Tag Archives: weight watchers

DVD Review – Weight Watchers Punch! (Beginner)

I’ve done boxing workouts before and really enjoyed them so I was excited to try this Punch! Weight Watchers DVD. I know a lot of people think WW DVDs are not hard workouts, and I have no idea why they would think that except they’ve never done one before. Don’t let the name fool you. These aren’t DVDs especially geared toward overweight people (although I will admit that they do accommodate that group).


Anyway, I was at Costco a couple of weeks ago and saw this DVD as well as the WW Belly, Butt and Thighs DVD. I was planning to only get one but couldn’t decide between the two so I just got both. Since then, we’ve had family staying with us so I haven’t had the chance for an at-home workout. Finally today everyone went out, leaving me home alone (my dream come true) so I got to it.

So this DVD offers three levels. I figured since I haven’t worked out in a while–OK, a year, stop badgering me!–that I should start with beginner. At a total of 30 minutes, including warm up and cool down, it seemed too short. I am a huge fan of the shorter workouts for when there are time constraints (and when aren’t there?) but I always feel like by the time I get going, it’s over. Also I felt like the moves were not challenging enough. Not sure if it’s because I’ve done boxing before or if it’s just that beginner level. I also thought it would be a little more cardio. This is not a vigorous workout. Of course, if I had actually read the back of the DVD, I would have seen that it’s a low-impact workout. But really, who has time to read the back. I’m just looking at the front. If it’s appealing, I’ll try it.

I’d definitely recommend the Beginner workout for people just starting to exercise, or who are limited on time. I won’t do the Beginner level again, but I am anxious to see what the other two levels offer.


  • I’ve yet to find a DVD instructor I really like, but this one is among the less annoying. Not too “rah rah” but encouraging.
  • DVD comes with weighted gloves. I could definitely feel more resistance in the moves because of the weight. At the same time, not too heavy that they are inhibitive.
  • Moves are easy on the joints. As someone with knee issues, I really appreciate this.
  • Background music is not annoying.
  • Set design is nice.

CONS: (For beginner level only)

  • Too short
  • Not challenging enough

OVERALL RATING: Worth trying


FUN FACTOR: Not too shabby

Do Over!

I’m thinking one of the best parts about being a kid is the do overs. Trip up during jump rope? Do over. Miss a basket playing HORSE? Do over. Forget a number while counting? Do over. So what I want to know is, why do we stop doing do overs as adults?

So maybe there’s not an option to do over after eating an entire pizza, but why wait until Monday to get back on track? Or worse, wait until a new month begins or even a new year? “January is only three months away; I may as well just wait until then to get back on program.” (I may or may not have actually said that.)

When I’m not tracking (and sometimes when I am), I regularly get off track, for lack of a better word. But I’ve been trying to look at things day by day, meal by meal. This means I can get back on track immediately, without giving myself the excuse of “I can’t start over until tomorrow so I may as well just blow through the rest of the day.”

I saw this quote on Facebook and it really hit home:

“What you have to remember is that changing your eating habits is a process of recommitting to your goals each and every day. Anytime you lose sight of that and start focusing on what’s going wrong, you’ll take yourself away from the life you want to lead. The key to overcoming your eating problem is to remind yourself that at least you’re taking today (or this afternoon or this hour) to move toward your goal.”*

I’m nowhere near the end yet, but I have made a lot of changes that I’ve been able to stick with. But, it’s something I have to think about every day.

So for me, it’s taking things one day at a time, one meal at a time, one bite at a time. And that’s OK because I’ll get there eventually.

* The quote is from the October 2000 O magazine, Emotional Eating: Get Your Feelings Out of the Fridge, a piece by Bob Greene. Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Emotional-Eating-Cure-for-Emotional-Eating/1#ixzz2akFlxjUd 

Truth Be A Five-Year-Old

Kids say the darndest cruelist meanist truth.

Do you have kids? If so, you’ve more than likely been in a situation where they blurt out something completely inappropriate about someone. Despite having many conversations that we don’t talk about how people look, once at a restaurant, my then-four-year-old shouted out (while laughing) “look at that guy’s fat belly.” I was horrified and immediately apologized. I felt terrible for the man in question. Of course, the thing is, he did have a fat belly. You see, children, maybe due to lack of a filter, speak the truth.

And it sucks.

