Defending Weight Watchers

Paul is so cute sometimes. Last night while I was working on my blog posts he came into the room to tell me that he saw someone on Twitter talking about how bad Weight Watchers was and he had to set them straight. How funny. Being around the program for so long, not as a participant but as my supporter, he really has learned the ins and outs of Weight Watchers. It was so cool to listen to him talk about what this person had written and how they were wrong and how he told them why. It’s nice to have him defending Weight Watchers.

This morning when I woke up my mind was racing with thoughts about our discussion the previous night. Why does Weight Watchers get such a bad rap? Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion regardless of whether or not I agree with them. The idea behind this post is not to ‘prove someone wrong’ but instead to show you my side, give you my opinion, and let you know why I think Weight Watchers is a great program.

When I started with Weight Watchers I weighed 280 pounds. WW provided me with the one thing I needed more than anything else- to learn moderation. By the time I joined WW I had already learned accountability (which WW strongly reinforces) so the next big step for me was portion control and moderation. With the point system, WW is set up so you track what you eat which in order to do so you need to measure and portion your food. By understanding portion sizes it helped me learn moderation. To this day I am still in awe as to what a true, single portion size looks like.

Weight Watchers is also a great program because it works with whatever you eat. There is no restriction as to what you can or can’t eat which allowed me to be adventurous with my food choices without ever feeling deprived. WW never tells you what you can’t eat however they do offer healthy guidelines to help you track water, fruits and veg, vitamins, dairy, healthy oils and exercise daily. Getting these in daily is not required and it does not impact your points on the program it’s just a really good (and healthy) suggestion. I check most of them (obviously no dairy for me) daily and it always makes me feel good knowing I am putting a lot of good things into my body.

The program encourages us to get active. Really the slogan for WW could be ‘eat less, move more’ but I guess that’s not very catchy. WW suggests that we get moving and to help us get motivated they feature at least one story in every weekly handout about a member that has incorporated movement into their daily life. There are also numerous fitness challenges posted online by WW members ranging from walking challenges to triathlon training and everything in between. I even started up a group for SA WW members and met during the summer to go on different walks/hikes. During meetings, especially the ones the past few months, we talked about what type of activity we were getting in, different ideas for trying new things, increasing our activity when we knew we would be indulging on holiday treats and a whole slew of other fitness related topics.

During meetings, as well as on the WW website, we also discuss recipes and trying out different food items. My leader, Sally, loves to talk about finding/substituting/adding in filling foods; foods that are high in protein and/or fiber. For example; using Greek yogurt in place or sour cream or taking pasta (whole wheat) and instead of just piling on plain spaghetti sauce add in some veggies and some lean protein for a more well-balanced and well-rounded meals. Since my meeting is during lunch Sally is always looking at what I am eating (which is vegan) and asks me for recipes. She loves adding legumes (which are packed with fiber) into recipes and when she sees my food she gets ideas for her own meals and how she can tweak them to fit her tastes. Experimenting with new foods and trying to find better, healthier ways to eat are key ideas in the program and are continually reinforced which really helps members progress throughout their journey.

Not only have I found support through meetings (we have a great leader and members here at work) but I have found so much support, much more than I ever imagined, through the WW website, FB WW groups, this blog, and on Twitter. I think half the people I follow on Twitter are WW members. This support team has been with me along this journey, encouraging me every step of the way and because of them I have been able to grow and change and lose and become healthier. Weight loss, especially from my starting point of needing to lose 50% of my weight, is not a journey you can take alone. I know this now. I rely on my friends to help keep me accountable but also to help me up when I fall. There have been so many times when it got really hard, when I felt like a failure, when I wanted to quit but at each hurdle I have had others there with me to help guide me through it. If nothing else, Weight Watchers works because it offers us that support, guidance, love and care we need to be successful.

