Lessons From A Banana & The Snow

Before we get to the post, the Results page is updated and I’ve added a new recipe to the Recipe of the Week page. 


I learned two things today, both of which were taught to me by unlikely professors.  Let’s begin.

What A Banana Taught Me Today

I am currently at 25 points/day which is 1250 calories, give or take.  I knew that this week or next I would be ‘required’ to drop another point and come down to 1200 calories/day.  A lot of the ill feelings that I was having last week (see previous post) were due to the anxiety I now realize I was feeling about that.  Tarable and I were chatting today and as we were talking it became clear to me that I am not willing to reduce the amount of calories that I eat, now or ever.  It became clear to me that my body and mind were trying to tell me something over the last couple of weeks and I wasn’t listening.  The idea of getting healthy is not exclusive to my body, it also has to do with my mind.  A huge part of this is emotional and mental and I was trying to block out the messages I was getting.  So how does a banana figure in to this?  A banana comes in at 2 points.  I had been cutting a banana in half so that I was able to maintain my points target for each day.  Today, being weigh-in day, I eat dinner later and as such tend to forgo any snack afterwards.  Also, on Tuesday nights I pretty much eat as much as I want/need without worrying about points (it’s free time right after weigh in and before the new week starts on Wednesday morning).  So this morning I put the full banana on my cereal.  Want to know what happened?  I was not miserably hungry from 10:30 until noon like I normally am.  I know it’s only an extra half a banana and it shouldn’t make much difference but it really does.  The banana taught me that there is no room left in my diet (by which I mean the foods I eat every day) to cut anything else out.  Here’s my every day…you tell me where I should cut something out:

Breakfast:  yogurt, 1cup Fibreone cereal w/ 1/2 cup of goat milk and banana (7 points)

Morning Snack:  yogurt (1 free point from exercise)

Lunch:  Tuna sandwich (flax bread), some cucumber, an apple and 6 almonds (6 points)

Afternoon Snack:  an orange, a cheese string and 6 almonds (3 points)

Dinner:  any one of the items from the Recipe of The Week (or similar) (around 7-8 points)

Evening Snack:  an orange or some almonds (1 point)

And so I say, where should I cut?  When Weight Watchers tells me that according to their program when I hit my ‘goal weight’ I should be eating 21-22 points?  Where in that menu above should I cut another 3-4 points out?

I say, I AM NOT CUTTING ANYTHING OUT!!!!!!!!  I would be more comfortable adding back another couple of points but I’ll wait until my body has stopped losing to do that.  In the meantime?  I AM NOT CUTTING ANYTHING OUT!!! 

On a similar note, I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday to discuss this.  I made the appointment before the banana taught me today’s lesson but I’ll still go just to pick his brain.  He’s a very good doctor and I want his opinion.  I already know what I’m going to do but it will be nice to have his 2 cents as well.

What The Snow Taught Me Today

Oh, the snow!  There was SO much snow.  Walking to work was quite the challenge this morning, what with the 8″ that I was marching through.  It was wonderful though and white and quiet and reminded me so much of all the mornings that my twin sister and I used to walk to school when we lived up north.  So what did the snow teach me?

The snow taught me that it is by far easier to walk in someone else’s footprints than it is to blaze your own trail.  I know that probably seems pretty obvious, but wait!  Even easier than walking in someone else’s footprints is walking in footprints made by someone whose stride is similar to yours.  That happened to me this morning.  Some random person had walked my same route before me and their footprints and mine lined up pretty perfectly, making my journey a little easier.  How does this relate to weight loss?  I told my friend on the phone tonight that I feel like I’m his puppy, following right along behind him, stepping in his footprints in the snow.  He has been where I am, his stride is similar to mine and we’re both headed to the same destination.  It is so much easier having someone else marching a ways ahead of you, giving you footprints to follow.  It doesn’t mean that I have to expend any less energy on the trip, it’s not a cop-out like that.  I still have to make my own way, but how much nicer is it not to have to be the one to cut the first path! 


  1. marieclaude said,

    January 30, 2008 at 12:35 am

    I fully support your decision to not cut anything. I’ve been in the same position since December, I was supposed to go down from 22 points to 21 (we have a slightly different points system in the Netherlands ;-)) but I haven’t been able to do that. My body is simply ‘craving’ this extra point, even more so since I’ve upped the amount and intensity of the exercise I do. My weight loss has slowed down though, but I’m also putting Christmas, a trip to Berlin and my birthday at fault for this slowdown.

