I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers since April 22, 2008 — over five years now. During that time, I’ve lost a bunch, re-gained some, re-lost some, had a baby, re-gained after the initial baby-weight loss, then re-lost some. Through all that, through being on-plan and sort-of-on-plan and way-off-plan, the only time I really left the meetings was while I was pregnant — and even then, I still weighed in on my own to keep myself in check.
I attend At-Work meetings, held every Tuesday during lunch. They’re super convenient, especially now that the Yoga Basics class is on Thursdays instead of competing with my meeting. (OK, for several months, I did skip meetings in favor of yoga — but only rarely would I skip a weigh-in!) They’re even more convenient since At-Work meetings have moved from a 17-week renewal schedule to a Monthly Pass setup with automatic payroll deduction.
The only downside seems to be that people who drift away from the meetings don’t have that kick in the pants to come back and renew their membership every few months. Ten bucks bi-weekly isn’t missed much, plus — “Hey, I’m going to go back eventually! Just not this week. And I have vacation next week. And I need to recover after vacation. So, eventually, I’ll get back to WW, so I won’t cancel…”
Our At-Work meetings are in grave danger of disappearing entirely because of lack of attendance. The director of the Fitness Center, the person responsible for our At-Work meetings (but not the leader), sent us all an email asking what she could do to boost attendance. I offered my two cents about how I’d switch things up and make things more engaging, then went to my weekly meeting as usual.
The email had brought at least a few people out of the woodwork. We had much higher attendance today than usual, but nowhere near old-school proportions. The good news for me was that some of my old buddies from the meetings had returned! One had been Lifetime, and one had been my plateau buddy for the longest time.
Unfortunately, in the months they’d been away from meetings, both had slipped off-plan and now have to get back on track. One told me how much she doesn’t like the “new” plan (which was introduced in late 2010). It’s a complaint I’ve heard from multiple people, both from my meeting and online — most notably, Roni Noone of Roni’s Weigh.
The difference between Roni and my meeting buddies is that Roni found her own way to stay “on-plan” her way. That’s not a slam on my friends or anyone who has ever gained weight after deciding that a diet plan didn’t work for them. It’s just an observation. Roni decided that she had learned enough during her years on WW that she could synthesize it into her own ideas of healthy eating and fitness without PointsPlus (or WeightWatchers 360, as it’s officially called now). She’s since moved on enough that she just knows when she’s gone off the deep end, and she forgives herself and jumps back in. And she’s at her goal weight (for all that the number matters to her).
I hover around the same weight when I’m not actively trying to lose. When I get up to a certain number, I take notice — and over time, that “oh shit” number has gone down, which is a good thing. Still, though, It really sucked to see my long-lost buddies at the meeting and be pretty much the same weight as when I last saw them, months ago.
“Have you been coming?”
“How’ve you been doing?”
My hand described a flat line, and I shrugged.
No more. One year, in my annual Year In Review, I calculated that I spent (“essentially wiped my ass with”) $64.75 in Weight Watchers fees for every pound I had gained that year. This year, I’m coming out even so far, as weight goes. I’m weighing about what I weighed in January. But I still have a few months to go.
If I’m going to do Weight Watchers, pay for it, go to meetings, then I’m going to do it up right. If I’m not, then I’m going to find something else that works for me — but not until I give this program my all. I can’t half-ass this weight-loss thing anymore.
I can’t quit until… well, I just can’t quit. Period.