Thursday, March 3, 2011

Healthy Vegan Intuitive Eating!!!

The title of this entry is what I'm starting to move towards, diet-wise. Weight Watchers has been amazing for me, and I don't plan to EVER stray from their basic principles, especially the Good Health Guidelines.


...I'm getting tired of dieting. I'm sick of tracking every bite. I'm starting to resent Weight Watchers. And yes, I know that IT WORKS because I have lost almost 70 pounds!!! For that, and for so much more, I owe WW a lot.

I've said from the beginning of this blog that I want to eventually stop counting and start eating intuitively again. I've decided that, as risky as it may be, that time will start a month into maintaining my goal weight of 145. Maybe sooner than that! I'm just ready to really start listening to my body again.

The Simply Filling Technique has been AMAZING for me so far. It allows me to keep clinging to the diet that is Weight Watchers while having much more freedom in how much I eat. I'm now actually listening to my hunger signals and choosing healthy foods at least 80% of the time. Yesterday, I had a 100% Power Foods day and didn't really realize it until today.

Choosing Power Foods has become much easier for me.

Here's why I want to eventually wean off of WW: I want to enjoy healthy fats again. And I know, it's possible to enjoy them as a WW-er, but I have issues with the high PointsPlus values assigned to things like avocados and almonds. Those are very healthy foods!!! If WW distinguished between good fats and bad fats, I could probably stay on WW forever.

For now, I'm going to continue on with WW's Simply Filling Technique, using my weekly PointsPlus and Activity PointsPlus on healthy fats and the occasional vegan pizza/cookie/chips. It definately is working for me, but there is still something missing.

It's just another step towards how I want to eat forever: Healthy. Vegan. Intuitive.

I want to make this clear: I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the Weight Watchers program! It is exactly what I needed to lose the weight, and what I will need to learn how much I'll need to eat in order to maintain that weight loss.

It's an amazing way to learn portion control and about healthy eating. It's a wonderful plan that will allow you to lose the weight slowly and steadily (something that I now love, but hated at first!) and will teach you how to keep the weight off. I love WW! I will probably track my food in some way or another for the rest of my life. Just not always in the Points/Calorie counting way.

I just wanted to be honest on my blog here: I'm almost ready to say "good-bye" to WW. I'll let you know before I take the plunge; it won't be any time soon. Probably by the summer.

To my WW/calorie counting readers:
Do you plan to stay on WW and/or count calories forever?


Jennifer said...

I think my approach is a lot like yours. I have a goal to reach. I want to use WW PP to help me get to that goal, but then what?! it's time to maintain. And I think I will definitely switch over to the simply filling technique once I have maintained a while. You are right that we should be able to listen to our bodies and train ourselves that way. I might switch back to tracking every so often just to keep myself in check, but I think I might be on ww for a while... who knows?! I'm hoping to hit my goal by December!

Lindsey said...

I don't think that's a bad thing at all - You can always eat intuitively; and if you feel like you need to get back on track at any point, you can start tracking your points again. :) Congrats on your power foods day - That's awesome!

Her Posh Palate... said...

Hey Leah,

I actually gave up WW's last summer after thinking I had it nailed and could do things on my own. I was really just so sick of tracking food and missing out on social activities because I didnt want to be faced with hurdles of menus.

I feel like YOU would do really well with maintaining without ww's though. Simply because you appear to have the entire concept grasped...

Good luck!

SewTypical said...

Funny you should ask :-)

Tomorrow is my weigh-in day. I plan to switch to the 'Simply Filling' technique and start eating Vegan. I've been a vegetarian for decades, but I just red Neal Barnard's book:
'Breaking the Food Seduction' and it made strong intuitive sense to me.

I will still be using eTools for as long as I need to. Tracking has been really helpful to me - I had to learn portion control. Going Vegan is just the next step.

I'm 5 lbs. from Goal and hope to become a WW lifetime member in a couple of months, or so. Can't say enough good things about Weight Watchers - I've had wonderful results with them!

Love your Blog!

Megan said...

