose (down about 15 from my heaviest point) and they just won’t budge. I’ve re-started my running plan and signed up for a 5K in October to keep me motivated (my first 5K!). I add in yoga and Jillian Michael’s circuit training during the week as well. 1 month into my re-commitment and I’m down the 5 lbs I gained back from laziness, but it’s not as satisfying losing weight you’d already lost before, lol.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. I think a little w(h)ine is good for the soul sometimes. Get it out of your system, and get back on track, right? You’ve been an inspiration to many women out there, and given so much support and advise, now it’s our turn to give back to you a little bit πŸ™‚

  53. #62

    Ive wondered about this. I mean, yes, i still have 10 more pounds to go to hit my goal weight, but that may not be in the cards at my age and with the activity im doing. Hmmm. Food for thought.

  54. #63

    I know SparkPeople (as well as the Daily Plate) have worked for a lot of people! It might be something i could look into. But, i do like the fact that i am paying WW to track. Which seems weird, but 17 bucks a month keeps me honest, you know?

  55. #65

    Robert, i think my goals HAVE changed, but… there is still that little insecure voice in my head that says, GET THINNER! GET THINNER!

    And im walking that line right now, the one between striving to become much more athletic, or just trying to shed more pounds.

    I just know my propensity to throw in the towel, and I need to be mindful of it, definitely. : )

  56. #67

    Dang, Kim, thats awesome. Seriously.

    I am NOT drinking enough water. I know this. Im drinking lots of black coffee though. ; )

    And i really am trying to up the old protein at every meal thing. Im going to do this for the next few weeks and see what shakes out on ye olde scale. : )

  57. #68

    Sigh. I do know that the older i get, those extra points? well, unless i am REALLY burning calories, theyre not helping. : )

    But yes, goals help! i too have a triathlon goal for next year! : )

  58. #70

    As a lifetime dieter (I’ve done ALL the plans but still believe WW is the best as a life-altering approach), I can totally relate. Keep in mind that your body won’t go back into fat-burning mode until 3 days completely on plan. That doesn’t mean you can’t go off plan for special occasions, parties, etc…it just means you can’t expect to lose that week and need to be okay with maintaining all the work you’ve already done. For the first 3 days of being on plan, I whine…often…and I usually have a headache too from the liver burning off the sugar I’ve been eating. Once that 3 days passes, my liver and I are both happy again and I feel better in general. So, I guess what I’m saying is to be proud of what you’ve done and get yourself motivated to stay on track by remembering if you can get through the first 3-days of suffering, you’ll be glad to eat right again!!

  59. #71

    you know, i DO need more veg. Definitely. Everyday at lunch, i have a big bowl of steamed veggies to go with whatever else im eating (some proteins and other carbs) and i should do this at every meal!

  60. #72

    I believe that WW’s doesn’t want to scare the sedentary people away by promoting the intense exceriser’s. “I ran a 10k” or “I’m training for my 3rd triathlon” That’s a little intimidating. I also think that you can still do WW’s points/tracking but if you are a excerise fanatic then you should be eating those points or adjusting them to work for you.

  61. #74
    Trish D

    SO right there with you. Trying to get healthier — after a LONG stretch of poor eating habits and a weak/aching body as a result. Most days I’m doing pretty well, but there are definitely moments when I just want to sit down and inhale a bag of chips. Trying really hard to portion out my snacks (i.e. count out my serving of pretzels) and mindfully chew and enjoy. There is no magic solution here, just staying on the proper path… and when you stray, head back in the right direction! You can do it!!

  62. #75

    Okay, I just heard, “I’m hungry, blah, blah, blah” and fade to white noise as I was entranced by those incredible arms of steel. I’m trying to stop drooling.
    You’ve got to be able to eat that stuff once and a while (even if some of the “whiles” end up coming in the same week) or life wouldn’t be worth living. You’ll get back.
    Just look at the pictures, babe–it’s all right there. It’s those pictures that are kicking my butt out of bed at the ridiculous hour of 5:30 to go running–and they’re not even pictures of me. That’s all you. So look at the pictures. And take a deep breath. I know how nice it is to be there. Enjoy. Then get back to work.

  63. #76
    Trish D

    Also – I had done WW in the past. Good initial results then plateau and frustration. Am using sparkpeople now and it’s working well for me. Might be worth taking a lookt at!

  64. #77

    Oh, and maybe some Bill Phillips–Eating For Life is my go-to diet. Works every time and I don’t really need to be that religious before it starts putting me right. Protein, water, lighten-up on the carbs, veggies, meals every two hours, portion control . . . and a binge day. Always amazed that doesn’t set me back.
    Anywhoo . . . something to read and consider changing it up a bit, maybe.

