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Friday, October 14, 2005

Weight Watchers, More

Blah. I'm annoyed because about a month ago I started writing the post about Weight Watchers and why I am no longer on the WW bandwagon. Then, I got a new PC at work and it got lost. I never finished it, but I really wanted to take time and put real thought into it. Then today I just spout out about it and I don't feel like I said what I needed to say.

Since I lost the post (stupid me for saving it on my PC at work and not on blogger), I went back and found a post from the Firm Ya Ya board about WW, back in May. Someone had said that it seems like everyone is on the WW bandwagon and counting points, and that they really don't like WW and were getting feedback. I responded thusly, and when you read, know that WOE means "Way of Eating" and fitday is where I used to keep track of my calories. I now do it at Calorie King, but they're very similar. Anyway, read on:

I could write a novel on my experiences with WW. I lost 50 pounds with them over 2 years and became a LT member. I went straight up from there and for the next 3-4 years I tried and tried to lose weight on the WW program and failed every time. It just STOPPED working for me. I wouldn't say that I dislike them, but I definitely think that there are some flaws in the program that don't make it workable for most people for an extended (lifetime) period of time. Plus, I just finished reading Losing It, which made me realize that it might be possible that WW plans it that way to keep us Yo-yo dieters coming back again and again. I figure I spent $1000 in the two years that I was losing the 50 pounds and that's JUST meeting fees, not other stuff that they sold me... That's a lot of money and a lot of Firms and Cathes that I could have had instead. The weight loss would have been worth it - had I kept it off.

I agree with a lot of what has been said - in general, the program works for most people in the short term, and it serves as an "entry level" WOE. Counting calories is (or seems) intimidating, some people are more comfortable with a piece of paper for tracking foods and not getting on fitday. Others like the meetings and the accountability and haven't discovered anywhere else to get that (like this forum, for example).

HOWEVER... I think I failed on the program for a lot of reasons. One was, I was just SICK SICK SICK of eating the same thing everyday. Sure, I could eat what I wanted, but I always ended up eating the same stuff. I was POINTS OBSESSED. I didn't see foods, I saw points, and I was crazy about them -- not in a good way. I feel so much more calm since going to a fitday method. I don't have to worry about banking, I can just accept the fact that I might maintain or whatever for a few days if something stressful is coming along.

Then, there's the weigh-ins. I start retaining water the week before TOM and carry it on through until about the 3rd day of TOM. This meant that on average, I was gaining 2 out of every 4 weeks of the month. I was so frustrated from getting on the scale and seeing a gain. Nowadays, I know it's just a normal part of how I am and I am seeing other results (like stamina and strength) that keep me going on those weeks. I was going to WW meetings and I was so beyond them after a while, I wanted to talk about working out and Cathe and the Firm and WW mostly pushes walking. But, most of the discussion was on food and I just wasn't getting anything out of the meetings anymore.

And this is my big one - I do not like the points system anymore. The obsessiveness I referred to above made me not eat right. Doesn't make sense, does it? Well, I would save up for cake or something and eat vats of the "zero point soup". Or, I would eat a ton of snackwells cookies or no pudge brownies. I would be so much better off eating the high-fat versions of those foods, and I do now, just not everyday. I hated light bread, I hated spray butter, and now I eat real butter and big, thick, delicious slices of whole wheat bread. It's made such a difference to me. Do you know that I didn't eat bananas for years because they were 2 points and apples were 1. The difference between the two is about 20-30 calories. That's NONSENSE! Granted, many people would say I didn't have to do that, or I wasn't following the program correctly, but that's an example of the crazy-obsessiveness that I had on WW. One precious point could not be wasted, and if that meant giving up bananas, so be it.

Like I said, I'm not trying to trash them. They helped me lose a lot of weight. Had it not been for them, I would have never gotten involved with fitness, I would never have discovered this board or the Firm or Cathe or jogging or whatever. I just keep in mind that WW is a business, not a religion (not that I didn't preach it plenty for a long time). They're out to make money and I just can't do that program for life.
So, there, now I've said what I needed to say. My mistake with WW was that I was closed-minded and I didn't see it for what it was - a business. It DOES work for some, I definitely know/knew many who lost weight with WW and kept it off for years and years. But what about those that are severely overweight? That join and join again over and over and lose a few pounds and gain it back? They see that there are people that have lost 80 pounds and kept it off and they just can't figure out what they're doing wrong... It's not you. You just need to try something else. Step back... relax... and adjust your way of thinking. I'm sure I'll have still more to say about this later. I had avoided writing about it since I started the blog because I KNEW the inability to stop talking about it would soon follow. Oh well.

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