Friday, July 22, 2011

WHY I hate Weight Watchers

I am on Weight Watchers.

I hate it.

Everyone knows I am on Weight Watchers and everyone knows I hate it.

Everyone also thinks that I should just shut my big mouth and quit whining about it, even though everyone is too nice to actually say that to me.

I need to explain WHY I hate Weight Watchers.

I hate WW because it is SO gimmicky. Points.  Power Foods.  Stickers, charms, ribbons.  Lifetime memberships.  GAG. 

Also, they treat everyone the same. My cousin recently lost 20 lbs in 3 months with WW.  His wife lost 40 lbs in 13 months using another system.  Know why he lost so much so fast?   Because he is a man & they metabolize fat differently. 

They do. 

I get that there are lots of men who need to lose weight and WW might be a place where they can lose it.  But do you know how much it sucks to be next to a guy who dropped 20 lbs in 3 months when it took me 6 months to do it?  The way WW works, they don't really distinguish between men & women.  Men get lots of "oh wows" and women get "keep trying!".

In addition, there is a HUGE difference between someone like me -- who has been fat my whole life and has been over 100 lbs overweight -- and someone who gained 30 lbs after she hit 30.  We both need to lose weight, but I have a different health history, a different emotional experience, a different everything. WW does not recognize those differences. 

Can I tell you how much it annoys me to hear "What worked for me was keeping my fruit cut up in the fridge."  I am happy to hear that the little fruit trick works for you.  But I did not gain 100 lbs because my fucking fruit wasn't cut up.

WW is all about sitting thru stupid meetings to "learn" about how to eat (puhleeze) and then clapping for every lb lost as if it were an achievement.

Weight loss is not an achievement.

It is a metabolic result.

I bet if you polled every fat person you see, each of them would tell you they tried weight watchers at least once. So why are they still fat?

Because WW is not a long term solution.  It only works as long as you work it.  It is not sustainable.  I've said it before, but I have a real problem with a health care system that treats obesity as a character or vanity issue. 

Weight loss is not covered by insurance unless you get a major organ removed.  The US health insurance industry has left treatment of a major health crisis to a group of for-profit companies that are in the business of selling frozen foods, calorie calculators, water bottles and other paraphernalia.

I have been to weight watchers off & on for 40 years. I went to my first WW meeting when I was 5. They made me eat liver, and my mom had to make a different ketchup that I was supposed to eat. It tasted terrible.   My mom felt bad that I had to eat liver & no one else did, so she made everyone eat what I was supposed to eat. 

Mom tried to disguise the disgusting organ meat, so she chopped it in little pieces and mixed it in with spaghetti.  We all cried. 

Then my dad yelled at her for forcing his kids to eat liver.

All because my mom was looking out for me, and trying to get me to do what WW said was right.

I love you mom.

I hate you Weight Watchers.

I was most successful on WW before I got married.  I lost about 30 lbs and went from a size 16 to a size 12.  (Of course, my wedding dress was a size 20 but that's another blog.) 

We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. I gained 5lbs. When I got back to WW, the meeting leader made me feel as if I had slept with her husband.

I haven't had much success with WW since then -- partly because they moved to this "points" bullshit.  I've joined and quit about 4 or 5 times since I got married.  So why am I back?

Because I know that WW is as effective as anything else out there, and it's pretty affordable. I am cussing my way through it, but I am going to go thru it. Goddamit.

I hope to have success.  I just won't give WW the satisfaction of thinking THEY had anything to do with it.

Because they didn't.


  1. OMG, I am cracking up over here! You are so hilarious. And, it's all funny cuz it's TRUE!!

    "But I did not gain 100 lbs because my fucking fruit wasn't cut up."

    Favorite line of the whole post!

  2. Sweetheart - you are a success right now! I hope you have continued success listening to your body & feeding each type of hunger with exactly what's necessary, but don't forget that you are already who you need to be - right NOW.

  3. I have been on the diet roller coaster most of my adult life. I completely agree with you that it and most diets are too "one size fits all." When I first joined Weight Watchers, they made us eat tuna fish (packed in water not oil) a minimum of five times per week. I hate tuna fish to this day.

