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Like millions of Americans, I am overweight. I decided to write this blog because I have done a lot of research, tried a lot of options, have a good idea of what works and I am excited to share it! I find myself giving this information to anyone who asks what I am doing, and hopefully this blog will serve as an easier way to do that. However, I realize that not everyone wants to read it (so for my Facebook friends – you’re welcome!), and I realize people have to want help. So I will channel any information I have found to work in this blog along with anything new I try or find. That will prevent me from becoming one of those annoying people who force their beliefs, practices, or whatever else onto people who do not want the information. Been there, listened to that…

So! If you want to lose weight and try something with me, by all means keep reading. If not, what are you still doing here? 🙂

So to start, for those of you who know me and for those of you who happened across this by accident… My name is Crystal. I am (or was at the time of this picture) 29 years old. This was me in April of 2011.

It’s funny that I found this photo on my Facebook page. Apparently it passed approval because you know no one will put a picture on their profile if they did not believe they looked good. Talk about being in denial.

This is me now, May 2012. I am 30 years old and 52 pounds less. My goal is to lose another 50 pounds, but I  am taking it one day at a time.

For anyone who has always struggled with their weight, I want to provide an answer because that was me too. I have always looked for an answer to lose weight, and like everyone I want a  magic pill that will make it all go away in one day. That day will never come and I realized that by waiting and waiting for change to happen without me working at it, I was just getting closer to a grave because I was eating myself to death and did not even realize it. I have tried diets, exercise, drinks, and nothing has worked. If it did work the weight would come right back and often more.

My answer,… Weight Watchers. Only I do not have the money to spend on meetings and their plan. I do my program from information I have gathered through people who do pay for Weight Watchers and from information I have found online. Weight Watchers is a LIFE change. I am not on a diet. For anyone on a diet, one day you will stop and then what? You go back to what you were doing before your diet and you will gain the weight back and have to diet all over again. The changes I am making today are LIFE changes for both myself and my family… namely my daughter, so that she will never have to do this when she is 30 years old and so I will never gain this weight back.

In an effort to not boggle down with information in one day and to save myself information to share for tomorrow, I am going to share how you can start Weight Watchers TODAY for free.

First, you have to know how many points you are allowed. For anyone not familiar with Weight Watchers the program does not involve counting calories. Instead you count points, and each food is alloted a number of points that you track every day.

To determine how many points you are allowed in 1 day you have 1 of 2 options.

Option 1:

Check out this website,  http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/calculators/ww-points-allowed/. This website will provide the number of points you are allowed by entering in your age, weight, height, and activity level. It will also give you the change in points as you lose weight so you know when to lower your point allowance.

Option 2:

If you prefer to tally the information yourself, then add up the following:

1) 2 points if you are female, 8 points if you are male, 12 points if you are nursing a baby

2) Add the number depending on your age,… 4 points if you are between 17 to 26 years old, 3 points if you are 27 to 37 years old, 2 points if you are 38 to 47 years old, and one point if you are 48 to 58 years old, or 0 if you are older than 58.

3) Enter the first 2 digits of your weight in pounds. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, enter 15 points. If you weigh 300 pounds, enter 30 points.

4) Enter 0 if you are under 5 feet 1 inch tall. Enter 1 if you are 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 10 inches. Enter 2 if you are 5 feet 10 inches or taller.

5) Enter 0 if your daily activity involves mainly sitting. Enter one if you spend most of your day standing up. Enter four if you walk most of the day. Enter 6 if you spend most of the day doing physically demanding work.

The number you end up with is considered your daily point allowance. You are also given 49 points a week for BONUS points. So you can use 49 points in one day, or divide the points among the week to add 7 more points to your daily allowance.

Now you know how many points you are allowed, so what can you eat?

Answer: You can eat anything you want, as long as you know the points per serving. What I absolutely LOVE about Weight Watchers is I am not limiting what I can eat. I can still eat sweets if I want, and pasta, carbs, and everything else people usually cut out of their diets. But again, Weight Watchers is not a diet. It is not realistic to completely cut out the foods you love because most will go right back to them and gain the weight back. What I do pay attention to is the points and the serving size.

I will get more into food later, but for today I will end with information on apps that you can use to track your food. If you do not have access to these apps, write the food you eat down! Seeing it on paper, or listed on your phone, is eye opening to what you are eating daily and just how much food you are consuming.

If you have an Android phone, the Weight Watchers app is “WWDiary” and it is free.

If you have an iphone, there are several apps available but the one I use is “iTrackBites” and it costs $1.99.

You can download the actual Weight Watchers app, but you will have to be a member to view their information. They do give free daily recipes though for anyone who is interested.

Both apps allow you to track your food and manually enter your points allowance. Calculators are available to tell you your activity points and points for food (as long as you know the carb, fiber, protein, and fat). There is a “Favorites” menu so that once you find the point for a food you can enter is as a favorite and never have to look it up again. There is also a menu of food that will provide the point for you. For example, potatoes, fish, nuts, etc.

Also, with Weight Watchers Plus, you can eat vegetables and fruit for FREE. Zero points!

I think I will end it there for today so this does not turn into a book. I will get into more about food tomorrow! In the meantime, if you want to check into better food choices check out www.hungrygirl.com. This is a great website for food ideas. This website has a recipe for everything and the point allowance is already provided for you. 🙂 There are also Hungry Girl recipe books!

New motto for my life: no sense in putting off for tomorrow changes you can start right now!