Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Curves and Weight Watchers, Part II - the long-awaited Weight Watchers update!

First of all, thanks to the cellarer for commenting on my last post - wow! someone other than me and my husband is reading my blog! I feel like a real blogger now! (hee hee!)

Second, this week's weigh-in - back to 201.6. I seem to have been gaining and losing the same pound for the past several weeks, but that's OK - sure beats the alternative of gaining multiple pounds over the same period of time, which I am pretty sure is what would be happening had I not changed my eating and exercise habits last April.

Which brings us (finally!) to - the Weight Watchers review!

The first thing to understand is that Weight Watchers, like Curves, is a commercial organization. That is, it exists primarily to make money. Which is just fine - as an American and a supporter of the free market system, I have no problem with that.

However, it's important to understand because, as with Curves, there are good things and bad things about it, and if you're paying money into a weight-loss organization, you should feel perfectly free - no matter how much pressure the nice ladies at the weigh-in desk put on you - to resist doing the things you don't feel comfortable about.

For example, there are all sorts of THINGS for sale at Weight Watchers. Not only food (mainly snacks - my favorites are the Cheddar Twists, 2 POINTS a bag!, and the Oatmeal, also 2 POINTS each), but also Gadgets Galore!

Special measuring spoons (because the ones you have at home aren't quite as shiny?), special walking kits (because putting on your grungie tennies and slogging around the block on your own doesn't really count unless you're wearing a Weight Watchers pedometer) - oh, and those Weight Watchers pedometers? I must confess I bought one, but the awkward thing is I couldn't see it out of the box till I paid for it, and once I saw it, I realized that I never would have bought it if I had seen it.

It's shaped like a miniature (but not really that miniature!) alarm clock and you're somehow supposed to wear it next to your hip while you're walking. Shurrrr - and I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, if you're interested!

And it's not cheap either - I can't remember the exact amount but it was over twenty bucks, I can tell you that! I did use it a couple of times but got tired of the bruise it left on my hip.

Now - enough complaining! I am one of those people you can always count on to find something wrong. But I'm also one of those incredibly annoying people who can always find something right (think "Pollyanna"). Anyway, the good things about Weight Watchers are (in no particular order):

1. Choice of plans - either "Flex" (where you eat anything you want as long as it adds up to the proper amount of "POINTS" each day - "POINTS" being a mathematical calculation involving calories, fat and fiber) or "Core" (where you can only eat foods on the approved list, but as many of them as you like, and they're all very healthy and good for you).

2. Almost endless variety of food you can incorporate into your plan. Even if you're "Core", you get 35 extra "POINTS" each week to use as you wish, so if you want to go out & share a bowl of Fettucine Alfredo with your sweetie on Saturday night, you can.

3. Emphasis on good nutrition and exercise. This is admirable, and not all of the big weight loss plans are as scrupulous about providing you with good information about the benefits of veggies, lean meats, etc., as well as encouraging you to GET UP OFF YOUR FAT BEHIND once in a while!

4. Weekly Meeting/Weigh-In - I think that's the most important and VITAL part of this whole Weight Watchers thing. I mean, sure, you can try to do it by yourself - maybe even join "Weight Watchers Online" - but the downside is that there's no one else around to applaud your successes and commiserate with your failures. And you definitely get that aspect when you go to the live, in-person meetings, and weigh in with an actual, physical, live person every week. It's my opinion that the weigh-ins keep you honest and make it easier to stay on the program.

For example, in my not-too-distant past, I would look forward to getting home after work and pigging out. (Melted cheese makes EVERYTHING taste better!) But now, the only day I let myself get *close* to pigging out is Saturday - AFTER my morning weigh-in! And even then I try to keep it within reason.

Because I keep thinking, "I have to weigh in again in less than 7 days - how will these deep-fried onion rings smothered in sharp Canadian cheddar affect me?" And since the answer is pretty obvious, I either do without the high-fat snack or make something similar but healthier (Hungry Girl is a big help in this sort of thing!).

So overall, in spite of any nitpicky little problems I might have with it, Weight Watchers (in harmony with Curves) has been working for me! And if you're savvy enough to do your own research and figure out what you can/can't live with, it could work for you too. Give it a shot! (Another nice thing about WW - you can pay month to month!)

No comments: