Be Optimistic and Realistic“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  It’s a catchy tune, sure, but it’s not the best approach to success!  Overly optimistic thinking goes like this ” I went WAY over my calorie budget today, but I’ll get back on track tomorrow, somehow”.  While it’s helpful to assert good intentions (rather than beating yourself up) being vague about how you’ll recover isn’t helpful.  Thinking things will get better somehow, without having a plan to make it happen, can derail your weight loss efforts because we need to identify what needs to change and than set specific steps to change it.  So for instance the fix for going over your daily calorie budget could be to plan out your day for tomorrow. While most unhelpful thinking styles are negative (example beating yourself up) the don’t worry be happy style feels helpful and positive.  But it too can lead to feelings and actions or more often, inactions that undermine our journey.  Because it masquerades as something positive, this thinking style might demand a little practice and shift.

An example on how to manage this type of thinking was provided by the Weight Watchers Weekly on this subject.  It teaches you a way to “balance your thinking”.

  1. Identify your “don’t worry be happy” thought. (Example: I ate way more than I planned at my lunch date today. I’ll get back on track later.)
  2. Reality check it.  Ask yourself “what needs to happen to make this true?”  Use your answer to shift to a helpful thought that has one ot more back on track solutions. (example: If I make a plan, I will be able to get back on track later.  I could track what I ate.)
  3. Plan what you’ll do.  Choose one action from your ideas above that’s doable.  Make a specific plan for what you’ll do, when you’ll do it and who you’ll do it with (if anyone). (example: I’ll track what I ate at lunch during my 3pm break at my desk by myself.  That’ll help me see how many calories I’ve used and decide what to eat for dinner)

I’m a good one for this kind of thinking.  I am a big “don’t worry, be happy” thinker when it comes to my weight loss journey.  That’s why it’s ben so SLOW!  I’m always saying to myself “it’s ok tomorrow will be better” – spoiler alert- tomorrow is never better.  The action plan above is great and something I am going to give a try!


Exploring Weight Watcher’s new program Freestyle.  How it gives you more flexibility to enjoy how you eat, move and lose!

So Weight Watchers tells us “Eat the foods you love!”  The newest program by Weight Watchers is their WW Freestyle.  It expands their zero point food list to allow you to eat satisfying, protein rich foods without tracking them.  The program also encourages you to move in ways that inspire you and give you joy. 

The WW Freestlye program continues to use their successful Smartpoints system to guide you towards making healthier choices, though no foods are off limits.  Each food has a SmartPoints value including that list of zero points food (that is currently over 200 items!).  Something else that is new is that you are able to carry over up to 4 unused points per day that go into you weekly SnartPoints budget.

Weight Watchers makes a few suggestions about working the new program to it’s fullest.  The first is to start with zero points base.  Layer the flavor with other zero Points foods.  Tie it all together using your SmartPoints budget.  Second is lean on those zero Point foods as a cushion.  If you run out dailies (which currently happens to me every day), create zero point meals and snacks to end your day within your budget.  The last is saving up your SmartPoints.  Pick foods that are lower in SmartPoints for breakfast and lunch to have more of your dailies available for dinner.

I tend to be a HUGE offender of overeating at breakfast.  The new program has helped me in the way that eggs are now zero points.  Which in my world is huge since they’re usually in my breakfast routine.  My next goal is to work more of these zero point foods into my day so I stop “overspending” my daily SmartPoints budget.  Dinner is another time that I struggle.  I love bread and all of it’s cousins!  But they are an easy way to go over budget everyday.  I’ve been working hard on following the plan 5 out of 7 days a week.  Allowing myself Sunday and Monday to “goof off”, then back to business the rest of the week.  These past two weeks I have been following this plan and last week it seemed to work well for me with a loss of 1.8lbs.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings for potential weight loss.  I’m struggling with the idea of “Freestyle”, mainly because I’m not feeling as “free” as the commercials make it look or even as some of my meeting room cohorts make it sound.  I admit I get a little jealous, when I hear these amazing loss stories each week, wondering why doesn’t my journey look lie theirs.

But back to the topic at hand-Weight Watchers Freestyle-what do you think?  Have any suggestions for the toddler Jenn (aka me) to incorporate more vegitables into my day?

