Why I left Weight Watchers
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
I stuck with Weight Watchers for several decades (on and off). When I was 30, I lost 25 pounds going to face to face meetings. This is possibly the best I looked and felt in my life, at 130 pounds. During graduate school, about 15 pounds gradually crept on and when I left for my teaching job in New York in 1997, I was pretty fit but around 144 pounds. The first years in New York were stressful and I gained weight, so I found WW Online. I lost weight again and got back down to 135 or so. During the next ten years, I met my current partner--and I've always had a tendency to gain weight while in long-term relationships, from being too comfortable and eating out more, I suppose. Also, it's been more difficult for me to take charge of my time for exercise and suck while with a partner. Things got worse in 2006 when I sprained my ankle badly at the beginning of the summer and was unable to exercise properly for a couple of months. I went back on WW Online in 2012. The system keeps changing over the years; now it is Points Plus. This is a very flexible program, but maybe a little too flexible for my changing (middle-aged) body! I thought I was sticking to it fairly well, but I gained weight. I didn't realize how much because I abandoned the scale, thinking that it wasn't necessary to weigh myself if I were on a program. I now see that I was moving far less than I had in the past right at the same time my metabolism slowed down, and that had to be key in the gain. Also Points Plus does not count fruit or require you to keep track of nutrients. I was eating a lot of carbs, not binging on fruit ever like some do, but a few hundred calories a week uncounted is not good for me; also, I was definitely not getting the minimum requirement of protein. At my age, you lose muscle if you don't exercise regularly, and a lack of protein makes this worse. So I was slowly morphing toward obesity, even though I never stopped "watching" my eating. Weather and geographical location (and hurting knees) had caused me to walk less and take cabs (since I don't drive) and now, with the FitBit, I see that I was burning far fewer calories than I needed to maintain even a moderately satisfying daily intake of food. Weight Watchers is wonderful for many people and it served me well in the past, but I got tired of paying a hefty fee for failure in my current incarnation. I'm much happier following the SparkPeople plan. I get plenty to eat, and I'm completely accountable for it.