• Tue, Feb 19 2013

30 by 30: Why I’ve Always Hated Weight Watchers (But Am Now Obsessed)

does weight watchers work

I grew up watching my mom and her friends go on and off Weight Watchers. I can still remember the meetings: Overweight women standing on a scale in front of a room full of people, then talking about themselves for an hour. It seemed to me a sad and awful way to live, to constantly be weighing yourself, weighing your food, and talking about it while sitting around with other overweight people.

In addition to those misconceptions, the idea of eating whatever you want terrifies me. While some people may find it freeing, I find it absolutely panic inducing. Won’t I always choose chocolate ice cream over celery? Or wine and pizza over salad?

But last Wednesday, sitting at my desk, I decided something more “formal” needed to be done. I thrive on a plan. In the past, Jenny Craig has been my go-to. And I do think they are a great resource for busy people. I lost more than 40 pounds using their program. But I’ve been traveling a lot for work, and I didn’t want to have to take diet meals in my suitcase, so I needed something a little more flexible. My coworker has been scanning everything she eats at lunch, raving about Weight Watchers online and the Weight Watchers mobile app and is successfully watching the scale go down.

Plus, let me tell you – those ads with Jennifer Hudson do the trick. She looks PHENOMENAL. If I can even have a tiny chance that I can look like her, I am IN.

So the day before Valentine’s Day, as another single evening loomed in front of me, I logged online, found a meeting and got my butt to the nearest WW center. I walked in with trepidation, and the typical shyness that comes with being the new girl to anything that requires talking and vulnerability. I checked in, weighed in and sat in the back.

But this amazing thing happened while I was there. There were girls, my age, of all sizes. Thin girls, average girls, heavier ones…it didn’t matter. They were all discussing the daily struggle of eating healthy and balancing life in your twenties.

So I downloaded the app and got to tracking. Turns out, those little Cracker Barrel cheeses in the office fridge that I thought were a responsible snack are three points each! Three points! For just a couple of bites. And typically, I have three or four throughout the day. That’s a third of my daily points just on cheese. JUST ON CHEESE.

And it doesn’t end with cheese. These points, they are like a game. I find myself asking how many zero point foods can I find to make a complete meal or what can I do at the gym to get extra points. (The zero point answer is actually a lot. All fruits and vegetables are free which is AMAZING.) I’ve got my breakfast down to a three point science. When I wanted to stop by the coffee shop after an incredible SoulCycle class on Sunday, I calculated my activity points and my drink points. Spinning at 45 minutes would give me 12 extra points, and my favorite Coffee Bean drink? You guessed it…12 points.

I didn’t go in. It made me stop and think. And that’s what I’ve been doing all week, stopping and thinking, calculating. What I thought before was a prison, has actually turned into freedom and control. It made me go to the grocery store and it made me get my ass to the gym and I still got to enjoy wine. In addition to my regular daily points, I get extra “flex points” to use on anything I please. The scale has continuously gone down each day this week and I have felt incredible. JHud – thanks for the heads up, I think this is going to be pretty great.

Weekly Weigh-In:

HIGH: I got a long awaited promotion this week and celebrated with one of my favorites. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I used all my flex points on wine this week. I’ll have to work on that.

LOW: I hate three-day weekends when I’m not out of town. It was a rough one and I found myself crying alone at my apartment. Instead of drowning my sorrows in ice cream, I laced up my sneakers and signed up for a SoulCycle class with Olivia from the Biggest Loser. It was just the inspiration I needed to get out of my funk – and earn extra points.

+/-: -3 pounds (TOTAL: -6)

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  • Eileen

    I’ve heard Weight Watchers is an awesome way to lose weight, so good luck and congratulations! Sorry your long weekend wasn’t much fun :/

  • Eileen

    I’ve heard Weight Watchers is an awesome way to lose weight, so good luck and congratulations! Sorry your long weekend wasn’t much fun :/

  • Hannah

    Congratulations! I’ve been thinking of something WW for a while now, just to get the last 6 lbs off. Thanks for the info, and best of luck!

  • CoffeeSlut

    I’m happy for you! I, too am on WW, losing, and using most of the extra points on wine!