When I first tried Weight Watchers back in 2009, I was a Points hoader. I ate extra light during the day so I’d have the points left over at the end of the day for dessert. Usually, it was a tall caramel frappuccino with no whipped cream and extra caramel drizzle in the cup paired with a chocolate covered pretzel from the Barnes and Noble cafe or a 100 Calorie pack (my favorites were the Hostess 100 Calorie Strawberry cupcakes or the Oreo Cakesters).
It goes beyond daily hoarding. I also tried to avoid dipping into my weeklies during the week. Instead, I saved everything for Tuesday night. I’d starve myself all day, weigh in around 6pm at my Weight Watchers meeting, and then celebrate or drown my sorrows with a “cheat meal.” It was a very all-or-nothing way of eating; it might be why I never kept the weight off.
I’ve definitely made a lot of progress towards moderation since my first few years of WW with weekly breaks to eat like a jerk. However, I’m not perfect. In fact, these past few weeks have been rough. While I don’t particularly have weekly cheat meals, I did have somewhat of a routine before COVID-19 turned everything upside down. Meals at home were generally pretty healthy. Desserts were occasional and consisted of things like fruit, yogurt, and protein bars. However, meals outside of the house were different. Whether it was a trip to the buffet with my family, lunch after church on Sunday, or a rare dinner out with friends, my rule was basically “anything goes.” Now, unlike in years past, these meals were not free-for-alls. I still tracked my food and made mostly healthy choices. I just didn’t turn down dessert if I really wanted one. It was a good system, and it worked while it was in place.
Obviously, there haven’t been any social gatherings in a while, and I’ll be surprised if any happen by my birthday at the end of June. This has thrown me off course more than I’d like to admit. Usually, allowing myself an outlet for social gatherings was enough to help me get through the week. I often had at least one opportunity a week where I knew I had a chance of having something with real sugar or white flour. Not having that outlet has led to a bit of a struggle with staying on track.
Last year, I spent a couple months following The Wendie Plan while counting PointsPlus values through iTrackBites. I loved it. As someone who often went through binge and hoard cycles with my points, I struggled with learning how to balance how to spend my weeklies. I needed opportunities to have days where I indulged more combined with some structure to keep me from losing control. While it was not without its downsides, the plan worked very well for me.
So, if it worked so well, why did I stop?
Well, there were two main reasons I decided to stop. First, because I simply didn’t need it anymore. I learned how to eat treats in moderation and work them around my lifestyle. Second, was because my schedule was a bit too unpredictable. I changed my high point day from week to week because I often needed it on different on different days. That was fine.The problem is, I rarely knew when my high point day should be in advance. I wanted to save them for social gatherings, but those have always been fairly last-minute. Eventually, it just caused more stress than it was worth.
I think I need that again. While I had a great system going for me from September to March, it obviously isn’t working anymore. I need to learn how to eat at home. I need to learn how to break my food rules and have treats by myself. I just need a little help.
So, I’m giving myself a challenge. Starting Sunday, May 10, 2020, I am going to give the Wendie Plan another go for at least 5 weeks. Since there are no social gatherings (and every day is more or less the same), I can just pick a day for my high point day and be done with it. Now, I’m not sure what that day will be, but I’m leaning towards Saturday even though my weigh in day is Sunday because that’s what it usually was last year. In June, I’ll reevaluate. If NJ is still mostly shut down (we’re Stay at Home for at least 30 more days), I will probably continue for another 5 weeks.
I am currently on the WW Green Plan with 30 daily points and 35 weeklies. I went ahead and decided to calculate what a week would look like if I choose Saturday as my high point day for the week.
We’ll see how this experiment will help me deal with my relationship with food. If it can stop this off and on dieting cycle, then it should be worth it.