Friday, April 29, 2011

Weight Watchers Points Plus Review: The Snowball Effect

at 9:05 PM
I recently went on vacation. My first vacation in seven years. During that time, I decided to go "no-tech" as part of my vacation relaxation. No Skype. No laptop. No iPad. No e-mail. I was going off-line.

I did think ahead and had every intention of staying on the diet. I even ordered the books that list PointsPlus values for almost everything you can think of. And a special journal to record those PointsPlus values in. After all, I had used this pencil-and-paper method years and years ago. In fact, the first time I joined Weight Watchers, there was no online version.

Then, the snowball effect went into full effect.

It started innocently enough: Someone offered me popcorn at a movie. I have a weakness for popcorn. And movies. And one without the other just makes me feel a little sad. So, I gave in.

I tried to be "good" and measure by handful, but as I reached in for, what was probably the third or fourth, I convinced myself I had conveniently lost count and I said out loud, "What the heck, I won't worry about PointsPlus values today."

For some reason that I've yet to discover, sitting down at my computer and typing in all those foods and beverages and see their values on my screen made it "real" to me, it made me feel like I absolutely had to be accountable. For some reason, going off-line caused some sort of disconnect and I lost my discipline completely: That one slip-up suddenly became my license to eat with wild abandon.

Old habits came back really quickly. I don't even remember having a second thought about that coffee drink I had later that day. With whip? Why, yes, of course. And then it was an order of fries at dinner instead of veggies. And, gosh, was I so tired of diet soda; just one ice tea wouldn't hurt, right? And then the next day happened. And another. And they were all filled with poor choices and empty journal pages.

After all, I was on vacation!

Well, my vacation from my diet has lasted nearly three weeks. Each Sunday I've promise to buckle down come Monday, but I haven't. In the first three months of my review, I lost just over 20 pounds; in a few weeks, I've already gained back two of them. I can see the way this is headed and that snowball effect is going to happen to the scale really soon, too.

I think it's time for my vacation from accountability to be over.