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My Weight Watchers Pros and Cons

22 Jan

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.

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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.

ww items

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?

24 Responses to “My Weight Watchers Pros and Cons”

  1. Sana January 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Wow! Those women are so rude! i really hope you enjoy this experience!

  2. Lisa January 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    HOLY CRAP! I would call the WW people and report the leader. She sounds like a NIGHTMARE. I don’t do WW but even I know she’s doing it WRONG.

    I lost my weight on my own–counting calories. I recently went to a WW meeting to check it out for myself and I can see the appeal of it. The support system is a good thing. At the same time I realized it wasn’t for me. I already lost 110 pounds and I’ve kept if off almost 3 years. I just wanted to lose “that last 10 pounds” that I’ve struggled with.

    WW won’t get me there. It’s for beginners I think. I don’t say that to be rude by any means. But everything said in the meeting I already knew.

    As for your meeting, I’d be really angry at the way it was run, the rude comments, and the horrible leader. Maybe find a new location?

    • Alleyne October 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

      Could you tell me how you lost your weight?

      • runeatdatesleep October 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

        I was training for 2 half-marathons, and I lowered my caloric intake to 1200-1400 calories a day (all supervised by a doctor).

  3. sarah January 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I suggest finding another leader, it really does make the world of difference in your weight loss. And plus you have heard the saying “bad first impression” and that is going to be stuck in your head everytime you have encounter with this lady.

    And regarding the pop, what she should of said was to either cut it back a little, or it’s still ok to have but track it. And maybe when he realizes how many points he spent on it he might not find it worth it.

    Don’t give up on WW yet!

  4. Mesohongy January 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    WTH!?!?! Who hired those fools!? That sounds like a WW meeting from hell! The woman behind the counter would def get cussed out if she said that to me! Our receptionist don’t really say anything, but you can tell how you did that week from their reaction. My current postbis all about my WW experience.

  5. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) January 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    That leader is not okay. If every leader was similar to her, how would they even dream so make the program successful?

    I agree though, the best part of the program is checking in every week.

  6. Sarah January 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    WOW!!!!
    What a drastic difference between your meeting and mine! All the ladies that weigh me in are amazing! If you gain, they are like…”don’t worry honey, you’ll just have a BIG loss next week…keep up your awesome work!” or “stress can really harm your weight loss, don’t worry, just keep on going forward”

    I have been on WW since July. I have lost 57.6 now. Almost 7 months! I actually can’t believe I have stuck with it this long. Its really amazing to me, because I always quit things. Always. Especially weight loss. “Dieting” But this isn’t a diet. It does KILL me that in the meetings they are always talking about eating crazy foods and cutting out all bad stuff, etc. I just eat really healthy balanced food, and then if I want a small piece of chocolate, I use the points and eat it.

    I actually have done it without much gym time….I know i really need to kick in the activity, but I’ve had so much else on my plate I haven’t been able to imagine throwing that in. Plus, I always fail when I try to over do it. Now that I really have this down, its time to add that in! I really need to push myself though, because I have a goal I am trying to meet by my birthday….and its not going to happen unless I start working out.

    I loved my saturday morning meeting leader, but unfortunately, I cant go any longer because of my new job. I have to go on fridays now, and I really don’t like that group. They are NUTS!! A lot of what you are saying holds true with this friday group.

    Good luck to you on your journey! I will definitely be cheering you on!!!! I wish I had a friend to go to meetings with….Alan and I were going together on saturdays, but now, I go alone.

  7. Brandy January 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    Seriously- psycho leader on your hands! I’ve NEVER heard of anything like that before!

    I love the new program. It is so much better at encouraging you to eat real foods. I’ve lost 5.4 pounds since 1/3. I love the free fruit. And I’m bad, I eat probably 5 pieces of fruit a day on top of my 37 points (yay breastfeeding!). And all my flex points.

    You can do it! I support you!

  8. Janine January 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I’ve been a WW member through the years, and the key to my success was finding a leader who motivated me one week at a time. I suggest trying different meetings until you find a leader who’s a better fit for you. Regarding the comments of the person weighing people in: before I stepped on the scale, I always asked them NOT to say anything to me, but just to write the number down. When they make comments, it makes it seem like they’re judging you. Usually you know what kind of week you had before stepping on the scale anyway.

  9. jesseybell January 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Wow! I would definitely report the leader and find a different time/location if possible to go to.

    I’ve almost always done WW at Work, so I know the people in the meeting. But there is a lot of stress in that every 14-17 weeks you don’t know if it is going to be renewed and then if not, you have to go to a center.

    But this is really the first time I’ve been doing WW to lose a substantial amount of weight (if I hit my initial goal I will have lost 72 lbs. I became a Lifetime member in 2004 by losing 9 lbs, but I never tell anyone that)

    The leader is 90% of the key I feel – I love my leader right now. I have quit before because I haven’t liked my leader. Personally, I don’t think losing 20 lbs makes someone a leader. But that is just me.

    I need the accountability – I’ve tried it on my own and it just doesn’t work as much. I’ve tried being accountable to people on-line and it still doesn’t work.

    I really like the new program in that it stresses eating whole foods/non-processed foods. But really leaves your food up to you – no gimmicks, no deprivations, no pre-packaged foods. I definitely believe it is the only program out there that will have long, lifetime results for people.

