I went to my first 2017 meeting today and received the new plan materials for 2017.
As I expected, I was up from my December 17 weigh in. I weighed in at 144.2 pounds, up 1.4 pounds. I expected this because I had just a terrible week from Christmas Eve until the 30th. At one point I was up more than 5 pounds from where I was on December 17. However, from New Year’s Eve on, I’ve done really well and this last week was great. So, most of that up 5 pounds is gone, but there is still a little left. As a lifetime member at goal, I only have to weigh in once a month. My official weigh in for December was at 145.6 pounds and I am still down 1.4 pounds from that. Overall, I’m happy with December.
And, let’s put it all in perspective. My first January weigh in while doing this blog was in January of 2014. At that weigh in, I was at 185.8 pounds (and that was after losing over 20 pounds). In January of 2016, I was at 146.2 pounds so I am done 2 pounds from them. Yes, I had help from the tummy tuck but I am still happy with it given out surgery decimated so much of exercise for 2016.
With the New Year, new 2017 plan materials were received. Ongoing members received 4 new booklets. While there are new materials there are no substantive changes to the plan.
The leader said that one of the complaints from new members was that they felt they received too much material when they first joined. So, they received the Meet Your Plan booklet and during orientation would get the Eat Better booklet. They will get the Move More booklet at week 4. There is also a Shift Your Mindset booklet, but she didn’t say when they would get it.
Meet Your Plan Booklet – This booklet gives an overview of the plan and generally describes how Daily SmartPoints and Weekly SmartPoints work. There is a list of the 100 foods that members track. FYI, the top 5 are: banana, egg, black coffee without sugar, cooked chicken breast without bone or skin, and apple.
Then there is a section about tracking and about the value of meetings and the weekly booklet. Then there are 3 pages about digital tools, tracking online, and Connect. Finally there is a summary at the end about SmartPoints, tracking, and online support. One thing that I found interesting (maybe it was there before and I didn’t notice it) is that you can schedule a free Getting Started Call with a Weight Watchers coach to get a personalized introduction to the program. This has to be done within the first 30 days.
Eat Better Booklet – This booklet is the heart of the food program. Examples are given of foods for different meals and how to build a meal. There are also several recipes. There are a couple of pages of 0 or 1 point flavor boosters such as condiments or small amounts of cheese or nuts. Several daily menus of 30 points are given. There is an everyday menu, protein lovers’ menu, carb lovers menu, and a vegetarian (includes dairy) menu. There is a 2 page shopping menu and some tips for dining out. The dining out section has a couple of pages of point counts for different types of fast food. There is not a separate booklet or listing of foods except for the top 100 in the Meet Your Plan booklet and the few things list in this booklet.
Move More Booklet – This booklet focuses on activity. It gives reasons for activity and there is a quiz to assess your activity level. Based upon the result, it tells you to check out activities marked either A, B, or C. A is basically for those who aren’t exercising. B is more people who engage in everyday activities. C is for those already exercising. Throughout the rest of the booklet, there are examples given of possible activities and each is marked with an A, B, or C. There are a couple of pages of toner exercises. There are examples given of ways to increase activity whether you are looking at A, B, or C activities. Oddly enough, the booklet has a couple of pages of fast recipes. Unlike past program materials that give a chart of how many FitPoints you earn doing activity, this one doesn’t give that information. There is a brief indication that while Weight Watchers encourages “physical activity for its own sake, you also have the option of swapping earned FitPoints one to one for SmartPoints” once you’ve earned the equivalent of 3000 steps to account for everyday movements.
Shirt Your Mindset Booklet – This booklet focuses on the mental side of weight loss. The mantra is: What you think determines how you fell and how you feel determines what you do. I do think that is important, the booklet goes through a number of things that relate to thinking and feelings such as identifying thought, being self-compassionate, living mindfully, embracing happiness, etc. In the Eat Mindfully section, there are a couple of pages of recipes.
My Thoughts on the Materials
It is a little hard for me to assess the materials like a new member would do. But, I will try. In comparison to past years, these materials seem skimpier. There is no long list of foods with point counts. [Edit: Per the comments, apparently they do still hand that book out to new members. They didn’t give a new copy of it to existing members.] There is no chart of how many FitPoints you earn for X minutes of activity. For me, none of this would be a problem. Before I got back to goal, I was a monthly pass member with access to both meetings and online tools. Looking up foods online or using the calculator on my phone was fine. My Fitbit syncs with Weight Watchers and gives me my FitPoints. And, if I am not using it for whatever reason, I can search for an activity online and record the FitPoints.
Things are now more difficult, though, for the meeting only member (or the member who has access online but doesn’t want to use those tools). You can still buy a book that has the SmartPoints for various foods. And you can buy a calculator that will calculate SmartPoints. I don’t know if there is any way to calculate your FitPoints earned except online. Maybe that chart is in the paper tracker? I don’t know since I don’t get a paper tracker any more. If anyone gets a paper tracker this week, look and let us know in the comments.
Again, I understand this since I do everything I can online. Still, I would prefer it is they still had the more extensive list of points in paper form and I think the Activity booklet should give the chart showing how to calculate FitPoints earned.
I like the Mindset booklet. I honestly think that this is a very important part of weight loss. So many people want to focus on the food plan, but I think that if you don’t get the mindset right then the food plan doesn’t matter. Of course, having a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss. But, there are many food plans or ways of eating that will lead to a calorie deficit. But, having the right mindset and mental and emotional outlook is also key to getting to that calorie deficit and keeping it going.
Overall, I do believe that thinking influences feelings and that influences our actions. And, if we change our thinking we can change our feelings and then our actions. I do agree with this. And, this is the essence of Cognitive Behavioral Theory which works on changes thinking to then change feelings and actions. I strongly believe that this is helpful for many people and I think it has clear application to weight loss. In particular, I enjoy Judith Beck’s writing (daughter of the founder of CBT), particularly her book The Beck Diet Solution.