Back to Weight Watchers: holiday weight management

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Listen to a Podcast episode on this topic here

I'm back at Weight Watchers. I quietly left in April. I kept my daily food journal going strong. I learned how many calories/macros/nutrients I need to maintain my preferred level of physical activity. 

I learned a lot and decided to return to Weight Watchers with all the new knowledge I acquired. Being in charge of my health means I need to get the answers to my quests and my questions.

It is the holiday season here in the U.S. and as always, I'm thinking about how I am going to approach it. 

I was challenged to look at my first weigh-in in October and the first in January of the following year. I was also challenged to see how long it took for me to get back to the October weight. Here's what I found out:

October '17 - January '18: -6.4 lbs | It was the year I started with WW. I remember following the plan. I remember being so happy about it. I wrote this post about facing the holidays while losing weight.

October '18 - January '19: +4 lbs | Despite my best efforts, I gained 4 lbs. I wrote about being at WW until that point here.

October '19 - January '20: +1.6 | I put way more effort and "only" gained 1.6 lbs. I wrote about what I did to manage the holiday here.

October '20 - January '21: -5.8 | 2020 was a tough year for many. That holiday season, I was committed to succeeding. I wrote my takeaways here.

October '21 - January '22: -6.2 | That season, I was in a weight loss/muscle gain challenge that ended at Thanksgiving. While I didn't win the challenge, you can see that I rocked that season as far as weight loss. It was one of the hardest years of our lives. I'm grateful for the strength and focus to improve my health. I wrote about my holiday eating thoughts here.

You can see my reflections and comparison photos of being at my lowest weight here.

October '22 - January '23: +4.8 | I had a lot of good changes during this particular season. I experienced some stress too. I decided I was going to look for the good. I wrote about it here.

Instead of stopping there, I decided to ask myself, How long did it take you to get back to that October weight the times you gained weight?

In 2018 when I gained 4 lbs, it took 20 weeks to get back to that weight. Almost half a year! 

In 2019 when I gained 1.6 lbs, it took me 6 weeks to get back to that weight. I remember talking to the lady who weighed me in at WW and she told me it took her around 6 weeks to get back to her pre-holiday weight too. I remember being fiercely focused on my goal. I remember going to meetings every week and asking for feedback when I was stalling. 

Last holiday season, I gained 4.8 lbs. I'm still not back to that weight, which means it's been 38 weeks and counting. I'm 8 lbs above that weight currently. 

Here is my holiday plan: 

• Pre-track my holiday meal - I've done that. It is 38 points. I already entered in the WW App. 

• Plan my workouts - I signed up for a 4-mile race. I plan on running and walking for sure. I'm interested in going to a CrossFit box while out of town. 

• I want to track daily - I want to stick with my points for the day. Stress eating is often an issue for me during the holiday season. My goal is to plan my day, eat when hungry, and stop when I'm satisfied. I also want to drink at least 50 oz of water each day. 

I want to reflect on my day so I can be encouraged for the next day. I will take notes on the WW App. 

Starting weight: 175 lbs 

Current weight: 159.4 lbs (-15.4) 

First Goal: 153.4 lbs (-21.6)

Second Goal: 146 lbs (-29)

Final Goal: 136 lbs (-39)