Friday, October 22, 2010

Annie: The value of meetings

The last time I was really on Weight Watchers (that is, the last time I stuck with it), meetings were a really important factor in my success.

I had started out just using a friend's Week One book (the one they give you when you first sign up, with the really helpful points list in the back for a limited number of foods), and when I was sure I was going to stick with the program (after about 3 weeks, I think), I went to a meeting, paid my membership fee, and became a regular participant.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really interested in the meetings; I expected there would be a lot of self-help blah blah, and I'm not that patient with that kind of thing -- I really just did it because I figured if I was using their program, I should pay for it.

But before long, I started really relying on those Saturday morning meetings. They were in a dingy motel basement, right under a greasy spoon that sold the most delicious-smelling breakfasts (I was fairly certain there wasn't a dish on the menu that didn't involve bacon) - you had to walk past it to get to the stairs, and it was torture for many of us, haha!

Our leader was a middle-aged woman who had an engaging personality (not over-the-top -- just a really, really nice person), and was always either positive or laughing at herself. Her lectures were 20 minutes or so - and while there were women in the audience who tried to use the meeting as a forum for public complaints about how it's everyone else in the world's fault they're fat, she kept it moving -- and I always came home happy I'd made the time to go.

It wasn't that I was learning the "secrets" at our meetings: much of what we covered was just common sense. (When it comes down to it, the whole thing is just common sense: burn more energy than you consume.)

But for me, the value was that it forced me to think about what I was doing. It wasn't about the accountability of standing on the scale every week -- but since I was always thinking about getting weighed on Saturday, I was planning when to eat more, when to eat less, etc. Then, at the meeting, I'd get my confidence and commitment recharged, and be ready for another week.

Nowadays, with Child in the picture and Husband's work schedule, committing to a specific meeting every week isn't feasible. I could find a meeting every week to attend, but I know that if it wasn't a consistent one, it would bug me how the weigh-ins weren't reflecting a real week's work each time, and I would never feel "at home" in any meeting, I don't think.

As I set out on this Thanksgiving Project, I wondered whether this would be like all the last 35 or so returns to trying to lose weight (in the time since I had the success on WW and then went back to my old ways), and I'd give up soon after starting.

But I'm coming to realize that this blog is my meeting now (don't worry: Weight Watchers is still getting paid: I'm addicted to the Online Tools, which will be the subject of a future post). It's where I report my success and what causes me to stay focused and think about what I'm doing. And thanks to Mae and commenters like the faithful Mo, I'm learning things along the way that will help me.

So if you're reading this, you're at my meeting. Welcome - and thanks!


  1. I love your meetings! BTW, your playlist is well on its way... :)

  2. I'm a blog stalker, like the ones that sat in the back of the meetings watching everyone else and enjoying hearing their stories of success...but never said much....keep going!