keep it simple

As I said the other day, I’ve returned to Weight Watchers to see if this plan will work as a vegan. I finished my first full week of the plan and saw the scale drop 2.6 pounds. I ate every point available to me… with a whole slew of them being last night. I know, I know, you’re horrified that I would do that the night before a meeting weigh in.

I guess the thing that is different about Weight Watchers, at least for me, is that I take it very literally that I can eat all of my points and still lose weight. The basic plan format doesn’t say, “don’t eat after such and such time of night”. It doesn’t tell you to only eat this or that particular food. In it’s most simple form, if I have points, I can eat… even if that’s the night before weigh in. I don’t have to view any day of the week differently from others. Of course, in order to know how many points I may eat… I do have to track them.

To some people this probably would feel like a hassle, but to me, tracking my points is a small price to pay for guilt-free eating. I’ve come to the conclusion that I must keep in mind what I’m willing to do to get what I want. The definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing but expecting different results. Well, I know that something will be required of me to get this weight off. I know that I can follow virtually any weightloss plan for a short period of time… and that I will lose weight on any of them… but what am I willing to do for the long-term? Asking myself this question coupled with “what is the simplest form of what I will do”, brought me to the following list.

I am willing to…

  1. Avoid animal products and eat plenty of whole-food plants.
  2. Regularly do some form of intentional physical activity.
  3. Take a vitamin/mineral supplement.
  4. Track and stay within my Weight Watcher point allotments.
  5. Attend Weight Watcher meetings most weeks.

And then I took it a step further and asked myself “why” am I willing to do or not do these things… those answers look like this…

  1. I truly do not believe that animal products enhance my overall health, but that they detract from it. I wholeheartedly do believe that plants are highly nutritious and ideal food for human consumption.
  2. I believe that exercise benefits me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I notice a significant difference in all three areas when I move my body regularly.
  3. I believe that some supplementation is necessary for some people due to soil depletion and other man-made issues. The supplements I choose are non-toxic and therefore not harmful to take as “insurance” against vitamin/mineral deficiency.
  4. I believe that tracking and staying within my point allotment allows me to eat with my family, to celebrate with them, and to exercise the freedom to make my own food choices within manageable boundaries. I believe looking up point values removes most (if not all) of the emotional aspects of food choice, and allows me to make a more rational food decision in any given moment. This also affords me the right to eat french fries if I want to, or to say “not right now” without feelings of guilt or deprivation.
  5. I believe that accountability is a very valuable tool that can be leveraged to reach goals, change negative behaviors, and take the focus off of your self (navel gazing) by offering moral support to others.

If you’re struggling to lose weight or “stay on plan” or lower your cholesterol (or blood sugar), perhaps you need to evaluate what you are willing to do to reach your goals. It could be that you are working against your true personal beliefs and convictions. I’ve had to analyze my belief systems over the years… many of which were shaped by things that should never shape deeply held beliefs (commercials, media, trauma…etc) and yet often do. Changing those beliefs is often difficult, but not impossible. At the same time, it’s definitely a journey, so just start with where you are right now and your own simple “I’m willing to” list.

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