  65. #78
    Heather T

    I am SO right there with you. This post could have come straight from my brain. I have had a few weeks of vacation and back to school craziness and now I have reached the point where I haven’t been terrible, but I haven’t been great. My weight loss has stalled and I know exactly why. And I’m trying get back on with counting points, but man, oh man, it’s tough at first. LOL You are working out a lot though (as am I) so maybe if you are hungry, eat some of your activity points. You know, you are allowed to do that. And play with your flex points (if you do that) and maybe add a few each day instead of saving them up? You are doing amazing and look gorgeous and are an inpiration to me, a fellow weight watcher repeat offender and former exercise hater. πŸ™‚

  66. #79

    2 2/3 miles today, 4 minutes of running. CZ is the real deal for inspiration. Not to put any pressure on you, but maybe go have an apple with a tiny amount of peanut butter spread on it and think about that instead of worrying about everything else ; )

  67. #80

    19 points!! That’s not much if you’re exercising! 1 point equals about 50 cals so you’re getting around 1000 calories a day. Girl, you need more than that. Come to my house for a potroast dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy. πŸ™‚

  68. #81

    Just coming off the fair food is hard enough, I can still taste the cheese curds nearly a week later.

    Cute pic of your hubby in the Highland Villager today! Can’t wait to head over to Espresso Royale for a cuppa!

  69. #82

    Arms of steel? Oh, I think i LOVE you.

    I need to stop and recognize the progress, and realize this is just a little blip of missing the old me that sat and ate crap for hours without moving. I dont like that person as much as this one. ; )

  70. #85

    will do! And thats great Elizabeth. Have you thought of doing the Couch to 5K program? Its very gentle and works you up to that awesome distance slowly and surely!

  71. #86

    If you have hit a plateau this may be the burst of extra calories your body needs to know it’s ok to keep losing the fat, you aren’t going to starve. In the past, when I was skinny and should have been content with that, but wasn’t and continued to try to lose weight from time to time. I would be able to lose some and then hit a wall and just stop worrying about my good choices, had some things I wanted, and then a couple more pounds would come off, like my body was waiting to be sure I was going to still keep feeding it before letting go of those two to five pounds I was working on.

  72. #87

    Cathy – watch this. She talks about trying the Simply Filling Program for one week. She is very inspirational – especially when she talks about responsibility and “owning” it.

    You can skip past all her singing if you want to 3:25 to listen to her talk about switching from counting points to the Simply Filling program. Very interesting indeed πŸ™‚ She even shows her food for one day. Her dinner is huge!

  73. #90

    Okay, I didn’t read all of the comments so I don’t know if someone said this already. But, with all of the activity you are doing, and I do believe it’s ALOT, you may not be eating enough. Are you using your activity AND your 35 points? If not, try it. Granted, the past few indulgences were hard to count, I’ve been there for sure. But, generally speaking, if you’re moving as much as we see you are, you have GOT to eat more than 19 points a day, or your weight loss will stall.

    Try this, track your points, eat your 19 every day, and some of your 35 and activity points. Vary the amount of extra points each day, so you’re moving up and down, high point and low point days. It keeps the metabolism guessing, so you don’t go into starvation mode. I know, after the fair food you’re probably thinking “there’s no way i’m starving” but your body is trying to keep up with all the activity.

    For the record, I lost 50 pounds in the first 7 months on WW. That was two years ago. Since then I’ve lost 25. It slows down. Way down. It sucks, but the closer you get to goal the harder it is to lose. I have 25 more to go and I get frustrated sometimes because I feel like it’s going to take me another two years to do it. I’ve lost a total of about 3 pounds this whole summer. I lose two pounds and gain one back, over and over and over.

    Whatever happens, you look fantastic, I know you must feel fabulous, and you’re making me itch for a bicycle now, too.

    Keep it up, woman, you’re a star!

  74. #91
    Beth Sutton

    Well, clearly your post has hit a big nerve with everyone. And I, too, am right there with you!

    I’ve been thinking about your post since I read it much earlier this morning in between my run/swim & taking daughter to school and walking the dogs (yes, I’m exercising like crazy). And I lost .4 lbs this week! I’m training for a sprint tri and I’m hungry… plus maybe a little depressed (I need to go find a real job, waaah).

    Anyway recently, when my daughter and I were celebrating the very last day before school starts we went to Five Guys (can you say ymmm!), and just for grins I decided to figure out the points. Well, suffice it to say, I ate twice my 20 points that day! I know the BLT’s (bites, licks and tastes) are what is getting in my way, so I’m back to “religiously” counting points, so I don’t kid myself.

    I’m glad you had some other encouraging posts, because I don’t have a clue what to tell you, but thanks for providing a nice safe place to vent a little!

  75. #92

    Last week I decided to step on the scale since my clothes were starting to feel tight, and I realized I had gained 8 lb since I came back from my hiking vacation in California in early July. Egads!

    I had lost 50 lbs (well, add those 8 back in I guess) before this through exercise alone, but apparently I’ve reached the point where I need to think about food if I want to lose the remaining 30.

    I’m trying not to diet as I have a history of food issues, so I am trying to think of it as “getting the best fuel possible” for my body and choosing foods that have maximum nutrition for the least amount of calories. This means eating a LOT of veggies (I’m talking HEAPING piles of broccoli), fruits and berries, and it is actually making me feel really full. Must be all that fiber.

