I am a Weight Watchers refugee. I think WW was the first official commercial diet that I went on. I was in my early 20s, and graduate school was not kind to my behind.
“Enough is enough!”, I exclaimed one day, and signed up for Weight Watchers Online. It was time to take a more serious aim at my target weight.
I would start on Monday. I decided to celebrate with a large pizza all to myself.
The Weight Watchers was founded in Brooklyn in 1963, and has since expanded to over 30 countries around the world. Their programs claim “to use a science-driven approach to help participants lose weight by forming helpful habits, eating smarter, getting more exercise and providing support”.
Weight Watchers has been losing ground in the past couple of years, as free diet tracking and fitness related apps such as MyFitnessPal lure away the potential customers. One marketing attempt as of late is this commercial – a little bit funny, a little bit offensive, and a whole lot of sad and true.
Help with the hard part.
Now, mind you, my Weight Watchers experience is few years old, but I do not have any recollection of forming helpful habits and eating smarter. Or getting help with the hard part. What I do remember is that I was given a number of points not to exceed in a day. That was it.
I think I was allowed (picking up on the choice of language here?) 20 points a day.
Yes, many fruits and vegetables fare better in terms of points than many processed foods, however, the focus is hardly on the quality of food. In fact, whole foods tend to be lost in a shuffle of points extravaganza.
I remember eating a lot of Asian pears (zero points!), fat free jell-o (zero points!) and granola bars (one point for the smallish ones). And don’t forget those Weight Watchers dessert boxes – muffin tops! cookies! #notfood!
And, you could EARN extra points via physical activity! Take a spinning class, then have brownies for dinner. Now, that’s a whole new SPIN on BROWNIE POINTS!
[I crack myself up. It’s awesome.]
Oh, there were also the forums. Check any fitness/diet related Facebook group with female-only membership, and you will have a good idea of content – some support, some high-fives, some politics and plenty of bitching and cat fights.
Today when I hear Weight Watchers, I can’t help but think…
Your weight is an incredibly boring thing to watch.
It goes up. It goes down. It’s right up there with watching the paint dry and waiting for the kettle to boil (why? WHY does it take so long when you watch it?).
You drink. It goes up.
You poop. It goes down.
Your period is around the corner. It goes up.
Your period ends. It goes down.
You have dinner at your parents’ house. It goes up.
You do hot yoga. It goes down.
You get the idea.
Compare this with watching a sunset (naked. Always better naked).
Watching birds (poop on pedestrians).
Watching a toddler walk (into a wall. Shut up, I WAS that toddler, so now I get to laugh at others).
Watching people (hopefully, not in a creepy kind of way).
Watching this kid clean and jerk (hopefully, not in a creepy kind of way).
Watching Italian cook (naked. Always better naked).
Busy watching other things,
Are you a Weight Watchers refugee? What was your experience like?