I started WW (that’s the updated name for Weight Watchers) on 1/4/19.
I weighed 239 pounds.
I stepped on the scale 12 weeks later on 3/29/19.
And I weighed 207.2 pounds.
You guys, as someone who has always struggled with weight (and had reach the absolute highest weight ever) this is pretty darn exciting.
I’ve lost 31.8 pounds in 12 weeks!
Okay, so here’s the part where I say I’m not a doctor. Or a dietician. Or anyone who knows anything medical or sciency about weight loss. I’m not an expert. I’m just a girl who’s had huge success using the WW program. So don’t follow what I do and then say “this lady on the internet said I should do this.”
You have to do you, work with your doctor and all that jazz. This is just what worked for me.
And this is also the part where I say these results aren’t typical. People typically lose 1-2 pounds per week on WW, but your results will vary!
First, I had plenty of weight to lose. (See my starting weight above.)
Second, I was really, really motivated to lose the weight because of some health fears.
Third, I have a really awesome “girl gang” as my 13-year-old calls it that’s been a huge motivator. In other words, I signed up with two friends and we keep each other going!
There are plenty of wonderful members who go to my same meeting who have been going a lot longer and haven’t yet reached 30 pounds. So it really does depend on you.
And I don’t want anyone to get discouraged if they don’t lose 30 pounds in 12 weeks. I’m not saying everyone can do it. I’m saying I did it. (And I still have a lot more pounds and a lot more months to go.) And if you want to know how I did it, you can keep reading to find out!
I Tracked Everything
You guys, it gets ugly some weeks.
There are kids whining. Or fighting. Or home from school.
You have deadlines at work. And you can’t seem to get everything done. And the harder you try the less you get done.
And then people seem to think you still need to keep your house clean and feed your family and be responsible for keeping them all alive.
And sometimes it’s tempting to drown all that out with a giant Mountain Dew and a king-size Reese’s. Or maybe that’s just me?
And suddenly your 42 weekly points disappear and you’re in the hole.
But you gotta track that stuff. Emotional eating or not. Those points count. So track those points. Every one of them. Even when your day looks like this:
Why does tracking help? First, it makes you aware of what you’re doing. So when you get back to a better place you can see what went wrong.
But also, it may help you stop and put down that 10th peanut butter cup before you sink your teeth into it.
I Ate on Repeat
And by that, I mean I was a little boring. I ate a lot of the same things, especially for breakfast, because I knew they worked.
For basically the first month of doing WW, I ate fruit and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. Occasionally I would throw in a piece of turkey bacon. It was quick, easy and 0sp.
I switched up lunch a little more. But often I would make a big batch of something low in points (chili, soup, some type of casserole, etc) and eat it most of the week.
Some people need more variety than that. For me, it was an easy way to batch prepare foods and know I was staying low in points.
And honestly sometimes I don’t want the stress of thinking up new things to eat. I have a very picky family so meal planning is tough enough. Making life easier by sticking with a few favorites was worth it.
I Planned Meals
You have to. Maybe you hate meal planning. But if you’re going to be successful on WW you have to plan everything that goes into your mouth.
Because if you don’t, you’ll grab whatever’s handy. And that’s usually not a good thing when it comes to using your smart points.
I usually plan a week ahead. But I bought this spiffy new magnetic dry erase calendar in hopes I would start planning a month at a time. We’ll see how that goes.
But my favorite place to find recipe ideas is Pinterest. You can follow me on Pinterest to see all the things I share.
I suggest creating a separate Pinterest board for your favorite WW meals or things you want to try. When you meal plan, pull up your WW Pinterest board and pick what you want to try.
It’s also a good idea to make lists of WW-friendly meals. Your go-to meals that you know fit within your points. When you meal plan, refer to those lists to fill in the days.
You don’t have to create new menus every week or every month. Create a few weeks worth of meals and just repeat them. Easy peasy. Add in a few new recipes occasionally to shake things up.
I Had Breakfasts and Lunches Ready to Go
I work from home. So it should be easy to cook up breakfast and lunch between my writing jobs, right?
Well, apparently it’s not. I fail consistently when I don’t have things ready to go.
I usually try to do some meal prep on Sundays to stock the fridge. One thing I like to keep on hand is hard-boiled eggs because they’re easy and they’re 0 smart points.
I recently made some egg muffin/baked omelet/whatever you want to call them things. Most of them are 0 smart points because I just added salsa and chopped onion to eggs. A few have ham in them so they’re 1 smart point.