    Anyhoo, didn’t mean to make this so long. I’m really enjoying following your journey to health and how open and honest you are about it. Turns out you’re just as inspiring a runner as you are a scrapbooker! πŸ˜€

  76. #93

    Deb, im definitely eating the extras, and some of the activity. Im going to start watching this pretty closely in the next month and see what happens with it. I want to add in more protein and healthy fats, even if it means, you know, almonds with all their points. : )

    I do feel good. Minus a few sore things here and there, but im working to balance that out and take care of those before they become injuries that sideline me. : )

  77. #95

    Ingunn, im with you on GIANT bowls of broccoli. I have this seasoned salt from Penzeys (you can get it online) and you sprinkle some of that on the steamed broccoli, no butter…. YUM. Seriously. So its a little salt. : )

  78. #96

    oooooow, yea, it’s a slippery slope. You got to get back to the “this is how I eat now. This is how I want to FEEL place quick.

  79. #97

    What Barbi said was exactly what I was thinking.

    I started exercising more than I used to this spring/summer (going from active to very active) and I was eating so much crap because I was starved. I did eat healthily during the day and after exercising, but an hour after that I was ruminating the house for food (and when you do that, you aren’t looking for lettuce…).

    Then I went to a lecture by a sports nutritionist and she told that a man who weighs 70 kilos loses about 1600-2000 calories going for a two hour road bike ride. And that you actually had to eat those carbs back. I thought it was very scary, but after my next bike ride I sat myself down to eat a LOT. Not 1600 calories (I couldn’t, not with (semi) healthy food at least), but I did eat like it was a chore. I didn’t have an overwhelming urge to eat and eat and snack and snack the whole day, nor the day after that. And since I started to eat much more, I actually lost weight, because the urge to eat crap disappeared. And my body recovered much, much faster after exercise.

    When exercising, your metabolism speeds up. If you’re gaining muscle, your metabolism speeds up. Don’t try to starve the body that allows you to run etcetera, because it will rebel. Maybe you can give yourself some free high good for you fats like almonds everyday, to see if it helps? If not, you can always go back to the amount of points you are eating now…

  80. #100
    cindy b.

    Enough with the WW point thingy…get yourself some MORE protein..find out what real athletes eat (because that’s what you are you know?!!). You are a fit, active woman and you need MORE than some number of points to fuel your engine. Know what I’m sayin’ girlfriend?? Educate yourself – you need MORE REAL FOOD!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ GO CATHY GO!!!

  81. #101

    I understand about the $$ keeping you honest πŸ™‚

    I haven’t been to WW website in several years, so I’m not too familiar w/ what they offer any more. The Sparkpeople site has a ton of tools and is not only geared towards tracking food…but good nutrition and getting/keeping active. I like that it suggests different exercises (with videos) both aerobic and strength training for different days of the week and mixes things up depending on the goals you’ve set.

    This past Saturday as I was riding my bike along the lake front, I stopped to watch some of the athletes doing the Super Sprint Tri…and was thinking of you πŸ™‚ go for it!!!!

  82. #102

    You’re doing AMAZING!! WW is a great program as it helps people learn better food choices, but I couldn’t do the 19 points thing. It was a day of TOO MUCH MATH!

    I lost 25 lbs since March by calorie counting. I use the iPhone app LoseIt and eat what I want- cake… beer… french fries- all the stuff I’m going to continue to eat for the rest of my life, but in moderation. And being accountable with what I’m eating. And I play the 30%/40%/30% game and try real hard to eat healthy, sustaining food that keeps me fueled for running. Maybe it’s just time you switched up your game?

  83. #104

    Forgive me if I’m repeating anything someone else has already said, but, I’ve got down the same path you have and there is a point, when you shift and you become an athlete. At that point, fundamentally, your body is completely different. You have more lean muscle mass and your metabolism is like a roaring fire. I had a trainer once that likened a fit persons metabolism to a fire – you have to keep fueling it. One thing that helps me (a lot) is a more protein heavy diet. I have to start the morning with eggs or peanut butter toast or by 9a, I am starving and looking for the donuts. I’ve never done points, but you might find that upping your protein might help you to feel fuller longer.

  84. #105
    Kim C

    Amen sister. You are preaching to the choir. I have tried WW and 19 pts are awful. You get nothing to eat. I starve when I try to do WW on 19-22 pts. Why does food have to be soo good? I love to eat. And hate to exercise. By the way, you look amazing. You are doing a great job! Kim

  85. #109

    I’ve never tried WW but just wanted to vouch for Clean Eating, as Bethany mentioned (near the top of the comments). I’ve lost 35 pounds since February with resistance training, running, yoga and pilates and following a clean eating program. No processed food, no sugar, complex carbs (such as brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, etc), good fats, protein at every meal and lots of veggies with a smaller amount of fruit. I too was at a loss for proper nutrition and found the Eat Clean book by Tosca Reno. I do occasionally treat myself and enjoy wine on the weekends but don’t get overly hungry. I find if I stay away from sugar, then I don’t crave it. But as soon as I indulge (we all have to live a little, after all), I need to rein the cravings in all over again. I love coming to your site and checking on your progress – you’ve been a huge inspiration to me and lots of others (all the comments attest to that fact!). Keep up the good work.

