Over the last decade my life has undergone some enormous and irreversible changes – I got married, had children, changed careers. I moved house, fought for an autism diagnosis and an EHC plan, coped with two newborns, one miscarriage, watched my children grow, go to school and nursery, turn into little people. Over that time span, slowly, but oh-so surely, I have gained weight. Looking back at that list, it is not surprising really – so much was packed into such a relatively short space of time, and much of it took a huge toll emotionally. And, during all those times, through the stress and worry and heartbreak, my instinct has always been to eat.
Food is the coping mechanism that has got me through some of the most rewarding and challenging times of my life. But, at the beginning of this year, I reached a watershed, a moment when I became aware that something must change, a realisation that my health and my future depend on extricating myself from this cycle. When Weight Watchers contacted me to ask me to try their Flex programme, I was already coming to this conclusion myself.
I had toyed with the idea of joining many times before, come so close to clicking that button. And the reason I hadn’t? Worry about whether I would spend money and then not stick to it, nervousness about going to a meeting and revealing myself to others, fear that I would just fail anyway, the thought that if I was going to do it I needed to do it alone – these were all reasons that stopped me signing up to a weight loss club or programme in the past. Then, Weight Watchers came along and gave me the push I needed to get started.
And I am so happy that they did.
I am wholeheartedly a Weight Watchers convert and there is no question that I will be continuing with the programme after my work with Weight Watchers has finished. All of the fears listed above have melted away and I am so enthusiastic about continuing.
Not only this, but I have found that the Flex programme has been perfect for me. I feel like this could really be the thing that helps me finally reach, and stick to, a healthy weight. As well as being easy to stick to, and fun, Flex truly is Flexible enough to be part of my routine indefinitely – not just for a quick fix or until I reach a goal weight.
With Flex, no food is entirely off-limits. During the course of my 5 weeks plan I had takeaway pizza (with low-fat cheese) not once, but twice. Not only that, on both of those weeks, I lost weight. Flex is brilliant because your SmartPoints budget is tailored to you, It is totally flexible, with daily and weekly SmartPoints built-in for treats and special occasions. Unlike a traditional calorie-controlled only diet, there are so many foods that are entirely free and so I was never hungry. On the days I had my special treat meals I did not starve myself for the rest of the day; I had filling meals at breakfast and lunch too. This is because foods like vegetables, fruits, pulses, lean meat and eggs are 0 SmartPoints.
Below you can see a little taste of my time on Weight Watchers Flex, in my one second a day video. Hopefully it gives you a little glimpse into how easily it fitted in with my usual routine.
Another thing that I absolutely LOVED about being on Flex was all the supporting material. The recipes are great, both on the app and in the available books. And I mean really great –
I had as much fun baking with the kids, devising meal plans and cooking as I did eating these dishes. The Weight Watchers Bakes Butternut Squash Cake is a now a family favourite – and it is only 6 SmartPoints for a proper slice of cake!
Weight Watchers Flex Meetings
During my time on the programme to date I attended one meeting spoke with my local Weight Watchers advisor on the phone several times. The meeting was nowhere near as intimidating as I expected and I genuinely had a great time.
There was no issue with me bringing Littlest along at all – in fact she had fun there too. The atmosphere was informal and relaxed and there was no much support to hand, both in the form of products, recipe books and resources, and from the other people attending and their inspiring stories.
I was absolutely distraught that I did not have any cash as the shop had so many delectable Weight Watchers products on offer:
The Weight Watchers App
The Weight Watchers App is another aspect which I found to be hugely helpful. I love a gadget and I love the organisation and challenge of logging food and activity in an app. Being a blogger, I am rarely more than a few feet away from my phone and therefore it is SO easy for me to log what I am eating with the bar code scanner or manually. This is so important when you are a busy parent and trying to juggle ten things at once. The last thing you need is for tracking your meals and snacks to become a chore.
The bar code scanner is absolutely fabulous. During the whole period, I did not find a single item that did not scan and give me the SmartPoints value immediately. I found tracking my progress to be hugely satisfying and motivating in making myself stick to my SmartPoints budget. Each day that you track, and stay in your target, you get a little blue circle on your calendar.
There is also a brilliant section on the app called “Connect” which allows you to follow other people and post updates. I found it so inspirational to see so many people who had made a permanent change to healthier eating habits. The app also synchronises to apps like Track My Run, so you can easily keep a total record of your food an exercise habits.
Weight Watchers allowed me full access to all their materials for a five-week period for free. They also compensated me for my time. However, I have already signed up to extend this. I will be a paying customer from now on. For the first time in a very long time, I actually feel like losing weight, and staying healthy, really is possible. I am filled with positivity about the future – and I have lost 1st 2lbs.
I feel lighter in more ways than one.