Weight Watchers Update

weight scale

I haven’t been to Weight Watchers in a very very long time. Not only that, I completely dropped the plan. Some habits have stuck – drinking lots of water, cutting out some things I don’t love enough to eat like bread baskets and dessert, choosing the salmon over the fried chicken and staying away from most fast food. But that’s about it. On Thanksgiving I ate turkey skin and drenched everything in gravy. That weekend I ate two pieces of pumpkin cheesecake and washed them down with two glasses of wine while I was sitting alone in my living room watching Bravo. Yeah, those sorts of things.

So when I got on the scale last night and saw that I gained four pounds I wasn’t surprised in the least. I hoped it would be more like two pounds, but I think a big number like four was just the kick in the pants that I needed.

The meeting was, as always, really helpful. I usually get there and think this is a waste of my time. I could be home with my family, I could be returning that dress to Target, I could be writing a blog post for tomorrow. But then I calm down, settle in, and learn something. As always, it seemed as though Weight Watchers knew what the scale would say to me, and made the meeting fit around it. On the board was written:

How do you use the weight you get at the scale?

Good question. How do you react to a gain? Do you curse the scale and get frustrated? Do you choose to give up, or fight even harder? How about a gain? Do you high-five yourself, or do you stop to think about what was different that week and how you can keep up the good work?

When I first saw the gain of four pounds, I was sad. Disappointed. Frustrated. But then as I settled into the meeting I realized I had no reason to feel that way. I totally dropped the plan all together and gee… what did I expect to happen? I can’t be disappointed if I didn’t put forth any effort. I am going to use the gain at the scale as a warning of what can happen if I don’t stick to these new life habits through Weight Watchers. I don’t want to go back to when I felt as though I was a stranger in my own body.

The next topic we discussed was:

How have you made the plan uniquely yours?

People discussed how they never use Activity Points, even though they regularly work out. Another woman said she never uses her extra points until the weekend, and then keeps them for going drinking with her friends. Another woman said that if she dips into any extra points, she never removes weight so she adheres to her daily 29 – no more, no less. It really showed how Weight Watchers is customizable – you don’t have to eat the same breakfast every day to remove weight, you don’t have to be stuck with rice cakes and celery stalks. You can eat birthday cake and get drunk with your girl friends on the plan and still be successful.

So my plan is to get back on the plan. The past couple days I have stuck to standbys – oatmeal breakfast, 6” turkey subs at Subway, Progresso soups, fish and salad for dinner. But this weekend I am pretending to be a new member of Weight Watchers, reading up on it, getting the proper food in my fridge, tracking on a daily basis.

Weight Watchers 2012:
Note to those who are doing Weight Watchers on their own – eTools has updated where if you were at 29 daily PointsPlus, you may now have a daily value of 26, 27, or 28. Weight Watchers also updated the plan for 2012; from an email I received from them today:

Come to your meeting:

  • Learn more: Pick up your new Meet PointsPlus 2012 booklet
  • Recharge your efforts: Stay for a PowerStart® Session with a new PowerStart tracker filled with a week’s worth of preTracked meals.
  • Learn ways to personalize your plan: Options for greater flexibility.
  • New weekly PointsPlus activity goal: To help you move more.

Check out our site and see what’s new:

  • New site design: Find what’s relevant to you, faster

Coming Soon:

  • New tools: Calculate and track at the grocery store with the new Barcode scanner app

I went to check out the new Weight Watchers site – they now have it set where you can access your eTools from any part of the site.

As for Weight Watchers as a whole, they are more strongly promoting “Simply Filling” which is a plan very similar to Weight Watchers Core of yore – you have certain low-carb/high-protein “Power Foods” that you don’t have to track. I did Core many years ago and liked it because I didn’t have to measure and track as carefully as classic Weight Watchers. However with the new PointsPlus I think both are easy, it’s more about what is best for your personal tastes and lifestyle.

While my leader has always encouraged us to stay after the meeting for the new member Getting Started meeting for a refresher, Weight Watchers 2012 is taking that a step further with PowerStart. From the Weight Watchers site:


PowerStart is a three-part introduction to the PointsPlus program, over three weeks, with your Leader. This is an interactive session during which you’ll practice living with the PointsPlus program. You’ll ask questions, take part in practical exercises, exchange ideas with other Weight Watchers members and get a week’s worth of meal ideas that help you on your way to success.