    Try it for a few weeks and see how our body reacts. Methinks you should be absolutely fine 🙂

  2. twinsunplus1 said,

    January 30, 2008 at 6:46 am

    I think a couple of things about cutting out that extra point. My typical b’fast is PB Toast (3 pts) and Coffee with Creamer (1 pt). The toast will keep me until almost 11. I think you need to add some protein and take out the milk or the yogurt. Add your Fiber 1 to the yogurt instead of the milk. Just a thought there. Protein keeps you feeling satisfied. Also, those 35 additional pts are there to be used and when I don’t use them, I don’t lose very well. If you need that extra point for your b’fast–that’s only 7 for the week. If you’re weightloss is slowing, but you are doing more exercise, then you need to eat those extra 35 pts (or at least some of them). I understand not wanting to eat Activity pts.

    Those are my thoughts, take them for what you want. I’m sure you’ll continue to lose weight, especially since you are exercising. You can only maintain the weight loss if you are honest with yourself, which is exactly what you are! Good luck!


  3. Comrade GoGo said,

    January 30, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Girl, I am so relieved you will not be compromising your calories. I guess it’s just my opinion, but for an active woman of 5’10 like you are, 1200 is NOT enough calories! I completely understand your anxiety, and I think your body and your mind are definitely trying to tell you that wouldn’t be right for you.To be honest, I think you could eat more than 1250—I’m eating close to 1500, I’m seven inches shorter than you, and I don’t have a particularly speedy metabolism, and I’m still losing weight. I just really care about your sanity and your health, and it’s awesome that you’re checking in with a doctor on all of this 🙂

  4. Tarable said,

    January 30, 2008 at 8:38 am

    I recently went from 23 to 22 points and I can feel it more than ever before when I’ve dropped a point. While I know that I’m coming to the end of my WW journey (not by choice) – if I were to keep going and keep losing, I seriously doubt that I would be able to drop any more points and be happy / satisfied / content.

    I’m glad you’re being honest with yourself and how much you need to eat to sustain a healthy body AND mind.

  5. Bev said,

    January 30, 2008 at 8:54 am

    You may want to try bulking up with vegetables even though you don’t like them. The frozen ones in the pouch-type bag like Green Giant Valley Selection are good.
    I am betting the Dr tells you not to drop below at least 1250 cal/day. Use your 35, like the writer above says, even one a day only uses 7 in a week. And as the weather gets better you will be doing even more activity.

  6. January 30, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I’ve been a member of WW for about a year now, and have been on a huge plateau. I’d done WW a couple years prior and lost over 40 lbs. Perhaps I thought things would go that smoothly this time around. It’s as though my bosy has changed and I can’t survive on the points I used to eat (I’d gone down to 18 points). Listen to your body and mind and do what’s right for you. Best of luck on your journey.

  7. blips said,

    January 30, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I’m not on a diet so I’m not counting points, I do count callories but more to have a number I know when I choose my food for the day. Right now I’m losing 1 pound a week, a perfect number in my opinion. As long as I can hold that up it is fine with me. A simple explanation for me is that I need to burn more then I take in with food. I go to the gym every night. (Almost I have 1 rest day per week) Also to trick my body so it does not go into a deficient mode defense by having one “cheat” day a week. At that day I eat something that does not fit in a healthy lifestyle like a donut or French fries.
    Remember our bodies want to adapt as it is an inteligent machine Thats a good thing and a not so good thing. So it actualy not cheating but a way to maintain weightlost instead of hitting a plateau.
    Does this make sense?

  8. blips said,

    January 30, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Sorry the link to blips is my regular blog in Dutch (marycllaude can read that) . I blog about my new lifestyle here: http://blipsfit.com and thats in English.

  9. Marueze said,

    January 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Got some scattered comments/suggestions for you.

    Yes, I agree with all the posts above. Especially Comrade GoGo. Don’t cut back your calories…like Bev says find and use your veggies.

    Possibly changing your BF to have either the n/f sour cream (for some reason it is heavier for me than the n/f yogurt), cheese or PB – protein type of thing or eggwhite omlet/ or boiled egg whites. Protein might work better for you at this time.

    How about giving Core a shot? might be a little challeging for you at first but take the breat out of your 35 points or exercise points. On Core a banana is just a banana not 2 points.

