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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-26-13, 01:07 PM   #1
goldfinch 
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taste of Weight Watchers

I went to my first WW meeting yesterday. My weight was a pound less than my scale at home so that was an interesting data point. I had my weight creep up this winter from my goal weight of 102-106 pounds, which I had maintained for about a year. I am still in the "normal" weight range but I do not want to proceed back to obesity. So, with a free trial of Weight Watchers I thought I would try it out to shake things up a bit. My initial impressions:

I like the idea of measuring your weight in front of someone else. This minor accountability may work for me.

I am not sure that is worth $43 a month.

I was assigned the same 26 points (the minimum) as the online calculator assigned me. They gave me a 5% goal and a 10% goal. The 10% goal brings me just short of 100 pounds. Ideally, l should weigh about 95 pounds but I don't expect to get there and stay that low. I just want to maintain at roughly 104, roughly a 5% drop from where I am.

Even though I was new, came early and introduced myself nobody talked to me about points or anything other than to give me a new member packet and suggest purchasing a points calculator or using a smart phone to track.

I read up before the meeting on points and other aspects of WW and had kept track of points for a week. I also kept track of activity. For that week I ate all my assigned points and all my weekly points. I stayed the same weight. After becoming somewhat adept at counting calories the point system is awkward. But I am sure I will get better at it. But, I am not sure I see the value of a point system vs a calorie counting system. Right now I am running totals using both. I won't do that for long because it is a PITA. I question giving 49 extra "weekly" points to a person as small as me and a person who weighs two or three times as much as me. It seems like weekly points should have some variability based on your weight. Of course, I do not have to eat the weekly points, but there they are temping me.

I am sure meetings differ in different places so what might be good meeting for me in one place might not be in another. I am in a small town in the midwest right now. The meeting had about 15 women attending, no men. About half of the 15 were life time members and not overweight. I thought that was very interesting. Only a couple were obese. The leader would hand out stars when people participated or reached some goal. That was a little too kindergarten for me. What are you supposed to do with the stars? I didn't know anyone, am not from the area, so not surprisingly I felt out of place. I question whether I am going to like the meetings as I have a personal aversion to motivational speakers. Not much I can do about that. This meeting was primarily about the importance of tracking both food and activity.

Some of the meeting was spent mildly promoting the WW branded ActiveLink activity monitor. So, I read up on it after the meeting. It looks like there are some frustrations with its use as you don't get activity points unless you reach a certain baseline so the points do not correlate at all with the manual activity point system and you end up with a lot fewer points. Which is probably a good thing because I would get fat eating my activity points. WW needs to work on that. The ActiveLink may or may not be accurate, I didn't see any good data. Interesting but I am not going for yet another subscription service.

I think I will stick with it for a bit, mostly for the weigh in aspect and to try a meeting when I hit Minneapolis in about a month.
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Old 04-26-13, 05:36 PM   #2
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when I started the new people stayed after where the points system was explained, did they do that?
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Old 04-26-13, 05:40 PM   #3
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Goldfinch, I'm a Lifetime WW member but above my goal weight and doing back down. I love the points program because it's so simple to use with nutritional information required on all products here in Canada. I don't use my extra 49 points but do use some of the activity points I earn.

At the end of every meeting our leader holds a Power Start session for new members explaining all parts of the system and is available for questions for the 1/2 hr before the actual meeting starts. Maybe once you are in a bigger city with more meeting choices you will find one that works for you. The members definitely make the meetings, their experiences and questions all help.

