Thursday, March 20, 2008

to kiss off or not to kiss off

i've been thinking about breaking up with weight watchers lately... mostly because i found that sparkpeople.com offers the same thing... for free...

a couple of posts ago, i wrote about how distraught i was with my slow weight loss pace. i made light of my loss and wrote it off as not being a REAL, serious weight reduction, but the normal weight fluctuation that every body experiences. how could i be so cruel to myself? self, i'm so sorry to deny you all of your efforts and hard work. as you well know, i can be... a little testy... sometimes...

so imagine my delighted surprise when i discovered a feature on w.w. online that i haven't previously played around with - the weight tracker graph. my interaction with weight watchers online is extremely limited. i log my food, my exercise and my weight. that's it. i don't dig around in the recipes, i don't care what the w.w. bloggers have to say. i don't tool around in the other features of the site. i don't feel any connection to the company or to the community - i just want a place to log my food, a place to be accountable for every single thing i eat - and this online offering seems to be palatable enough for me to keep up with.

i happened to come upon this additional feature when i was logging in my weekly weight . i noticed an option to view my weight loss in a graph... what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a distinct downward trending line signifying less rear!! from my start weight to my current weight, it was undeniable... this here was scientific proof that my loss is real. it's taken a goddamn long ass time to get 8 pounds down, but it's a real loss!


after such a lovely revelation, maybe i should rethink the idea of giving weight watchers the old heave ho... maybe i'll stick with it a little longer... after all, it's cheap ($17/mo), it's non-intrusive, it allows me to keep my pace, i'm familiar with it... and yet, after joining sparkpeople.com, i realized that they offer all of the things i liked about w.w... but in a slightly different presentation. sparkpeeps suggest a daily calorie plan, not the hokey "points" artifice invented by some corporate shill in the corner office at w.w. i found that after a couple of days logging my food at spark, looking at caloric intake makes the weight loss process a little more 'real' in my mind. tracking my activity throughout the week by minutes worked out or miles moved is way more satisfying than knowing i worked towards 2 or 3 lame ass points.


so why do i stay with w.w.? nothing about weight watchers makes me feel warm and fuzzy. the company feels canned, pandering, a tiny bit... malevolent. i have no real facts to base this bias on other than my limited experience with them a few years ago. they're pretty harmless. the online option is a great way to forgo the bullshit that i imagine i would encounter at the meetings. and yet, i truly dislike weight watchers. the company is like that off-putting chemical-tinged aftertaste that comes from one of their low points novelty ice creams... there's something that's just a bit... off... about weight watchers. (slightly off topic, but is it just me or is it totally humiliating to purchase their packaged food? i hate that all of their products are smothered in large point, large font branding that screams THIS IS A WEIGHT WATCHERS ITEM. which is really code for THIS IS A FATTY BUYING FAKE JUNK FOOD BECAUSE FATTY IS WATCHING HER WEIGHT.)


i don't know. maybe i'll leave 'em in the dust. maybe i won't. i must admit that for all my attitude towards them, they have brought me further in my weight loss journey than any other diet or plan before... they keep me accountable. they show me how much progress i've made in nifty little charts. they offer a variety of low point delectables that, although probably full of plastic and carcinogens, satisfy sugar cravings (if you eat like 30 of them:).


hmmm... after rereading that last paragraph i realize that i give w.w. too much credit...
they haven't brought me this far, they don't keep me accountable... I've been doing all the work here... weight watchers online has merely been the vehicle to help me get to where i am.

perhaps it is time to trade in that old vehicle for a new one... so long as i stay on the road to weight loss and a healthy relationship with food. i think i'm ready to take my training wheels off, to quit disguising my calories as 'points'. i think i'm ready for change.

7 comments:

Heather said...

you are right...it is all you! I think you just need to find what works for you and run with it. WW may be right, or maybe not. but thers no harm in seeing if sparkpeople works better or what. I think once you find that right thing, you will see even better results than you could have imagined. but dont be afraid to stick wtih something just because it worked.

Sandra said...
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Lasserday said...

i was just about to comment that it is YOU that has made all the progress etc, until i read on. i have a tendency to do that, jump up all excited and then realize i haven't finished reading something! my thoughts exactly! way to catch yourself giving away all that hard work and i am so glad for you to have seen the chart, there is nothing quite as fulfilling as a chart (maybe you can see why i got into science)! anyway, congrats again, i am so glad you are taking care of yourself, not only by eating well and exercising but by claiming all the work you have done to nurture yourself. :)

BikiniMe said...

Now, personally, I loved the Points system. However, I did find myself a bit miffed that the max fiber grams counted towards any food was four -- FOUR! I'm a bean eater. Do you know how many grams of fiber are in beans? Some beans have 9 grams of fiber per cup -- how can that be ignored?

When I actually joined WW (instead of just riding piggy-back on my sister's membership), I asked about the limit on fiber grams, citing beans as my example, and was told, "That's just the way it is." What? That's not fair.

Anyway, I think WW did me a lot of good as far as teaching me to measure portions. But, I hated listening to the other members recount how they had found 1 Point bread and ice cream -- wtf? The idea is not to eat ice cream every day, the idea is to eat ice cream in moderation. And besides, just what is in that 1 Point "ice cream" anyway -- normal ice cream is 4 Points.

But I digress, as I always do. :)

When it's time to move on from your chosen plan, then it's time to move on. Sounds to me like you've learned what you needed to learn and are ready to do something different -- from Dieting 101 to Dieting 235. *grin*

Lillian said...
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FAT BRIDESMAID said...

I think WW is what you make of it. Meetings didn't appeal to me at all because, despite blogging about my weight and eating habits, I have a hard time talking about it face-to-face. I do the online tools to track my points, exercise and weight, and occasionally look at some of the forums and recipes. I like the structure of points, but I don't think it's the end all be all. I say find a program - any program - that works for you and makes you feel like you're making progress and do that.

Good luck!

justoofat said...

Of all the weight loss programs out there, I have the most respect for WW because it strikes me as being the least artificial. That is to say, the least based on gimmicky bits of slight of hand that magically take off weight in the short term, but that have no long term impact on one's ability to a) keep off weight or b) live in a healthful way. That said, I think you have to ask yourself, is WW something that I am willing and able to do for the rest of my life? Because, sadly, the changes you make to your life now -- the ones that promote a healthy weight and lifestyle -- have to be permanent, or why bother? It's that reality that made me decide that WW wasn't for me. I can't commit to meetings, online subscriptions and/or counting "points" for the rest of my life. Some people can. For some people, WW *can* be a lifetime commitment. The key is finding what works for you, not just for the short term, but forever.

j