New Weight Watchers Program...Yay or Nay??

16 comments
There is one question that everyone keeps asking me…on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, writing letters and mailing them to my house…ok maybe that last part is made up, but my point is that you bitches all want to know
What do I think of the new Weight Watchers SmartPoints program?

 And I have been avoiding your question. Actually I think it’s safe to say that I have been pretending that it’s like the plague and staying away. But I can’t do that forever. I’ve been working on this post for over a month now and I guess I just need to finally answer this damn question.

So what *do* I think of it??
I don’t.

Here’s the thing…I fear change, to a point, but overall I keep an open mind and I’m open to keeping things fresh and accurate. Sure, I was a little reluctant when they made the switch to Points+ and it took some time to get readjusted, but it was still something that I felt fit into my lifestyle.

I have again lost 100+ (107 if we want to get technical here, as I have lost my most weight ever this time around). I lost that because Points+ worked and because I worked the program. I felt that program gave me freedom to choose…good or bad. With SmartPoints, the feeling I get is a bit more constricted, and that doesn’t work for me. Sure we are all hearing that Oprah is eating bread every day and guess what, I’m still having my nightly dessert, but I’m also going over my Point values every day and my weeklies and my Activity Points. See for me, nothing has changed. I am still eating what I ate before, because that has worked for me. So in theory, for me, SmartPoints has done nothing but made me look at negative numbers.

Now this isn’t the case for everyone. Certainly not the case for new members, or members who have been gone for a long time and are just recommitting to the program, or members who still have a larger amount of weight to lose. I am NONE of those things. I have been a member for over 8 years now. I have 15 lbs left to reach my goal weight again. And let’s not forget my role with the company aside of being just a member. For years I lived and breathed and preached Weight Watchers. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers…not only as a member but as a face for the company…pretty sure my headstone will have “Weight Watchers Believe Campaign” etched onto it. With all that said, I will admit that it does kind of sadden me that I’m not 100% on board with this new program. I wanted to feel excited and refreshed by this revamping. But I didn’t feel those things. The revamp is nice but nothing I have been wowed by. Again, if I'm being 100% honest I just feel like it's more constricting. And lets not get started on how awful the search function is on the site and the app now...where the f*ck did all my favorite foods go...it's definitely doesn't seem as accessible as it was before. 

I mentioned this on my personal FB page but decided not to talk about it further until I thought about it more. And that was…am I done with Weight Watchers? I don’t know.
I think one of the major things Weight Watchers lack is support for their members who have lost and are trying to maintain their weight and I definitely do not see any improvements for that in the new program. Also, being a member for over 8 years plus being a leader, it’s pretty safe to say that I know the program pretty darn well. I have probably counted Point Values in my sleep a few times. 
I know how to work the program so it works for me. Weight Watchers gave me these amazing tools and I know how to use them. So maybe it’s time to use them on my own.

Since my sobriety my running has become my therapy…my outlet…my release…and I am again training for another marathon which means my days of wanting to eat every and anything are here.   I’ve been trying to focus on WHAT I am eating, not just “ooh crap is this high in Points?!”…avocado toast for breakfast, trail mix for a snack, low fat chocolate milk for post runs….quality food that will keep my body going during this period.

I am still tracking. I am still watching my portion sizes. I am still being mindful not to overindulge too often. I am using all of the wonderful things that Weight Watchers has given me, all by myself.

The first time I lost the 101 lbs I was a meetings member. I loved the meetings and I still believe that they are the company’s most successful format.  This time around I (re)lost 107 lbs by being an online member, due to the craziness of my relationship with the company I found it easier on myself to not attend the meetings. So obviously their online format works as well. And again…it worked because *I* worked the program. So this new program can work for you too, if you chose to work it.

I have many friends who have been tremendously successful with the SmartPoints plan so far. It is very exciting to see. I think if you are someone who overdoses on sweets and artificial snacks then the new program is perfect for you. I just don’t know that it is perfect for me. And if you decide to join and/or stay with the new Beyond The Scale program I truly do wish you the best success and will be cheering you on the entire time!!


I guess what I can say is that I don’t really have any super strong opinions about the new program. I’ve been doing my thing for a long time now and it is working. And I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon.  Whether that means I keep logging into my Weight Watchers account daily or not…who knows….

