WW isn’t something I like to talk about. In fact, I pretty much avoid it at all costs. I went an entire summer getting brunch almost every Friday after my meeting with a friend, who didn’t know, until August, that I was going to these meetings, and that’s why I couldn’t meet earlier than 10:45 a.m.
For me, WW is the elephant in the room. It’s been the big, white elephant since last November. Still, only a select few people at school know about it. But now it’s out in the open, so just about everyone will know…especially since random people I never thought would give two craps about this blog end up mentioning it to me when I least expect it.
And truthfully, here’s a secret: I started Weight Watchers before I started going to Crossfit.
And truthfully, I would rather most people not know that.
Truthfully, I would prefer that people just continue thinking that Crossfit and Paleo alone have been the magic pill (or cup of Kool-Aid) to my current success. Because admitting that I go to Weight Watchers means admitting to everyone that I have a problem. And frankly, I don’t want to do that.
But, a while back, one of my dear friends asked me to write about my experience with WW. It’s taken me a few months to work up the courage to write this blog post (i.e., to write about it openly), but I figure if I can help one other person, it might be worth it.
I’m not going to go into how I was brought to WW, because at this point, that’s a story I’m not willing to tell. All you should know is that I went, and I was pissed off. Ask my Albany leader, Jen. I was one angry individual. I guess I still am, to an extent, and part of that anger is what fuels my efforts now. I was pretty much determined to not make any sort of positive changes, and my attitude for the first 7 or 8 months on plan was that if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.
About a week after I started WW, I was introduced to Crossfit.
And I feel like my relationship to WW has vexed the Crossfit coaches ever since then.
WW, for those who are unfamiliar, is all about eating less (and eating healthier) and moving more. They have healthful guidelines, like Power Foods (i.e., foods that are both healthy and will keep you satisfied longer), but you can essentially eat whatever you like, within reason, as long as you stay within your Daily/Weekly PointsPlus target. Instead of counting calories and fat, each food item is assigned a PointsPlus value, which is determined by the amount of fat, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber in a given food. Better “deals” have less PointsPlus values (e.g., 6 cups air-popped popcorn has 3 p+), and splurges have more (e.g., a tall Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino has 10 p+). Everyone is assigned a p+ value when they begin (I started with 48 p+ per day), and that number goes down as they lose (I am now at 38 p+ per day). Everyone also receives 49 p+ extra per week to use on anything you like (e.g., to satisfy my bourbon or wings or chocolate cravings).
Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple. And I’m pretty comfortable with the plan. I know how it works, and I know how to “fix” my day if it’s gone wrong.
Crossfit began as a way for me to introduce the “move more” aspect of WW. But soon people started asking questions. Aren’t you doing Paleo/Zone? You know that banana is bad for you! You need to turn in your WW membership, and just do strict Paleo. More protein! Less carbs!
I get it. I totally get the idea behind Paleo (Zone is another story that, no matter how many times it’s explained, I just don’t get). Yeah. We weren’t evolved to eat the carb-heavy diet we now rely on. Less carbs/dairy/sugar makes me feel overall better. But at the same time, I haven’t been 100 percent willing to completely let go of WW, when it has clearly worked for me. I know how to “fix” a day on WW. It keeps me on track. I don’t know how to “fix” a day on Paleo, and I feel like it would open the gates of downfall if I had but one cheat meal.
So, what I’ve done is merge both WW and Crossfit. It’s possible. I try not to think of these two in conflict with one another. I stay within my WW p+ target, while incorporating aspects of Paleo into my diet. When I’m living by myself, I don’t purchase milk (I use Almond Breeze almost exclusively now), I don’t use sugar, I eat a crap ton of vegetables, I limit my fruit intake, I started using almond or cashew butter instead of peanut butter, and I severely cut down the amount of refined grains I’m eating.
This has worked for ME.
And honestly, I think that this is probably the only way I’m going to see sustained success in both fitness and weight loss. It’s not the only way for everyone, but it’s the only way for me, which was proven over the summer when I just did WW, and not Crossfit. The community from both keeps me on track—hardcore.
I also really don’t enjoy going to WW meetings, but I force myself, because it holds me accountable with weekly weigh-ins. Also, I have an amazing leader. That always helps.
So…I hope this answers a few of your questions regarding both WW and Crossfit. I recommend both to anyone looking to lose some pounds or get more fit. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have such a decorated key ring right now!