Something new I just tried are pumpkin pie egg muffins from The Whole Smiths. So yummy and so easy to make!
For lunches, I usually do more of a leftover thing. Whenever we grill chicken, I cook extra to have on hand. I try to keep frozen veggie mixes on hand to add to the chicken for quick meals.
Lately, I’ve been doing this chicken burrito bowl type thing. You can make it 0 smart points depending on what you add. I counted mine as 2sp. One for the oil used in the chicken marinade and one for the low-fat sour cream.
In the bowl we have:
- Chopped chicken
- Black beans
- Green peppers
- Low-fat sour cream
Super easy but super yummy!
So whatever you do, prepare for breakfast and lunch too, not just dinner!
I Had Easy Snacks Ready
Along the same lines, having snacks handy is a must. I try to keep watermelon and cantaloupe cut up in the fridge for quick sweet cravings. No, it’s not the same as a chocolate bar, which is what I really want. But it’s much easier on the WW points.
Another really good option is Built Bars. Have you heard of these? They’re protein bars that are only 3 smart points each.
They have 15 g. of protein each and only 110 calories.
And they’re also good sized. They’re not some tiny little bar that won’t fill you up.
So Built Bars have a chocolate outside and a gooey middle. That’s the best way I can describe it. Honestly, I was a little surprised by the thickness and texture of the filling when I first tried them.
I’ll admit it took me a while to get used to them. And there are definitely some flavors I’ll never order again (I’m looking at you, Banana and Orange). But there are some that are really yummy. I was surprised at how much I liked the Raspberry flavor because I don’t normally like fruit and chocolate together. I’m also a fan of the Coconut and Double Chocolate.
You can get 10% off your Built Bar order with free shipping (and it’s really fast!). They have sample boxes with all the flavors if you’re not sure what to order. That’s what I did the first time, and I recommend it! Like I said, I really liked the Raspberry and that’s not something I would have normally ordered. I don’t like Banana or Orange, but I’ve seen other WW Instagrammers post that those are their favorites. So it really depends on your tastes. And you might be surprised what you like and don’t like! I wasn’t a huge fan of the Mocha and I thought I’d like that one.
I Started Low in Points
My philosophy is to keep breakfast and lunch as low in points as possible. This gives me more points for dinner, which is usually a bigger meal for my family. Plus, it gives me a buffer if I have a slip-up later in the day.
A lot of my breakfasts are 0-2 sp total. Here’s one example:
The only thing with points is the Premier Protein shake (another must if you’re doing WW: 30 g of protein and only 2sp!). The berries and banana are all 0sp.
I Pre-Tracked My Points
This is one of my favorite tricks for staying within my points for the day. In the morning, I fill in my breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s where meal planning comes in handy. If you know what you’re having for lunch and dinner, you can fill them in ahead of time.
Why does this help? It helps you avoid surprises at the end of the day. You’re accounting for those main meals. Now you know what you have left for snacks.
I Had a Support System
Probably the biggest help in losing so much weight so quickly was having a strong support system.
I joined WW with two friends. We started a Facebook chat in Messenger. We were constantly talking, sharing ideas and supporting each other when things got tough.
We created a shared Pinterest board for WW-friendly recipes.
We attended meetings together religiously. We became known as the Three Amigas in our meeting.
Which brings me to another tip: attend the meetings! It really does help. Find a meeting where you feel like you’re part of a family. I love the meeting we go to. Everyone is so supportive.
Lately, I’ve found another support system on Instagram. You can follow my journey on my Healthier Shelley Instagram page.
I post meals, exercise and other WW-related things there. And I follow lots of other WW Instagrammers for motivation!
I Remembered My Why
It’s easy to fall off the WW wagon if you forget why you’re doing this.
And I don’t mean to see a lower number on the scale. Of course, we all want to lose weight.
But there has to be more. Because some weeks the scale won’t move even if you do everything right. You can track every point and have blue dots every day and workout like a fitness video star and still not lose.
Remember why you’re doing this. Maybe you want to fit into a special outfit. Maybe you’ve had a health scare. Maybe you can’t keep up with your kids because man those little buggers are fast.
Keep focused on that reason. When you want to throw it all away and binge eat, think back to that why.
For me, WW has given me the most success. It gives me a framework. But it’s so flexible. That’s why it works for so many different people.
WW runs deals all the time. When I signed up, I got a free month. Plus I got two more free months for losing at least 10 pounds in the first 2 months.
I recommend checking out the WW deals. If you don’t see what you like, wait a little while and check back. They may have a better deal going soon!