Sunday, 5 February 2012

Exercise - Do Points Win Prizes?

So, we're almost a week in with the Wii and I'm still loving it - I've been on it every day but one, and have managed at least half an hour each day.  Most days I'm doing it as soon as I get out of bed - before I have time for the "can't be arsed" feeling to turn up.

It's the first time I've begun to establish an exercise routine and enjoyed it.  I think it's a combination of things - the fact that there's a whole range of activities so it's possible to do different things every day (mostly I'm doing step, jogging, hula hooping, rhythm Kung Fu [this one is a great warm-up] and also bowling, golf and table tennis from the Wii Sports game) and the fact that the activities are fun, the fact that the whole thing is bright and cheerful and makes me smile and also that I don't have to leave the house or even put anything other than my PJs on before I do it.  It's not the same as having to go out in the cold to go to the gym, travel for 20 minutes to get there and then spend half an hour in a freezing cold air-conditioned gym, pounding away on the treadmill or the bike.  At home I can work my way down my first cup of coffee of the day while I exercise, and when I finish I can get straight in the shower and get on with my day.  It's all good.

The main thing this post is about though - activity points.  Earning Pro Points through exercise.  My lovely husband and I are having a difference of opinion over this.  When I earn activity points I hate to even consider using them on extra food - to me it's almost a challenge to earn as many as I can over the course of the week, the point (if you'll pardon the pun) isn't to run up a credit balance and then use it.  Carl is more of the opinion that if you earn them then they are there to be used.

I know that all the Weight Watchers documentation says that it's optional, but to some degree I feel as though using the points on extra food almost seems to invalidate doing the weight loss benefits in the first place.  I suppose I also need to think about the fact that exercise isn't just about accelerating weight loss, but about getting fitter and toning up my body.  I also have the issue that I'm not always certain that I've calculated my activity points correctly - what if I've not been working as hard as I'm meant to or not doing the activity in the right way?  It has the effect of making me feel guilty if I use activity points on food.

I think perhaps I need to try to take a slightly more relaxed approach to the concept.  I'm never going to use all the activity points I earn in any given week on food, but perhaps I need to stop giving myself a headache if I use a few of them.  So far this week (since Wednesday) I've earned 22, and I used 4 of them on a snack this evening (having used all my weekly points on a very nice lunch and dessert in the pub on Friday!) because even having had a relatively large meal at 7pm, I was hungry by 9.30 - probably connected to having spent 40 minutes on the Wii this afternoon and then done a load of housework this evening.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

Does anyone else have a view on this?  What do you do?


  1. Same as you - I'd prefer to take exercise calories burned as a bit of extra weight loss rather than a bit of extra grub. Running a half marathon burnt off less calories than I ate carb-loading for it in the 12 hours before I ran!

  2. Really? Wow, I never would have thought that! I think that's a good way of putting it "extra weight loss rather than extra grub". That sums it up quite well :)

  3. 1500 calories burnt running 13.1 miles versus large pasta starter and main course, pastry-based dessert and about 15 slices of toast and a couple of bowls of porridge at breakfast the following morning!

  4. I see your point - you learn something new every day!

  5. My darling, you have slightly misrepresented my view; I am not saying you *have* to use them; I am saying that they are there if you need them - if you misjudge the size of a portion, or if you find you *do* need some extra noms.

    I see them as a safety net which means you don't have to worry so much, rather than another source of stress and fretting.

    (Also posted on Facebook, since I think I'm agreeing with your mother).

  6. Understood now - and yes, you were. I just couldn't see it! xx