Follow Friday + Nicki's Personal Updates: How I Lost 6 Pounds! – Week of March 1, 2013

6 pounds down, 29 to go!
6 pounds down, 29 to go!

If you read my Follow Friday updates regularly, one thing you will find is that I’ve been pretty upset over my weight for the past year. After gaining 35 pounds over the course of 18 months, I finally broke down and went to the doctor, who ran blood tests and diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid. Basically, my thyroid hormone levels will fluctuate between highs and lows, before finally puttering out to little to no thyroid hormone at all.

It’s been a battle. We don’t realize how much of our self-esteem stems from how we look until we start to lose it. I, for one, always thought that I defined myself primarily by my wit and intellect, and I was astonished to find how much I was crushed when my favorite jeans no longer fit. It was traumatic – I wasn’t changing my eating habits at all, but I felt trapped inside my own body. It wasn’t just the weight gain, it was the fatigue, the achy joints, and the fact I could sleep for 12-16 hours at a time.

Once my thyroid hormone levels got under control, I started reading. A lot. Turns out that those with thyroid disorders are often sensitive to carbohydrates. In The Thyroid Diet Revolution, Mary Shomon points to research that shows people suffering from thyroid disorders not only get increasingly fatigued after eating carbohydrates, but they have a higher probability of being gluten intolerant as well.  Given that gluten is found in many breads, pastas, and carb-rich foods anyway, I was relieved to realize I could cut the vast majority of gluten from my diet by just cutting out carbs.

Weight Watchers

The next thing I did was start Weight Watchers. It was a little alarming: I went from having a BMI of 18 (low-normal) to 24 (normal, near-overweight) in the course of 18 months. But I started the program 3 weeks ago. It’s interesting: while the old Weight Watchers formula counted points based upon calories and fat grams and deducted for fiber and protein, this plan counts carbohydrates and fat and protein, and deducts for fiber. It’s almost like the company realized vegans and vegetarians are thinner: A 4 oz. sirloin steak, for instance, used to be 4 points, but now it is 7. Fruits and vegetables are also free on the new plan, so I find myself eating a lot of those.

And for those fellow math geeks out there who are interested in the Weight Watchers formula, as I was:

Points = max {round((p x 16 + c x 19 + fa x 45)/175) – fi x (2/25), 0}, where pp is ProPoints, p is protein, c is carbohydrate, fa is total fat, and fi is dietary fiber, all in grams. All that is really important here is that each gram of fat counts for approximately 2.5 grams of carbs and 3 grams of proteins, and you can get points back with high-fiber foods. So, essentially, with this plan you’ll really end up eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat, moderate protein sources like beans.

Truth be told, I’ve been going off the plan quite a bit. I’ve been on it three weeks:

  • Week 1: Lost 3 pounds. 54 points over.
  • Week 2: Lost 1 pound. 124 points over (gulp).
  • Week 3: Lost 3 pounds. 5 points over.

I probably wouldn’t have stuck with the program at all, except when I realized I was going over quite a bit, and still only consuming 2000 calories and losing weight.



The third change I made was that I bought a FitBit.

I’m in love with my FitBit: It’s a pedometer, calorie counter, sleep tracker, and weight loss monitoring device, all in one.

The best part of it is the fact that the FitBit is a digital pedometer that wirelessly tracks to your smartphone. So all day long, I’m tracking. Research has shown taking 12,000 or more steps a day is a key to weight control, so I’m making sure that I walk everywhere. I’m carrying the flats and changing into the heels, parking further away from the store, using the stairs – the whole nine yards. Just for the FitBit.

It is kind of a bummer that FitBit doesn’t sync with the Weight Watchers app, meaning that I have to input every food to two trackers, but then again, it also keeps me from eating so much because it requires twice the work. I really like it – I think it’s the reason I’ve lost 3 pounds this week and only 1 pound last week. I’m just moving so much!

Bottom Line

After being an avid calorie-counter for years, I’m finally losing weight by cutting down on carbs, following Weight Watchers, and using the FitBit. 🙂 I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

Follow Friday



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  • Yuki

    Thanks for the quickie review on the FitBit! I’ve been reading up on it on and off but couldn’t quite pull the trigger. It’s a lot of money for something when I consider the possibility of me giving up in a few days/weeks.

    If you have some time: Where do you clip it? How is the app? What, if any, are the cons?

  • Cecilia

    Nicki, have you tried going paleo?

    Check this video of Terry Wahls, MD:

    I’ve done it for 6 months now and I’ve never felt/look better. I lost weight, got my blood sugar under control, I don’t suffer from PMS nor constipation anymore. You should definitely give it a try!

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