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We’ve all been there right? Come January 1st of any year in our adulthood, we make the resolution to get healthy and lose weight. And we do it…we get on the bandwagon of some “fad” diet like Atkins, the Paleo Diet or the Grapefruit Diet. We see commercials flood our television for Jenny Craig, SENSA, and…Weight Watchers.

I’ve struggled with my weight since about the age of 21. Between moving out for college, learning to cook my own meals (which consisted mostly of Kraft Mac and Cheese), and not making the healthiest choices, I gained that wonderful Freshman 15…well more like 30.

January 1st of this year I finally decided to dive into Weight Watchers and their Weight Watchers 360* Program. Based on their original PointsPlus Program, this program is “built for human nature” where “you can expect amazing.” Teaching you to make healthy choices, while eating real food and allowing for those “cheat” times we all need, this program changes your lifestyle with 5 simple concepts.

  1. Eat real food. Really. – I love this…”Nothing is forbidden.” A lot of those programs out there want you to eat very specific foods. WW 360* allows you to eat what you really love. I’ve had pizza, pasta, and even ice cream in the last 3 successful months. What comes along with this is, moderation and making a healthy choice. I’ve learned to love veggies instead of pepperoni or nonfat frozen yogurt instead of my favorite Haagen Dazs.
  2. We’ve got your back. Always. – Support is key! This program offers in-person meetings or online communities that build you up and can help answer any questions. I use the online communities daily, asking anything for a new breakfast idea to a healthier cocktail option. Knowing that people are celebrating, or struggling, like myself keeps my head up and going strong.
  3. Get moving, get healthy. – This one can be the toughy in the beginning. It is overwhelming to do an overhaul and change what you’re eating. Adding an exercise regimen can be daunting, but don’t worry. Within the first few weeks you are meant to work on your eating habits alone, and you will see an immediate change in your weight. Once you feel comfortable, you can add exercise. I began with walking a few times a week, built myself up to walking daily, and now do a circuit routine with weights. You get to choose what works for you in this area and how hard you want to work.
  4. You. In control. Always. – No matter where you’re at, WW 360* teaches you to make the healthy choice. I’ve been to restaurants, friend’s parties, and on vacation while on the program. While I may not track my points consistently while out, I don’t stray too far from what I would eat if I were at home. Instead of tortilla chips with dip, I order cucumber slices. Instead of potatoes, I order more vegetables. It was tricky at first, I would look at my friend’s plates and miss the mashed potatoes or that second slice of pizza. But, now I just take a bite of what they’re having and finish my plate.
  5. The smart choice is the easy choice. – This concept was THE hardest one for me to believe. I thought NO WAY, I’m always going to want the French fries or sundae. Once I was a few weeks in, I didn’t miss those things in lieu of my new choice. I didn’t miss feeling so completely full that I couldn’t move or the pounds that would inevitably show up on the scale. Even now on “cheat” days, I find myself not wanting to indulge in what and how I used to eat.

I think what this program taught me the most was control….to take control not only of my eating and exercise habits, but how I truly feel about myself as a person. I’m in control every morning I get dressed and look into that mirror of how I’m going to feel about myself all day. I’m in control of how much I eat off of my plate or what I order to drink. Food doesn’t dictate how I feel about my body, I do.

I’m about halfway to the goal I’ve set for myself. Starting at over 180 pounds, I’ve lost almost 20 and seeing that number change on the scale is what keeps me going. I’ve got a ways to go, but seeing results pushes me further. Using their techniques and tools has changed my life!

*I personally use Weight Watchers and was not endorsed in any way.