Why Counting Weightwatchers Points Works for Me Over and Over Again

My Ongoing Weight Watchers Story

I'm what you might call a chronic Weight Watchers participant. I've been going to Weight Watchers on and off for years. I'm not one of those dramatic stories that you read about on the Weight Watchers website or see in their TV ads. I didn't go down five dress sizes, and until I reached my mid forties, I never had a problem with weight. Oh, like most teenagers and young women I fretted and thought I was fat, but trust me, I wasn't .

Thus, at Weight Watchers, I never cared about reaching a goal weight or becoming a lifetime member. The last thing I was interested in was being able to go to Weight Watchers meetings free for the rest of my life. I only cared about losing the immediate ten or fifteen pounds that were my temporary problem. When they were gone, so was I.

Weight Watchers would never claim me as a success story, but in a way I am. I've never had the self discipline to eat healthy or count calories on my own. I've started various diets with the best of intentions after reading the book or being convinced by a friend, but they never have lasted for more than two weeks. I did Atkins and South Beach , tried to stay in The Zone and even tried eating for my blood type, oh and there was a time in the 80's when liquid diets were all the rage. I tried something that consisted of three protein drinks a day and nothing else and couldn't do it for more than a week. It made me feel awful.

It was after the liquid diet fiasco that I finally showed up at Weight Watchers for the first time at the age of 44, and learned how to check off those little boxes on my tracker. This was pre-internet, so all tracking was done with pencil and paper. I had a certain number of little boxes to check off per day divided into protein,fat, fruits and veggies, dairy, etc. and I ticked them off. as I ate them. It was very logical and structured. I remember that salads and most veggies were free and I could eat all I wanted and I had to drink six glasses of water a day. I was surprised at how easy it all was as long as I kept track. Having to show up in person each week for a weigh in and to compare notes with others kept me motivated.The group was all very rah rah and the leader was a refugee from a cheer leading squad, but the bottom line was that it worked. In a couple of months I lost the ten pounds that represented creeping middle age and then, I just faded away, until the next time I needed to lose ten or fifteen pounds. The next time I returned ( a decade later I might add) Weight Watchers had switched to a " points program" which was easier to navigate and had also started putting out its own line of foods.

I've done Weight Watchers at least half a dozen times and am currently participating in the latest "Power Points Plus" version . What do I think of Weight Watchers? I love and trust it. for a lifelong recidivist like me, who just needs help from time to time to trim the sails and stay in her jeans, it is an awesome program and the only thing that over time really works for me.

small steps are the way to go
small steps are the way to go | Source
Here's what I looked like in my 20'safter childbirth too--no weight worries then
Here's what I looked like in my 20'safter childbirth too--no weight worries then | Source

Why Weight Watchers Works

I think Weight Watchers is the best long term, realistic program for weight loss going. The most important thing it has going for it can be summed up in two words-- honesty and accountability.

While these days you can do Weight Watchers exclusively online and totally cut out the meetings and weigh ins, I don't recommend it.

The Weight Watchers website is a dynamite resource but the bottom line is that there is no substitute for showing up at a physical place, getting on a scale and having another human being weigh you. There is something about that person to person contact that brings home the fact that you are the only one accountable for how and what you eat in a way that no website or online chat room, no matter how wonderful, can.

That said, the online tools that Weight Watchers offers are awesome. They let you figure out virtually every possible meal you might ever conceivably have and track it effectively electronically. You can also keep track of fitness, find recipes, set up your own support community, go to a chat room, and much more. Recently, I was out with a few friends for Sunday Brunch at a local watering hole. A couple of the women at the table were tying to figure out what the weight watchers point count was for a particular dish and were wrangling over it while the waitress waited, pad in hand. Finally the waitress, whipped out her smartphone, went to the Weight Watchers online tools and figured it out for them. How cool is that?

A Great Testimonial for Weight Watchers

At It Again with WW " Points Plus"

I'm back at Weight Watchers again these days and have just about shed the fifteen pounds I came there to get rid of. But I have to say a few good words about the new Points Plus program that Weight Watchers has introduced.

Basically it is just a fine tuning of the twelve year old "points" program which I was already familiar with. I have to say I love points plus. I never get hungry, can eat more fruit and there is more emphasis on integrating exercise and working activity points into the program, which I really love. I'm walking, swimming and wearing a pedometer around the house. The weight comes off more slowly ( perhaps that is a function of my age rather than Points plus) but it does come off and it has been a breeze to do. Actually, it has been so easy, that I am thinking of staying around for another ten pounds and getting to my goal weight just to see what happens. All I know is my friends say I look good and I feel great.

