February 18, 2020

My Simplified Eating and Training Plan to Drop the Extra Weight

Okay, this is a humiliating humbling post for me.

Before I get into that part, though, first I will write about my upcoming training plan. I mentioned a couple of days ago that my friend Adam and I are going to run the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon together in October.

Obviously, I need to train for it. Right now, I'm capable of running about four miles at a pace that is slower than a walk, hahaha. I don't have a time goal for the race (my main reason for doing it is to get back to training for something--anything--and especially to run Adam's first race with him.

Since we have 33-1/2 weeks until the race, we have plenty of time to train. I definitely don't want to wait until it's 12 weeks out and then start a plan that I'll dread. I mentioned that I want to really SIMPLIFY my diet and exercise routines so that they feel doable and comfortable again. I don't want to overcomplicate anything at all.

So, I'm going to be doing one of my own half-marathon plans that I have posted on my blog: Six-Month "Beginner to Half-Marathon" Training Plan. This is to take someone from zero running to running a half-marathon in six months.

The plan begins with my "walk to run" plan--doing a 30 minute walk, but replacing walking with running for an increasing amount of time per walk until you're able to run the whole 30 minutes. I'm definitely capable of running for 30 minutes now, but I like the idea of following this plan from Day 1. So, I'll be starting completely from scratch, how I did in 2010 when I started running in the first place.

Since I am going to start the plan next week, I'll have 33 weeks (longer than 6 months) to train... so I added seven weeks to the beginning of the plan--with straight-up walking. I scheduled 30 minutes of walking four days a week for seven weeks. THEN I will begin the actual six-month training plan.

I realize this is probably a very slow way to make progress, but I have the time and I don't want to dread this. I want to enjoy it! Also, while I don't plan on following the MAF method (like I said, I want to keep it super simple and run by feel rather than numbers), walking at a decent pace should help strengthen my cardio system per the MAF method anyway. After seven weeks of walking, I should feel good adding in the running.

I'm actually really excited about doing it this way. It can't get much simpler, and the baby steps will ease me in.

When I first started running, I went from not running at all to running my first half-marathon a year later. I know that I can do this again if I really want to! I used to enjoy training much more when I didn't make it so complicated. When I was still learning by trial and error.

Now, about the dieting aspect for dropping this weight (and the reason for my embarrassment)...

I SWORE ON MY LIFE I'd never, ever do it again. But I have reasons that I'll explain below why I am choosing to do this: Weight Watchers.

The last Weight Watchers plan I did was Weight Watchers 360 (also called PointsPlus), which I started in 2012 and stopped in 2013 or 2014. I started counting calories in fall of 2015 after gaining weight back.

I liked the Weight Watchers Points Plus Plan. It got me back on track and I dropped weight that I'd gained--I even reached my WW goal weight for the first time in my life!

Here is a blog post I wrote about the basics of Weight Watchers--referring to the Points Plus plan: The Basics of Weight Watchers.

Here are some pictures from the day I hit my Weight Watchers goal weight in 2015 (I'd actually hit my personal goal weight of 133, I believe. I always weighed in "heavy" at WW on purpose--wearing shoes, heavy clothes, etc. Just as a buffer in case I needed it one week! haha).

I earned my maintenance charms when I reached goal, too:

Weight Watchers was refreshing and working great... until it wasn't.

Now... the reasons I quit Weight Watchers. Here is a blog post of my rant and (legit) reasons for quitting once they switched to the Smart Points plan: Calories vs. Weight Watchers Smart Points. (Keep in mind, it's my OPINION, so don't hate me for it)

Anyway, can you believe that I didn't have enough Smart Points on the new program for this little candy bar as a snack?! I mean, c'mon.

I found that switching from WW to calorie counting when I did was a great change of pace. It's nice to switch things up now and then, even if it's not a huge change. The newness of it helps keep it "exciting" enough to stick with it. I feel like I'm always using the word "refreshing", but it fits so well!

Now, though, I just cannot seem to get into counting calories again for whatever reason. The "spark" isn't there and I can't find a momentum. I'm bored with it.

My sister texted me last week and begged me to do Weight Watchers with her again, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it--I said no. She's tracking with an app called iTrackBites, which is basically the WW program but much cheaper. I tried out the free version, just to get an idea of it, but I really disliked the database.