  86. #112
    Margaret C

    OH SO WITH YOU !!! Really struggling. Really really. This weekend ain’t gonna help.

    Good thing you do, honey xx

  87. #113

    Wow Cathy so much good advice and encouragement here. I guess all I can say is that your doing awesome keep up the good work and sometimes if we slip it’s real life just start over the next day. Don’t beat yourself up about it, I think you’ve done an amazing job so far and you look so good.

    I’ve actually started walking/jogging 2miles a day now thanks to your inspiration and Ali’s and am hoping to run a 5k next spring. I really loved the layout you did for yours and it’s inspiring me to get up and MOVE MOVE so thanks Cathy you rock.

  88. #114

    You should try switching to core program or whatever they are calling it these days – eat from a group of specific foods until you are satisfied (not full!) and I think you still have 35 points for non-core food. I think lean proteins were on the list, brown rice, veggies, all the stuff that can fuel you.

    Even if you only switch for a week or two to see if it changes anything, you don’t have much to lose!

  89. #115
    Sue in Grapevine

    If you try this, there is a good forum on the WW site w/loads of info & recipes. This plan used to be called “Core” & you may find some info listed by that. It is lovely not to have to count every point & you still get your 35 weekly for treats & junk (oh, & bread).

  90. #116
    Stacy B

    Cathy, I have been following you since Day 1 of this journey (I was finishing up the 30 Day Shred at the time, I loved seeing your “Shred & Tread” posts slowly evolve to triathlete status!). You need to step back and look at yourself. You’ve lost 40 lbs. You look freaking AMAZING. You are doing things with your body that some 20 yr olds can’t muster. Stop chasing the scale. I agree that you have likely outgrown WW at this point – the main goal of WW is not to lose weight as much as it is to teach you how to eat. You KNOW how to eat now. You KNOW what’s the best fuel for your body. And considering the exercise you’re putting in, one reason that you may not be dropping any more weight is your body is going into starvation mode – you’re not taking in enough calories so your body holds on to everything it can. WW can account for modest expenditures, but you’re burning a TON of calories with what you’re doing.

    I would HIGHLY recommend a site like Sparkpeople (I use FitnessPal, also free). The good thing about these sites – it takes your height, weight, what you eat daily, and your EXERCISE into account. Plug in the calories burned from your heart rate monitor and you KNOW whether you should have an extra snack that day to make up the difference or not – it will tell you! I would also recommend 2 things – first, if it’s bad for you, don’t bring it in the house. Period. And second – if it tastes great, look for alternatives (like I could down a whole bag of caramels in one sitting easy. But Werthers makes sugar-free hard candies at about 8 cals each. One is enough to “take the edge off.” There are a LOT of good substitutes out there.) Don’t give up everything you love, that’s no way to live. But do find healthy alternatives that taste just as good.

    Finally – focus on being the healthiest, most in-shape as you can, and ignore the scale numbers. I’ve had to pound this into my brain like you can’t believe. I am 3 days from finishing P90X. I can outlift my DH now, he’s afraid of me. I feel FANTASTIC – and through those entire 3 months of hard core exercise and healthy eating, I only lost 6 lbs. I was so mad! But you know what? Who cares if I’m not what I THINK is my “goal weight”? My body sure doesn’t! And obviously yours doesn’t either, because look at what you’re accomplishing! So I say, ditch the WW and don’t let that hinder you any more. You’re no longer a dieter, you’re an athlete, and that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

  91. #117

    Oh. My. Gosh.
    I could have written your post for you.
    1 week of complete meltdown. Visitors on the weekend for whom I cooked and baked. How could I NOT join them in cookies and brownies? And hey, we had hummus and salsa (ahem, and chips), and PW’s asian noodle salad (lots of veggies, right?). And then it was DS’s birthday yesterday and I HAD to have blizzard cake with him. And geez, today…4 POUNDS! How can a week = 4 POUNDS???
    It’s so. not. fair.

  92. #118

    hi Kathy!
    I am also doing WW…third time around doing it. Congrats on all of your success! Just thought I would share a great low point product with you. It is a powdered peanut butter. I know, it sounds weird, but it really is good, and is low in points value. I love peanut butter, so having this option helps me indulge a little while still staying on plan. Plus they also have a chocolate peanut butter…yum!


  93. #119

    oh dear, just noticed I spelled your name wrong… I have a friend named Kathy, so it is just second hand nature to start the name with a K. Sorry!!

