Monday, February 14, 2011

Week One Recap and Nutrisystem Food Review

It hasn’t been quite a complete week, since I started Nutrisystem last Wednesday, Feb 9th. However, I want to do McFatty Mondays, so I weighed in this morning. And? So far, I have lost 5.5 pounds! Holy crap, I am excited. I stepped on the scale, waited for the numbers to blink, and then smiled. Then I got concerned that it was a fluke, and weighed myself again. Same number.


The first week went well, except for copious amounts of white wine and champagne on Friday night. Saturday was spent completely “off-plan”, except that I tried to eat really well. I had a skinny latte for breakfast, a very healthy salad for lunch, and then for dinner, I had waaay too much pizza and some chips.

But on Sunday? Right back on plan. Easy, peasy. I can already see that I am going to like that about NS. If I overindulge one night, the next morning I can pick up and get right back on.

I have been keeping a spreadsheet of what I do and do not like on NS. So far, there has not been anything that I think is gross.

My rating scale is 1-Never again!; 2- Kinda gross; 3- I would eat it again; 4- I like it, and 5- Gourmet.

(With my rating scale, ‘4’ is very good. I would be very surprised if anything got a ‘5’. A ‘5’ would be like the best thing I’ve ever tasted. A ‘4’ means something is quite good.)

The breakfast foods that I ate this week:

Cinnamon Bun Bar-4
Blueberry muffin-4
Banana Nut muffin-4

The lunch foods:

Three Cheese Pasta w/ Chicken-4
Cheesy Homestyle Potatoes-4
Fettucini Alfredo-4
Chicken Quesadilla-4

The dinners:

Ravioli Formaggio-4
Thick crust pizza-3
Rotini with meatballs-4
Lasagna with meat sauce-4

The desserts:

Chocolate Fudge bar-4
Carrot Cake-3
Thin mint crisp bar-4
Chocolate chip cookie-4

I think that the most surprising things for me are that I am actually enjoying the food. I mean, if this is what dieting is… um, yay. I don’t know if my standards are really low for food or what, but I expected NS food to be gross. So far, I have not run into anything that I think is disgusting in the least. I have really high standards for carrot cake, so that was a little disappointing, but the chocolate fudge bar? YUM.

I cannot wait to see what this next week brings!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Two-minute Walk is Better than a No-Minute Walk

Today I got a wild hair, and decided to go for a walk at work. Now, I have never done this before, not even when my coworker suggested that we go for a walk. (I think my response was, “Ok, maybe later.” That is my code for: “No, I don’t wanna.”)

But today I was sitting at my desk with a few minutes to spare, it was sunny outside, and I felt like stretching my legs. So I ventured around the building, and noted when I left. I got back, and felt deflated, because I had been walking for a grand total of two minutes. I had thought it would take at least five. Boo.

And then I caught myself, because, hello: a two-minute walk is better than no walk at all! Small steps add up, but attempting lots of big changes all at once usually just makes me fall on my ass and slide back down the weight-loss hill.

So today, I am proud of my two-minute walk.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Biggest Losers are a Bunch of Cheaters

I don’t want to tell anyone I am on Nutrisystem. For all that our society claims to be open-minded and accepting, I think that people still tend to be very judgmental towards individuals who choose to lose weight using some sort of system. Even WeightWatchers is barely acceptable. But for those of us who choose JennyCraig, Medifast or Nutrisystem….it can get downright mean out there.

I first came face to face with this attitude when two ladies I know were discussing another lady we know, who had crazy success on Medifast. The woman in question is a kind, intelligent person, who had so far lost 60 pounds, and hoped to lose another 20. As I listened to these women criticize her chosen weight-loss method, I thought, “Who cares? If standing on her head and burping the alphabet helps her lose weight, good for her!”

The two ladies went on and on about how unhealthy it was to lose weight with packaged foods, and that sure, you could get the weight off, but that is the “easy” part. What about maintenance? I should have spoken up and told them that I would not call losing weight “easy,” at least not for me.

