Friday, November 6, 2009

Far from perfect...

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Las Vegas, the world capital of unnecessary extravagance and possibly the world capital of big food.  Really big food.  Yet, as I write this, I'm drinking coffee with skim milk and having a plate of fruit.  I'm not really being a saint about this.  It's just what I eat in the morning these days.

In fact, I'm pretty far from perfect in a Weight Watchers context.  As noted earlier, I am not a religious tracker, particularly now that I'm on maintenance.  I do get weigh-in's, but probably only every two to three weeks when I stop in and visit a meeting.  I got my last weigh in about two weeks ago when visiting a meeting in Queens (still at goal weight -- go me!)

However, in that meeting, one of my Weight Watchers shortcomings became uncomfortably on display.  I was minding my own business, and the Leader suddenly asked me whether I followed the Good Health Guidelines.  I think she (reasonably) presumed that as the CEO of the company, I must be pretty observant of these types of rules.  I was a bit stumped because I knew the answer:  not always.

Upon reflection, here is where I stack up on the GHG's:

Follow 'em:

  • 5 servings fruits and vegetables:  yep.  I consume fruit by the truckload (more out of desire than discipline), and I like my vegetables just fine.  That said, I don't tick off each of the five each day.  I just know that I easily hit these target on most days.
  • Whole grains:  I do in fact choose them whenever possible.
  • Milk:  also an easy one as I eat a lot of yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Protein:  also an easy one.  I'm a big fan of both fish and chicken.
  • Sugar & alcohol:  I don't go over-board here, and I don't have a huge sweet tooth (or at least it's not that hard to control)
  • Activity:  no issues here
  • Water:  although I drink diet soda, which technically counts, I should really drink more water.  Less artificial sweeteners and more bona fide/nature supplied hydration would be better.  
  • Oil:  this may happen naturally as my wife uses good oils when she cooks, and I would normally order entrees cooked with olive oil in a restaurant.  That said, I do not actively track this, and I certainly am far from disciplined about it.
  • Vitamins:  I think I had my last vitamin when I was roughly 7 years old
As you can probably see, I follow the GHG's more by accident than by design.  I think that's a good reflection of the Weight Watchers program that it naturally steers you to the GHG's through things like filling foods.  I have also learned that the only way I can stay OP and not lose my mind with hunger is by eating the kinds of foods promoted in the GHG's.  Therefore, the program naturally saves me from my own lack of discipline and difficulty following rules.  

That also said, the GHG's I don't follow really do represent good health practices, and I really should follow them.  Popping a vitamin each morning would not be such a hard thing to do.  Although, I do struggle to remember to feed my dog her pills in the morning.  Water is a bit more of a challenge, but I could get into the practice of walking around with the big Weight Watchers water mug.  Oil is something I should just be more aware of.  

My observations on all of this:
  1. I am not a super-disciplined rule follower, yet I generally fall in line with Weight Watchers rules.  I attribute this to the fact that the Weight Watchers program is based on a lot of common sense, so it's easy to accidentally follow the rules.  
  2. Having been on the Weight Watchers program (mostly) for roughly ten years, most of the rules are kind of second nature.  As I noted on an earlier post, the rules and guidelines are not a lifetime sentence to drudgery.  They really do become second nature over time.  That's why lifestyle-based programs, rather than fad diets, make more sense.  
  3. I am pretty good on the program, and I'm at goal weight.  Yet, I ain't no saint.  BTW, that's perfectly fine.  I do what works for me, but I'm not the perfect model of the Weight Watchers program.  Most of us aren't, and that is totally OK.  
  4. I can do better.  Being more disciplined about the GHG's would be less about getting a gold star (or Bravo star as the case may be), and much more about living in a healthier way.  That's always a good thing.


  1. I find, as a woman with 20 points a day, that it's really difficult to fit in the GHG's that are worth points. I think the important thing is that I think about all of it much more often and I always work hard to get there everyday. I don't always get there, but I try!

    Love the blog!

  2. Glad to know not even the CEO is perfect! :)

  3. Love the blog! You have a fun sense of humor which is important. I try to eat most of my points at night, plus the veggies needed. This might not be the best way to do it, but it works for me. I hate to go to bed hungry and wake up that way! Crystal lite is fabulous for getting in the water needed, 0 pts. Keep up the blogs, we love reading them.

  4. We forgive you for not following the GHG to a tee. That is one of the privileges of reaching your target weight. I, on the other hand, have no excuse for straying from those guidelines but in all honesty sometimes I would rather use some of my meager 19 points for a really good carb or two rather than on a high point item like a healthy serving of fresh fish. Following the GHG is something to strive for but not to beat yourself up about.

    Love your blog!

  5. My wife bought me a contraption that carbonates water (Soda Club is the manufacturer). We got in the habit of drinking bubbly water while on vacation in Italy many years ago, so I've actually found the liquid part of the GHG the easiest piece to accomplish. I have four 1-liter bottles that stay in the fridge, and I drink at least two liters of this per day, in addition to other liquids I pick up.

  6. another great blog with good insights. Glad to see you be so honest! You do know how rare that is right? Keep writing!

  7. How did I not know you had a blog?!

    Love your writing voice and I look forward to meeting you/serving on a panel with you at Fitbloggin 10.

    Carla Birnberg/MizFit

  8. Dave,
    I love the blog. It really speak to me because, although I go to my meetings, I have been struggling and isolating.

    I really enjoy your sense of humor. As mentioned, we need a sense of humor. Personally, I have been hyperfocusing on weight loss, I realized I am too serious. I am going to lighten up.

    I love the way you think about your personality and being on plan. I am not that detailed. So, it frees up my mind to look at my own program and lifestyle.

    You have a committed follower. Keep up the good work.


  9. I used to have a problem with the vitamins, too (like you, I ate most of my vitamins in elementary school). Then I discovered gummy vitamins for adults, and now I have no problems remembering to take them. One serving = 0 points!