Each of the three PowerStart sessions starts with a quick briefing on the program essentials, and then dives in to different skills you’ll use to succeed. No matter what week you start, you’ll learn valuable skills that will see you through your first week on Plan. In weeks two and three, you’ll add to that solid base, with the opportunity to ask follow-up questions with some time on Plan under your belt. At the end of the three weeks, you’ll get another book, Living PointsPlus, that will help you keep going all the way to your goal.

Most important of all: You can attend these sessions any time. If, after your first three weeks, you’d like to review what you learned in week 1 with the benefit of three weeks’ experience, then you’re more than welcome to stay. If you’ve been on Plan for weeks, months, even years — join in and really master the basics! Not only might you learn something new; you might also teach something to those around you.

I am looking forward to learning more about the changes to Weight Watchers and I will be sure to share it with you.


So how have you been with your weightloss journey? Any successes? Setbacks? New tips or recipes you would like to share?


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  1. Lorilynnmckee
    December 5, 2011 / 6:14 pm

    I am seeing intersting things happen to my *appetite* since I gave up my oatmeal breakfast (which I LOVED!!!) for a boiled egg and bacon bits – and trying to eat fewer carbs all day.  Still deciding how far I want to go with it. I’m 52 and about 20 pounds overweight.

  2. nikki
    December 5, 2011 / 5:46 pm

    i’m with you, amber, 1,000%. the science of nutrition is an extremely personalized one.

  3. Cynthia W
    December 5, 2011 / 5:10 pm

    I think that the good thing about WW is that you don’t have to beat yourself up when you fall off the wagon for awhile – what you did yesterday is important only if you allow it to continue. You can just learn from it and move on – as my leader says, every failure isn’t really a failure, it’s an opportunity to learn what doesn’t work (unless you let it become a permanent failure).

    I gained a few pounds of Thanksgiving, but I knew that it would happen. I had relatives in and drank more wine than I usually do, so I just recommitted to eating “clean” and flushing my system out. I’m pretty close to hitting maintenance – I reached my original goal and then decided that I could lose another 10 pounds, so I’m working on that. My weight tends to fluctuate a bit based on water retention or whether or not I’ve gone to the bathroom (sorry for the TMI), so I don’t stress unless my jeans start getting tight.

    I think that it’s wonderful that you share both your ups and downs – you are such an inspiration for how a real person dresses and lives.

  4. kathy
    December 5, 2011 / 3:55 pm

    I’ve been doing WW too and while I was a bit stagnant the last month or so, it has been of my own doing. I hadn’t attended a meeting in three weeks, and that is key for me because I really like my leader and group. I love feeling better in my clothes and I recently ordered a skirt a size down. I am determined to lose two more pounds before Christmas so I will have reached the 10lb mark. Thanks for posting your updates!

  5. December 5, 2011 / 3:42 pm

    Oh I love you all having a discussion on here, and as you said EleanorJane, everyone needs to find what is right for them. I have been to some WW meetings that have SUCKED and I don’t have any of their food or equipment that they sell at the meetings, but the in-person meeting I attend now and the PointsPlus plan work for me. Glad you all are having success with MyFitnessPal – it doesn’t matter the mode of transportation as long as you get to your destination! 🙂

  6. Linda
    December 5, 2011 / 3:33 pm

    With all due respect to this thread (I don’t want to offend Allie, who is a critical person in my online life), I’d like to say ‘add me’ Eleanorjane.  I’m VergingOnVegan on My Fitness Pal.  Slow and steady is my goal, too.  When I was toying with adopting the ‘Health at Every Size’ philosophy this past summer when my weight seemed to be shooting through the roof, seeing Allie’s progress day after day actually made me rethink my philosophy.  I’m so glad I did.  

  7. December 5, 2011 / 2:32 pm

    i had a really successful weigh-in last week. my meetings are on thursdays, so we missed a week for thanksgiving. at the last meeting before thanksgiving, our leader asked what everyones weight-loss plan was for the holiday: gain, maintain, or lose. i was the only person who said i was sticking to the plan and still planning on losing. of course, i got a few sideways glances and a couple of “yeah, right”s.
    well, at my meeting last week, i was down 4 pounds! that put me past the 30-pound loss mark. im lucky in that i have my meetings at work (i worry what would happen to me if those went away, since i might be too lazy to seek out a meeting elsewhere). each meeting reenergizes my desire to stick to the plan!

  8. December 5, 2011 / 2:21 pm

    I’ve been on a bit of set back on my weight loss and it’s completely my fault.  I have fallen off my weight watchers but plan on starting fresh in 2012 and hope that the changes with weight watchers will help. 

