I lost over 200 pounds as a member of Weight Watchers. I started at 420 pounds and ended up at 198 pounds. The plan has changed a lot since 2008 but I am confident the meetings are the same.

From February 2008-March 2009 I lost 221.4 pounds. I weighed in every week, I sat through meetings, I tracked my food online, and I got the structure to change the way I ate.

Here is the thing. Weight Watchers tries to promote their plan to men. They push the online plan and even have spokesmen like Charles Barkley. That is not Weight Watchers to me. The meetings make Weight Watchers…

And I have rarely seen a guy at a meeting.

In fact, I rarely talk to men who are on Weight Watchers. Most men do other plans.

Guys join Weight Watchers for two reasons….
1. Their significant other forces them
2. They are 420 pounds.

Well, I referred to number two.

Now, I have not been a member since 2009. I will tell you that the diet is WAY different than it was when I once did it.

am going to try to tell you how I remember the Weight Watchers meeting……

7am- Pull up to the Weight Watchers meeting.
7:01am- Wonder if I would be the only guy once again at the meeting.
7:02am- Really be irritated that I had to go to meetings, yet knew that it was better than throwing doughnuts in my mouth like Frisbees.
7:04am- Finally make my way to the meeting. Inside were around 10 women. Everyone had their own “special” weigh in outfit. Mine was the same…white t-shirt, grey shorts and slip on shoes. Most women wore very little clothing.
7:06am- I would wait in line to get weighed in. Weight Watchers does this amazingly weird thing where you stand on a scale and the women behind the counter are the only people that can see your weight. This is the “official” weigh in. You can practice all week, but this weigh in goes on a sticker in a book that you have. So of course if you are not happy with the official weight you can argue. So of course, most of the women in front of me turned into Nancy Grace….

“So let me get this straight….mmmmmhhmmmm. I JUST weighed myself at home and on another scale, and you are trying to tell me that I gained a pound. Are you sure that it is not this scale? Can I take off my watch and try again? Do I need to help you calibrate this scale?”

And of course no one would dare weight themselves with shoes on.
7:10am- I got my weigh in. The “receptionist” was always very sweet to me since I was the only guy and I was incredibly embarrassed about joining. She was a real nice lady.
7:13am- I sat in the back of the room waiting for the meeting to start. I did not talk to many people. In fact, in life, I do not talk to many people.
7:15am- The meeting started. The meetings were always conducted by a Weight Watchers “leader”. Everyone wanted to be that person. Well, I wanted to be that person. I wanted to have the day where I could go in front of a room and talk about my success, others successes, and tips on healthy living.
7:16am- The leader would pass out samples of products like a drug dealer. One taste of the two-point fudge nut loving clusters and then you are hooked for life. It happened to me on those Fruities. To this day, I do not know what “Fruities” are, I just know they are low calorie and at the time there were a point a pack.
7:20am- The meeting was going, yet the leader would still push products. It was a little awkward at times…..

” Be careful, there is a hurricane coming our way so we might have to cancel next week’s meeting. Plus, I have a hurricane of savings on pedometers and the point loving cookbooks!”

7:40am- The lesson was over and then people would start to get up and talk. I had nicknames for them…..

Salsa Lady- This woman realized that salsa was very low calorie so she put it on everything.
Macgyver Lady- This lady could take 20 ingredients and make it into a zero point snack. And she amazed everyone.
Know It All Lady- She knew everything. She has been a member for some time now.
“I Don’t Care” Lady- She overate on the weekend and would say “I do not care, it was worth it!”

7:55- They would hand out little stickers for weight loss. It was nice to get recognized.

8AM- I would leave and eat something because I would not eat before a meeting.

My wife and my mom thought it was weird that I joined Weight Watchers. In fact, it was weird. The guys on the commercials promoting Weight Watchers are not real true meeting Weight Watcher guys. Not ones I have seen. They seem to have that swagger and cockiness that does not come from the disappointment of going over your points for the day. I did not become a member to be cocky or look like a guy from a Bud Light commercial.

Weight Watchers reminds me of the kid going back to school. The kid who gets all the new clothes and reads books on how to be cool. The kid who says to himself “This year is my year!” Then the kid goes to school just to realize it is like every other year.

Weight Watchers is very smart in marketing. Using Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson is brilliant. Honestly I drank the Weight Watchers Kool-Aid for a while. I did believe it was the best most dominant diet of all time. Yet, it was just like any diet out there. Still is.
Weight Watchers saved my life. It gave me the structure I needed at a time when I was out of control. I heard the same excuses I had at meetings. I wanted to lose weight every week. I wanted to be better. I refused to go to a meeting and disappoint myself.

I left Weight Watchers in 2009. When Weight Watchers changed I changed. Counting calories was easier than points. Focusing on more proteins and really pushing myself at the gym became a way of life. The way I started to eat was not really Weight Watchers anymore. I realized that people can lose weight millions of ways, and there is no perfect or great way for everyone, just for you. If you think there is a “best” diet you are mistaken.

No matter what plan you do, Weight Watchers…the meetings taught me a great weight loss tool.

Accountability.

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