That’s me with my daughter, Carey, before going to Weight Watchers. It was her first birthday and we celebrated with a walk in the woods (she’s 14 now). My husband and I continued to gain weight and a few years later my his had climbed to its highest ever. While front and center onstage at a ceremony, his suit button popped off and shot across the floor. This was his impetus to make a change in the way he was eating. He lost 40 pounds on the Atkins diet and I lost 17 pounds just following his lead. A year or so later, a friend told me that she was thinking about rejoining Weight Watchers, and on a whim I blurted out “I’ll go with you.” And the rest, my friend, is history!
This is me with my son Nathan. We were in Disney World to celebrate my husband’s graduation from Philadelphia University with a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology. What happened for me on the program, well, did I mention that it was like falling in love, or that it was love at first bite? Yes it was love. Just like falling in love, everything fell in to place perfectly; the food was great, my lecturer was inspiring, and I thought the whole thing was pure genius. I don’t remember feeling hungry and the weight simply flew off me. By the end of the school year, I was well below goal – losing more than 30 pounds.
While I signed up for Weight Watchers on a whim, I realized pretty quickly that keeping the weight off was a lifetime commitment – one that I wasn’t sure I could make. Losing the weight was a lark, maintaining a healthy weight was a constant battle and after a few years, I wasn’t wining anymore. I felt so ashamed. It’s not something I could talk about with my friends and so I just used to imagine what they were thinking – making it worse. Eighty to 90% of the people who lose weight, regain the weight back within five years so I’m just a lousy statistic. The reasons why can be complicated and simple, and varies with each individual. I swore I would never go back there and I did anyway.
Today Weight Watchers is tackling the beast. They believe their newest program will help its members succeed at losing weight and keeping it off for life. “Weight Watchers 360° is designed to allow our members to systematically, yet simply, find the healthy lifestyle that will help them not just lose the weight, but learn to keep it off.” So says Dave Kirchhoff, CEO of Weight Watchers International, in an article introducing the company’s newest revolutionary plan. The online open letter first appeared during the program’s roll out in December 2012, “It’s Time For a Better Way: Can we ever truly succeed at losing weight and keeping it off,” Kirchhoff assures us “this program pushes Weight Watchers and its members into places where we have never been. It takes the suggested and makes it explicit. It shines a light on what needs to be done without being overwhelming.” G-d, I hope he’s right.