    Don’t know how much you know about maintenance…but the way they work maintenance here in the states is that . . . for 6 weeks you juggle and slowly add back a point here or there to see how many points does your body need to maintain and not necessarily lose weight. So one day you may have 22 points but the next day 24, the following day after that 22 or 23 and you try to figure out. You might even be able to increase your points evenly to be 23 every day or even more. Depends on how faithful you are to all your life changes. . . .still drinking the water, still getting your exercise in, still going to meetings, still eating your fiber, still doing all the things that make you tick and keep your body healthy.

    Some individuals like to be really strict during the week but let a little lose during the week end. It is a matter of continuing to study your body’s response to the input which you are giving it.

    You are doing so well, and being very practical. This is how/why you have so much success. 🙂

  10. Lady Shanny said,

    January 30, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    My comments to the comments:

    First of all, thank you all so much for being supportive! You rock!

    Marieclaude & Tarable: my body does seem to crave that extra point and even though I hadn’t even dropped it yet, the mind seems to know when something fishy is going on. I agree with Tarable that I would not be content with having to drop another. I was tortured by even the IDEA of dropping the point and to consider actually doing it is crazy! This whole lifestyle change is not meant to be self-torture, it’s meant to be about self-love and self-care!

    Twinsunplus1 & Comrade GoGo: I’m slowly getting around to the idea of needing to eat the exercise points. A friend found a guideline to go by and that is for walking at a brisk pace a good rule of thumb is 100 calories for every mile based on a 180 pound person. Since I am only about 12 pounds away from that and I walk 3.1 miles a day, I should be giving myself back around 6 points. I doubt I will go that far but I’m going to give it a serious couple of weeks of a test and add back 4 (which is well over the 1 that I give myself now!).

    Bev & Mareuze: I agree about the veggies and it’s not that I don’t like them. I DO like them. I just don’t eat them raw! I’m not currently even remotely interested in doing CORE. I know that lots of people have success when switching from FLEX to CORE but I won’t be switching. I can’t get behind having a list of ‘safe’ foods and roping everything else off as ‘off plan’ (even though you can use the 35 for them). The points system fits really well into my life and compliments the way my brain works. Thanks for the suggestion, but no.

    And finally, Blips: I am totally behind the burn more than you take in thing. The problem that I have is that my brain functions on things that are exact. If I don’t know exactly how many calories I’m burning at any one time I don’t go over. That’s the problem that I’ve been having with fueling for and after the exercise. It’s only been 4 months though, still working the bugs out!

  11. Leslie said,

    January 31, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Re. your comments on the snow, I think your statement, “The snow taught me that it is by far easier to walk in someone else’s footprints than it is to blaze your own trail” is quite poignant. Not to overshadow the weight issues for right now, but the way you put it,it applies to so many areas of our life. Easier to follow than lead. Less risky. I live in Chicago and lots of peeps neglect to shovel their sidewalks and yes, I’ll often adjust my stride to “fit” into the prior walkers’ steps. It’s easier, less messy, feels safer. The thing is, in my everyday life (career, love, etc) I am so NOT like that. I prefer to blaze my own trail, love to talk loudly, make waves and be heard. But you hit the nail on the head with your statement and hopefully, more strong women like you and your readers will encourage others to pave their own way, metaphorically (but stay safe on slippery sidewalks 🙂

  12. Lady Shanny said,

    January 31, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Leslie, I completely agree with you about paving our own way. The thing is, I think oftentimes people, especially women, forget that it is not neccessary to always be taking the hard road. We need to remember that we do not always need to be proving ourselves by making things more difficult. That does not make us appear stronger or more self reliant, it makes us look bullheaded and stubborn. I think we need to find the balance between breaking new ground and getting to the end destination relatively unscathed.

    To me this weight loss journey is only helped by watching those that have come before us. It is important though, to know where their footprints lead. Following someone else’s footprints blindly can sometimes bring us to an even worse place than we were in to begin with.

  13. katapilla22 said,

    January 31, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Hey Shanny,

    By the sounds of it, you may be coming up to a point where you have to ‘pave your own way’ so to speak and drop WW. Perhaps it has worked thus far, but only you know yourself better and if you need an extra half of a banana (it’s just a banana for petes sake, we’re not talking a piece of cheese cake) then you likely DO need that extra half of it. Anytime you let your body go hungry, your body will go into ‘starvation mode’ and any calories consumed will be stored as fat regardless of where the calories came from. So, in my opinion, your body was telling you something and eating that extra half of banana was a wise choice.

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