My stomach has been bothering me all day. I have no idea why, just one of those tummy ache days. So after dinner tonight, we went outside for a little two-on-one baseball action. My kid asks why I’m not running the bases. I say that I have a stomach ache. He says, “probably because you’re super fat.”

So there it is. I know it shouldn’t bother me — kids say things out of line; they don’t know what they are really talking about; another excuse. Bullshit. The kid speaks the truth. OK, I might not be “super” fat, but right now, for the way I feel, I may as well be a circus act. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing, the super fattest woman in the world.

Now I’m not sitting here crying. I’m not mad at the kid. I’m not really much of anything.

No, that’s not true. I’m angry. I’m angry for being this weight. I’m angry for not working harder to change it. I’m angry for being lazy and having little self control.

And let’s be honest, I’m a little angry at my kid, who I’m sure thought he was joking, for telling the truth.

A Change Will Do You Good?

Change is good, right? Yes and no.

You know I got a new job in February (which is going great so don’t think I’m about to knock the job!). I knew that the company had a wellness plan and since my commute was cut shorter I had all these ideas for my extra hour in the morning. I swear, I pictured starting the job and dropping 10 pounds in the first month. Except guess what happened? Yup, I gained 10 pounds in the first two months. So what went wrong?

For one, a wellness plan only works if you actually do it. I had to wait one month to sign up for it, which for some reason really threw me off. When I signed up, I spent the next month downloading lots of great information and not doing anything with it. I printed out food diaries and then didn’t track. I got great advice on sleep, stress, nutrition, activity, etc. It’s all in a file on my desktop.

Second, I went from public transportation to driving. My commute went from more than an hour to 15 minutes – yay! But I really didn’t realize how much walking that public transportation commute got me. Just the train station to my office and back was a few thousand steps. The other part of that is I went from city to suburb, which means driving everywhere. Previously, going out for lunch at work meant walking wherever. And I’m a big walker so working in D.C. was perfect. I’d walk anywhere in the city rather than metro or cab. Now going out for lunch is walking to the car and driving somewhere. At the old job, I would do an easy 10,000 steps on the pedometer. Now, I struggle to get the 7,000 wellness program marker.

The third change is my actual office. Previously, window office with lots of natural light and space. I also turned off the overhead fluorescent lamps and used natural light lamps. Now, I’m in a tiny corner cubicle with terrible lighting and nowhere near any sunshine. It didn’t occur to me at first that this was an issue, until I really started thinking about why I was gaining all this weight. I’ve read a very little about the effect natural light has on our physiology, and it does seem to make a difference.

And, oh yeah, there’s my sleeping. I’m not a great sleeper to start with. I have terrible insomnia and generally wake up a few times during the night. Plus my mindset has been that since I have an extra hour in the morning, I can stay up an extra hour at night. The problem with that is that my husband still gets up at 5:30 and some mornings I can’t fall back asleep after he gets up. The other problem is I have a very cute little boy who has never been a good sleeper. There are many a morning that he’s up before 6, so that extra hour goes right out the window.

Lastly is extra time. I thought I’d have much more extra time with the new job because of the shorter commute, but I didn’t realize how much I was able to do at the old job. One big thing is that I had about 40 minutes each way on the train. Sometimes I napped, sometimes I read, sometimes I did bills, make grocery lists, etc. Either way, that time is gone. I’ve definitely struggled with going from work, driving home and then getting right into everything. Driving 15 minutes home and having 45 minutes of me time on the train is definitely not the same thing! The other part of this is how much personal stuff I was doing at the old job. For one, I worked from home at least once a week. I think most people who work from home will tell you, I’d get more done one day at home than three days in the office. Because of how much I was able to do, I’d take an hour of those days to do meal planning, hit the grocery store, or exercise. I haven’t done much meal planning since I started the new job and finally realized it was because I had that time before to do it. Also, the work I was doing went in waves. When I was busy, it was 12-hour nonstop days, but that also meant that there were times when the work was slow. I definitely took advantage of those times to do things I personally needed to get done. (Side note, I regularly worked nights and weekends so it’s not like I wasn’t putting in my fair time!)

So what’s the solution? I can’t put a window in my cube. I can’t walk to work. I can’t put an extra hour on the clock. But I can do something.

