There are two things in this world that I can’t stand to eat: blue cheese, and my words. When I arrived in this office, about this time last year, about half the women in the place had just signed up with Weight Watchers. For the next month, just about all I heard, especially in the lunchroom on meeting days, was points this and points that and how many points does that have? One day, a client brought in a huge jar of pretzels (deli pickle-jar size) and nobody would eat them until someone posted a sign on the jar saying “3 = 1 point.” (Over half the jar was gone in 30 minutes.) I couldn’t deny that the program seemed to be working for most of the ones who took it seriously, but the level of obsessive commitment freaked me out. I swore I wouldn’t become one of the herd next time it came around. Then I watched myself pack on 15 pounds over the next year.


The whole thing would have to start on a day when we have no groceries in the house and are coming up on a weekend. I ended up with oatmeal for breakfast because there wasn’t anything else in the place I could eat and still have points left for dinner. Especially when there’s a darn good chance that dinner will be eaten somewhere besides home. I can’t believe capellini friggin’ pomodoro is 6 points for half an order while a strip of bacon is only 1 point. (Must be all the olive oil.) At least I’ve found a mug that makes drinking indiscreet amounts of water palatable. (The 9-11 memorial freebie we got from some vendor, of all things. Holds 2 cups!)

What I can’t figure is where they get their daily points ranges. The upper end has been lowered for nearly everybody since the last time the other women did this, so instead of the 22-29 I’d have had then, I have a max of 27. I’m trying to budget for 6 per meal and then add in snacks. I honestly don’t know how people with an 18-23 range can survive on that little. I’ve been hungry all day, and this is with half a bag of baby carrots sitting within arm’s reach (they’re gone now).

And I ran the numbers on what I used to eat in Arroyo Vista, spring quarter of freshman year, when I lost 15 pounds, reached what doctors would just barely call a healthy weight for my height, and felt like crap the entire time. I was eating between 30 and 35 points on the days I followed my formulaic meal algorithm, and I was losing the entire time. So where they get off maxing me out at 27, I have no idea. Maybe they figure 99 percent of people are going to cheat? Maybe if they put the max back at 29, fewer people would.

At least I don’t have to eat blue cheese.

6 thoughts on “Somebody please shoot me. Preferably in the arm, with an IV of food.

  1. <rant>
    Weight Watchers is a nutritional nightmare that tries to restrict your calories without trying to help you calculate the amount of nutrients you will need to participate in healthy activities. Even if you have a will of iron, you can’t stick to it for more than a year as it pushes your metabolism so low that it’s basically self-defeating.

    Good luck with the weight loss program. It’s nice to have a system, just be careful.

  2. Eh, not trying to stick to it for a year. If it doesn’t work, or I feel the same crapulence creeping up that attacked me freshman year, I’ll just get out. There’s an “activity” component that kicks in later where you get to eat more if you exercise. And at least with the particular variation we’ve got going, it’s not like AA meetings. (Shudder.) But I still wonder about those 18-23 point people. It seems sometimes like the program is really made for the non-dieting superobese people who shouldn’t be eating as much as they do anyway. Ah well. I’ll weigh in again tomorrow after I…..weigh in. (Gaaaag.)

  3. Well, I think that Weight Watchers is wonderdful. It lets you eat everything you want to, you just have to count it in. And you can stick to it for over a year. I did it for 3 years, and now that i’m not pregnant i’m going to do it again. I lost 100 pounds. I wasn’t morbidly obese, i was just over weight…. well i guess i was morbidly obese. Anyway, to Stacy, bite your tongue. You don’t really know how wonderful of a program it really is

  4. I think weight watchers is the best eating training program in the world, bar none. My wife gained a lot of weight with our 4 children. After studying and trying most everything around except WW (including Atkins, South Beach, Carb Control, Susan Powter Natural Foods, Jenny Craig, etc.) she decided she had had enough and joined weight watchers. Now, 14 months later she has dropped 65 pounds, gone from a size 22 to a size 8/10 and is training for a marathon (despite the cliche, she wants to run one). When she started, she had no idea how many points various food were. She also had no idea how much she could love vegetables (which are free if they are not saturated with dressing or butter or cheese). She also had no idea how exercise affected her or that she could enjoy it so much. Now she can out-run and out-play our kids. She runs on the treadmill or hikes for miles to get in her cardio. She even went off-plan and still maintained her weight. WW is great because it teaches you over time what foods work and which ones don’t and gives you a very good “eye” for healthful eating even if you are not calculating every little point. In short it “trains” you how to eat healthy, regardless of where you are or what you are counting or not. THat is the biggest benefit and biggest plus over everything else, it actually teaches you to make a lifestyle change, not just to go on a “diet”. She did not count a single point for the month of August this year, but still lost 2 pounds over the entire month because she knows better what and how to eat. So now I am doing it so she won’t go looking for a skinny, fit guy to replace me with =). And I have lost 30 pounds so far (in 4 months).

  5. I don’t know what WW was like in 2003 when Katie posted, but today (2007) it’s a very good program and it does guide you to eat five fruits and veggies a day, plus three serviings of dairy, a small amount of good fats, and plenty of water.

    With the Core Plan you don’t even have to count points as long as you stick to the four page list of Core Foods (the “good foods” list.)

    I’ve lost 15 pounds in three months. Before this I couldn’t even stick to a diet for three days. I’ve been surprised at how easy the Core Plan is.

  6. Recognize that your ideal body weight has more to do with health then anything else. This means that the weight that is ideal for you is one that is beneficial for your heart and your long term health.

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