By Kenneth Selk
Change can be a scary thing, especially when it affects something you are very comfortable with, and feel like you know and understand. I admit it, I felt very uneasy when I first heard about the addition of the WW Freestyle program. I loved the SmartPoints® system—I felt like I knew it like the back of my hand. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, or have to relearn a whole new plan! One of my first thoughts was, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?” Clichés about “change” are numerous; I know I’ve had more than a few of them rattle around in my head as I tried to comprehend how this was going to affect me. I wish I could go back and reassure myself that this wasn’t going to be a fundamental change in my routine. WW Freestyle is a program that works hand in hand with everything I’ve learned with the SmartPoints system, following the Weight Watchers plan!
Like almost everyone else, my initial fear about the WW Freestyle program was laser-focused on the number of points I had lost from my daily SmartPoints Budget. As a 6'4" man, I’ve always had a large daily SmartPoints Budget, but it did decrease a significant amount when the transition occurred. Jumping to conclusions, I didn’t think that there was any way I was going to be able to consume so few SmartPoints on a daily basis, but after learning more, I found I actually had quite the opposite problem. Being a creature of habit, I was pretty set in my ways. I always had the same breakfast, snack, and lunch each day, and only my dinner varied from day to day. By the time dinner would come around, I’d have roughly 20 SmartPoints left for my day (before WW Freestyle). If nothing else had changed, that would’ve gone down to about 4–5 SmartPoints left in my daily budget. What I hadn’t realized is the fact that so many of my daily “go-to” meals were heavily based around zero Points® foods. When I actually sat down and went through my daily meals, entering them into the WW App, I found that I was actually going to end up having roughly 30–35 daily SmartPoints left if I didn’t change anything else when converting over to WW Freestyle. Needless to say, I was wrong in my initial assumptions about the new program, and I had a completely different problem on my hands; I needed to start finding healthy alternatives and additions to my daily consumption that would make up for the excess I would otherwise have left over.
Since starting WW Freestyle, I have started to include more healthy fats into my diet, and I am also fitting in more wholesome ingredients when I cook, rather than settling for their lower SmartPoints alternatives. For example, now I will have real butter on my toast in the morning instead of using a processed margarine. I’ve also started cooking with real olive oil instead of using plain nonstick spray. Another change I’ve made is including higher SmartPoints ingredients in my meals and snacks. I’ve begun including real sour cream with my breakfast, using avocado on my sandwiches, using real peanut butter instead of PB2 as a treat, or packing myself a bag of unsalted mixed nuts with my lunch—all of which have been such a delight! Not only am I rediscovering those foods I had previously cut out of my day-to-day plan, but I’ve been relishing the fact that I’m using nearly all of my daily SmartPoints Budget, and contributing to my weekly SmartPoints allowance for times where I may have an unexpected occasion arise, all while feeling fully indulged and satisfied!
I hope everyone else out there is enjoying the new WW Freestyle program, and I’d be incredibly interested to find out if other people stumbled across the same situation I did! If you did, or even if you didn’t, I’d like to hear your stories about how your transition has taken place! Feel free to find me on WW Connect, and share your thoughts!
Follow Kenny on Connect @kdselke
Read more from The Big Guy’s Big Journey.