Karen
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Old 04-26-13, 08:26 PM   #4
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when I started the new people stayed after where the points system was explained, did they do that?
Nope.
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Old 04-26-13, 08:47 PM   #5
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Gold finch if I weight 106 pounds I would be in deep trouble. You must be around 5'0ft . My ideal weight is 155 i'm 5'8 and a male rite now I weigh230 and trying to loose it but not much luck. I would love to be 160 or 170 but that is kinda a pipe dream to me. To lazy and to much health problems. Mainly to lazy though. I ride 5 to 10 mile daily 3 days a week plus i'm 40 so age has a little to do with it to...
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Old 04-26-13, 09:59 PM   #6
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WW is ok. Been there done that. I now go it alone and count calories. I differ on some things with WW. I never did like the emphasis on dairy. Without actually saying it, they imply that you must consume much more dairy than I like, in order to get adequate calcium. Really? Where do adult dairy cows get it? Transmutation? You can gel all the calcium you need, even in a pure vegan diet. (I'm polto-pescatarian, with very sparing lacto-yogurt mostly)

I did their online, but found there are online diet sites that are actually better, and cost 100% less (free) Some people will benefit from the live contact support, but I get that from the Clydes in here, and on the road.
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Old 04-27-13, 03:20 AM   #7
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They should have a meeting for beginners at the end of the regular meeting. All of the ones I've been to have that. It's is interesting.

What people need to understand is that weight watchers and points are a tool. Losing weight is about about finding the rythum to the puzzle that works for you.

I travel a lot like you do and I can honestly say that meetins vary so much. I have been to awesome to great meetings to meetings that make me wonder how that person is a leader. Lol just like teachers..... Some suck and some are awesome. That's why my wife and I heave two leaders we love and will travel to whatever center they rotate to because they rock.
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Old 04-27-13, 07:14 AM   #8
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Gold finch if I weight 106 pounds I would be in deep trouble. You must be around 5'0ft . My ideal weight is 155 i'm 5'8 and a male rite now I weigh230 and trying to loose it but not much luck. I would love to be 160 or 170 but that is kinda a pipe dream to me. To lazy and to much health problems. Mainly to lazy though. I ride 5 to 10 mile daily 3 days a week plus i'm 40 so age has a little to do with it to...
4'11" so the numbers are right.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:54 AM   #9
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"taste of Weight Watchers"
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Old 04-27-13, 09:36 PM   #10
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Oooh, that's bad they didn't ask new members to stay after. They always did that at mine.
Some leaders are a bit more "rah-rah" than others with the stars for participation. My leader rarely used them, but then again we all got to know each other quite well, so it was like chatting with friends.

I have to admit though, I was always happy to get that stupid little start sticker when I hit a 5lb milestone, and everyone would clap. Having someone else weigh me in was VERY motivating. They will never say anything bad if you gain but it was like i didn't want to disappoint them! People are funny about weigh in's too. SOme folks would only weigh in on one scale, but not the other. I personally wore the same thing every week, so i'm sure they thought i lived in ratty yoga pants and t-shirts, lol.

Since you live in a smaller town, there may not be too many meetings, but it's good to try a few with different leaders. The group dynamics vary greatly.

Good luck.
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Old 04-29-13, 01:37 PM   #11
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I just wanted to share my weight watchers experience. I have been attending since December. I lost about 25 pounds riding my bike after I first got it and then I seemed to plateau as winter weather set in. The leader in my usual meeting is a retired kindergarten teacher and her style doesn't really match mine. However, I find that attending meeting and weighing in keeps me focused. Every week I try to pick up one or two things to concentrate on in the coming week.

I find I have to ignore a lot of what is said in the meetings. The leader is always pushing weight watchers products, mostly processed foods and smoothy powders that I wouldn't eat. Ever. The activelink is hugely suspect in my opinion. Since I don't know what it's measuring other than "activity" which is a little to vague for me, I don't trust it. These little annoyances are not enough to spoil it for me.

I keep going, because left to my own devices I wouldn't be losing weight at all. It's too easy for me to get sloppy and just let the pounds creep up. In the meetings I sometimes pick up ideas that influence my choices during the week. One week we poured water into various sized glasses and tried to estimate the number ounces and points they would be if they were wine, fruit juice, beer, soda, etc. It was very eye-opening. I like the way they emphasize this as a lifestyle, not a diet and help me recognize bad habits and support me as I try to change. I wear the same clothes every week and even remove my glasses and wedding ring when I step on the scale. It's silly, I know, but it's like a ritual.

I'm now down 40 pounds since starting biking a year ago, including 15 since starting weight watchers.
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