Last Monday, I rejoined Weight Watchers even though I’ve tried it maybe 7 or 8 times before. It’s always worked. I’ve always gotten to 175. I’ve always quit. I’ve always gained it back.
So at 5:30pm on Monday, Ellen and I arrived at the meeting and were greeted by the leader, who I believe is straight up weird. Her shoes were 4 sizes too big, and she wasn’t too welcoming. I came to her with my wallet and registration form with a big smile on my face, and she said “you’ll have to go over there. I don’t have money at this table.” Ummm… is this usually how you greet new members?
So I got weighed in and saw the number I was expecting to see, which shall remain classified information.
But the poor lady next to me weighed in and the lady weighing her in said “oh, you gained. You had a bad week, huh?” Bitch! Seriously, does this type of conversation need to happen? Why can’t they just shut their mouths? This used to happen to me at my Orlando WW meetings. I’d run all week long and end up with a gain, and the chubby old lady behind the counter would berate me for gaining. Why I go back to Weight Watchers, I don’t know.
When I went back to my seat, I heard the same lady weighing someone else in, and she said “oh, you gained your first week”. How very embarrassing!
Moving on… they stocked me up with a Pocket Guide and a Getting Started book.
They explained that the program had changed drastically and now calories aren’t even in the equation in calculating points. It’s fat, carbs, protein, and fiber. The leader later explained that this is because 1 calorie does not equate to 1 calorie. WRONG! This lady obviously didn’t pass her high school chemistry class. But I get the point she was trying to make. Your body digests different foods differently.
So the meeting started, and the topic was about using your Weekly Points Allowance, which is now 49 points (it used to be 35). You can use these points however you’d like throughout the week, or you can choose not to use them at all. The leader explained she ate an entire bag of M&M’s that week, and that’s how she used her allowance. And not just a 1 serving bag. It was a bag of 8 servings. Good role model, huh?
Another thing she discussed was trying new things, so some members spoke up…
“I tried greek yogurt. I had to put artificial sweetener on it”
“I tried egg whites. BLECK!”
“I made my own apple cobbler with brown sugar substitute and spray butter.”
“I tried brussel sprouts, and they were okay.” Another lady piped in “I wrap my brussel sprouts in bacon, and they taste so much better”
WTF!!!!!!!!!! Excuse me? And the leader encouraged all of this! First of all, this was my big problem with WW in the past… encouraging people to eat “fake food”. Just eat the real stuff, enjoy it more, and account for the extra calories. The leader even had a disgusted look when the lady mentioned greek yogurt. I think it’s delicious!
Ellen and I were whispering to each other that we definitely had a leg up on these ladies. We’re already active, and we enjoy healthy foods.
At the “getting started” meeting afterwards for new members, one of the male members spoke up and said he drinks 3 20oz. real Cokes every day. The leader told him to start drinking Diet Coke. While I get that she was trying to help, isn’t it a known fact that Diet Coke is just as harmful as regular Coke, if not worse? Did I imagine hearing that coming out of Jillian’s mouth? Or am I imagining this article? So I spoke up and mentioned that Diet Coke isn’t a good alternative, and she looked shocked. I said “isn’t Diet Coke just as bad for you?” She looked like I hit her in the face with a frying pan. I continued “yeah, the artificial sweeteners and added chemicals.” I get that it would cut down on calories to drink Diet Coke, but calories should not be the only thing you look at when you’re considering putting something in your mouth.
So while I just completely berated my WW leader and the women at that meeting, I think I can learn a lot from Weight Watchers. There are definitely “pros” involved.
1. First, I’m going with Ellen. Going to meetings with a friend will make me much more accountable, and we can completely relate to one another.
2. I’m more aware of the amount of food I eat and what kinds of food I eat. For example, I used to have toast with peanut butter and jam every morning. I learned that this breakfast was costing me 14 points because each slice of bread was 3 points. I’ve since bought Bagel Thins, which are 3 points for the whole bagel. And I suppose I can do without the jam, which is 3 points. So I’m able to bring my breakfast down to 8 points. And now I’ll add a banana or some strawberries for free!
3. Fruits and most vegetables are “free”. Now you can’t eat 5 bananas in one day, but you can use fruits guilt-free and not have to count the points (but still track the food you ate!). So I’m eating a lot more fruits now. I pack a banana and 2 clementines in my lunch every day for work.
4. I’m getting to the gym more because I want to earn Activity Points every day, or at least try to. I went to the gym 4 times this week, which is more than usual for me. I biked, walked, did yoga, and ran! I’m forcing myself to add variety so I don’t get bored. And it’s all part of my new marathon training program which you’ll learn about in a post down the road.
5. I’m so motivated to lose this weight so I can run a faster marathon at a much lower weight!!
If you’re on Weight Watchers, what are your pros and cons?