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Comments 32 comments

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

robie2--I'm so glad you answered my question! Great information. More people than not that I have asked do praise Weight Watchers. It seems to be the most reasonable, practical, non-fad program out there. I have a hard time losing weight on my own, so accountability is a big deal. And I don't like giving up certain foods, which WW doesn't require. Great hub! Thanks so much. Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome! Sharing!


pgrundy 4 years ago

Oh you were so cute! I lost 27 pounds on WW online a couple of years ago and kept most of it off. Now I'm trying to drop 20 more but my body doesn't seem to interested in cooperating. Oh well, I'm eating healthy and exercising every day so that has to count eventually! (Mostly I just want to get my cholesterol down, the rest...meh. I'm nearly 60. Don't even own a bikini anymore!)


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

It was a great question, Victoria and thanks for asking it. I totally identify with you which is why I am a chronic recidivist weight watcher who has gone periodically for years and never reached goal-- but I don't care. It's a great program

Hey there Pam-- soooo good to see you-- yup wasn't I cute back in the day? and how come I thought I wasn't ? If I had only known what lay ahead LOL. Good luck with the cholesterol hmmmmmm maybe there's another hub in that anyway -- good to see you.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Oh, I so love the pic of beautiful you...and need I say, beautiful baby?

Super hub making every case for following this tried and true program.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 4 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

I was just thinking yesterday, after watching an ad about weight watchers online, that that may not be that great of a thing for people to count on being able to accomplish, so I'm glad you touched on that. While there used to be a weight watchers at every corner, they have dissipated and it's a great way to at least try to reach more people, but I agree it's probably not the way to go for most, and I wouldn't knock it if you're a strictly online program user and it didn't work. I know two ladies who have been on the new points plus thing and they love it. It's working. They look forward to going to their meetings, short and sweet. Great hub. Inspirational video. Love that photo of you! Thumbs up and shares.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

ST and FRieda-- hi there and thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment-- it's hard for me to believe i was ever that young, and that baby is long ago grown up and married and on his own-- time flies when you're having fun dontchaknow:-) Weight Watchers is still the best IMHO


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

I enjoyed your article because it reminds me of mine. I think I joined Weight Watchers about three times. And my biggest excuse was that Filipino dishes weren't on the list to track! Ha! This was before the point system. I broke up with a guy, got on the program, followed the new point system at the time, and lost 10 lbs. I got this little sticker for my efforts. Or maybe I lost weight from all that from crying? That is water loss, don't you think? Points are an easier way to make you aware of what you are eating and they also help decide what you're going to put in your mouth. No starving. No drugs. No caffeine. It's all about you. Voted up and everything else. AWESOME.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Congratulations to one and all that can fiddle around counting calories, or points or anything else to do with dieting.

For me, I need 2 hours of exercise per day to get weight off and I can't do it in Britain.

Bob


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I had great success with Weight Watchers too one year when I wanted to lose weight for my niece's wedding. I know I could do it again if I put my mind to it. Still have that pesky 30lbs that I could lose... I found joining online was very helpful.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Arlene and thanks for the great comment. Now I want to read your article on Weight Watchers-- great minds and birds of a feather and all that. Glad you stopped by.

Diogenes-- hey-- I thought you had moved someplace sunny and left the UK far behind-- wherever you are I'm glad you stopped by my Hub. It is always good to see you.

Uninvited Writer-- I see another potential chronic Weight Watcher in you LOL On my most recent co-round I've lost 17 lbs. I have about 10 to go but may or may not drop out before I get there. Good to see you and thanks for dropping by and commenting


BRIAN SLATER profile image

BRIAN SLATER 4 years ago from Nottingham Uk

hi, weight watcher's has been around quite a few years now so they must work, The problem is can you keep it off having once achieved your goal weight? Most people yo-yo between the weight they would like to be and the weight they feel comfortable at. There is the problem! voted up :)


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

There is the problem indeed, Brian-- thanks for stopping by and commenting and voting up-- glad to see you