    I was fortunate enough to have an insurance policy that covered weight loss surgery and I made the very scary decision to have gastric bypass. But even that doesn't just automatically make you thin. I'm still 50 pounds over my goal weight. But I'm 100 pounds less than I was.

    You are doing all the right stuff with you exercise and WW. If you're like me, it's sustaining that for a long time that's the problem. I wish I had some profound advice for you, but I don't. Just keep after it.

  4. Hah! ChiTown Girl beat me to it! But I did not gain 100 lbs because my fucking fruit wasn't cut up. LOVE.

    I hated WW with a passion, mostly because of my leader, who was completely annoying and had a lock on every WW meeting for 20 miles around, which made her impossible to avoid. I also hated the hard sell at the meetings. And the products are so expensive!

    WW on-line was better, except it ran sooooo sloooooowly on my laptop.

    I'm just finishing the first week of Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. It's the only diet that has really worked for me. Yeah, I gained the weight back, but that's what happens when you keep getting into the Cheetos you supposedly bought for the kids' lunch boxes. Phase one is amazing; I get tons of energy and have zero cravings. And the weight drops off really fast. Unfortunately, with Phase 2, you move into the part of the diet where you have to make decisions, which is more challenging. But it's still the best diet I know.

    I'm also using the Lance Armstrong Foundation's LiveStrong MyPlate on line app to track my food. South Beach doesn't ask you to track calories, but by using this, I'm getting a snapshot of how many calories I'm getting, as well as how much protein, fiber, etc. It's fabulous and FREE.

    Good luck! Go forth and kick big WW butt!

  5. I just wrote you three- count 'em, three-- comments on how much I adore having your voice in the blogosphere. I deleted every single one because they sounded like a Hallmark card. Just know that I appreciate you as a writer, thoroughly and sincerely, and I learn a lot from you, writing-wise. Maybe some day with more wine I'll be able to write another non-cheesy comment. Until then, I adore you.

  6. dad says that he remembers the liver.we all think it's funny and encourage you not to undercook your organs and get food poisoning.
    love, kate tom lucy zimmerman

  7. I love this. I have a love/hate relationship with WW but I always find my way back to it

  8. Ah! The toned abs that one gets to see at a gym can make a big hole in the heart >:<

    I prefer walking to gymming, but if the trainer is good gymming can be fun. I really liked kickboxing classes, but left because the trainer had this attitude :| Alright, he is a muscle man but I am a petite and I need my time to warm up...sigh.

  9. I can totally understand your frustration. At the end of the day, Weight Watchers is a farce! It is simply glorified calorie counting. Nothing less, nothing more, although they would like you to believe otherwise. What bothers me the most about them is that they do not take into consideration that all calories are not equal, and that everyone's metabolic system is different. That is why some people can lose 20lbs in 3 months eating 26 pts a day, whereas others would barely lose at all. Weight loss is a thermogenic/hormonal thing. Not a calorie thing! As a former WW customer who has lost and maintained over 50lbs, my advice for you would be to go to mark's daily and free your mind. He's changed my life! Much success to you in the future! ------ Corey Carter, Huntsville, Alabama

  10. "But I did not gain 100 lbs because my fucking fruit wasn't cut up." This cracked me up. I've been on/off WW since 2008 and at most only needed to lose 50 pounds. Currently I only need to lose 15. And I fucking hate it. This Points Plus thing they have going on? THE. WORST. I feel guilty eating a 3 point portion of pretzels. I agree with their principles (make better food choices, exercise and lose weight) because they fundamentally make sense, but tracking. Dear Jesus I hate it!

  11. You have an amazing sense of humour, and some very valid points. I was about to go to the Weight Watchers right across the street, but you definitely put me off. I was 120 lbs, 5'4 for most of my life, but on my meds I exploded. You are correct in that everyone's weight loss is completely different.