  10. zenlizzie January 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    I would have a really hard time holding my tongue through all that nonsense. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like meetings.
    I recently signed up for WW for the first time, but using the online program. I don’t have any experience to compare it to the old program, but I really like the amount of food I can eat and the fact that I don’t have to think about calories since calories drive me crazy!
    I’m embarrassed by my diet coke habit. I was off soda until I started grad school, and now I rely on diet coke to make up for sleep. I would never tell someone that drinking diet coke is a good thing though, and if I were a leader, I would try to encourage a switch to diet coke.. then unsweetened carbonated water.. then water, or something like that.

  11. Kelley January 22, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    I just rejoined WW today. Your post made me laugh because I couldn’t believe what they were saying, it sounded like an episode of Punk’d. At least you have your friend to keep you sane. Hopefully the meetings will get better.

  12. Nicci (NiftyEats) January 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    OMG, crazy WW leader. I think all soda pop is evil…bacon wrapped on Brussel sprouts…may try this with turkey bacon sometime. I’m now reminded of that dog commercial ”bacon, bacon, bacon!!” lol Yay, I don’t want those comments at weigh in, getting me down. I started following the program again a week before the new system came out. Loving it so far. I’m thinking about going to a meeting, I’ve been following the system online. Hope your next meeting will be better girl.

  13. Bride Anne January 22, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    I just rejoined in December, but only doing online for now. I also hated the embarrassment of “gaining” and having someone acknowledge it.

    I think that leader is HORRIBLE!! What like about the new program is that fruits and veggies are free. It encourages me to eat more fruits and veggies and less frankenfood. At least that’s how I took it. I had hoped that it would trickle down to the meetings, but apparently not to all of them.

    There are some greater leaders out there, especially those who used to do “Core” (or whatever they call it) and encourage FILLING HEALTHY WHOLE FOODS!! Maybe try another meeting if you can?

    • Bride Anne January 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

      To add to that, there’s a really nice letter from the CEO of WW in the WW Magazine about the Points Plus system and how they are trying to get away from people eating 100 calorie packs in lieu of an apple. I really think that this was their intention with the new program.

  14. runninginpinkproject January 23, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    This boggles my mind. Our leaders are so positive and kind. I have never ever been berated for a gain at my center. I’ve been asked “Were you expecting this?” and if I say yes its over and if I say no we talk about my week. (Im basing this on past experiences and not just this time around). Ive also never been encouraged to eat candy or drink soda. Im sorry your experience is negative. I hate that.

  15. ahlterra January 23, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    I never did the WW, but I did do jenny craig for a summer at University, and i lost thirty pounds, so much that I had to wear my engagement ring around my neck because it kept falling off.

    but it got too expensive after my job had a union strike, etc etc and I got off the wagon. It’s still too expensive, but I did pick up on some valuable things that I’m trying to do more of now that I’m back to actively trying to lose the weight.

    JC had me on a 1800 calorie a day diet, eating small meals every 2 hours and doing some sort of physical activity for at least 20 minutes every day. And it worked.

    I’m back to the small meals every 2 hours and trying to add more physical to my day, even if I just walk up and down the stairs a few times or play Just Dance for the Wii.

    I haven’t lost any weight yet, but I also haven’t gained, which I will take for good stuff.

    G’luck Andrea!

  16. TheSceneFromMe January 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I’ve never been on WW but my sister in law had great success on it!
    Love that the bananas are free!

  17. Maria S January 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Wow. I think you need to meeting-shop. I don’t know where you’re located, but there’s got to be a meeting at a convenient time with a better leader. My leader is so awesome – I would not have stayed with it for more than 2.5 years now (and down 55 lbs!).

  18. carlyslp January 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi, just stumbled across your blog yesterday. Just wanted to say that it’s been fun to read, and rather inspiring. :)

    I’m so sorry you’ve had such a rough experience at WW meetings. The leader really can make all the difference. My first leader was incredible. I loved her, and I was so sad to leave her when I moved. I’ve even gone back to visit her when I’m in that area. Other leaders I’ve gone to are just not the same. But it’s like you said– you have a leg up on these people because you’re active and you enjoy healthy food. Plus, you have your friend to support you, even if your leader won’t. Good luck to you!

  19. Theresa @ This is my Hungry Face January 26, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    That is such a disappointing experience with the WW staff and leader at that location. I started attending meetings about 2 months ago and really like each of the leaders and staff members that I’ve interacted with. I’ve never been encouraged to eat fake foods and weigh-in is always done in a confident and friendly way. I’ve never had any negative statements made about my weight, and I don’t think that I’ve ever overheard any mention of another members weight. You deserve a much better experience than what you are getting there, but I am glad you are choosing to see the positives right now.

    I agree that you do have a leg up on some of the other members (and even staff, it seems) because you are already active and eat real foods, rather than the processed fake foods. Being a part of the healthy living community online really has helped me change what and how I eat, and WW helps me to keep portions and sizes in check.

    Are there any other locations nearby that you might be able to check out and see what the leader is like there? I hope that you are able to find a more positive and encouraging location to attend meetings.

  20. Anna November 4, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    I’m a first time joiner. I totally agree with all your points. I’m going and saying to myself, “Holly crap you don’t want to end up like these people.” And I cringe at a couple thing the leader says (but most was pretty good stuff, superficial info: but good). I’m trying to tell myself to not speak at the meetings but it’s hard not to. I’m telling myself that a lot of these women have been doing this for 20+ years and they just aren’t up to recent science and educating themselves. But I give them credit for loosing 100+ despite it.

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