  94. #122

    another Loseit app fan. I gave it the old half-hearted effort for a couple months, just to ‘use’ it, to see how it worked for me, and when I began training for my half, I began using it in earnest. It does track calories, but primarily, I look at it to make sure I am getting the proper ratio of nutrients. (For me, what works best is approximately 50-25-25.)I intentionally go over my calories one day a week, the day before my long run, and because running suppresses my appetite, I am usually well under on my run-days. I have dropped 15 pounds in the past 12 weeks. If I eat something that otherwise would blow it, I just make sure to load up on other things that even out my ratios. I love the system I have in place right now. Huge ‘Loseit’ fan here. πŸ˜‰

  95. #123
    Amy L

    I think that somewhere along the fitness journey you have to work in a fudge factor and cut yourself some slack! After all, this is a lifetime work. If it starts to become onerous, I think it’s best to give yourself a little way out in order to stay on track for the long term. Cathy, I think you are doing fine!

  96. #124
    amber b

    cathy hasn’t anyone told you that the points don’t count when you are @ the state fair?
    especially the yum-o dairy-stand malts!! (were they there this year??) πŸ™‚

  97. #125

    Cathy – You are amazing…and I agree with what a few others have said, and that the WW program might not be best for you right now. You are an ACTIVE person, so make sure your WW settings on your account are set to that….and make sure you eat all of your activity points….

    I have done WW since 2003, and for the last year, I have not done well…I was up and down on this little 5 pound loop….even though my activity was good, and I would stay within my points (not always using activity and the extras)….

    I started Sparkpeople in July, and have finally started the downward slide again…and what I think made the difference was that I changed the way I ate somewhat….Counting calories vs. points (spark does the math) – made the difference. It also measures the carbs/fat/protien too, and what I found out was that my WW diet was too low carb, and too low protien….(both nutrients you need to repair those muscles you are breaking down and building during your workouts.)

    It’s not easy and it’s a never ending battle, and I’m just another $.02 in a long list….

    You have inspired me to run on days I didn’t want to – just by seeing your little feed on Facebook that you ran…or swam or biked…..

    thank you!

  98. #129

    Robyn, oh my goodness. I totally forgot that when i signed on, i was NOT active. I’m going to re-do that part of the site and see if it changes my points!

    and go YOU on the exercise!

  99. #131

    I hope you read this one. There is a book called You Are Your Own Gym By:Mark Lauren. In one short chapter it talks exactly about your dilemma, it is called something like why cardio is a waste of time. The whole book is worth it just for that chapter. I read it about 2 months ago and its funny because I thought of you and your running. (I know its strange I don’t know you from Eve, its funny what the blog world does). Basically the bottom line is you need to lift weights, building big muscles burn more calories at rest …. I have to much to say for this comment box, but highly, highly recommend reading at least that one chapter in the book, heck call me and I will read it to you. It is highly enlightening. Mind blowing really.

  100. #132
    Beth in WI

    Great comment thread guys! I particularly enjoyed Michelle’s input. I may have to print this one and keep it in the drawer of my nightstand.

  101. #133
    Kerry Lively

    Hi Cathy. I can really identify with your situation right now. There’s a blog that I’ve been reading lately and in it she includes the standard formula for figuring your metabolic rate and what she adds or subtracts from that number depending on the amount of exercise she has expended that day. I realize you are mostly running right now and her blog is geared in large part toward gym/home workouts as she is a personal trainer but she’s very down to earth and has some good advice, recipes, workout ideas, etc. plus she’s a swimmer too! Please have a look. Its trainermomma.com. I know you don’t know me but I’ve been following your blog for many years and our personal struggles seem VERY similar…sometimes so similar its spooky and I’ve found alot of inspiration from her blog as well as yours. Thanks for your time.

  102. #134

    I have never heard of this book, but… i will add it to my list, because Ive basically been the cardio queen of late, with VERY little strength. Although, a friend of mine invented a workout machine… sounds strange, but im going to be using it and testing it out.

    To see if itll really build muscle.

    I need to have muscles. : )

  103. #137
    Denise K.

    I hear ya! What saves me during the colder weather months is the zero point soups, there are like 3 different versions of them (Italian yum!, Garden, and somethin’ else) and I fill up til my tummy says no more! Haven’t figured out a solution for the warmer weather months…but the zero point lovely soup is great when you’re still hungry.

  104. #138
    Alison Shearer

    Cathy there is some really great advice on here. I think you just have to stop giving yourself grief and accept that a little backsliding isn’t the end of the road. You have been so good, so strong and committed and a moment (or 2 or 3) of weakness is OK. Just give yourself permission to shrug it off and move on. I eat wonderfully sometimes and not so great other times but I consistently exercise and try not to let the ‘bad moments’ define me. I have lost 14 kilos and kept them off for a year now. You will be fine – you are a strong person. Be kind to yourself.

  105. #139
    Yvonne Stehle

    Don’t tell me: been there, did that! At the moment it is crunchy wasabi spiced peanuts that make me get extra activity points! Sometimes I really feel miserable and think: It is so not fair! But the only help is to do something instead of eating and so forgetting (a bit) about the starvation and then eat something as a reward for the extra gained activity points (And I really think that is what the WW’s want us to do.
    Keep up the good work. I am too slow now, could not run because of a flu but have to kick my ass again!
    See you!
    PS: And it really works with the “Werthers Echte” caramels. They help 20 minutes, stop your food craving and make you think again of eating something bigger – but don’t tell your dentist!

