Tweaking the WW program

Weight Watcher ChickensEvery two years or so, Weight Watchers changes their program to keep it vibrant and reflect latest nutritional knowledge as well as dieting trends.  First it was the switch to points. I don’t remember quite when that happened but I’ve been doing them long enough now that it’s hard to picture what it was like before.  Points make sense to me.

Two years ago they changed it to add a second program and then we had two programs, Flex and Core (or Flexi-core for those who can’t quite decide what they’re doing, although that one is not officially sanctioned, nor does it work all that well).  I was skeptical of Core for a long time because the idea of not counting and measuring everything sounded too bizarre to me to work, but many people in my meeting who tried it found it to be a great alternative.  When I eventually did, it was clear that I had no concept of how to monitor my eating and I ended up gaining weight.  Oops.  This wasn’t the fault of the program, just my ability to follow it.

Now that I’ve talked to a lot of Us who practice abstinence, I’m seeing that Core actually works a lot like what they do.  I still don’t want to do it but at least I can put their eating into a framework that makes sense to me in my WW world.

This morning we got the intro to the 2007 version of the plan which tweaks things yet again and we spent our meeting going over what’s the same and what’s different.  There are still two programs but both have changes.   We Flex people now have personalized points targets which I know is a great idea in theory but in practice is going to be harder to remember to adjust.  Basically it uses a little formula of age, gender, general activity, and current weight to figure out how many points you can eat each day.  Some people in our meeting ended up with more, some with less, and some got the same; that’s what I got.  But it seems totally not fair that men get so many more than women do.  I’m just saying.  There’s still the 35 weekly points allowance but the daily points have changed.

The Core plan changed, too.  You used to be able to eat any Core food any time, so you could have FF yogurt for a snack as well as a meal, for example.  Well, that’s out the window.  You can still snack but there is a Core Snack list and if you don’t eat something from that, you have to count it against your weekly points allowance as well as anything else you eat that’s not on the core food list.  When the leader told us about it, the room got very silent.  I don’t think I’m going to try that soon but then, I didn’t do so well on that before.

I’m not completely sure why they unveiled this to us before New Years when all weight programs are innundated with people who have made new years resolutions to lose weight.  I guess it’s so we are all “on board” and can be excited about it and help the new people along.  Whatever.  It’s not all that different, not as radical as switching to points in the first place or adding Core 2 years ago.  I have new food books, though, and a new journal.  And the little group of us that sits together made a commitment to pretend it’s our week one and start fresh.

2 thoughts on “Tweaking the WW program

  1. Lori

    Maybe this is a good thing for me to consider; I really don’t DO Core and Flex, I’m doing the old fashioned way. (No idealogical reasons; too lazy to really read it — I never use the activity points, etc.) I just give myself whatever points it is and vaguely keep it in my head. There’s nothing wrong with me making a commitment. Starting (or staying) fresh is always a Good Thing.

    I can’t wait to see how my meeting goes tomorrow and hear all of the new stuff. Do you think they change this so we have to buy new restaurant/food guides?

    I love your picture!

  2. I got to a meeting this morning at 9:30 and bought the new materials package, including a paper journal. I had been using an electronic one because it was easier and I didn’t have to look everything up each time. I like your idea of starting again, so I am starting over with the paper journal and I am going to read through the new guides, as if I were a brand-new member. I did really well when I was starting out, but not so well now that I have gotten kind of lazy and vague about it. Going back to the beginner mindset could really help me get to goal, I think. I may even buy a measuring tape and really do the measurements this time, since I am starting over again and there’s a space in the journal for it. I really like the new materials, except that the 3-month journal pages are pretty short so there’s not a lot of room to write each day’s food down. The new style is more contemporary and cool-looking and may appeal to younger members more (which is probably the goal).

    One bad thing — I thought maybe I could make the meeting I attended today “my meeting” for the time that my WW@Work is on break, but they are not meeting again until January either. So the hunt for my temporary meeting continues.

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