I can get up and move. One of the funny things about working here is that with the wellness plan, you get points for certain things that you can trade in for money, gift cards, etc. One of those is wearing a pedometer and getting different points for different step markers. So you’re constantly seeing people walking around trying to get more steps. They walk in the hallway, up and down stairs, and around the parking lot. I’ve been walking across the street into a neighborhood that at least gives me something interesting to look at. I can’t always use my whole lunch break to take a walk, but even if I have only 10 minutes, I know I can hit the parking lot for a quick walk. This also helps with the natural light situation. I got an indoor plant for my desk so maybe that will help too, who knows!

I’m going back and actually reading all those things I downloaded and just filed away. There’s some pretty good stuff there. I’ve also rejoined Weight Watchers. I’ll do more on that later, but for now, I really need the accountability that comes with the weigh ins, and the tools it provides to succeed.

I’ve really been trying to get better sleep, which I know effects not just my health but my work production, attitude and more. It’s hard with the insomnia, but I’m trying!

As for the extra time situation, there’s not much I can do about that. I can’t create more time so I just have to use my time more efficiently. I can run some errands during lunch. I can carve out me time on the weekends (much to my husband’s dismay!). I have to find time for meal planning and ME planning!

OK, so this change threw me for a loop but I’m back in control. So, yeah, a change WILL do me good. I just have to make that change work!

The Tale of Two Pedometers

I know a lot of people think pedometers are full of it, but for me, it helps to keep me going. When I look down at 11 a.m. and see only 1,000 steps, it gives me motivation to go for a walk during lunch. (True story, it happened today!) I’ve also noticed pedometer peeps are loyal to their brands. I’ve tried too many pedometers to count and always come back to the Weight Watchers pedometer. While it seems to give me a few extra steps, I’ve found it to be pretty reliable. Plus, if you accidentally drop it in the toilet (and bonus if you have a husband who will stick his hand in to get it out), it will keep working. Not that that’s happened to me or anything.

Moving on. My new job has a fantastic wellness program (more on that in another post), part of which is earning points for certain things that go toward rewards like gift cards and cash. Um, hello, up to $500 a year! That’s a pretty nice shopping trip! One of the ways to earn points is by wearing a company-provided pedometer, which you then upload your steps for points. (Their marker is 7,000 steps.) As much as I love my WW pedometer, I need the money, honey! OK so I finally got my new pedometer and wore in Sunday. That day I did Just Dance on the Wii, tons of cleaning, played outside with the kid, etc. Looked at the steps at the end of the day, fully expecting at least 10,000, and saw a grand total of 5,625. WHAT? That cannot be right. Here’s the thing I find strange about this new pedometer. There is nowhere to adjust the stride. You put in your height and weight online and it automatically calculates it for you. You cannot change it.

I was sure it wasn’t counting the steps right, but what’s a girl to do? Bring on the test, of course!

Monday I put on both my new pedometer and my trusty WW one. It was a good day for the test because I was off work and out all day, so I was going to do tons of walking around. I mean my Costco trip alone had to have been a couple thousand steps! (BTW, I have this new trick at Costco where I do one aisle on each side at a time so that I have to keep walking across the store for more steps. I’m sure the other customers find it annoying but I could give a crap; I need that movement!) So what do you think the test showed at the end of the day? Guesses? Anyone? Bueller?

Even I was surprised at this:


I know it’s a little hard to read with the light reflections, but yes, you are seeing that right. The WW pedometer showed 10,108 steps and the HealthMiles pedometer is at 6,332. I’d say a 3,776 difference in steps is pretty significant.

I’m sure the HealthMiles pedometer isn’t counting right, but it also got me thinking: maybe the WW pedometer I love so much isn’t counting the steps correctly either. On to the 100-step test. I took 100 physical steps. The WW pedometer counted 112 steps and the HealthMiles pedometer counted 37. I’ve since done that a couple more times, and every time the count changes.

This brings me to one conclusion: pedometers are ridiculous! I know two things to be true: (1) pedometers are a great way to be conscious of your activity and a great motivator to get up and move, and (2) pedometers are not a completely accurate measurement of steps taken.

Back to my real problem. I need to hit 7,000 steps a day to get my points and I have a pedometer that’s under counting. I guess I could call the company and try for a new one. But maybe the better solution is to keep this one and, excuse my lame humor, really “step it up” to get 7,000 (which is really more like 10,000). Either way, I’m moving more than before and that’s probably the more important thing. Of course, a little extra money never hurt anyone!