  106. #140

    I totally know what you mean. I lost the 15 pounds that I needed to lose this summer, which was HUGE for me. But I did it by being sOOOO strict about what I ate. Now I am still running, but I’ve allowed myself to relax a little with the strict diet and I’ve gained back 4 pounds, and now they don’t want to budge. I’m wondering if I will ever be able to eat freely again.

  107. #142

    Cathy–I’m there with you. Lots 50 lbs with WW. Moved to another continent and gained 15 back. And yeah, I think we need to whine sometimes. Helps us recognize that nothing’s perfect and we’re going to have times where it’s harder than others. If you haven’t created a before and after scrapbook dedicated exclusively to your weight loss, I highly recommend it. I take mine out to remind me where I was and how much I don’t want to go back there.

  108. #143

    Yes, completely. I know WW works, and that it’s a solid program. I lost 40+ lbs following it almost 10 years ago now. And I felt good. . . but at times I thought I was eating more chemicals than real food to satisfy cravings I had for food that were higher points. Seeing the lbs drop off kept me motivated to eat that way, but maintenance was pretty much impossible. I don’t think I’ve gained it all back – probably 15-20 lbs – and truth be told, I feel healthier now – because I eat more real food, when I’m hungry for it. For me it’s been all about figuring out portion size and a mix of foods in a meal that keeps me satisfied. When WW started tinkering around with capping fiber grams, that’s when I lost some motivation to keep tracking points, esp when I’d lost 40 lbs already and knew the old pts tracking worked for me. Fiber is the trick for me to stay satisfied and limit snacking.

    You’re an inspiration, Cathie! One nugget from a WW leader that’s stuck with me: when faced with a buffet, a holiday meal or the Fair, figure out ahead of time what foods are a 10 for you – your absolute must-haves. Eat those. Skip the rest.

    I’m heading over to the MN State Fair tonight and having that malt from the dairy building, and the french fries. And I will not allow myself to feel guilty about enjoying them. Life is about pleasure – in all forms – balancing the pleasure (so it remains a pleasure) is the key (at least for me ;))

    You’re an inspiration, Cathie!

  109. #144
    Julia Spencer

    After 144 comments, I’m sure this is the last comment you’ll want to read about nutrition and health. I’ve recently (on a similar weight loss journey as yours) come across some all natural goodness in a smoothie. It’s packed with Greens and fruit and once I drink my glass in the morning, I’m not that hungry the rest of the day. Here is a link…. http://www.greensmoothierevolution.com/

    I’ve got the whole family on one smoothie a day as well.

  110. #145

    Julia is this similar to Dr. Ozs green drink? Im all OVER smoothies, i just havent been having them lately. Im off to check the link!

  111. #146

    I will say your choice of fries is excellent. I had the fries. Two lemonades. Two pronto pups. One cotton candy. About 6 Sweet Marthas cookies. And one order of fried green tomatoes.

    And every bite was worth it, looking back.
    : )

  112. #147
    Laurie T

    I agree Michelle! If more people would just realize that the biggest part of losing weight is the eating part. I have always worked out and when I wanted to lose some weight, I thought if I worked out more it would help. But I wouldn’t really change my eating habits. Well, I have just lost 15 lbs in the last three months and it’s not cuz I’m working out more. In fact, I’ve worked out less but I’m eating LESS food. No more diet pop, whoppers, big macs – basically junk. And I don’t eat much during the day. I’m almost 50 and I had a hysterectomy 8 years ago which has really slowed my metabolism. So I’m to the point where I know I can’t eat big helpings anymore. And you know what – my stomach has shrunk so much I can’t fit it in. I get full really quickly so I’m not near as tempted to overeat. It kind of hurts if I try to stuff more in. I feel bloated right away. So after saying all that, my biggest “aha” moment with losing weight was “wow, I don’t need to eat that much to get through my day” – and I have MORE energy….go figure.

  113. #148

    It makes sense you get hungrier as you exercise more. Especially if you get really athletic on practically a daily basis.
    Maybe you do need more nutrition than you get from your weightwatchers 19 point diet. You may want to look into athletes diets with an expert.

  114. #149

    Read your post yesterday, mentally commiserated with you, I even posted a few words about my latest obsession: Loseit.com (I don’t know what happened to my post) But then today found these words in a nutrition article: They are what you are supposed to be telling yourself:
    *I am not on a diet
    *I eat what my body needs
    *I will eat to be strong, not eat to be thin
    *Being thin is not the same as being strong
    *To be healthy is to move.

  115. #150

    and now I will tell you about loseit.