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for your honesty! I've been going back and forth on if I should join *again* and it is helpful to hear honest reviews of the new program. Still not sure if I want to turn to WW again, but a little more information is always helpful. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this, Suzi. I've been fighting the SmartPoints changes in my head tooth and nail since December. I've mostly been pissed off that WW launched a new system with a site and app that were clearly not ready, along with the poor timing of unleashing it on its faithful membership during the holidays. In my professional PR opinion, they created myriad unnecessary problems for themselves with the roll-out and just expected us to fall in line like good little soldiers. (I miss David Kirchhoff.)

    All that said - I've "done" WW since it was 15 - I'm now 33. I've been here since 1-2-3 Success with the Duchess of York, through J. Hud, Jenny McCarthy, Jessica Simpson, etc. Their formula always works for me as long as *I* work it. I'm even seeing results with SPs. But the mental cost is huge. I never felt like the previous programs were punishing or restrictive - in fact, that's what made me a WW advocate and unpaid mouthpiece to everyone I knew: It was the most livable program out there. I could enjoy life and lose weight and feel good - what a program! Now I have to really analyze every single morsel and indulgences feel like a thing of the past. If you have a negative emotional relationship to food like I suspect many WW members (myself included) do, a seemingly restrictive program only deepens those negative behaviors and feelings.

    I'm adapting, because I have faith in WW that they will right the course and bring SmartPoints more to the center eventually. When PointsPlus launched, there was much breast-beating and complaining - they revised a thing here or there and it became a well-loved plan. I also see the value in actively reducing my sugar intake and being somewhat forced into eating those cleaner foods as opposed to reaching for a Fiber One cookie because I have the points. What does disappoint me is the general attitude I've seen from WW and even meeting leaders - basically, suck it up, this is the way it is, love it and shut up. I'd like some acknowledgment that change is hard and these changes to the program are significant. I'd like some empathy and commiserating that this change in mindset is tough. I'd like the old WW 'we're in this together and we care about you as a member' attitude back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You expressed my feelings about the new program perfectly! The old program let me decide 'is it worth it' without feeling like there are good foods / bad foods. This new program is punitive for those in lifetime maintenance and not sustainable. I'm starting to look at foods as 'good' vs 'bad' and then bingeing which I hadn't done at all under the older Points and Points Plus programs.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for your honest thoughts, as always.

    I've been thinking about going back to WW, but am waiting until more long-time members share info on the changes and such because I don't want to sign up and be disappointed.

    For me, the PointsPlus program didn't work well for me because I was also looking at negative numbers all the time, which is hard on the mind. At the time, I was also running a ton and training for longer distances, so while my foods were appropriate and healthy, they were high points. Yes, I lost weight but ultimately those negative numbers did me in and I quit.

    So, again, thanks for your honesty :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing your feelings about this--and you articulated exactly how I've been feeling about it! I've been a meetings member going on 2 years now, and I've got a really amazing meeting group and leader so I don't think I'll give that up any time soon. However, as with you, so far all SmartPoints has done for me is give me lots of negative numbers to look at. So you know what? I haven't really tracked my SP in several weeks; I track calories in MFP because I have a lot of friends who use it, and I wanted to see how it compared to SP--and it turns out that even when I've gone waaaaaaaay over my SP, I'm still under my calorie goal--and that's working for me; I've dropped 10 pounds since Christmas!

    Anyway, it does sadden me that I feel like I'm not completely on board with the new program. Maybe, eventually it will click and I'll be able to stay within my SP... who knows. Oh, and yeah, the search function is absolute crap. It takes forever to track because it seems like nothing I eat is in the WW database! Anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your honesty -- Which is why I follow you and read your messages. You have captured what I am feeling from start to finish... Thank you again