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Robie, I LOVE that photo of you and your baby!! What... you wrote a hub on weight watchers, too? (LOL!) But seriously, lots of great information, which is a wonderful resource for people looking for a real commentary - a real person that has been on the program and why you keep going back. Rated up across the board. Now, off to go bookmark. Cheers, Steph


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

HI Steph-- glad you like the pic. My son would have a fit if he knew I had used it I am sure but never mind and thanks for stopping by and for the up votes and great support.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago

What a cute photo! I wish I could join you in weight watchers, but they use too much dairy. I used them 25 years ago to lose 10 lbs. that I really didn't need to lose, so I know that it works. Then my dairy sensitivity turned into a real allergy problem. I just don't know if almond milk and rice cheese would substitute for the dairy products in their food program. Voted up.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Actually, MizBejabbers, I don't think you have to eat dairy on the Weight Watchers Program these days-- even years ago they made provision for people who were lactose intolerant and the current program is very flexible. Glad you liked the photo and thanks for reading and commenting:-)


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago

Thank you. They used to be so strict that even corn was off limits. I need to find out more so I can shed these 30 excess lbs I gained before my thyroid surgery. I'll check them out.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I remember that:-) Much better now-- go check out their website.


Johan Smulders profile image

Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

We are at the point were we need to buy bigger clothes or lose weight and so we started swimming every morning and eating less, it seems to be working!


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Great and good for you , Johan. Keep up the good work. In the end it's a matter of calories in calories out. Thanks for sharing


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I just have to congratulate you on your weight loss and on changing how you approach weight loss--It is a huge achievement to change one's lifestyle! Great job and great hub!


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Why thank you , Audrey. Funny, what you do really does come from how you think and changing how you think may be simple, but it surely is not easy. Thank you for your kind and lovely comment


g-girl11 profile image

g-girl11 4 years ago

I've had success with WW too, but I don't like the points system. I liked it better when it was just portions. Like you, I look back at times I thought I had a weight problem and think, what was I thinking?? I'm looking for a way to lose weight and keep it off so I'm kind of working on my own system that begins with my thoughts about eating. Good luck to you!


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks g-girl, and good luck to you too.... I think we all have to tailor our food and exercise plans to our lifestyles when it comes right down to it..... it is after all just a matter of arithmetic: calories in vs. calories out. It's just that " walking the walk" can be tough if you don't have a plan mapped out ahead of time.


samsymmonds profile image

samsymmonds 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

I think Weight Watchers teaches healthy eating habits rather than preaching what one shouldn't eat, which is really great. I can identify wholly with your going back to Weight Watchers... it just works!


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

That's the botto line, Samsymmonds.... it works and that is enough for me:-)


wrenfrost56 profile image

wrenfrost56 4 years ago from U.K.

Great article robie2, my friend swears by weightwatchers and like you she said it really works. I really liked your rah rah cheer leader refugee description, made me chuckle. Really enjoy your hubs. :)


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hey wrenfrost56-- good to see you and I have to be rah rah about losing weight, otherwise it gets too depressing LOL thanks for stopping by.


Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn M Fields 7 months ago from the USA

Have you tried the new Beyond the Scale program?


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 months ago from Central New Jersey Author

Not yet, Carolyn, but I am a veteran of several past tweeks to the point system. In general I find that Weight Watchers keeps up with the latest research and incorporates it into their point system with periodic updates-- some of them major which is why every time I go back there is a whole bunch of new stuff to learn and get useed to, but the framework remains the same. I like the idea that they keep up with cutting edge nutrition almost as much as I like the fact that Oprah is now on board and a shareholder as well as a stake holder :-)


Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn M Fields 7 months ago from the USA

Roberta,

The new program has a BIG tweek in one area: sugar. Something like a brownie could be over 15 smart points. It is designed to steer you in the direction of healthy sugars, like fresh fruit. As for the rest, as you say, the framework has stayed the same. I guess if it isn't busted, don't fix it.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 months ago from Central New Jersey Author

Sugar is definitely a biggie ..... I find it truly addictive ... during one of my WW sojourns I got hooked on strawberries and blueberries and now that I have basically given up cakes pies cookies and all that jazz, I have berries with plain yogurt, sprinkled with Stevia, whenever I want something sweet.....I find my sweet tooth is like an internet troll.....as long as I don't feed it, it tend to stay quiet..... but just one little brownie and I'm off to the races :-) Now I am totally hooked on my yogurt and berries so I guess all is well. Good luck with the new program and thanks for stopping by.

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