  9. Eleanorjane
    December 5, 2011 / 7:40 am

    Hey me too! I’ve been on MyFitnessPal for about three months and have lost 14 pounds. I’ve been aiming to do it slowly and sustainably. I’m wanting to lose another 6 pounds to get to a comfy weight (not super skinny, don’t worry).

    I’ve been on WW off and on and lost the same few kilos again and again. I find MFP better ‘cos everyone can see my food diary and there’s daily support. I found the leader at our WW meetings to be a bit of an idiot and I didn’t like the way weight loss seemed to be expected to be the most important and time consuming thing in our lives. And WW products are a jip!

    But as mentioned, everyone needs to find what works for them. And yes, we need to be rigorous and totally honest.

    I’m finding it harder to stay focussed after losing some weight and with Christmas events starting to happen… but I must keep my head in the game and keep working on losing those last 6 pounds by around New Year’s.

  10. Christian Louboutin
    December 5, 2011 / 7:08 am
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    December 5, 2011 / 7:04 am
  12. LizHig
    December 5, 2011 / 2:36 am

    Love reading your blog! I’m a WW lifetime member. I’m trying to get through my head that I need to pay attention to being healthy every day, not just when I, as my mother says, “have my head right.”

    I have about 35 lbs. to lose, and I start now! Thanks for the update on the plan!

  13. Lauren
    December 5, 2011 / 1:02 am

    I did WW for 3 months over the summer and was really sad, no change with absolutely religious tracking. My thing is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease resulting in hypothyroidism. From what I have learned following that 3 months, low thyroid function can totally change the way people would normally be able to lose weight. I wonder if WW will ever address that problem?  Since then my medication was also significantly raised, so maybe that will help. Right now I’m feeling comfortable with the way I’ve been eating but I love “watching” your blog posts and success, so I wonder if I should get started again. I have all my stuff still and a calculator.

  14. Becky.
    December 4, 2011 / 10:34 pm

    I love that you are so honest with us. It inspires me to keep on track too! Best of luck :).

  15. Patti_NotDeadYetStyle
    December 4, 2011 / 10:30 pm

    I’m not trying to add or remove weight right now, but I want to say: bravo to you for using every experience to learn and adapt. That is real success! xoxoxo

  16. December 4, 2011 / 9:11 pm

    I’ve been stuck. Not gaining, which is good, but not losing, which is not good. I am honestly just hoping to make it even through the holiday’s, then get back on track in 2012. Not the best plan probably. For what it is worth, you look amazing!

  17. Linda
    December 4, 2011 / 9:07 pm

    I have been a total wipeout at gaining control over my eating for years now.  I almost tossed in the towel this summer, and decided to just eat as well as I could for health, but not track or worry about my weight.  Well, that didn’t work either.  WW doesn’t work for me either–I stress over the weigh-in’s and the reaction of the leader and support people.  I lose so slowly, that all the clapping about that person in the room who lost 9 lbs, makes me feel I’m in the wrong room.  So, all that said, I joined a free online food/exercise tracker program called My Fitness Pal.  I chose it simply because it had the best food database interface for my mostly vegan food choices.  Well, long story short, I’m 3 weeks into it, have lost 9 pounds, and it has become my new Facebook!  I am amazed at how much this program has hooked me in for the long haul.  That said, I have to say this: Every program works if you work the program.

  18. Amber
    December 4, 2011 / 8:35 pm

    I’ve lost 9 pounds in the last three months by eating primal.  I’ve tried other diets before where I ate whole grains, and lots of vegetables, and only lean meats and restricted my calories and couldn’t stick with it because I was always starving.  Now I’m eating good fats and tons of vegetables and meat and feeling full and losing weight.  Eating lower carb really controls my appetite.  I never thought I could give up bread, but I don’t really miss it.  I like not feeling bloated and sluggish.  Everyone just needs to experiment a little to find what works for their body.

  19. December 4, 2011 / 8:18 pm

    I lost 50 lbs over 19 months. I learned a lot and I am still learning. My biggest successes came from drinking mostly H20, getting enough freggies, limiting processed foods, using my kitchen scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons. Keeping below a certain sodium intake each day was also important to fight bloat. If I didn’t get the results I wanted on one weigh in, then I would just keep doing what I had been…but also consider what I could change again. Daily exercise was really important and it still is for maintenance. I like to eat, so I need to manage calories in/calories out. I don’t deny myself, but I might make a choice that is lighter, or my own version, or compromise. I’ll have a bagel, but put nothing on it. I usually prefer sweet bagels so this works out okay.

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