    I sorta came to the above conclusions on my own, and loseit is the perfect complement to that way of life. I eat what my body craves–to a certain extent, but I keep it within the bounds of my caloric requirements. I primarily focus on whether my intake is around 50-25-25,(a good ratio for me) and less about ‘how many calories’. I intentionally go over my limit the day before a long run, and since running suppresses my appetite, I rarely get to my limit on my running days. I love that app, and so does my body. I have been carrying around 40 extra pounds for TEN years. 12 weeks after starting loseit, 17 of those pounds are gone. No guilt. No counting, just being present. πŸ™‚ Just sayin’.

  116. #151

    i’m so glad to ‘hear’ you writing about this. i was beginning to think you had become perfect in the healthy eating world, and was about to start ignoring you. πŸ˜‰
    just because you might have had a slip up or a relapse or whatever you want to call it doesn’t mean you’ve actually thrown your baby out with the bath water; it just means that you have to start doing once again what you’ve been doing all along, what you know; what you know works and makes you feel great. focus on these things.
    there, now that’s some serious preachin for me; now to go listen to myself!! πŸ™‚
    i better go for a run today! πŸ™‚

    oh, and how in the world do you survive on less then 20 points??? i can hardly make it with 23 pts, and i’m 150lbs. i would nap all day! but every body is different! you go girl!

  117. #153

    anna, thats the thing… with me, as soon as i think i have something figured out, i tend to lose all momentum. Im definitely upping my points intake. 19 is too few (and trust me, I dont hit 19 very often. Think closer to 25 or 26.) I need food. Period.

    Its all going to shake out!

  118. #154

    I hear you. It’s hard to exercise well when your body lacks fuel. πŸ™‚ Love the 50+ miles challenge, BTW!

  119. #157
    Carrie K

    WOW! Thank you for that quote! I quickly wrote it out pretty and posted it on my cubicle wall…exactly what i needed to hear!!

  120. #158
    Sarah. B R

    Check out body for life by bill phillips. I lost 18 lbs in 3 months and kept it off for about a year until I got pregnant. I gained 35 lbs during pregnancy and have only 10 more to go to get back to where I was. Baby is 7 months old!BFL is a great program. People always joke about how much I eat and with that program I had to force myself to eat sometimes! It s a lot of food! Every 3 hours! The weight lifting program is great too.

  121. #159
    Savannah Brentnall

    I’m addicted to crunchy snacks, too. Have you tried the Tamari Brown Rice cakes you can get at Whole Foods? Crunchy and slightly salty. I also love persian cucumbers sliced lengthwise and dipped into hummus, or even fat-free ranch dressing.

  122. #160
    Christine H

    My mother has weighed between 125-130 lbs her entire adult life (minus pregnancy). She is 5’5″, so she falls into the normal category. She exercises almost everyday….nothing crazy, just some walking and light weight lifting on the Bowflex. She also eats whatever she wants. No, she is not one of those blessed people who can’t gain weight (I really do hate those people and will be asking God about that later). She eats two cookies and stops, she eats fudge (but only on Thanksgiving and Christmas), she shares Cheetos with my son (but only a handful) and she never cleans her plate. She grazes and doesn’t eat large quantities of anything. She always says, you don’t gain weight with one days or even one week’s junk food….balance is the key.

  123. #164

    Ali’s sister Jessica has a blog and she is always posting about fattening foods she eats at restaurants and/or while traveling. Yet she is very slim and never mentions the gym or working out. So people asked her about it and she obligingly did a whole post – maybe you could find it.

    Anyway, her main point was like this: Here is what I do EVERY day. Here is what I eat EVERY day. And none of it was laying-around-eating-chips. It was all very sensible and very moderate, quite healthy. Eating treats that she posted was just that – treats. Not every day. Not all the time. And she didn’t post a regular workout plan but all the ways in which she tried to stay active and expend energy every day.

    I think any kind of sensible eating plan has to include the occasional trip to the fair or eating at a party. Otherwise you can’t maintain it your whole life. And I think that daily or almost daily exercise, real exercise (breaking a sweat) is an important part of health.

    You exercise consistently. You mainly eat very healthy and low fat foods. You have a lot of fiber, veggies, fruits, etc in your diet. You are doing great.

    Of course, unlike Jessica you are trying to lose weight, so yes right now you are being a bit more strict on a daily basis. But the biggest mountain was how do you change your daily habits, and you have DONE that.

    I do understand your concern though, bc I know quite a lot of women who look “overweight” or “big” and yet they are in fantastic shape and they eat right. I don’t think that’s you, though, but I am just saying, I think it’s a giant lie that exercise and eating less makes EVERY WOMAN small/thin/slender/whatever. But it seems to be working for you!

  124. #165

    thanks for the comment. and i agree wholeheartedly. I guess I always assumed Jessica just had it naturally, you know?

    Im feeling a bit less stressed about food this week. Realizing this IS a process. And Im succeeding most days with it!

  125. #166
    Rebecca Foxworth

    Check out the Eat Clean Diet website by Tosca Reno for another way to eat when you’re working out and hungrier. One that will keep the metabolism revved and allow you to eat six times a day.

