Today I attended my first-ever Weight Watchers meeting. There were about 24 female members there and one male member (oops, maybe “participant” works better there). I introduced myself to two 20-ish women who in line to check in, and then chatted with a woman closer to my age who was behind me in line. She told me that the woman who led this meeting was “really great”. She had been in WW for a while, herself, and was on lifetime maintenance.
There’s quite a lot of paperwork in WW. There was our fearless leader/speaker, and then she had an assistant who had a mountain of paperwork. Each woman checks in and weighs herself and gets stamps or stickers and such. For me, there was a newcomer packet with about a dozen leaflets, booklets, brochures, newsletter, and so forth.
The meeting was fine; our woman speaker involved the members by asking questions about our feelings, about what makes our goals work, using a flipchart as well as writing things on a blank flip-pad, and handing out “Bravo” stickers. After about half an hour, the regular members leave and the newcomers stay behind for an “orientation”. I stayed behind even that, and was perusing the various products, books, and other merchandise, when I heard the assistant ask the leader, “is this right; she’s 136?” I walked over and said, “that must be mine” because that was exactly my weight. The assistant had less warm-and-fuzzy people skills than the speaker, and she looked up at me and said, “how much weight do you want to LOSE?” as though I was a little nuts. I felt a bit flustered and said, “well, I want to lose my spare tire and also learn better habits, so that I’m not always starving and low on energy.” One of the words that stuck out for me when the speaker had talked about her own past experience, was that “every day had been a war…” and I felt that. Every day is a war: “I’m starving”, “No, I can’t eat anything.” “I’m still starving”, “No, I can’t eat anything”, over and over ad nauseum. Always feeling deprived; always feeling hungry; always feeling run down and low on energy. I really liked it when she talked about “power foods”. I really like the sound of that. POWER foods; I want me some power!!
It feels a bit expensive to me. Before arriving at the meeting, by just looking online, I thought I’d be able to attend occasional meetings but do most of my work by myself, online, for about $17/month. However, when I arrived, and she showed me the three plans, the two least expensive did not have online access. So I am on the $49/month, cancel-at-any-time, first month on sale for $32, plan. However, when I told my husband about it, he said that if it works, it’s worth it. He’s the one that suggested Weight Watchers when I complained about my spare tire.
So. I have a lot of material to read. It’s a little scary this first day, wondering how in the world I’ll figure out the points of anything I eat, since each single ingredient is certain points. In fact, leaving the meeting, I needed to pick up a few groceries before I came home, so I wondered how I could grab some lunch, not knowing what the points are. But I’m sort of a crazy person and have a tendency to take things too literally. Especially the first day, I’ll just do the best I can. So I had a salad at Starbucks that had chicken breast and quinoa in it. And I made a chicken dish for dinner and served it over whole-grain fettucini, although the sauce had cream in it. But one of the things I picked up from the meeting is we need to plan things. So…maybe tonight, I kind of have to pre-plan for the meals tomorrow.
Oh my, what a pain! My mom used to drag me with her to WW meetings back in the 80’s. All I really remember is her dreading the weigh-in and listening to several of the women talking about ladies’ lack of progress behind their back. Even at that young age I felt how hypocritical that was. Eating clean and living a healthy lifestyle is hard enough without making it complicated too.