I hemmed and hawed all week about what to do as far as my diet goes, and today I finally decided: I'm going to go back to the old school way that I followed the plan--with a pen, a Weight Watchers journal, and a Weight Watchers calculator. I bought them on E-bay today, so I won't get them for a week or so, but I'm going to try to start tracking tomorrow.

Looking at the old 3-Month Tracker made me feel so nostalgic for those days!

I loved tracking in an actual book because I was easily able to flip through the book and see what I was eating when I had good weeks and bad weeks. Also, I love to journal so it was just another fun journal for me. (I have way too many journals of all sorts! I have a bad habit of collecting them. Those and water bottles.)

I'm SUPER bummed because I cannot, for the life of me, find my old Weight Watchers journals. I loved looking through them to see what I was eating and patterns in my weight loss and all that. I have turned the house upside down looking. I'm sure I wouldn't have thrown them away! But maybe I did when I was purging everything from the house during my extreme hypomania a couple of years ago.

Anyway, it's embarrassing to change my stubborn mind about ever doing Weight Watchers again, but I'm going back to the program that I enjoyed and I'm doing the simplified version of it--before everything went to phone apps! (I won't be attending meetings)

It's going to take some getting used to again--I forget the PointsPlus in my favorite foods, and none of my recipes have the PointsPlus values on them. So, I'm going to spend some time over the next couple of weeks doing the calculations which will hopefully make life easier when I cook.

The hardest part about it all will be having to measure out my food again. I never used to mind it until I got so used to NOT doing it. But I did it a couple of times before while losing weight, so I know I can get used to it again.

Right now I feel pretty confident that I can stick with this--I love the simple and refreshing ideas of an easy training plan and the very basic Weight Watchers plan that worked well for me before. Hopefully I'll see some progress, because I'd love to start posting it on my blog again!


  1. Yes! You have SO got this!!!

  2. I do a version of Points Plus using the Ultimate Food Value Diary app on my phone, and it has gone really well for me. I've never tried Smart Points (I was pregnant when the plan switched over and when I started working on losing the weight again, I stayed with PP because I knew it worked for me). It's so important to find what works for you, no matter what that looks like. I'm excited for you and cheering you on!

  3. i love this idea. Where did you find the old school WW stuff? I did it back in 2010-2011 and it worked well, but then i got pregnant and quit. I'm not a fan of the new WW stuff... It worked for me back then, maybe it would again? I'd love to have the accountability of a few peeps (like a blog group maybe) but not going to the meetings...

  4. Yes! So many times I feel like you're in my head! Thank you for reminding me to go back to the basics and not rush anything, just go with the flow on working out. No calendars, no extra equipment. Just walk. I can do that anywhere, no excuses.

  5. I've been doing a walk/run three miler on the treadmill three times/week. I just keep changing the speed every minute so the time goes by pretty fast and I do work up a sweat! So happy to read that your training for a HM. I should too. Keep up the good work! I lost one pound. No big deal at all, but I haven't actually lost a pound in so long I can't remember when.

  6. I'm starting to think we might be the same person. I've been using your beginner half marathon plan to train for a September half. And just last week I was looking at WW for the umpteenth time because I need to do SOMETHING. It's comforting to feel like there is someone out there going through this at the same time. And I'm very much looking forward to following your progress, no matter what that progress looks like.

  7. I'm very excited to "GET IT OVER WITH" and shed the extra pounds this year! Very excited for myself and wishing you good progress - we both can do this! To a great 2020.

  8. Katie!
    Long time reader (since 2011), very rare commenter. I've been feeling exactly like you have regarding weight loss/gain and falling of the running wagon over the last 1.5-2 years. Granted, I had a baby in between, but right now I cannot for the life of me get motivated to get back to healthier eating and more exercise. I desperately want to get back to my happy weight (-20-25 pounds). Your recent posts really resonated with me and often I find (over the years) that when you get motivated, I get motivated as well. Your last couple of posts have really been getting me excited and hyped up. I am back to counting calories and weekly weigh-ins, it's the only thing that's ever kept me accountable. Let's do this!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive