Right so, in the middle of july last year I started on the weightwatchers 'no count' diet. It is quite unlike the old weightwatchers every-food-has-point-value diet which never appealed to me at all. In 'no count' there is a list of foods you can have and a list of foods you can't. The foods you can have are low in refined carbs, sugars and saturated fats so basically it's a diet with lots of vegetables.
I started in july at 16st 9lbs - it wasn't the heaviest i'd been but it was still too much and it made me unhappy being that heavy. I was set a reasonable target weight of 14st 7lbs (I'm 6ft 1 and reasonably broad) by the weightwatchers organiser but once I hit that I was keen to go back the weight I was most happy at as a teen. By December I got down to 12st 9lbs, I decided to become a fulltime vegetarian (most of my meals had become pretty veg-heavy) and I have been that weight ever since.
It wasn't easy sticking to the diet, in fact I fully changed my lifestyle and way of thinking. I started to think that not having the king-size snickers was actually a treat rather than the other way around as it meant that come the wednesday weigh-in I would lose my 2-3lbs and improve my health and mood in the process. I managed to lose on average 2-3lbs a week over the 6 months - so it was quite sustainable. Before starting the diet, I never used to think about the foods I ate and would eat pretty much anything and everything until I was more than full - Importantly I didn't used to think about where my calories where coming from and thought that was unimportant. Probably the most important thing I learnt from the diet was to reduce the refined carbs and sugar and get my calories from foods which would release their calories slower therefore keeping my blood sugar constant and stopping me from getting hungry all the time. I was in fact very disciplined - I swapped all my calorific snacks for fruit and veg and ate my three sensible no-count-list-based meals a day. At the start of the diet work became pretty tough as my brain wasn't used to the reduced coca-cola and kit-kat intake and I found concentrating difficult without all the sugar - after a while I learnt that eating fruit at strategic times in the day would stop this from happening and forunately my work has a large supply of free fruit available throughout the day.
Once I had reached what I considered to be my target weight - the current 12st 9lbs - it actually became quite hard to let myself start having the occassional treat or snack again even and christmas, but now I do have the odd dessert and we do go out for lunches but I don't think i'm ever going to go back to my 'heavier = better' way of thinking about food and this is what I think is going to allow me to sustain this weight.
I am much happier now and I feel much more like myself - I feel that when I was carrying around the excess weight I wasn't quite fulfilling my potential, now I am more confident physically and I don't feel like I fill the room i'm in.
the last one was just taken a few minutes ago - proof I have kept it off!