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If you think this is about YOU, maybe you should go reconcile with your parent and work to get back your kids instead of continuing to be a jerk. If you think I am you, or similar to you, welcome! :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Weight Watcher Welfare

So far, so good, on the Weight Watchers Plan. I am losing about a pound a week and the Mister two a week. We are eating what most people would call sensibly, and still get an occasional treat. Our energy level is high, with all that exercise.

Weight Watchers is based on a series of point values for different foods. I can choose to eat premium ice cream, but I am going to pay for it in points at 8 points a half-cup. Much more sensible to fill up on tomatoes, red peppers, or artichokes hearts, which without oil are 0 points. 

How many points a person receives per day is determined by his or her weight. Contrary to common logic, the larger a person is, the more points he or she receives. This is because real logic dictates it takes more energy to keep a larger body going than a smaller one. So the Mister gets a slew of points. This means he can eat big meals with extra accoutrements. I, being fat but not fat enough to get any big bonus, get the minimum number of daily points, 29. Throw the confetti and pass the unadorned cabbage.

There are two other alternatives to gain extra points. One is through activity. Every activity, from picking garden vegetables to running uphill in a marathon, has a point value for every ten minutes of exertion. I like these points. I know I've earned them. They make me feel as if I am actually doing something toward my own points. Call it an American Diet Philosophy. I'm willing to get out there and push uphill to down a Magnum Bar.

There is also point welfare, courtesy of Weight Watchers. Everybody is allocated 49 points a week. Those points are there to be used.

But I can't. It's a personal thing, my own mentality, but I can't. Call it old fashioned values, call it conservative thought. I can't. I didn't earn them.

The default on Weight Watchers Online is to use the welfare points first. Call me eccentric, I couldn't do it. In six weeks, out of 294 welfare points, I've used exactly 6. They don't feel as if they are mine to use.

The online package is user-friendly when it comes to the basics, but not-so-user-friendly when it comes to the tricky stuff. If a user doesn't have time to play with it, the learning curve time is going to be awhile. I've heard tell from others who accidentally loaded the wrong weight, and it took them days to figure out how to edit that into the right weight. So, it is no surprise that it took me 4 weeks to figure out how to change my plan tracker so that activity points came off first, then the weekly welfare points. 

I found the panel that contains the radio button to change to activity points first, and none too soon. I had a bit of a run-in with a bag of onion rings for a dollar at Culver's. It crashed my daily points, but with a brisk walk I was able to take some whole wheat pasta and a jar of roasted red peppers, and turn in a satisfying dish for 6 points (oh yeah, there was a teaspoon each of butter and cream in there). I earned it.  

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