Since she already wrote the intro, I am going to provide the answers to some of the questions that I get daily:
Q: Don't you starve on Weight Watchers? Aren't you hungry? What do you eat?
Well, if you consider not eating a 2 flatbread sammie combo from Quizno's every day as starving, yes. But, no - I definitely do not starve on Weight Watchers. I actually feel like I eat all day long. The Weight Watchers Points Plus system is great. You can eat all the fruit and most veggies for 0 points plus values. The program also encourages you to eat more healthful, filling foods (they call them power foods). I can still eat anything I want, I just have to be prepared. Every evening, I put my planned food into the WW tracker and pack my lunch. It works for me. Yes, I did order Girl Scout cookies this year. In case you were interested, there are 16 Thin Mints in each sleeve - that is 4 servings. I can totally eat just 4 cookies now, whereas in the past I would down the entire sleeve.
Q: Doesn't running hurt? I can't run because it hurts (insert body part here).
I am not gonna lie - running can hurt. But, the pain is temporary if you keep at it. When I started running on Saturday, July 24, 2010, I thought I was going to die. As soon as we were done, I went home, showered, sat down on the couch to "rest for a few minutes", and slept for nearly 4 hours. Mind you, on our first run with NCRC, we did 1 minute walk/1 minute run intervals for 1 mile - that was definitely a wake up call to how out of shape I really was. The next day I hurt, Monday I couldn't walk, and Tuesday I went back out there. Other than an injury that sidelined me for about a month, I haven't stopped. Does it hurt now? No, so long as I do what I am supposed to do (stretch, eat properly, etc.).
You say you can't run? Really? Do you have something wrong with your legs? Did your doctor say that you can't run? OR, it is that you are scared, concerned, worried, etc.? No one ever said that you had to take off running like the Road Runner or Speedy Gonzales. The key is moving. Get out there and get moving. If you want to run and you train appropriately, it will come in time.
Q: How do you find the time to run/exercise? It takes a lot of time to get ready to go run, etc.
I find the time to run and exercise because I make it a priority. My work schedule is such that I leave at 4:30 each afternoon. The trail that Sarah and I run two times a week is right on my way home from work, so I have no choice than to pass it. I bring my clothes to work, change into them before I leave and stop by the greenway for a quick run after work. I am always intrigued by people that say it takes a lot of time to get ready to run. Really? I think it takes me 5 minutes to change out of my work clothes and get my running clothes on and shoes laced up. I also try to get out of my office during the day at least twice a week for a walk or run in the middle of the day. Yes, I sweat and no, I do not smell like roses. I clean up the best I can and move on with my day. My biggest help with this has been having a buddy and the hubs. I am committed to run because I have at least one other person that is expecting me to be there. My husband also keeps me accountable by asking what I am doing after work, etc. It works for me because it is important to me.
Go read Sarah's tips for getting started with running and Weight Watchers. She is totally right on! Here are a few more from me:
- Make running/fitness/health type activities appointments on your calendar. In this day in age, it seems like everyone has a Blackberry/iPhone/smart phone - use it. They all have handy-dandy little calendars on them. I put my healthy lifestyle activities in my calendar in a special color, etc. Would you miss your annual gyn visit or dental appointment? No, probably not - so why would you skip an appointment to lengthen your life?
- Try new foods! This is so very important! Through running, Weight Watchers, and the change of mindset about food, I am not eating things I have never eaten before. If you asked me 2 years ago if I would eat parsnips, I would have said "What the h*ll is a parsnip?" - same thing with quinoa. I spend my evenings combing through message boards, recipe websites, etc. finding yummy new things to try. It is fun, gets the hubs involved, and generally turns out to be a food we will enjoy and put in our favorites list.
- Celebrate! (Sarah mentioned this, but I couldn't help adding it.) You must celebrate every single success. Tracked every day? Awesome! Exercised 4 days and earned activity points? Great! Signed up for a race? Rock it! Went out to dinner and enjoyed every minute of it, without overindulging? Yes!