Tag Archives: weight watchers

Wieght Watchers, Etc. Inspired & Revisited

Wow, lightbulb moment!  First, I’m so inspired by all the feedback I have gotten from my last post, “Waging War Against Weight Watchers”.  Coming from both sides of the street, some were ready to grab their swords (or forks, as the case may be), and others of you were ready to do the same, but on the side of the Mega Dieteer, Weight Watchers.  One of the comments in particular really gave me my lightbulb moment:

I’m totally with you on being anti-quantification, but the concreteness of it can be very helpful for people who don’t know where to begin…  And if someone follows the SPIRIT of it and really reads the materials and recipes, they’ll move in the right direction.

Do you hear that?  It’s the sound of a million people saying, “I don’t know where the hell to start, but I know I’ve got to start somewhere.”  Weight Watchers, other food diet trends, they are not the enemy.  The war I was proposing to wage was misdirected!  Indeed, anyone who reaches a point in their lives, and admits that they need to do something about regaining control of their health, their weight or their energy needs to go ahead and do just that.  And if “dieting” is in the “doing” credit must be given that at the very least they are on their way.  So instead of trying to beat them, I’m going to join them.  Do Weight Watchers.  But do so consciously and intentionally, with the goal of not just weight loss, but health gain.  Learn!  Learn what labels mean, and educate yourself on the benefits of the points you’re consuming.  Be friendly!  Surround yourself in any way possible with like-minded people who want to be healthy, fit and treat the earth well.

I just watched Forks Over Knives, and am hopeful that the number of viewers will continue to grow.  There is such great, and revolutionary work being done right now to help us all along this food journey.  To help those who have got their plan pretty much figured out, and to help those who are just getting started.  I’ll never love the idea of numbers and food co-existing.  Not in calories, not in points, not in pounds, and not in measurements–I never bake.  But I can respect that somehow people need to save their own lives, and Point A must be as unique for everyone as our eventual diets will be. 

So, before the war has even begun, I’m signing the peace treaty, for there is a much larger battle that we must all fight together. 



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Waging War Against Weight Watchers

Yup, I said it.  I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and ’tis the season to say something about it out loud before people dive in whole hog, only to get their feelings hurt when they don’t get the results they were looking for.  To be fair, it’s not just Weight Watchers.  It’s all the “hype diets”.  Although, before I get to the bigger picture, I do have a bone to pick with Weight Watchers in particular.

A colleague of mine is dead set on losing weight, and a lot of it.  He’s really committed to changing his appearance.  Again.  He really wants to do it!  Again.  So much so, that he’s back on the ole wagon.  Again.  And he’s using Weight Watchers to do it!  For at least the dozenth time in the two years we’ve worked together.  Oh, have I tried!  “…it’s a lifestyle change that you’ll have to commit to, not a fad diet…” and “…balance your diet, eat clean foods, and move your body around a few times a week, that’s all you have to do…”.  But after Jennifer Hudson’s endorsement of Weight Watchers, he’s more gun-ho than ever to stay the course.  That is, stay the course with his daily microwave egg/cheese breakfast sandwich on white english muffin, some variety of a microwave salt-lick for lunch, sugar rush of whatever’s at arm’s length at the mid afternoon crave time, and I shudder to think what dinner consists of.  In fact, during the crave times, I’ve offered some of my nuts, or muesli, or figs.  But he declines (siting “points” restrictions),  and eats the leftover double chocolate chip cookie from the lunch room, because he’ll “just add it to [his] points for the day, and still come in under what he’s allowed”.  Allowed.  Nice.  One day he was going to burger night at a local dive, noting: “I ate very few points all day, so I could have a cheeseburger and 2 beers tonight!”  Should I have congratulated him?  I should also note that during his on-again, off-again relationship with Weight Watchers, I’ve haven’t seen whole grain number one, nor have I seen any semblance of a leafy green, outside the iceberg ones covered in caesar dressing.  Now, I know I have higher expectations for veggie consumption than the average bear, but come on!  That just hurts my feelings.

If I can try and be academic for a moment, the Weight Watchers dilemma is clear.  It simply doesn’t train the mind nor the body to make good choices with food.  Instead, it surrenders to the learned societal need for the limitless amounts of salt, sugar, grease, alcohol, processed foods, etc.  Eat all of it you want!  Just stay inside of the “points” we’ve allowed you, and you will lose weight.  PS. No avocado or nuts (seriously.  Also hurts my feelings!).  Admittedly, people do lose weight with the program.  My colleague has, a dozen times.  He’s also gained the weight back, and then some an equal amount of times.  I can’t imagine he’s alone.  And to broaden my thoughts here, this indeed applies to most fad diets.  It’s been proven time and time again, the ONLY sustainable, and reliable method to weight loss is to pay attention to our bodies, eat whole foods, and commit to a lifestyle change, void of all the pitfalls that many fad diets allow, promote and sell.

I don’t know, I think the Weight Watchers of our world should have a little more faith in the ability for people to change and learn new things in terms of diets.  Otherwise, it’s kind of an endless cycle, right?  Big business marketing tells us what to eat.  So we eat it.  We become addicted to it.  We crave it.  We get fat.  So then the fad dieteers (die-et-ears) create diets which emulate our bad habits and reinforce the legitimacy of them.  We lose weight, and quit the fad diet, but the fad dieteers aren’t worried because they know we’ll be back.  So what to do?

I guess I just wish people would eat more colorfully, that’s all.  Any soldiers want to join me?


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