Getting Healthy: Weight Watchers

Since we plan to be parked in one place for four months this seems like a good time to try the Weight Watchers® weight loss plan. I’ve never done Weight Watchers before so it’s all new to me.

I, of course, started by looking them up online. They offer several plans but only one of those plans looks like the right one for me. Fortunately, it also the cheapest plan. It’s called the monthly pass. With it I can go to any meeting anywhere without paying at the door. Plus I can use the online tools to keep track of what I eat. And I can join an online community if I decide I want that type of support, especially after we move on from here.

So, I went to my first meeting and got lots of paperwork.

The I went to the grocery store and stocked up on low-calorie frozen entrees.

After all I want to make this as easy for myself as possible, right?

Then I used my iPad to go online to track my food. Oops. The iPad can’t read the online food tracker because the iPad does not do Flash. No problem; there’s an app for that. And the app is free. It is designed to be used on an iPhone, though, so it’s not a full screen app on the iPad and it does not rotate. Still, I can tell the app what food I ate and it will calculate how many points I used and how many I have left for the day.

Now the Weight Watchers Smart Ones Entrees have a lot of dairy in them. If they don’t have a cheese topping they likely have a cream sauce. Which would be fine except…

… I’m a cheese-aholic. Once I get started eating cheese it is very hard for me to stop. So, now I’m snacking on cheese and crackers in addition to the cheese in the entrees. Which makes me frustrated. And the food I crave when I am frustrated is…

That’s right, Cheetos. A big bag of Cheetos. Which, for me, is two servings. So I eat half a bag of Cheetos for supper and log that into my food tracker.

The next day I eat the other half a bag for lunch and log that into my tracker.

The next day, I am gassy and bloated from all the dairy I’ve been eating. My clothes are tight which usually means a weight gain. But, I go weigh in a day early anyway because I don’t want to have to do it during the predicted thunderstorms tomorrow.

And I’m down 4.4 pounds.

What kind of weight loss program let’s you make a meal of Cheetos while losing weight?!!!

Apparently the Weight Watchers kind. They said I could eat anything I wanted as long as I stayed within my weekly points. But, I still don’t believe it.

Down 4.4 pounds. And I haven’t even started exercising yet.

Now how do I do this without all that cheese? After all, no one wants to live with a gas factory. Including me.



iPad app: Numbers

For three years I have been using the free office software suite Open Office,, on my MacBook Pro to make spreadsheets containing information about places to go and things to see all over the U.S. I have one spread sheet for each state and most of them have hundreds of entries.

I wanted all this data on my iPad but the iPad does not run Open Office so Dave suggested I check out Numbers, It’s $9.99 through the iTunes store.

The learning curve on this one is fairly high. I have an advantage in that Dave already uses it on his laptop so he could give me tips and teach me tricks to lower that curve. So, I bought the laptop version, too. I can now make that do pretty much anything I could do in Open office or, prior to that, MS Excel.

It turns out the iPad version of Numbers can read the Excel format so those of you already using Excel do not need to buy Numbers for the laptop and those of you using Open Office can just save your data sheets as Excel documents without buying Numbers for the laptop–just the one for the iPad. You will loose some formatting in the transfer, like font changes plus headers being turned into data rows which you can change back after the sync, but I have not missed anything critical.

This screen shot is not the best; sorry about that but I wanted you to have some idea of what my spreadsheets look like.

Entering data on the iPad itself can be done but is still frustrating for me so I do the work on my laptop then sync the data sheets to the iPad.

For those of you hoping the iPad can replace your computer, may I remind you the iPad is not a computer so, plan to keep your laptop or desktop computer and use the sync function to transfer data to your iPad. That’s the easiest way I’ve found to get some of my data into the iPad which I plan to talk about in a future post.

But having all my state spreadsheets right at my fingertips while traveling instead of having only whatever I managed to fit into the current print out, assuming I remembered to make a current printout, is wonderful! So, I like this app.