Three Weeks on SmartPoints: Working on My FitPoints (Part 3 of 5)
Happy Wednesday! How are you doing with the third day of #SmartPoints?
I am 3.5 weeks into SmartPoints, and I can tell you that I do not have it all worked out yet, so if you don’t either, it is OK! My breakfast and lunch are so low in SPs that I am finding myself hungry in the late morning and hungry in the late afternoon, which never happens to me.
Also, I’m ending up with about 16-18 points left at dinner time, which is never good. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about having a glass of wine with dinner, but I need to work on menu plans that distributes my points a little more evenly throughout the day so I’m not hungry!
But today is not about the food, at least directly. Today we are going to work on our fitness!
A little background for those of you who may not know me already:
The whole reason I started blogging with the name “Trading Cardio for Cosmos” was that I viewed my body like a bank account. Deposit some exercise, and feel free to withdraw some points for cosmopolitans! Because of my active social life, I found that trading my activity points for my weekend splurges was like my own little system of checks and balances.
When I started out my weight loss journey in November 2014, I could not walk up stairs without becoming winded. I was always hot, and I felt like my skin and my body was stuffed and stretched to the limit. Imagine the shame and humiliation that comes with not being able to do the things you should definitely be able to do at 32 years old.
So when I embarked on an exercise routine, I knew that my best chance for success would be to start small and gradually build up. I knew if I went out guns blazing, I’d end up pulling a muscle, hurting myself and not following through on my exercise routine.
The first week, I biked for half hour, and then I walked a mile on the treadmill. I did that for four days. The next week I added a little resistance to each of those pieces. After that I went a little faster, and finally I came to find my love, my favorite place in the gym: the elliptical.
When I started out I was doing just 10 minutes. One year later, I do 45 minutes to an hour, running hill intervals on a level eight. If that sounds like gobbledygook to you, it means I run up and down hills fast, for an hour.
Today I enjoy a variety of activities, mostly to see what I can push my body to do. I love Bikram yoga, I’ve taken a number of Aqua Tabata classes, and I have learned I am not coordinated enough to manage Zumba. LOL
But most of the time, it is me and Planet Fitness. I was definitely slow to the circuit training, but now my week routine looks like:
3 nights per week of 45 minutes = one hour cardio, be it elliptical, StairClimber or bike.
2 nights per week of 30 minutes cardio, and 30 minutes circuit training.
As a method of scale, I earned roughly 80–90 activity points a week under Points Plus.
So what happens to the concept of trading cardio for cosmos when we move to fit points? The shortest answer is “I don’t know.”
:::Cue sad music:::
What are FitPoints?
FitPoints are the modern day, new program equivalent of Activity Points. But, you earn many more FitPoints then you would have Activity Points. For example, a half hour of elliptical at a high intensity would have gotten me six Activity Points, but nets me 11 FitPoints.
FitPoints are cool because they are The next aspect of the program to be customized by the user and the user’s age, gender, activity level and goals. From there you receive a baseline, which tells you how many points you should try to achieve each day.
I am incredibly active, so my plan has me striving to earned nine points per day. This can be achieved by walking 9000 steps, or one half hour of moderate impact cardio each day.
I like the idea that my goal is specific to my person, my goals and my activity level, but here’s the twist:
Weight Watchers is no longer encouraging you to swap your points for smart points. Weight Watchers is moving the program to the idea that you should be exercising for The benefits of exercise, not simply to swap for more food or cosmos.
:: Cue the really sad music.::
I understand this rationale, because when people are intends on their weight-loss journey, they often are all so intense in their fitness. And when you are attending the gym regularly, you can eat more junk, or at least more food, because you are burning it off. It is definitely more sustainable weight loss if we don’t swap the FitPoints for SmartPoints.
Now, with that said, I’m going to be a little bit of a rebel and tell you, “I’m still gonna eat them!”
Just because you are discouraged from eating them, does not mean you will not be able to do so. There is a feature on the desktop tracker that allows you to swap your fit points for smart points.
I understand that my body requires a certain amount of protein, a certain amount of calories and good stuff to continue to function at the level I exercise. And I have no intention of stopping with my exercise, because it makes me feel better. Not just physically, though there are significant benefits to the level of cardio I complete, but also emotionally and mentally. If I have a bad day, Mr. big will encourage me to go run, because he knows it will allow me to essentially run out my stress and my angst, and make it much easier for me to sleep.
Also, and they cannot be understated, the endorphins that come from pushing your body through exercise are amazing. Ah-mazing! I am always in a better mood when I leave the gym then when I arrived.
So, if I feel better when I exercise, but I need more fuel for my body when I exercise, and I’m not willing to give up my weekly points which I utilize for my social life, then I’m going to have to play around with eating some points:
- I have tried eating all of them, which is not really a good plan because I gained 1 pound.
- I have tried eating none of them, which meant in order to enjoy nights out with my friends I had to live on 0SP fruits and veggies all day. This was incredibly unsatisfying, but helped me lose the 1 pound I gained, plus another 2.2 pounds.
- So the answer for me is probably somewhere in the middle. With all things, this is a work in progress. I’m trying to figure out if I can still lose weight by meeting my baseline for activity each day, but then eat any points I earned over that mark.
For example, if my daily FitPoints target is 9 and I earned 16 points, will I still lose consistently if I eat the other 7? In my first week of trying this moderation concept, I lost 1 pound. It will be interesting to see if that rate of loss continue moving forward.
As I wrap up today, I want to take the opportunity to speak to those of you who are freaking out about the changes. First of all, let me say “I totally, totally understand!!!”
I have spent a year+ losing with PointsPlus and making my “Trading Cardio for Cosmos” plan work for me. I was very reticent about the new program and the associated changes, but then I remembered:
What makes Weight Watchers so great (and what I love about the customization of BTS), is that the program works when you work it.
If you need to modify the guidelines because they help you succeed more, or lose more or encourage you to exercise more, then do it! There is nothing holding any of us back from being successful, except our own unwillingness to try.
Despite my perfectionist tendencies, I am giving myself permission to test out my theories about the new program, test out new menus and see what works best for me. I’m not concentrating on losing pounds by Christmas, but rather having a full understanding of BTS, smart points and points by December 31, so I can kick off 2016 right!
What do you think, what do you think about FitPoints and having a specific target created just for you each day? Is anyone thinking they need to change up their workout routine? If so, what are you going to try?
Check out Part 1 “What I’ve Learned After 3 Weeks With SmartPoints”
Check out Part 2 “Working on My FitPoints!”
Check out Part 4 “How Did You Do It?”
Don’t forget to follow Trading Cardio for Cosmos on Facebook for tons of recipes, meal ideas and inspiration daily!