  12. You have an amazing sense of humor, and your observations about the differences in people's health histories is spot on. Whatever your weight, you have an amazing personality and are probably an absolute scream to hang out with. It sounds like you shouldn't give the company anymore of your business frankly. I know you say it works, but after going all those times, the problem is the company, not you. I think it might be time to try something new. It isn't a lack of discipline on your part, they train people to blame themselves for weight loss failures. The company sucks. The people suck. I was going across the street for a looksie at my friendly neighbourhood WW and I was put off by the eerily cheerful nature of the staff, and the cardboard food. I know a person recommended Paleo, I recommend it too. It makes sense to eat the way we've eaten the way nature intended. I'd highly recommend checking out the documentary "Fat Head", it's available on Netflix, but you may be able to find it free. This may also not work for you, but don't give up. Any diet and any exercise plan can work, as long as it works for YOU. And WW seems to be sapping your soul and doing the opposite. No one should be ashamed to be fat, no one. We are all people with feelings and souls. I hope everything works out for you love, and keep fighting the good fight. Sending good thoughts your way.

    1. Well said. WW sapped my soul, too. Last time I went, another lady and I left before all the accolades were to be given out, and we were loudly and firmly berated by the leader. Never went back. Just heard that Oprah bought 20% of WW - for millions. I absolutely hate WW.

  13. I hate weight watchers also. I do understand it is a business and their business is repeat customers. If everyone who went lost weight and kept it off that would be great but in real life they plan on you coming back. You think I lost 35 lbs before but I got tired of counting points and gained back 45 so I'll go back. 4 years ago at the age of 67 I got tired of myself and went back to ww. This time all I did was use their scale. No meetings no points or points plus. I lost 85 lbs because I believe at my age I KNOW what to do and how to eat. The problem is doing it. And I walked. And I walked. I hit goal 3 1/2 years ago and I will never give them another penny. I sttill weigh in every week. Now let me tell you what they have said to me. Can I have my charm for doing a 5k They tell you even if it takes you 2 hours we will clap. Get real. I got my charm for doing a marathon. I listen to them say its hard when your older no it is not . When I weigh in on a Tuesday I am told if I lose 2 more pounds I will need a dr. note because I am 27 lbs under goal. Or change my goal so if I gain 5 lbs I can pay again. No Thank you. When I went wednesday a different lady told me I gained .2 lbs (she whispered it) she suggested I try a little exercise to nip it in the bud. Lady you don't know me and by the way I am doing a triathalon in July so what should I do they have pat answers and just when you think you got it they cahnge from points to points plus oh can you buy all new stuff. Ladies you are adults (I hope) Just use their scale and ignore them. They are a business and if you lose and gain you will keep coming back. And remember it is not always about weight but more so about health. I work out with many people who if they stood on a scale at ww they would be fat but their heart is strong and all their numbers are good so it is not only about weight but rather health.

    1. Oh, yes - like you, I finally learned Points - finally - and then they change to Points Plus and tell you how wonderful it's going to be. NOT SO! Their money-grubbing is disgusting.

  14. This post came up first when I googled, "I hate Weight Watchers," even though it is a year old. That has to be some kind of major honor.

    I can see why. The bit about the fruit had me in tears. Becuase really, if healthy food is conveniently pre-portioned in the fridge, I'll never eat junk! And also here is a unicorn shitting a rainbow! Am I a Success Story yet?

  15. Thank you & pass me an oatmeal cookie! I am 6 ft tall, 49 years old, large frame. Female. Its my 2nd week on WW. Weigh in is tonight. I'm not a quitter so I've been waiting all week to speak with my leader, hoping that with some tweeking this may work for me. I'm exhausted, weak, foggy in the brain, severe headache all morning and i'm not retaining things well since joining. Where is the plus in points plus? Starvation ? Or the see if one can cross the street in lower manhattan before the streetlight changes without passing out game? i need at least 10 extra daily pp. If thats not doable then forget it. I can't remember when i've felt so bad. And the meeting place snackshop and supermarket freezer products. Has anyone checked the ingredient list on those items? Thats probably why i have a headache, my body is trying to decipher what the heck the ingredients are, where they should go and how to digest them. Gotta pack up my desk and make my way... All hail the scale !