For me Weight Watchers is not a fad (um, hello it’s been around since 1963 and I doubt it’s going to end anytime soon) and it’s not a diet (we eat whatever we want and we all eat different things so I don’t consider that a diet) but instead it is a tool to help me build a strong foundation of healthy living. WW is a tool that helped me learn portion control and moderation, it got me eating more fruits and vegetables (heck, WW led me to follow a vegan diet), it made me reevaluate my food choices and look for more nutritious and filling options and it has helped me to get moving and make fitness a big part of my life. WW has given me all of these things plus the best friends and mentors a girl could ask for. Now tell me, is Weight Watchers really that bad?

April, 2011- just a couple weeks after joining Weight Watchers

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December 31, 2011 – a little over nine months on Weight Watchers

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I BELIEVE- because it works!

Thanks for reading!

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January 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Weight Loss, Weight Watchers.

18 Comments

  1. Terri ONeill-Martin (@terrio007) replied:

    Way to go D! Good for you in finding what works for you. Don’t worry about the numbnucks who knock WW. There will always be haters. Just keep on rocking!
    I think there are a variety of reasons why people knock WW, Jenny Craig, and any other program as such. Just to rattle off a few…one you have to pay to participate. Everyone wants something for free. But I have learned that even losing weight costs something whether it is time, money, effort and even all of those things. Also, sometimes don’t these programs also “encourage” you to buy their food products as well? I mean how different is it in paying to join WW than paying to join a gym?
    Another one is that it is frequently endorsed by celebrities who have the time, money, and extra resources to help them lose the weight. It seems to come across as a little jab to some people like na na na boo boo, I can do it because I got all these resources and I get paid to do it too.
    And one last reason, I think people just like to find a reason to knock on effective programs that do work because they are so unhappy with their current means of losing weight but aren’t willing to take that leap to one that does work because they have been knocking it for so long. That would make them a hypocrite and can’t have anyone knowing that right??

    • Dacia replied:

      You are exactly right! I would love WW even more if it was free 😉 I have always agreed that they should have more regular people as spokespeople because of the whole celebrities have money, time, etc but I see why they choose to keep them. I love that WW does use some real people and that I know some of them and I can talk to them. That is so cool to see real success stories.

      I know people will always hate it and I also know even people on WW might hate it too. It’s like anything else; you get back what you put in. I take it seriously and take full advantage of the program and get good results. if you half-ass it then you get half-ass results. That’s it.

  2. jamesandjax replied:

    My mom, who goes to Weight Watchers meetings & follows their plan, has told me several times now that she thinks you’d make a great Weight Watchers leader, and I have to agree despite never having attended a meeting before. I’m reading a book right now called “Why Women Need Fat,” which touches on why dieting doesn’t work and in fact makes women fatter than when they started the diet. I appreciate that WW teaches a lifestyle change and is not a diet.

    Way to go, Paul, for defending WW! And bravo, Dacia, for this post! I hope WW somehow learns about it and contacts you! 🙂

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you and your mother for thinking I would make a great leader! That’s a very big compliment and something I hope to do one day. Thank you for your constant support. I am so lucky to have you as a friend. Big huge thanks for helping me get to where I am today. You started this and I am forever grateful! ❤

  3. jamesandjax replied:

    P.S. Damn you look fabulous! Really! So proud of all you’ve accomplished!! (Are you tired of hearing me say that yet?)

    • Dacia replied:

      Never! Lol! I love hearing that! That is one thing I have had to learn is how to take a compliment and not feel bad for feeling good about how I look. I feel great, I feel healthy, and I think that shows. Heck, I had climbed halfway up enchanted rock and stopped to take that pic. I was feeling pretty badass at the time. Glad it shows.

  4. Simply Sidney replied:

    Have to mention the photos first, b/c you look fab girl!!!!
    I know WW is not that expensive, but this has been a bad year for us on the $ front and that is the ONLY reason I have not joined up. I have benefitted from WW though (through my friends, like you) and I recommend it to anyone who wants to lose weight.
    If you ask me diets are fads and the only plan that I want to follow is something I can do for the rest of my life and that is what WW teaches you
    more big hugs to Paul, what a guy!!