*I am in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers and the opinions in this blog are my own.*


Weight Watcher’s Freestyle that is!

It’s been just about a month since Weight Watcher’s Freestyle was introduced in the meeting room.  Incase you were on the fence about heading back to the meeting room – do it, you may like the changes that have come to the program.  The WW Freestyle is their new program that builds on the already very successful Smartpoints.  Now there are MORE foods with a Smartpoints value of zero so there’s less measuring and tracking.  That’s right folks Weight Watchers listened to their members and staff – people just hate all the measuring and tracking (not everyone, I know).  They also listened to the fact that members we’re using all of their daily points…drumroll…you can now roll over up to 4 Smartpoints per day!  Which is awesome, especially if you’re enjoying those zero point foods!  Rolling over those Smartpoints allows for even more flexibility and freedom to live every moment.
So of course the most common question asked is “If I can eat all the zero points foods, how will I lose weight?”  Zero Points foods provide the foundation of a healthy eating patter and are less likely to be overeaten than other foods.  WW’s research indicated that members were able to eat those foods without tracking and measuring and still lose weight successfully.  The key is to eat zero point foods until you’re satisfied, not stuffed.  My leader made a point that has stuck with me – NO ONE in the meeting room joined Weight Watcher’s because they were overeating boneless, skinless chicken breast or chick peas.  We are all there for overeating other foods.  Most people don’t consider any of the foods on the Zero Smartpoint list to be a trigger food ( I said most…).  The other point she made as – Sure you can eat 12 eggs for breakfast because they are now zero points…but CAN you actually eat 12 eggs and not get sick?  Probably not.  So if eating the zero points foods until you explode is your prerogative – awesome, but don’t expect to see a loss in the meeting room!
The next natural question is should you only be eating zero point foods?  Their answer…NOPE!  Eating certain foods from a list sounds like a DIET and who wants to be on a diet?  A healthy patter of eating combines zero point foods and Smartpoints value foods.  Enjoy a variety of foods you love rather than only zero point foods!
Now, is tracking still important?  YES!!  Being mindful of what you eat is a cornerstone of the Weight Watcher’s program and tracking is a key tool.  While you don’t have to track zero point foods, it’s still important to track foods that have Smartpoint values.  And remember that tracking will allow you to roll over up to four unused points to your Weekly Smartpoints!
At first I was terrified at the fact that my daily points target dropped from 30 to 23.  I thought to myself that this zero point food list meant nothing to me, other than MAYBE the fact that eggs went from 2SP each to 0SP.  The whole shellfish thing is pretty great too – because I do love seafood and corn on the cob as zero…WIN!  But as I’ve told my meeting room friends, I am a toddler when it comes to eating my veggies.  I suck at it.  I prefer to eat all the point based foods instead.  I did commit to eating a full plan week incorporating those Zero Point foods.  I plan to give the plan a “try” this week, so I’ll report back after trying.  By doing this I can see if this is a true lifestyle change that I can make and continue.  Because as my Leader reminds us, if you can’t make a lifestyle change that you can actually live with and have it be sustainable, then it’s just like any other “diet plan”.
Here it is: an expanded list of all 200+ zero Points foods.*
The foods on this list form the foundation of a healthy eating pattern, so you don’t need to weigh, measure, or track any of them. Enjoy!
  • Apples
  • Applesauce, unsweetened
  • Apricots
  • Arrowroot
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Banana
  • Beans: including adzuki, black, broad (fava), butter, cannellini, cranberry (Roman), green, garbanzo (chickpeas), great northern, kidney, lima, lupini, mung, navy, pink, pinto, small white, snap, soy, string, wax, white
  • Beans, refried, fat-free, canned
  • Beets
  • Berries, mixed
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Broccolini
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage: all varieties including Chinese (bok choy), Japanese, green, red, napa, savory, pickled
  • Calamari, grilled