I was just thinking about writing a similar post! Like you, I don't want to track forever, and don't agree with how all points are established. I'm still a bit away from goal, about 15 pounds or so, and I'm thinking about tracking until I get to goal, and slowly weening myself off.

Yes, WW is a fabulous plan, but really, who is going to track forever?! I see all the blogs of fabulous people who can intuitively eat, and I want that. WW has taught us the basics, I think we can do it on our own!

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

I'm so glad that no one (so far) is upset that I'm going to eventually go off of WW!

:-) I will maybe even change the official name of my blog... we shall see...

Jennifer- exactly what I was thinking! Going back to tracking every once in awhile just to keep myself in check. Plus I'm pretty sure that I will continue to measure and weigh myself at least monthly. That should help me to not regain.

Lindsey- thanks for the encouragement, as always! I love your insights.

HPP- That is one of my fears, that somehow I won't be able to handle the lack of structure (that WW provides so nicely) but I think you're right, I can handle it!!

Chris- I am so incredibly proud of and happy for you!!! Yay for being a vegan WW-er!!! It's a great way to lose weight and get healthy. I'm so happy to have helped inspire you a bit. :-) I really want to read that book now!

Megan- sounds like we think alike! I just know that both you and I will some day be successful intuitive eaters. :-) Go, us!

Andrea said...

In the past 6 months I've mostly followed Core/Simply Filling, reached goal in November and lifetime in January, and have been on SF for the past few months. (One important thing to remember is that if you do follow WW while at Lifetime one plus is that you get 90 WPA instead of 49).

I feel very similar to you about wanting to just intuitively eat while still having WW in my life, but without being so strict about tracking. But I wonder if it will work because I've heard so many people say they thought they could maintain their weight loss and went off WW in some way, and then regained. I think that weighing in, going to meetings, and following the Good Health Guidelines, as you described, are so important if you don't track like you did when you were losing.

But one thing that hasn't been mentioned is maintaining the Habits of Successful Members that we've all worked on so well and have greatly contributed to our success. We've changed out habits, but they can easily change right back. For example, I know I need to keep focusing on managing my feelings so I feel my feelings and don't feed them. If I revert back in that one habit, the rest of the important aspects (weighing in, going to meetings, following the GHG) won't completely protect me from gaining the weight back.

I don't feel like I want to stop tracking all together and am still following SF, but I think more each day if I will ever be able to intuitively eat and maintain my weight like other people do who have always maintained a healthy weight or maintain a weight loss without a personal or group plan/program. I wonder if other people think as much as I do about their energy/PointsPlus balance. How do other people figure out how many "treats" a week to have if they don't count PointsPlus?

While it's an extreme example, I see WW to me like AA is to other people. Food/its effect on my weight and health/the reasons I overeat is the biggest challenge in my life. I don't drink and never really have. I can easily say no to a drink. But maintaining my weight I have to work at. And I've accepted that I will have to work at it all my life. And part of working at it is continuing to be involved in WW, which helped get me to where I am today.

I highly recommend you keep WW in your life as much as possible. One of the benefits of WW is that it's a flexible and sustainable plan. Just as we have all customized it to fit our life, continue to use it, and just customize it for your needs as you get closer to goal, reach goal (so soon!), reach Lifetime, and maintain.

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

Andrea - "How do other people figure out how many "treats" a week to have if they don't count PointsPlus?"--I wonder about this, too! I know that even once I stop officially counting PointsPlus, I will probably still be thinking, "Well, I had pizza last night, so probably shouldn't eat those cookies today!" and thinking about my PP balance.

I know that whatever I decide, it will be a constant experiment. I will record my results on here to keep myself accountable and to let you all know what's up. :-)

Thin Lizzy said...

I count calories and I am getting tired of it. I feel like weight watchers points must be easier to count than calories- thinking of switching over, but can't make the decision right now.

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

Lizzy- Points counting has been way easier than calorie-counting was for me. I don't get why- it's basically all the same thing! But WW Points are definately better than calories for some people. Please let me know if and when you make the switch and how it goes for you!

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