  126. #168

    Hi Cathy.. Im a WW gal also, and I apologize in advance for my novela. πŸ™‚

    Im just taking a stab here… maybe you are having a hard time getting back into the program because you feel like you “failed” or “slipped” up during the fair? You have admitted you somewhat of a perfectionist πŸ™‚ so maybe somewhere deep down in your subconscious there is a little part of you who is thinking that since you “failed” and didn’t handle those events “perfectly” there is no point in doing it any more?

    Another possibility, is maybe your experiencing a mental plateau of sorts? You have been doing this so long, and so well but maybe mentally your mind is just tired of the “same old same old”? Perhaps changing it up a bit might help.

    This might be a good time to break out some new cookbooks and try some new recipes. Maybe try adding a new breakfast, lunch and dinner to your weekly menu or try a new food or cooking method that you haven’t tried before? One cookbook in particular I love is Hungry Girl’s first cookbook. She takes foods that we would LOVE to have (like Onion Rings) or Taco Bell’s 7 layer burrito, and makes them healthy.

    Also maybe change the exercise a bit? Have you thought of enrolling in some kind of class? Like Boxing? Karate? Dance? Yoga? It doesnt necessarily have to be something where you are going to burn a ton of calories either. It can be something you are just doing for FUN for a few weeks, just to add some variety?

    Other than that, my only other advice is to JUST HANG IN THERE!!! I have been doing the program for 6 1/2 years and have lost 120 lbs so far with another 30 lbs to go. I’m one of those whose WW motto seems to be “slow and steady” win the race. Not because I want to lose slowly… its because my dang body only seems to lose the weight slowly no matter what I do.

    For instance, last year, I hit 95 lbs in June. I was just 5 lbs away from the big 100, and I was so focused and so on program because I wanted that 100lb loss so bad. Yet no matter what I did I just couldnt hit it. My body bounced back and forth between 97-99 lb for months. I finally hit my 100lb mark the week of Christmas…. 6 months later.

    And its tough when you hit those plateaus, because you look back at your week and think “Ok I hit the gym xx times a week, I ate healthy, I turned down this, avoided that, and yet I didn’t lose ANYTHING? What’s wrong with this picture?” Unfortunately nothing is wrong with the picture, its just all part of the process.. plateaus both mental, and physical happen.

    Thats when you have to look at other victories you have had. Get out those 5k photos and do a scrapbook page about it, or post the photos on the fridge. Get out those progress pages you have created and read back over your journalling. Get out some of your old starting clothes and put those on and see how much your body has changed. Maybe its even time to go out and get yourself something new and cute?

    You have done amazing and look fantastic. Just keep sticking with it, because all these changes you are making are good for you and good for your family. The program works. It may not work as fast as we like sometimes but it works.



  127. #169

    Thanks Edie. I appreciate your words.

    I DO think last week was just a weird mental place. I also think my body was just hungry, and so I not only fed it with some fun junk, but im making an effort to balance out nutrients and be sure i am getting enough!

    I am doing cross training and that is making workouts fun and also giving my running muscles a rest!

    Finally, last saturday, the scale moved, and im closing in on 40 pounds. Clothes are fitting that I havent worn sinc 2006. Im feeling a bit better about all of it!

  128. #170

    I am late to the comment party, but I have enjoyed and learned from everyone’s comments. I started working out with a personal trainer at the beginning of the summer. The first week was mainly fruits & vegetables with a little protein & oatmeal thrown in for good measure. I kept texting my trainer, “I am hungry!” and he kept replying “Eat more fruits & veggies.” I was rather annoyed, but I believe he was right. I finally realized that avocados & potatoes are fruits & vegetables – I needed fat & some carbs to be full.

    As soon as the scale slowed down, he told me that I needed more calories & to rest. The scale has been kind – as long as I have journaled (LoseIt for me) & eaten my exercise calories. I am 43 & currently eat 1250 calories plus almost every exercise calorie. (I have a Polar HRM that logs my calories.) So far the scale has moved about twenty pounds.

    The plateaus and the motivational slumps are killer! I want a magic plan to follow when I fall of the wagon – it hasn’t magically appeared so I just re-start & pretend like the bad days didn’t happen. So far, I think it is working. Good luck – you are very inspiring to me.

  129. #171
    Courtney Walsh


    I’m reading all your tales from the scale posts right now, laid up on my heating pad…and I have to tell you… 19 points?? I get 23 and I’m struggling!!

    Does that include your activity points, because I’m sure you’re racking up lots of those!! yow.

  130. #172

    No, that was the daily recommendation. I was pretty consistently eating 23-26 every day, using a little of those 35 every day, rather than splurging.

    Of course now, im skipping WW online and using MyFoodDiary.com, which is essentially calorie and exercise counting.

    I havent lost any weight this month so far, so im trying to see how this shakes out. I dont plan on losing much more, but i still have about 7 pounds to reach my goal.

    WW might be the best way to get there, but i needed a break.

    : )

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