  16. I don't love being on Weight Watchers either but bottom line is that it works. Even if you hate the hype and the "this is how easy it was and I did it!" is a mathmatical matter of calories in vs. out and it works. Which is why I'm back to it. Again. Just like you.

  17. I don't know if you're still blogging but I've been wracking my brain recently about whether or not to rejoin WW for the 8th..9th..hell, I don't remember..time, and I love what you said about cussing your way through. So crap it, I'm gonna rejoin and lose this damn 130 pounds but using what I like about WW. I'm not sitting through those stupid meetings, and I'll find ways to hook up with others like me. Thanks. I remember that ketchup and the liver...ick.

  18. You are stupid. Honestly weight watchers teaches you how to eat better and teaches you how to portion size. They also encourage you and make you accountable for your own actions. Don't blame or bash a program because your fat ass can't stop eating. If you don't like it don't use the program simple as that. Fucking idiots blame others for being fat. No your day because you can't stop shoving your pie hole. Don't blame people for your problems. You didn't one day wake up fat. You just finally realized your unhappy with yourslef.

    1. Exactly my thoughts thank you !!!!! It is a great program and it most def does work if you do it properly and after you loose all the weight you are a lifetime memeber which is free ti continue the program!!

  19. Weight (too much, too little, or whatever) does indeed have a metabolism aspect.

    There is also a myriad of other contributing factors as well. Mine include having been routinely beaten up and abused in every other way a little girl can be abused, low (make that no) self-confidence, depression, seasonal affective disorder, DESPISING veg and fruit, etc etc.

    YOU have an anger issue. That is not a judgement, merely a fact.

    I suggest that until you discover why you are so angry at yourself, neither the
    Food Guide, dieticians, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Jenny Craig, nor anything else will 'solve' your weight issues.

    (and YES - Weight Watchers IS sustainable. It is ABSOLUTLEY sustainable. You Americans continue to think that *BING!* do one thing and you are 'fixed' forever. Magic pills. Bariatric surgery. Cosmetic surgery. Take the easiest way out you can find. Sorry - like isn't like that. Relationships require work - relationships with people, and yes, relationships with food. Give that some thought.)

  20. Unknown, you don't appear to be in a position to lecture others about anger issues. I got tired of WW because I hated the meetings. Now I track my calories as calories, not as magical "points." I use a free app and don't buy all the WW junk food because I don't want the sodium. I cook my own stuff and am careful of my portions. I don't eat things I hate. It works for me. And there is an amazingly troll-free support community.

  21. Weight watchers is nothing more than a money making scam. Fruit, yogurt and carbs seem to dominate the diet. Eating well is incredibly simple, cheap and the advice is free. You also must MOVE your body. NO way of eating is healthy without moving your body. I can eat AS MUCH AS I WANT... and so can you.... Im reluctant to say exercise , because people envision pushups and running all day. Find a hobby that involves being active and DO IT. Ride a bike, go snowboarding, gardening, kayaking, etc... And Get Rid Of Your TV! Dont turn it off..... GET RID OF IT.
    As far as what to eat. Raw green leafy vegetables, fish (no farmed), eggs, pesto, spinach, kale,etc.... No need for grains or greasy beef or fast food or sugar or dairy.
    It's simple, move your body and eat real good food.

  22. Yes. THIS! I'm so glad to hear someone else had this experience. I hate the attitudes of the leaders. I quit when I start gaining because they make me feel so helpless. I am the one losing the weight - not them. It works for me, but that's because I did it!

  23. I too was put on WW from the time I was a child. I had a similar experience with a food only it was tuna fish. I HAD to eat tuna fish and my mom put in things to cover the taste. To this day, when I smell tuna fish, I want to vomit. Every time I would go to a meeting, no matter where, no matter who was the leader, the advice was the same...take the stairs, not the elevator, eat before you go to a party. Yeah right. Park your car in the farthest spot in the parking lot. They never dealt with any of the mental issues that went along with eating. My father was obese. My sisters all had weight issues. I was an athlete all through high school and worked out 3 hours a day and still had horrible difficulty losing weight. I hate WW.


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