    ReplyDelete
  6. At first I felt betrayed when the new program came out. Now, I'm starting to settle in. I've figured out a way to have ice cream everyday. So. I'm happy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. At first I felt betrayed when the new program came out. Now, I'm starting to settle in. I've figured out a way to have ice cream everyday. So. I'm happy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Honestly I appreciate your openness regarding the New BEYOND the scale. I have been a WW member off and on since 1998 and have seen a lot of changes over the years. Lifetime member sonce 2013 regained almost all weight lost when I made life time and now I'm just 20 lbs away from goal again. When I heard the program was changing I thought this maybe just what I need since I really wasn't doing the program like I should. So I decided that with the roll out I would attend the first meeting like it was my first time walking into WW. I chose to not use my mobile app for tracking and chose the 3 month journal, I use the app for looking up things. I cleared my mine of PP,WP,and AP. I tried not to think "OMG it was this many PP and now it's so many MORE SP. I embraced the new program and ran with it. I'm down 10 since starting, I'm NOT as Hungry and my energy is up. I DON'T crave sweets and I an finding that fruits like Apples seem to taste sweeter.
    I am a Believer in WW and also a believer that what works for you is the best for you. I have tried doing WW on my own with all the tools but that didn't work, gained. Then I tried to be an Online member and that didn't work so I had to Literally pull up my big girl Panties and go to a meeting. That is what has worked for me and I realize even when I'm at goal and working again for WW I will HAVE to attend meetings. I need to have the accountability.
    So I tell everyone no matter what you have to do what's Best for them. Keep doing it. If you find you've hit a plateau then maybe it's time for a change up Not give up.
    And yes the mobile app has been a challenge. There are things I like and don't like mostly I love my recent results.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you SO much for this post and your honesty. My work is starting a WW up tomorrow, and I have been so "nervous" about it. I HATE change. Why fix what works?! LOL! It took me years to switch to Points Plus! Anyway, I will go tomorrow with an open mind and just be ready to learn.

    I have always loved your input. AND I love the update on the 107lbs re-lost! SOOOO inspirational girl! Congrat's :)

    You look fabulous and girl...you ROCK!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think everyone needs to do a program that is right for them. I had trouble with PP having made lifetime on the previous points program... I am one who loves sweets, I still have them but now with SP I have tapered off a bit... I am now back where I like to be. Five lbs under goal...
    You are an inspiration to so many...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Part of me is cheering wildly to see Weight Watchers get all this attention - the Oprah involvement, the stock price. The last meeting I went to, in late 2013, I was literally the only one there :( So this influx of energy is good. Weight Watchers has given me a lot and I root for the company. As much as one can reasonably root for a company, anyway. I've also seen a dramatic improvement in the quality of the recipes they're publishing, which seems to be concurrent with the whole SmartPoints change, and thumbs up for that as well.

    But like you, I don't really need to be pushed to choose healthy foods. I already do that. I've always done that. My problem has been, since childhood, much more on the portion control end of things. Even at my highest weight, my diet was never Big Macs and Twinkies. But I have literally made myself sick eating too many baby carrots before. I hate that the new Weight Watchers programs are always designed to solve a problem I don't have.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I completely agree with your evaluation of the program. I lost 40lbs on points plus and it worked. I find the new program too restrictive and, like you am left with using my weekly points on a daily basis. Because it is so restrictive I am having difficulties following it due to my dietary restrictions, no dairy, shellfish or pork. I don't have the liberty of choosing the yogurt with the least amount of points I'm just happy to have found a dairy free yogurt. Which brings me to my next point, the points are ridiculous for some items and make no sense for others. For example, my dairy free yogurt is 6 points but 2 fudge cookies are 5.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I completely agree with your evaluation of the program. I lost 40lbs on points plus and it worked. I find the new program too restrictive and, like you am left with using my weekly points on a daily basis. Because it is so restrictive I am having difficulties following it due to my dietary restrictions, no dairy, shellfish or pork. I don't have the liberty of choosing the yogurt with the least amount of points I'm just happy to have found a dairy free yogurt. Which brings me to my next point, the points are ridiculous for some items and make no sense for others. For example, my dairy free yogurt is 6 points but 2 fudge cookies are 5.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I lost 80lbs on PointsPlus. I went into Beyond the Scale with an open mind. I even thought it might breath new life into my motivation. It did not. I find the program to be SO restrictive that even the slightest sugary indulgence will set me back too far. As a result I try to abstain from treats...We all know where that leads! Now, I'm not only struggling to lose, I'm actually starting to gain. So, after careful consideration and with a heavy heart, I am giving up my membership and trying something else. Goodbye WW. We had a good run. :(

    ReplyDelete
  15. Whatever happened to "if it ain't broke don't fix it"?? I had a fantastic result on PP. When I re-joined WW after Beyond the Scale was introduced I went over my points consistently AND my weight did not budge. I was so disheartened. I have cancelled my membership, requested a refund of the balance of my contract and will try to make a go of it on my own. New is certainly not "improved" in this case.

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.