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01st Mar 2013

Weight Watchers Challenge: Week 2

This week Karen and Mark are celebrating losses, rethinking their eating habits and are both full of motivation for the weeks ahead.

Earlier this month we put out a call for an adventurous couple who wanted to make a healthy lifestyle change together.

Karen and Mark answered that call and, over the next twelve weeks, they’ll be giving us an honest, in-depth account about what life is like when you’re on the Weight Watchers plan. They’ll also be helping and supporting each other along the way.

This week, Karen and Mark are talking about upping their activity levels, checking the ProPoints  of absolutely everything and celebrating major losses after their first weigh-in.

Mark and Karen have taken up the Weight Watchers challenge!


Name: Mark

Starting Weight: 14st 5lbs

Current Weight: 14st 1lbs

My first full week with Weight Watchers is finished and I’ve had my weigh-in. By sticking to my daily allowance of 43 ProPoints and not using any of my 49 weekly ProPoints I lost 4lbs in the first week. However I did work up a few Activity ProPoints which I spent on a night out.

For this week I had been training daily to try and get myself back into running. I did an 8k race last weekend where I posted a time of 51mins 30secs. I did the same race last year in 44mins flat, so that should give you some indication of how far off form I am at the moment. Although, in my defence I had an intensive training week and was still shattered on the morning of the race. I have a few more events coming up, so hopefully my time will start improving.

After my first weigh-in I was told that I can increase my daily ProPoints allowance to 45 ProPoints a day. This feels like quite a lot of ProPoints, especially as Karen is only on 28 ProPoints a day. My daily ProPoints budget has allowed me to include a good few snacks throughout the day. For example, my treats for yesterday were 2 ginger nut biscuits with my tea (2 ProPoints), a small Kit Kat (3 ProPoints) and a Curly Wurly (3 ProPoints). I think I’m actually eating more chocolate than I normally would, although all of those treats combined is still less ProPoints than, say, a Moro bar, which has a total of 9 ProPoints.

During the meetings the leaders generally reinforce the idea that the Weight Watchers plan is not a diet and that it’s more focused on practicing moderation rather than giving up the food you like and limiting what you eat. When it comes to exercising, the leaders say that you should try and squeeze some form of activity into your day. Personally, I don’t think this is hammered home hard enough in the classes. I do appreciate that it can be hard for certain people to find space in their day to include it.

I think most people want to  have a fit and active lifestyle but if they are overweight, they tend to want to be fit before they’re active. I think this is an illusion and and everyone is familiar with the story of people who diet, lose the weight and then put it all back on. I’m living proof!

When I was very active, I was eating pretty much whatever I wanted but I was also training approximately four times a week. But your eating habits also change the more active you are. You realise that there are certain foods that make you feel heavy or just don’t provide you with the right kind of nourishment. It was only when I stopped being active that the weight came back on.

I think the hardest thing about weight loss is establishing a routine where you can be continually active. Even when I was at my lightest and fittest on the running circuits, I would see men and women who were either much heavier, wider, shorter and/or older than me consistently out performing me on them because they had been running for longer. I would love to see what their figures look like now, I probably wouldn’t recognise them.




Name: Karen

Starting Weight: 12st 8.5lbs

Current Weight: 12st 4.5lbs

My first week on the Weight Watchers plann is finished and I have to say it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be!

Counting ProPoints has proven to be an easy enough task once you get the hang of it. Using a ProPoints calculator I calculated all my favourite items and items I use quite frequently for dinners and lunches so that when I cook I can easily tally the ProPoints up. Having Mark on Weight Watchers as well is quite handy because he has to know the ProPoints value of every meal so we are both on the same page for meals.

I didn’t start tracking properly the first few days but now I am tracking everything I eat which also gives me a good look at what kind of food I am eating and where I’m spending the most ProPoints! I also received an email during the week from Mary which was a great little bit of extra motivation and even had a recipe attached that I could look at!
So after a good week I was delighted to step on the scales and see that I was down 4 pounds! Mark lost the same amount so I was secretly quite happy I was able to keep up with him – he always loses weight much quicker than I do being a 6’1 male.

I know not every week is going to be as good as that – Mary said that was a great start and to aim to lose 1 pound a week from here on in. She also gave a great talk, not about food, but about how little time we have for ourselves where we can relax – not checking Facebook or our phones every 10 minutes or having to be ‘the mammy’ or ‘the manager’ etc. I find that time while walking and exercising – it’s a great way to take your mind off everything and just concentrate on you.
So I’m onto another week. I’m hoping for another loss this week even while managing to sneak in a few Curly Wurlys! 

Do you want to join Karen and Mark? Find your nearest Weight Watchers classes here.