Thank you all for the responses given to my question about activity points, etc. I'm a bit of a 'googler' when it comes to these things so I found an answer that made sense to me AND it was on the Weight Watcher's website.
First, Steph was right. I think for any of us that have gotten our butts in gear, a big KUDOS to you (and me too) because in addition to eating right, exercising is right up there with getting us on the path to the smaller butts that we know we all want. And it can be DAMN hard to get our asses off the couch and get movin' so let's not discount what it takes to do it!
Second, I also think we need to be sure we are eating enough for our bodies to survive and actually BURN calories. Sometimes that involves straying a bit from the formula and figuring out what is right for us. After all, we are uniquely made right? For example, there are some of you that are near your goal weights and have decreased your caloric intake drastically because of your weight loss and then presto, chango, you stopped losing weight. And then when you increase your caloric intake a bit (by way of Points), the weight starts coming off again. Why is that? I've read on someone else's blog that she figured out the calories she was eating came out to about 900+ calories a day... She stayed within her points and was doing what the program said she should do, but the weight refused to come off. Little changed by way of exercise and foods she was eating but still, the scale was stubborn. She figured out that she was eating way too little for her body and when she increased her food intake, she started losing again. When I see a grown woman eating less than 1000 calories each day AND exercising, I have to ask the question, WHO is that healthy for? You have to know I ask these questions from the perspective of someone who has struggled with eating issues, both over and under eating.
Third, I don't think that activity intensity needs to be subjective or a guessing game. WeightWatchers along with many other health websites gives us a formula to use to figure out our activity intensity. I read on this site the three different tests you can use to measure activity intensity. Basically, you can do one of three things: 1. the talk test 2. determine if heart rate is in the target zone 3. perceived exertion. Interesting and helpful, I thought.
I was thinking today that what may be moderate intensity for one, may be high intensity for another. For me at 182 pounds, it takes a lot less effort for my heart rate to get within the maximum level than it does when I am 40 pounds less. I don't agree that most activities are not high intensity. I think that it needs to be taken into account who is doing them. I may be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded (and btw, I can't right now) but my grandma who weighs over 200 lbs may not be able to speak when she reaches the top. And I'm sure if I took her heart rate, she would be near if not over 70% of her maximum heart rate.
After all that, the other thing I was poking around on the internet looking for an answer is "when I earn AP, do I have to use them all?". Again, I found many subjective responses, which if you haven't noticed, I prefer a more black/white answer. I LIKE FORMULAS! :) Some said, eat them if you want. I had a leader that said you MUST eat them ALL. I've read that you eat them if you need them. How do you know if you need them? Is your stomach growling? Are you ready to faint from exhaustion and lack of food? Can some of you share what you do with your AP? What works for you guys?