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Caviar
  • Celery
  • Swiss chard
  • Cherries
  • Chicken breast, ground, 99% fat-free
  • Chicken breast or tenderloin, skinless, boneless or with bone
  • Clementines
  • Coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots), packaged
  • Collards
  • Corn, baby (ears), white, yellow, kernels, on the cob
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumber
  • Daikon
  • Dates, fresh
  • Dragon fruit
  • Edamame, in pods or shelled
  • Egg substitutes
  • Egg whites
  • Eggplant
  • Eggs, whole, including yolks
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Fennel (anise, sweet anise, or finocchio)
  • Figs
  • Fish: anchovies, arctic char, bluefish, branzino (sea bass), butterfish, carp, catfish, cod, drum, eel, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, herring, mackerel, mahimahi (dolphinfish), monkfish, orange roughy, perch, pike, pollack, pompano, rainbow trout (steelhead), rockfish, roe, sablefish (including smoked), salmon (all varieties), salmon, smoked (lox), sardines, sea bass, smelt, snapper, sole, striped bass, striped mullet, sturgeon (including smoked); white sucker, sunfish (pumpkinseed), swordfish, tilapia, tilefish, tuna (all varieties), turbot, whitefish (including smoked), whitefish and pike (store-bought), whiting
  • Fish fillet, grilled with lemon pepper
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Fruit cup, unsweetened
  • Fruit salad
  • Fruit, unsweetened
  • Garlic
  • Ginger root
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Greens: beet, collard, dandelion, kale, mustard, turnip
  • Greens, mixed baby
  • Guavas
  • Guavas, strawberry
  • Hearts of palm (palmetto)
  • Honeydew melon
  • Jackfruit
  • Jerk chicken breast
  • Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
  • Jicama (yam bean)
  • Kiwifruit
  • Kohlrabi
  • Kumquats
  • Leeks
  • Lemon
  • Lemon zest
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce, all varieties
  • Lime
  • Lime zest
  • Litchis (lychees)
  • Mangoes
  • Melon balls
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Mung dal
  • Mushroom caps
  • Mushrooms: all varieties including brown, button, crimini, Italian, portabella, shiitake
  • Nectarine
  • Nori seaweed
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Oranges: all varieties including blood
  • Papayas
  • Parsley
  • Passion fruit
  • Pea shoots
  • Peaches
  • Peapods, black-eye
  • Pears
  • Peas and carrots
  • Peas: black-eyed, chickpeas (garbanzo), cowpeas (blackeyes, crowder, southern), young pods with seeds, green, pigeon, snow (Chinese pea pods); split, sugar snap
  • Peppers, all varieties
  • Pepperoncini
  • Persimmons
  • Pickles, unsweetened
  • Pico de gallo
  • Pimientos, canned
  • Pineapple
  • Plumcots (pluots)
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Pomegranates
  • Pomelo (pummelo)
  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rutabagas
  • Salad, mixed greens
  • Salad, side, without dressing, fast food
  • Salad, three-bean
  • Salad, tossed, without dressing
  • Salsa verde
  • Salsa, fat free
  • Salsa, fat free; gluten-free
  • Sashimi
  • Satay, chicken, without peanut sauce
  • Satsuma mandarin
  • Sauerkraut
  • Scallions
  • Seaweed
  • Shallots
  • Shellfish: abalone, clams, crab (including Alaska king, blue, dungeness, lump crabmeat, queen) crayfish, cuttlefish, lobster (including spiny lobster), mussels, octopus, oysters, scallops, shrimp, squid
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts, including alfalfa, bean, lentil
  • Squash, summer (all varieties including zucchini)
  • Squash, winter (all varieties including spaghetti)
  • Starfruit (carambola)
  • Strawberries
  • Succotash
  • Tangelo
  • Tangerine
  • Taro
  • Tofu, all varieties
  • Tofu, smoked
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomato puree
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomatoes: all varieties including plum, grape, cherry
  • Turkey breast, ground, 99% fat-free
  • Turkey breast or tenderloin, skinless, boneless or with bone
  • Turkey breast, skinless, smoked
  • Turnips
  • Vegetable sticks
  • Vegetables, mixed
  • Vegetables, stir fry, without sauce
  • Water chestnuts
  • Watercress
  • Watermelon
  • Yogurt, Greek, plain, nonfat, unsweetened
  • Yogurt, plain, nonfat, unsweetened
  • Yogurt, soy, plain
*All fruits and vegetables are fresh (raw or cooked), frozen, or drained canned without added sugar or oil. All poultry and seafood are fresh (raw or cooked), frozen, or canned in 0 SmartPoints value sauces or spices, without added oil.