I have to admit I was not a fan of the new name of Weight Watchers, “WW”. To me, it conjured up wrestling, you know, like WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment. I guess maybe that might be appropos as most of us who are going down this path have been wrestling with the scale, probably for years. I know that I have.
Almost as far back as I can remember, I have had a problem managing my weight. From photographs, it is obvious that I didn’t start getting larger than most other girls my age until around junior high. I remember once when maybe I was about twelve years old, my mother tried to bribe me with money if I didn’t gain any more weight. I remember that weight to be about 115 pounds. I attended a parochial school where once or twice a year we had to line up in alphabetical order and take turns stepping up on the scale to be weighed and measured. I was always one of the larger children in the class and we always sat in alphabetical order, so the same people were always in front and in back of you. Most children started parochial school at first grade and stayed until eighth grade graduation. The boy that sat in front of me decided, for whatever reason, to call me “brown cow”. He continued calling me this three years. This was before the term “bullying” had even been associated with evil, rotten children.
Lucky for me, once puberty hit, I grew taller and slimmed down and stayed at a reasonable weight till my first child was born. Then, as with many women, I gained weight while pregnant and never lost it all. Multiply that by four and the scale kept creeping up.
I’ve joined Weight Watchers at least three times over my adulthood. The first time, probably twenty years ago, I worked the program for four months and lost over 30 pounds. I was religious, writing down everything I ate and using the cardboard slide rule to tell me how many points each item was based on the sugar, fat and calories content of the item. One mantra that I heard at a Weight Watchers meeting was “nothing tastes as good as being thinner feels.” Sad but true.
Over a number of years, I gradually gained back all the weight I had lost and added a few more pounds. I joined again, but this time, the program had changed and the cardboard slide rule didn’t work any longer and you had to use a handheld calculator to figure the food point value and keep a separate journal. This didn’t work well for me and consequently I only lost 17 pounds.
Fast forward to today and the new WW. Most meats, fruits and vegetables are point free. You are again, like in the past, given a number of points to work with each day based on your height, weight, age and sex. Now, though, because of all the free foods you are able to eat, the points are worth only about half what they were ten years ago. I remember the first time I was on Weight Watchers, I would treat myself with my weekly points by getting a small Dairy Queen ice cream cone for a total of 5 points. Now that same small DQ cone is 11 points.
The free foods consist of most fruits, vegetables and lean meats. It is not difficult to eat a meal which consists of only these three food groups and come to the end of your day and not have touched your extra points. Personally, I get 23 points a day and an additional 42 points for the week. One of the things I have learned after the first successful week of losing three pounds, is that I still must be conscious of portion size. You can’t eat mega portions of fruits and lean meats and then use your extra daily points and still lose weight. As of this morning, I had gained back all three pounds I had lost because of portion size. I’m not giving up, after all I did pay for three months up front, so, try, try again.