It was hard getting back to reality this morning. After coming home from Indiana yesterday, I felt like I needed a weekend to get back into our usual routine, but the kids had to go to school today. After I got them on the bus, I was debating if I should skip my run today--it was raining outside, and I really didn't feel like running in the cold rain.
Even though I always think about skipping out, I never do ;) But thankfully, the rain stopped long enough for me to get a run in! I had four miles at tempo pace on the schedule. It wasn't too cold this morning, and felt perfect for running... until I realized just how windy it was.
The first couple of miles flew by at an 8:18/mi pace, but I had a tail wind. When I turned around, the wind was SO strong I felt like I was running in place. I pushed harder, to try and hold the same pace I was running, and I felt like I was. But when I looked at my Garmin after mile three, I saw 8:36. The wind made a huge difference! I had a headwind the entire way home, so the last mile was pretty challenging as well.
But I still finished with a great overall pace, and felt like I got a good workout.
When I got home, I showered and got dressed to go to my Weight Watchers meeting. When I got there, I weighed in (stayed the same as last week, which was good). There was a woman in the meeting who reached her Lifetime status today, and she was really excited about that. I have three more weeks of maintenance until I reach Lifetime.
I've been asked quite a bit recently if I think that Weight Watchers is worth the money, and if I like it better than counting calories. I really think it depends on the person. I've already proven that I can do Weight Watchers on my own, without paying them a dime--so in my instance, I would say that it's not worth the money. HOWEVER--I know that I wouldn't have stuck with it if I hadn't paid them when I joined online a few months ago. I didn't want the money to go to waste, so I followed the program. If I hadn't paid for it, it would have been easy to just quit on Day 1, like I wanted to.
Some people really thrive off of the meetings, and getting weighed in. If you're one of those people, then I think that the money would be worth it. It's pretty expensive--I believe it's $12 per week, which includes your weigh-in and all the meetings you want to attend that week.
However, the whole thing still boils down to whether you're willing to put in the effort to making lifelong changes. Weight Watchers can give you the tools you need to count PointsPlus, and the support you may want, but they aren't the ones making decisions about what/how much you eat. I've been following WW program for the past few months, and I've lost over 20 pounds--but I'm the one that made every single decision about what I ate, how much I ate, how much I exercised, etc. I had to have that self-control to make the program work. You get out of the program what you put into it.
In that sense, if you have that self-control, then you can make any program work for you. There are many free programs for weight loss (SparkPeople is my favorite, and what I used to lose the majority of my weight); but again, those will only work if you make the right decisions.
The WW plan is very similar to counting calories--you can eat anything you want, but you measure out your portions and count the PointsPlus/calories for that portion, keeping your daily PP/calories within a certain range. The biggest difference between the two plans is that WW has "free" fruits and vegetables, that you don't have to count against your daily target. When counting calories, you count EVERY calorie that passes your lips; on WW, you don't have to count the fruits or most veggies.
Counting PP is also much easier to tally than counting calories. For example, it's easier to remember that you had 8 PP for lunch than it is to remember that you had 378 calories for lunch. It's especially easier to add up your meals in your head--6 PP for breakfast + 8 PP for lunch + 10 PP for dinner + 6 PP for snacks instead of adding up 248 calories for breakfast + 378 calories for lunch + 569 calories for dinner + 431 calories for snacks.
Those are the two main reasons I like Weight Watchers at this point. The biggest downside is that it's expensive; but there are ways around that. I followed WW without paying for a while in 2009-2010. I bought the materials and did it on my own. I used SparkPeople to calculate the nutrition info in recipes, and then I used that nutrition info to calculate the Points. All you really need is the PP calculator; and there are free phone apps for calculating PP.
I'm getting way off track here! Basically, I am really liking the WW program right now; I think it's expensive, but worth the money if you're willing to put in the work. In a nutshell :)
Anyway, after my meeting, Jerry and I wrapped the kids' Christmas presents. Estelle was in heaven with all the bags and paper all over the floor...
Jerry and I discovered that we are a couple of gifts short for Noah--not sure how that happened! So I'll have to go get him a couple more presents, probably tomorrow. My sister gave the boys a Kinect for the Xbox, and I'm actually pretty excited about that. I've heard that there are some good exercise games for the Kinect, so I think I may do another six-week challenge when I get home from Key West. I haven't been strength training (yet again) so I need to get back at it!