After my fifth weigh-in at Weight Watchers, I’m down 11.5 pounds. As my WW instructor puts it, I’ve lost 46 sticks of butter. I’ve been updating my readers here each Friday morning with each week’s loss (or gain as it turned out last week) for two reasons. The first is to motivate myself. When I know I have to tell the whole world how I did during the week, it makes me work harder.


The second is that I think, perhaps, I can motivate a few of my readers if I tell them of my successes and my struggles. Most people who have tried to lose weight don’t get it right on the first try. They often don’t get it right on the second, third or fourth tries. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for each person. While I think the Weight Watchers program will work for most people who are looking to lose the weight slowly and steadily, it’s only part of what is working for me.

I’m convinced that each person needs to find the right combination of eating healthy, moving their body, and motivation that works for his or her individual lifestyle and personality.

What is working for me

  • Weight Watchers. I explained why I feel the program is a great fit for those who want to continue to eat sustainably and healthy while losing weight when I first told you I’d joined Weight Watchers. After six weeks following the program, I’m even more convinced of it.
  • Exercising at home. I have promised myself that I will never pay for a gym membership again. I could probably own a house at the beach for what I’ve thrown away in unused gym dues (not really, but it feels that way). Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home DVD’s are working very well for me. I have three of her DVD’s of varying lengths that I use several times a week. I’m also use Peggy Cappy’s Yoga for the Rest of Us DVD’s. As the weather warms up, I’ll be getting outside to exercise, but since it’s been so cold and snowy, these DVD’s have worked perfectly for me.
  • Canned fruit. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the ideal, but fruit tends to disappear quickly in my home. I can’t always get to the store to restock when needed, so I’ve started buying mandarin orange slices, peaches and pears canned in fruit juice.
  • Accountability. Weighing in weekly keeps me accountable, but I post my weekly loss or gain here on the blog and on my Facebook page each week, too. I also have a couple of friends who are also doing WW and whom I talk to regularly. 
What is not working for me
  • Trying to be perfect. The WW program has the flexibility of having a bank of extra points that can be used each week, a little each day or all at once if I need them. I can also earn extra points by working out. I’ve tried a couple of weeks to not touch any of those extra points to try to lose weight more quickly, but I just can’t do it. I like a second glass of wine on Friday nights and a dinner out with friends once in a while.
  • Deciding I need to lose x amount of weight by a certain date. When I started the program, I had it in my mind that I would have lost at least 20 pounds by now. Doable, but a little unrealistic. I know that my weight loss needs to be slow and steady, but darn it, I want it to go more quickly. I need to accept that while I may have a 3 or 4 pound week once in a while, 1½ to 2 pounds a week will be the norm, and it’s the best way to do it for healthy, long-term weight loss. I’m doing this to get healthy, not to look great in my jeans, right? 
This is what works for me. Some people might need the gym or might need to be more private with their progress. That’s what I mean when I say you need to find the right combination that works for you. If you haven’t found it yet, don’t give up. You will get there if you keep trying.

What do you find works for you?

Also on MNN: Read more weight loss success stories

Disclaimer: I am not a health or weight loss professional. The tools and programs that I am using are working for me, but there is no implied or actual guarantee that they will work for others. If you are looking to lose weight, please see your personal physician before starting any program. I am not under any contract or obligation by any of the companies or programs that I have written about. They have not paid me or asked me to write about them.  

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Losing weight: Finding what works for you
There is no “one size fits all” weight loss plan. It takes time to figure out what does and doesn’t work.