Way back in December, we had another piece on Weight Watchers that I often think of when I consider my own relationship with food, my body, and yes, the dreaded Diet Industrial Complex. My name is Luci Furious and I’m on Weight Watchers”¦ and I like it. TW for some discussion of weight loss and relationship with food.
I often struggle to reconcile my desire to lose weight with my belief that weight loss is overrated and everyone would be better off if people stopped being judged for their weight. All I know is that for me, Weight Watchers is the right choice to help me get my unhealthy relationship with food under control and to get back to a healthy weight for me. Let me repeat myself here, FOR ME, Weight Watchers is the right choice. And here is where I start to get annoyed. Because no, Weight Watchers might not be the right choice for everyone. Just like Jenny Craig wouldn’t be the right choice for me because I need to learn to make better food choices. Being on Jenny Craig wouldn’t help me get to the core of my problem, but Weight Watchers does.
Meghan’s post in December was about Weight Watchers’ new program, which among a few changes, made fruits 0 points. I struggled with the change at first because I had used Weight Watchers several years ago to lose 40 pounds and as a result I had the points for most foods memorized, and I could reasonably estimate the points of any new food. But with the program shift I didn’t know the points off the top of my head, which meant I had to return to tracking my food online to see the new points. In some ways this ended up being a bummer because high-carb foods (i.e. the foods I tend to eat the most of), and I would get annoyed that I was going over my points. But then I would be like, wait! I can eat this apple for no points! Whereas before I might have chosen something that was equivalent or more points, because points are points, I am now often choosing something healthier. Not always, because let’s be real, sometimes you just need Teddy Grahams. So that’s one area where I really like WW, and especially their new model.
I am all about people learning to have a healthier relationship with their own bodies and food, but sometimes I feel like the messages that are out there are on two extremes. You have the Hollywood/model super-skinny/unrealistic for most people to obtain images of women that are out there. We’re all familiar with that one. And then on the other end of the spectrum are people who believe that no one should ever diet and everyone should just be happy with where they are. So where does that leave someone like me? I gained back the 40 pounds I had lost after I began to take a medication. Once I stopped taking the medication, I found that I couldn’t lose weight as easily as I had in the past, and then I got discouraged leading to a downward spiral of further weight gain. So where do I go for messages that are accepting of weight loss and the desire to lose weight, whether it be for vanity, health, or anything else, but at the same time doesn’t expect that people are going to be unobtainably thin? Weight Watchers. Of all the places I look for information about diets, weight loss, body image and everything else, Weight Watchers – the site, meetings, and message boards – consistently provide messages that are most consistent with my own personal beliefs.
Is Weight Watchers a perfect system? Of course not. They rely pretty heavily on processed foods, purchasing a box of teeny WW snack cakes was one of the worst decisions I have ever made and I will go to my grave proclaiming that an avocado should be half as many points as it is. But ultimately, for me, it’s done much more good than harm and I bristle every time I see Weight Watchers lumped in as part of the problem with the Diet Industry. Maybe it is, but for me, it’s pretty much the only way I have any hope of getting to a healthier weight for me and getting my unhealthy relationship with food under control.