Checking In

By Shani Petroff

I recently wrote about my struggles to finish a huge book project. I had been sitting in front of a blank document for hours. Hours turned to days. Finally, I realized I needed to start chipping away at my manuscript bit by bit.

What helped me finally get going? Using techniques that helped me on Weight Watchers—i.e. taking it one day at a time and working on good habits.

It got me thinking, if these tools worked, what else from Weight Watchers could up my progress?

Then it hit me. Two of the plan’s biggest components: tracking and a support system. I always have a more successful weight-loss week when I take advantage of both.

And if it works on the scale, maybe it could work in other facets of my life!

I decided to put it to the test.

The immediate goal—write faster. I wanted to get out of my head and just get something on paper (editing is always easier when there’s something to work with). So, I joined a couple of online groups where writers take part in word sprints. Basically, it’s writing as fast as you can within a designated amount of time (i.e. 15 minutes, half an hour, an hour, but nothing too long). Afterward, you post your word count. One night I took part in several sprints. By the end these strangers felt like friends, and my word count skyrocketed. I felt supported, and like I wasn’t in this alone.

It reminded me of my Connect family—and my actual family who is doing the Weight Watchers program with me. Having people who understand what you’re going through and are doing it too, helps. It feels good to not only get a boost when you need it, but also to give boosts, too. Cheering others on and helping them reach their goals made me want to keep working toward mine.

The buddy system and accountability spurred me forward.

I made a point to keep track of the length of each sprint and how many words I completed in each one. Some of the sprints were more successful than others, but they all added up to help me toward my goal. Looking at them reminded me just how much I could get done in a short period of time.

Often, I make excuses—in many realms of my life: I can’t exercise, there’s no time. I can’t make breakfast, I have to leave soon. I can’t write, I only have 15 minutes. But in those 15 minutes, I wrote a page. And in the next 15 minutes another page. And so on and so on. Before I knew it I had several chapters done.

It reminded me to make the most of my day. Sure, I don’t always have the time to go to the gym, take a class, come home, shower, and go to work. But I have 15 minutes to get down on the ground, do some sit-ups, leg lifts, and other floor work. When I’m in a rush, an intricate meal may be out of the question, but an omelet or some tuna over greens takes mere minutes. Even the two-ingredient bagels I made took less than a half hour—and that included prep, cooking, and cleanup!

When I originally joined Weight Watchers, I thought it was just to lose weight. But it’s turned into so much more. It’s teaching me habits and tools that I can incorporate into all aspects of my life.

How else do you use what you’ve learned from Weight Watchers? Give me a shout. You can find me on Connect @shani!

Read more Shani Weighs In.