In the 10 days since I quit Weight Watchers Online, I have lost 1.6lb, breaking a 5 month plateau, granted the plateau also involved my wedding, and all the preceeding planning and running about like a headless chicken, not to mention the celebratory eating and drinking.
I think it's pretty apparant that WW was not doing it for me any more, it worked great when I first started, re-reminding me of portion sizes and mental strategies etc. I also started out on their "core" "no-counting" plan which involves eating lots of veg, fruit and wholegrains, and only using the anal retentive tracking on starchy and/or processed foods. That was perfect because I was also trying to move towards a less processed diet anyway, but it didn't work out long term because I use bread a lot in my diet, wholegrain bread, but bread nonetheless, and that's not a "free" food on the core plan, so I'd run out of points and feel pressured and stressed. So I switched to the count everything plan, which felt good for a couple of weeks because of the flexibility to pick whatever food, but I still didn't loose weight. Even when I was "OP", or on plan to anyone who hasn't been initiated into the cult.
That's another thing that was starting to bug me: all the jargon, the insiderspeak. It made me feel more on a diet that I wanted to, I don't want to be on a system or a plan, because then you can be off plan too.
Last week I realized that I was obsessing far too much over numbers: my points balance for the day, for the week, the fact my weight wasn't budging. I was feeling too strictly limited and that made me want to rebel and eat restricted items like icecream and french fries. I think part of it was that the simplified counting scheme, though easy to use and a great idea, made the points system too abstract and arbitrary for my brain. Calories I get, I have a real life handle on what they mean, fat calories, protein calories, carbohydrate calories, fiber, sodium content...blah blah blah. The points system is easier to pick up because it's simplified, but in the end it's too simplified for me, it wasn't giving me a sense of understanding and control of my diet, just a feeling that these arbitrary numbers were making me feel bad for going "over" this day or that.
So I quit. I bought the $20 FitDay Software for my home computer, pulled some new recipes to try, and recomitted to health over and above weightloss.
Whaddya know, I made salads for my lunches through the week, pigged out on the fruit plate at a lunchtime meeting but completely ignored the cookies (I knew I was allowed one, I just plain didn't fancy one, and they're good cookies too!), went to the bellydancing class on Monday and lost 1.6lb! Just taking the pressure off by removing my daily and weekly limits led me to make better choices anyway. Miraculous!
So I'm still tracking, because it will make me stay accountable, and I honestly want to know how many calories I have to eat (or not eat) in a week to loose weight. This way I still have graphs of my weight progressing and now I get pie charts of my calorie sources for the day and everything. As Dietgirl said: Geekgasm!
Just wait though, in a few months I'll probably feel the need to set limits for a while to kick me off another plateau. It seems to be periodic re-asessing and change of approach that really helps keep things going when you're reinventing yourself bit by bit.