I don’t advertise this much on the blog but up until August I was a lifetime Weight Watcher member. I feel like weight loss is such a touchy subject and sometimes I just don’t feel like sharing (or opening the door for criticism).
But now… I am.
I started WW (Weight Watchers) right before my first marathon in 2008. Just 4 months after I got married. I had gained back about 20 lbs of the 40 lbs or so that I had lost before getting married. It worked great for me. I lost weight. I had to change my goal weight a few times to figure out my “sweet spot” (the weight that’s maintainable for me – leaving me happy & healthy). When I finally got to my goal weight – it was like I gave up. I was so sick of tracking and worrying about points. I took a LONG time in maintenance phase – I’d gain a lb, lose a lb, gain 2 lb, lose 3 lb, gain some, lose some. Then, when I managed to get 6 weigh ins at maintenance weight – all hell broke loose. I almost immediately started gaining again. Nothing major, just a few lbs (enough to kick me out of maintenance weight). For those of you who don’t know about WW Lifetime, you only have to weigh in once a month to maintain your status. If you are over your goal weight, you pay the weekly fee. So when I knew it was coming time for me to go weigh in, I’d go CRAZY trying to lose a few lbs. I’d do 2-a-day workouts or runs, longer runs, cutting back food, etc. Which is completely unhealthy behavior. (I’m well aware of how bad that is. It took me a long time to be able to admit it. Let’s not beat a dead horse, mmkay?)
Which is basically what I’ve been doing for the last year. It really pissed my off when I started CrossFit – busting my tail at the box and still trying to run every morning and I still wasn’t losing weight or even maintaining at my goal weight. I’d have some good weeks where I’d track all my food and keep working out, but still wouldn’t lose any weight. I even tried to go Paleo (and still wanted to track WW points – which let me tell you – they are NOT compatible) - which lead to my Paileo Fail-eo.
Over the last year I just haven’t been committed to WW. I’ve gone to meetings and just been frustrated with the message I was getting. Hearing other members talk about getting the kids meals at McD’s or Wendy’s – and I just wanted to scream out – WHY are YOU STILL even going to fast food joints? Or when the leaders would talk about exercise – now, in all fairness, the meeting I went to most often was full of elderly ladies – but I had such a hard time getting excited for doing “arms curls with water bottles during TV commercials” – umm, I run (or used to! ha) 30 miles a week and CrossFit 4-5 times a week. Water bottle arm curls ain’t gonna cut it for this girl. Could I have found another meeting time? Yes. But this was the most convenient for my crazy work/gym schedule and I could go during my lunch hour. And after a while the message of getting the most “bang for your buck” regarding foods just felt wrong. We’d all figure out these ways to make foods/meals with as little points as possible, cutting a portions size down by a little bit to subtract a point. I was sick of fat-free, sugar-free, (added) high-fiber foods. The fake chips, fake fruit snacks, fake candy, fiber-one bars, just sick of it.
So I’m breaking up with Weight Watchers.
All that being said, I still believe that Weight Watchers is a wonderful weight loss tool. I DID lose weight on the program. I do like the accountability of weekly weigh ins. They offer a lot of support through meetings and the online forums. And I still believe that food journaling (of some sort) is the best tool to use when trying to lose weight.
But right now, it’s not a good fit for me.
After reading It Starts With Food, I know I’m ready to try something different. I start the Whole Life Challenge on Saturday with Diz and we are both looking forward to seeing some major changes in our bodies (inside and out).
I suppose Weight Watchers and I can still be friendly. We can be civil. I won’t bash them too much as long as they don’t bash the Whole30 or Whole Life Challenge.
Who is a WW fan? former fan? Let’s discuss it (nicely) in the comments!
***disclaimer – I do not claim to be an expert, or have all the answers when it comes to weight loss. I have no background in nutrition (save for the one class in junior college – many, many years ago) or in exercise. I know what works for me (and what doesn’t). Please consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program.***