This started as a blog about training together as a family, in part to inspire other women & families to get involved. As female participation in jiu jitsu has increased, as we have grown as athletes and as we learned that families training together aren’t such an anomaly, the blog has evolved. Jen gets personal with posts on ambition, challenges & achievements in BJJ, CrossFit & with nutrition, while Tom's posts are more educational, informative and analytical in regards to training. On occasion you may hear from the kids.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WW Core Plan - The Right Plan for Me

May 2005, shortly before my decision to join Weight Watchers

by Jen

I have previously posted about my experience with weight loss, but lately, as I have thought about going Paleo, I have been revisiting my journey. The decision has been made (finally) to stick with what I know - the Core plan with Weight Watchers.

I started following Core back in 2005. The decision to start the program was made after seeing an awful picture of me receiving a donation to my nonprofit on the field at a Florida Marlins game. What should have been a super cool moment in my life is now only a memory because I have deleted every picture that exists from that game.

Six years later I still sing the praises of the Core plan. With the exception of a few pounds up and down throughout the years, I have maintained my weight. When those extra pounds do arrive, I know why they are there. I didn't follow the plan.

Core is the best plan for me because it does not limit my food intake, only certain types of food. Core requires very minimal point counting. You are allowed to eat as much as you want from a list of foods until you feel full. Points are counted for foods that are outside of that list. Within 5 months I lost 25 pounds and have managed to keep most of them off over the past 6 years.

For a long while I was obsessed with maintaining my goal weight, but when I started training harder and developing more muscles, Tom helped me to realize that a few extra pounds over that magic number of my goal weight was okay.

Most importantly, the Core program has become a lifestyle for me. I may not follow it with precision, but my eating habits are based on the concept. When I go too far and need to drop a few pounds, I strictly get back on the program and lose 5 in a matter of a couple of weeks. Even better, I started the program when my children were very young so they were introduced to whole wheat pasta, skim milk and brown rice before they knew any better.

Since following this plan I have had healthy results in my physicals, maintained my weight, and I still get to eat what I want in moderation and with proper planning. In regards to training performance, the program has helped me physically as much as I need it to. Realistically, as a full time mom, wife and nonprofit professional, the chances of me become a world class athlete at this point are pretty slim. So why not stick with a plan that I know inside and out, that my family is accustomed to and most importantly, works for me!


  1. Jen-

    Isn't it so liberating to find an eating plan that allows you to eat frequently without feeling like you are depriving oneself? I follow Paleo pretty strictly, no wheat, no sugar, no dairy, and occasional rice. At first this was a pain in the neck, until I got used to cooking and food preparation on a regular basis, and started getting creative with food combinations.

    I don't count calories, but I have become a champion measurer and portioner of everything. I eat every three to four hours, and my portion sizes are roughly the size of my fist.

    Following this formula, I was able to drop 10 ten pounds pretty painlessly, my workouts are better, my cardiovascular stamina is better, and I look better. Vegetables and fruit are now the main staples of my diet, with protein and carbohydrate sources being secondary players.

    Good for you for sticking to your plan; and thank you for posting about it and shining your light!


  2. @Dag, yes it is! I admire your following Paleo. I must admit I was intrigued, but I just don't have it in me to learn a new program right now. So I why mess with something that works? Thank you!