In my opinion, this woman had found something that worked for her. Keyword here: HER. And since it is HER choice, and she found something that works for HER, shouldn’t we then be happy, you know, for HER??

To illustrate this double-standard, think of person A and person B. A and B have both lost 50 pounds. A and B both modified their diets, and incorporated exercise. But A is using Nutrisystem, while B did it on her own. Do you think they will get the same amount of kudos? Hells no. B will get oodles of congrats, while A will be grilled with questions about whether her weight loss will last, and be lucky to retain her dignity. Why is this? If A and B are both healthy, fit and can get into a size 6, who cares how they got there?

I think that to some, choosing a weight-loss program that involves buying pre-packaged foods demonstrates an inherent lack of willpower. And that makes me want to chuckle. If I had oodles of willpower and self-control, I wouldn’t be fat. So, if I need a program that spells it out for me for awhile, who cares? If I choose a program that puts high fences up on my options for the time-being? Why is that a bad thing?

I look at those contestants on the Biggest Loser, and I think it is the same kind of idea. Those contestants are not on the Ranch forever, but most of them keep their weight off when they leave. No one is judging them or accusing them of cheating at the weight-loss game for going on the show in the first place. No one is yelling at the TV screen saying, “You should be able to figure this out on your own! Don’t accept the trainer’s help! Muscle through by yourself!”

So why do we judge people who choose a packaged-foods weight loss program? Why do we think that it is somehow “cheating” when people choose a more regimented plan? The Biggest Loser contestants learn things about exercise, eating and discipline by following their trainers’ plan. So why does it feel like a weight-loss “taboo” for me to follow Nutrisystem’s program?

It’s like admitting defeat, somehow. Like, I couldn’t do it by myself, so I had to order Nutrisystem. I'm gonna feel really guilty about that when I'm wearing a size 10 again. (Pause, not.)

A Letter to Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers… it’s not you, it’s me. I suck at counting points. I suck at trying to estimate serving sizes. I suck at following your PowerFoods list if I’m trying not to count points. I don’t understand why my fist is the size of a very large apple, and not a small one like you say it should be. I don’t like to go to meetings, because it seems like the most obnoxious person in the group always has the most to say. Online, your recipe builder drives me batty. If onions are “free”, why does my Points-per-serving go up if I add onions to my recipe?
That being said, thank you. You helped me. Really, you did. I lost weight using your plan before, and I very well might use it again in the future. You helped me lose the first 20 pounds, and it is my failure, not yours, that it took me a freaking year to do so. You taught me wonderful lessons, like how Greek yogurt is the bomb, and can be made savory or sweet with very few calories. You prodded me towards fruit, until I realized I really liked it. And I will never forget how you were the one that taught me how magical oatmeal can be in keeping me full. I know that you have worked wonders for others, and that your plan works, if someone is committed enough.
WW, I have a confession. There is someone else. Last week, I ordered Nutrisystem. It is my first day, and I am excited about this new relationship. And do you know why I think it might work?
Cause I just ate breakfast, and I have no idea what I am having for lunch. That’s why.
WW, on your plan, I would already be calculating how many points I have left. I would be running through the list of options in my head…Subway, Brown rice sushi, Bag salad? Depending on what I chose, my thoughts and calculations would then turn to snacks. Dinner. Dessert. Would I have enough points to keep me full until bedtime?
I am tired of thinking about food ALL DAMN DAY LONG.
I have my NS lunch in my purse, and I forget what it is, but it doesn’t matter. Really! I don’t even have to think or look at it until lunchtime. Nutrisystem did the calculations for me. THEY did the math, so I don’t have to stress about it. I don’t have to think about lunch until it is time for lunch.
Don’t get me wrong, WW. No diet is perfect, and I have fears about NS, too. When I opened the box last night, some of the portion sizes shocked me a little. Time will tell if this will last. But I am willing to give it a shot. I'm not one that thinks you have to be overly dedicated to one system or another for life. I feel like I should be able to play the field to find something that works well for me.
WW, for awhile that was you. But at least for the time being, I am going a different way.
Sincerely, Chic Chickadee