Dear Weight Watchers, It’s not you, it’s me.
I used to love blaming my excess weight on my children. Wearing shorts would require an apologetic “I just had a baby” while swimsuits hurled me into an in-depth confession of “I have four toddlers, so there’s no time to work out.” Truth was, my weight problems began long before any of my children were born and while I tried every gimmicky diet under the sun I simply could not lose weight; or so I thought. In 2014, my formerly overweight now CrossFit aficionado sister, encouraged me to join Weight Watchers. She had credited her initial success to Weight Watchers and encouraged me to do the same.
I won’t go into detail about the specifics of the plan but I will say that the system made sense to me from day one. I loved my meetings, my leaders were fabulous and while my 8:00 Friday meeting time attracted the over 60 crowd I wouldn’t have had it any other way as their insight and great sense of humor made feel at home. Now, in hindsight perhaps it was “my time” I think that most diets with any science backed premise are bound to make you lose at least a little, but the slow and steady weight loss that’s designed to last a lifetime requires a complete lifestyle change. Hence plans like Weight Watchers where they approach the issue from many angles. Was I successful? Absolutely, by the end of 2015 I was over 50 pounds lighter, I was working out 5-6 days a week, my diet was healthy and clean, worthy of Pinterest fame and I had a phenomenal support system that included not only my leader and my fellow weight watchers but a personal coach and even social media encouragement via WW Connect. It was a fool proof plan and it absolutely worked for me so…I quit the program.
You see after resting on my laurels for a bit I got comfortable. I knew the plan front and back and could oftentimes accurately determine point values using my Weight Watcher knowledge. It was the same thing over and over again and while the beauty of the plan allows enough flexibility for all kinds of splurges (within reason) I began to splurge a little more each week. The months of my daily point value looming over me and keeping me accountable now seemed cumbersome. What began as an appreciation for the knowledge and insight about food choices now became something I resented. I knew immediately when that menu fell on my lap that the Shrimp Garden Pasta was a calorie bomb and I should order the 6oz. Sirloin with Broccoli and mashed potatoes instead. I didn’t want to know that. I missed the freedom that came from ignorance and hedonist eating; instead of having a light breakfast and lunch so I can enjoy homemade Chicken Parmesan at dinner as is reasonable I wanted that PLUS Chicken Fred Steak for breakfast. I wanted it all and I didn’t want any accountability.
Can you guess what happened? I started to gain. A couple pounds, then five, then ten. I was like a rebellious teenager, given everything to me by my loving, caring WW “parents” only to throw it all away for a little full-fat cream cheese fun. I kept re-starting the plan but could never catch that wave of motivation and optimism that I had when I first started. Despite their best efforts, even my Weight Watcher family could not bring me back from the edge; so after 40 pounds gained I decided to no longer go through the motions for sentiments sake and I quit the program. I won’t lie it was a little emotional, it had been such an essential part of my daily life and Weight Watchers had been so good to me maybe that’s why I left when I did.
I could easily take my story, replace the name Weight Watchers and insert a random name and you’d think you were reading about a lost love; the one that was so good to me and yet I let them go to pursue foolish pleasures. Well, it’s kind of like that sometimes; despite their best intentions you cannot make someone do what they don’t want to. So, I’m currently working on my “before” picture and enjoying fat drizzled carbs at every meal. I’m playing the field, of course, trying a new weight loss program that I hope will help, best case it makes me happy, worse case it reminds me of what I lost and I go back home where I belong.
To learn more click here: https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/