What Do You Think About Weight Watchers?
For the people who have used this program, has Weight Watchers worked for you?
From My Perspective
Let me begin by saying that I have no factual information to back up this piece. If you’re looking for someone to either convince you to join or not join Weight Watchers, I am not that person. My piece is more observational, serving more for food for thought than tips on how to lose pounds.
My friend’s parents have been on Weight Watchers for several years. After her dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he and his wife were inspired to live healthier lives. As exercise and a healthy diet were apparently too taxing for them, they decided to join Weight Watchers.
If you’ve seen a commercial for this program, you have a general idea of what it’s about. You’re overweight or just generally seeking a healthier way of life. When you walk in the door, you are weighed. You go to a meeting once a week where you listen to other members’ stories. You are then given a brochure or weight loss packet and sent into the world with a pat on the back and a smile. In this packet, you are given tips on how to eat healthy. You are also given a chart or mini notebook where you are to keep track of what you ate and how many points each item is. You subtract each point from the total number you are allotted per day/week. When you go to your next meeting, you discuss your points and the events from the first meeting are repeated. I’m sure there are more stages to this program, but that’s a general picture of it.
Now I’m positive that somewhere along the line a member must’ve had success in losing weight. (If they didn’t have concrete statistics why would they still be in business?) However, I’ve never really noticed a change in any of the members I’ve personally known. I’ve had family members who joined, stayed in the program for a couple of months, lost nothing and, having run out money, quit the program. They proceeded to eat healthy on their own and to exercise daily. By their own power, they lost weight and have kept it off.
Let’s return to my friend’s parents though. They have gone to Weight Watchers every Saturday morning for many years. They are good friends with many of the members and their instructor. They buy tons and tons of fat free products many of which are from the Weight Watchers’ line. They keep close watch over what they eat to the point that I don’t think they enjoy eating anymore. They eat practically the same thing every day fearing that straying from the norm will hinder their progress.
The deal is, for as long as I have known them, they have looked the same way. Looking at past pictures of them, it is evident that some weight loss has occurred, especially for her father. Yet, her dad’s heart is still questionable. Her mother’s snacking habits have not changed. In my opinion, they have gotten worse. Besides making friends, I don’t know how much good this program has done for them.
As they are senior citizens (He is in his mid-70s. She is in her mid-60s.), I’m glad they have these friends. My friend will not be able to live with them forever. They’ll need people to count on in an emergency if she can’t get to them right away. Yet, money is tight for them. Considering all of the above, I wonder if the money they pay in Weight Watchers fees could be put to better use.
Were it up to me, I would organize a walking group for them and their friends. I would cook for them and show them that vegetables don’t have to come frozen with a Weight Watchers’ seal on them to make them healthy. I would convince them that even though Egg Beaters have no point value, they don’t have to be eaten every morning for breakfast. I would give them back their joy in eating while still giving them only healthy foods. I wouldn’t charge them a fee either.
As I said before, I’m positive that Weight Watchers has done well by some people. However, I’ve never met these people. I wish them well though with a pat on the back and smile.