    • Dacia replied:

      Yay! Paul! He’s so awesome.

      WW is great and it is also expensive. Especially when you are just getting ‘advice’ and guidance. However, some people (me) needed that in order to get headed in the right direction. I love being a WW member but I don’t think you need to be in order to become healthy. I know you don’t. You are living proof of that. For me, it is what I needed to help fix what got me to 286lbs. And for that I am grateful!

  5. towardshealthylife replied:

    I am not using WW ,I am just counting calories and I like it because I get to pick what I want to eat and there is no restrictions either. I don’t know much about WW but I think if it offer support and ways to stick to your losing weight plans it’s great! Way to go, you look amazing on the photo!

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you! I think whatever you do, WW, count calories, anything really, as long as you are not depriving yourself, making healthful choices and trying to do whats best for your body then you will be successful. For me, WW has helped me get to where I am today but I know it isn’t the only path I could have taken to get here. I’m a glad I did though 🙂

  6. Krystle (@THINspired) replied:

    I could not possible agree more girlfriend!! What is there to argue about?? I’d love to see that convo between your hubby and the doubters lol You look absolutely incredible and I am so glad that I’m one of your friends on this journey. The thing that you said that is more true than anything is that you can’t go at this journey alone and YOU are NOT alone!! Keep doing your thing mama!!

    Krystle

    • Dacia replied:

      Thanks Krystle!!! I figured you would feel the same way 🙂 I am so lucky to have such an amazing group of WW friends supporting me through this journey. It’s been amazing so far and I expect it can only get better. Thank you again for being awesome!!!

  7. Kenlie (@ALLTHEWEIGH) replied:

    I absolutely love this post! I owe Weight Watchers so much, and I can never express the wat they helped me change my life when I walked into my first meeting in 2009.

    • Dacia replied:

      Thanks Kenlie! People say that I should take more credit for my success but I know I must give credit where credit’s due. WW has helped me so much, it’s so hard to explain, but I know you understand. They gave me my life back!

  8. NewVeronica2011 (@NewVeronica2011) replied:

    Great post Dacia. You look amazing and your progress is remarkable. I couldn’t agree more about Weight Watchers. I have tried almost everything to lose weight, my entire life, and have never been successful, until Weight Watchers. I have a long way to go, but I love everything about the WW plan, the accountablity of weighing in at the meetings, the tracking and journaling, etc. Not to mention that it is a completely livable plan, like you said. I don’t have to live without my favorite foods, I just have to learn to have portion control. Thank you for sharing your story and being an inspiration to me and so many people.

  9. Shrinking Me replied:

    Great post Dacia!! It’s completely true. I find most people who dislike or speak badly about WW don’t actually know what the program is about or how it works. Like you I need help with moderation and portion sizes and WW helps me with that.

    Congrats on your progress! Amazing 🙂 Here’s to a great 2012.

  10. Steph...In Motion replied:

    So cute that your husband’s all pro-WW. I find myself talking to people about it quite a bit. I really need to dial it back so I don’t sound like a paid spokesperson…but, It works! As your pictures CLEARLY indicate! Fantastic work, Dacia!!

  11. yerttle replied:

    The Incredible Shrinking Woman!!! So ABSOLUTELY crazy proud of you. WootWootWoot!!

    What I’ve discovered is that WW becomes a lifestyle. I don’t think of foods as being “fattening”; when I look at food now, there’s a little number sort of ghosted over the top of it. These little numbers help me to make choices all day that are good for me (or at least better for me). Activities are the same. I find myself parking at the end of the lot, taking the stairs, and doing a quick set of push ups in between chores throughout the day. WW has demonstrated to me that I am not a mindless eating blob: I have control, judgement, and strength. …also, have 20 pounds less than when I started. 🙂

    I’m so proud to know you. I will forever be grateful for your guidance and encouragement. 🙂

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