The BLTs Got Me

This is part of a series of tips and suggestions I've learned from the Weight Watchers program. I lost 35 pounds and have maintained that loss for three years (see my before and after pics) and am a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member. 

I haven’t been to a Weight Watchers meeting in two months. Last month I was over my goal weight range and kept thinking, “I’ll lose weight this week and go next week,” but that didn’t happen. In the Weight Watchers program, Lifetime members must weigh in once a month and weigh no more than two pounds above their goal weight. If you are over, you have to pay. I was five pounds over (!) and didn’t want to have to pay, which is a lousy reason for skipping the meetings when I needed them the most. Fortunately, I know exactly what to do to lose weight and how to do it, so I was able to lose enough to be under my goal weight range today so I didn’t have to pay.

But I needed to look at why I was over in the first place and why I’ve consistently been in the upper part of my goal weight range. I’m not comfortable with that. I could really feel those extra five pounds. I carry most of my weight in my lower body, and I’ve accepted that I’ll never have skinny legs. But I am used to my upper body (belly, arms, and back) being lean and really saw that five extra pounds in the form of jiggles and flabbies in my upper body. I do not like that one bit, and while I've already lost two pounds, I need to lose 3-5 more to get just below my goal weight, where I should be.

Why did I gain in the first place? A coworker recently asked me, “You run and work out a lot and are a vegan. How can you possibly struggle with your weight?” Yes, I eat very healthy—whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies, very little processed foods or sugar. At today's Weight Watchers meeting, we talked about my likely culprit to gaining: the Bites, Licks, and Tastes (BLTs). Coming home from work and grabbing a handful of pretzels or tortilla chips. Eating a handful of nuts while cooking dinner. Getting a handful or two of chocolate chips as I walk through the kitchen. They all add up, and if you do it every day it can contribute to weight gain. Plus, the pretzels, tortilla chips, and chocolate chips aren't whole foods, so maybe the  amount of processed foods I'm eating is more than I thought.

The other reason is due to my old frenemy: bread. Years ago, I realized I could no longer buy or make white bread because I would eat the whole loaf in one sitting. And then get very sick. I switched to whole wheat, but store-bought bread has things like sugar and chemicals that I don’t want to eat. So a few years ago I started baking my own whole-wheat bread. It has just a few ingredients--whole wheat flour, yeast, salt, and water--and since it's no-knead, it's simple to make. Even though it's very dense and filling, it's delicious. And when it comes right out of the oven, I can't help but immediately eating a few slices. And the next morning, I remember how good it is and can't help eating a few slices in addition to my breakfast. And for lunch...and for dinner...and so on. So, while this bread is very wholesome, I am cutting myself off for now. Instead, I'm eating generic whole wheat English muffins (since Thomas' aren't vegan) if I want bread. I can't eat English muffins on their own right out of the package, and since I toast them and then top them with peanut butter, it becomes a mini-meal that I think twice about eating. 

My goal is to get back to just under my goal weight by the time I go on vacation in September. I think by tracking my BLTs to make sure I don't overdue it, cutting down on processed snack foods, and giving up my bread until I know I can control eating it, I'll make that goal. 

Do you find it's harder to lose or maintain weight in summer? Have you ever fallen prey to BLTs?

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