Normally, I’m not afraid of change, but there’s a change happening in my life right now that I’m a little nervous about. And I know that many of you will roll your eyes at this, but if you know me, then you’ll understand why it’s causing me angst.
It’s the new Weight Watchers SmartPoints plan.
I’ve been following Weight Watchers for almost a year and a half, and I’ve lost more than 50 pounds. I really liked their PointsPlus plan and had great success with it, obviously. I liked that I was really able to eat what I wanted within reason. I have never really felt deprived following WW. But this new SmartPoints thing has me feeling like a failure only 2 weeks into it.
My weakness is sweets. Everybody has a food that is hard to resist; mine is chocolate and cakes and cookies and candy. My inability to resist sweets is partially responsible for forcing me to WW; eating that stuff has helped me get fat. But on the old WW plan, I was able to eat a reasonable amount of sweets. Usually, I’d have something after lunch and something after dinner. I’m talking like a container of chocolate pudding after lunch and a couple cookies after dinner. If one day I splurged and had a cupcake, it was a recoverable “error”. I really could eat pretty much whatever I wanted within reason and not feel deprived.
The new SmartPoints plan really ups the Point count on sugary things and starchy things. For instance, in my Weekly yesterday, they had a sample menu that showed a brownie as 15 Points. Our leader said that would be like a 2″ X 2″ brownie. Now, maybe that number means nothing to you, so I’ll try to give it some perspective. I get 32 Points every day plus 42 “extra” Points each week to “spend” on whatever I choose. This sounds like a lot, but go back to that brownie. The size of that brownie isn’t unreasonable, but if I decide to eat one of those because someone brought them in for someone’s birthday, then I have eaten almost half my Points for that day just on that brownie. It’s like my whole day just got completely derailed because I decided to eat a brownie.
Which is how I got to this point today. A teacher I work with made me a plate of Christmas cookies today — and I love her gesture! I don’t want her to read this and think I’m ungrateful because I’m not at all! But I ate 3 cookies — two peanut butter blossoms and one frosted sugar cookie. None of these cookies were huge; they were just average-sized cookies. I’m estimating that each of those cookies was at least 6 Points each, which means by eating 3 cookies I blew more than half my Points for the day. I had already had 2 Points for breakfast — a glass of almond milk, unsweetened. Anything else would be too many Points — a protein bar, a breakfast bar, toast with a little peanut butter. So I am now eating a piece of fruit and having a glass of mike for breakfast to save Points. My lunch (catered lunch today at a meeting) was a little bit of Italian beef, 2 cheese raviolis, a half a piece of garlic bread, and a salad. I’m estimating my lunch at 12 Points. So add up my breakfast (2), lunch (12), and cookies (18) — that’s 32 Points. I guess I don’t get to eat dinner tonight. All because I had three cookies. When things like this happen, it becomes all too easy to say, “Well, I screwed myself for the day. May as well keep on eating.” I feel weak and defeated and guilty. Because I ate three cookies. Not a whole package of cookies. Not a whole plate of cookies. Three cookies.
Some foods that I loved, I avoided because I knew they were bad, but if presented as a special treat, I might partake. For instance, I love French Silk pie. On the old WW plan, one slice of that pie was 19 Points — eek! I rarely had it — like only at Thanksgiving or at Christmas. But on the SmartPoints plan, that same slice of pie is 30 Points! My God, the whole WEEK is practically shot if I eat one slice of that pie! How could I live with myself after eating that???
So here I sit, feeling guilty that I’m going to eat dinner tonight even though I’m out of Points because I was hungry and ate 3 cookies. Tomorrow, I have my work Christmas party to face. Friday, I have a catered holiday lunch at work to face, plus I’m going to a very nice restaurant with friends to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary. I feel like my whole week was going to be hard to manage anyway, but now I feel like throwing in the towel because I already jacked it up by eating 3 cookies.
If the new WW is all about making me feel like a failure for eating a cookie, then it’s a rousing success.