Yes, I know, nearly everyone vows to lose weight come January 1 of each and every year.  I usually try not to make this a New Year’s Resolution because I know how poorly most people (including me) stick to it. But I think I’m finally ready to make a permanent change in how I eat. 

I’ve spent a lot of time with some very healthy people here in Northern California, and I have learned a lot about eating the right kinds of food.  I’m making a real effort to remove as many processed foods from our diet as possible.  Of course, that’s easier said than done.  When we ARE eating packaged foods, we try to choose the ones that are most natural – less preservatives, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, weird oils like cottonseed oil (doesn’t the idea of cottonseed oil make you feel like you’re gagging on a throat full of fluff?), and anything hydrogenated. 

If you’re wondering why I’ve chosen Weight Watchers (WW)* instead of some other program, there are several reasons.  For one, WW has worked so well for me in the past – it’s not their fault I stopped following the plan and gained all my weight back.  Secondly, they’ve always encouraged a moderate approach to weight loss that includes exercise, portion control, a balanced diet, AND figuring out the psychological/emotional reasons why you have a weight problem in the first place.  I’m sure I’ve got quite a few of the latter. 

My third reason is their new program.  Weight Watchers just released a new version of their program that focuses much more on what they call “power foods”, exactly what I’ve been trying to do with my family.  They have taken into account more of the nutritional information when they assign “POINTS” to a food – carbs, protein, fat, and fiber, instead of just calories, fat, and fiber.  And I get to eat as much fruit as I want!  Weight Watchers does not make judgment calls on the chemicals that are in food, so they still encourage the consumption of fat-free, sugar-free pseudo-foods (note that I AM judging those poor food-like products).  But the beauty of the WW program is that it is so flexible that I can decide what food to include in my plan.   And fat free yogurt with aspartame and some unidentifiable fruit sauce is no longer in my plan.  Besides, it actually doesn’t taste very good after you’ve tried plain yogurt with honey and real fruit.  (Why did it take me so long to figure that out?)

I found a meeting on Saturday mornings with a leader that I LOVE.  She is really funny and down-to-earth, with lots of great ideas and advice on how to make healthy eating a lifestyle change instead of a diet.  She’s super popular – the meeting is down to standing room only by the time it starts, and there are still stragglers finding room at the back by the end of the meeting.  So it’s really not hard to want to be there at 8:30 on a Saturday morning.  I’m five weeks in, and have been doing well so far (19 lbs lost).  Of course, it helps that I’m exercising like crazy (see New Year’s Resolution #2: Swim, Bike, Run).  But I also feel good (for the most part) about the food choices I’m making.  I’m having fun trying new recipes and experimenting with new foods (case in point: celery root). 

And my jeans are getting way too loose on me.  

*Please note: I am not employed by Weight Watchers, nor am I getting any reward for talking about them.  I just actually believe that their program is a healthy, sustainable choice. 


On the Kindle: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This book is set in a postapocalyptic United States (called Panem) where civilization has been gathered into territories and is controlled by the Capitol.  Every year, each of the 12 territories is forced to send two teenagers (a boy and a girl chosen by lottery) to the Capitol to fight to the death.  The games are billed as a festival and are broadcast throughout the country as entertainment.  However, they were initiated as punishment for an uprising against the Capitol many years before, and continue to be a reminder of the Capitol’s control.  Katniss is a 16 year old girl who has been keeping her impoverished mother and 12-year-old sister alive by hunting in the off-limits forest outside Territory 12.  She ends up being sent to the Capital to fight for her life  Since the book is the first of three in a series, you have to assume she does fairly well.  But I suppose we’ll see.

This book was recommended to me by a friend with the warning that if I started reading it, I’d better be sure I had some time on my hands.  I am definitely enjoying it, but I haven’t gotten to the fighting yet.  I have a feeling I’ll wish I could just peek through my fingers instead of watching all the gory details unfold in full colour in my mind.  I’ll let you know how it goes.