Finally, Weight Watchers has gotten $mart

So I’m way better with my money than I am with my weight. But I’m not here to whine about my having a beached whale body rather than a beach body. I’ve tried quite a number of thing over the years … a few fads, a gimmick, a bunch of books, a few meeting-type deals, self-hypnosis CDs, totally on my own, with a one-on-one dietician, and I’ve lost track what else. My greatest success was doing it on my own, but mentally I was in a pretty good place for 3 years and then I hit the skids about 18 months ago. I can’t do it alone now, but I also can’t afford to experiment the way I have done in the past — and I really can’t afford to mess with my health. So I’ve gone back to the tried-and-true…

Not sure why, but when I don’t have the  – hm, not sure what to call it, strength? motivation? inclination? sticktoitiveness? – to do it on my own, I can still do it with Weight Watchers. I have always found WW to be a very thorough, healthy and at times even clever approach, but I never agreed with their payment system. Historically, you paid per meeting and if you missed a meeting, you had to pay for it anyway. Well, the weekly fee and the registration fee (waived 2-3x a year during promotions) were about the same, so a lot of folks would either postpone their return to make the extra fee “worth it”, or they’d just wait for the next free sign-up deal. Not only was WW missing out on all those fees because of this policy, but their lapsed members were regaining. Talk about a lose-lose scenario, right?

Just before I left for Colorado, I opened one of their many email newsletters, which I’ve been automatically deleting for years. Apparently they now have a monthly membership deal, which works out to be the equivalent of 3 weeks’ dues and allows “unlimited” meeting attendance, and until 10/17, it’s a “BOGO”, as in Buy the first month, Get the second month free. It’s also set up as an automatic payment that needs to be cancelled, so you have to make a conscious decision to quit or just throw away $39.95 every month…so maybe you’ll just keep going even through a plateau or other bad patch because, heck, you’ve already paid for it. Weight Watchers gets more consistency to their bottom line, and we get a decent deal in terms of both value and support. Now that’s a win-win scenario!

I’m not a big fan of throwing money at a “solution” so I’ll feel committed to making the change. Although I have always stuck with the really pricey things I’ve tried (e.g. personal training), the Return on Investment was never satisfactory. At some point I’ll do a whole post about weight loss on a budget, but I want to leave my lady readers with this quick nugget of wisdom: if you’ve got limited funds for weight management, spend it on solving the input (food) side of the equation rather than the output (exercise) side. Eating and eating behavior are 75% of the problem, so hit that first and hit it hard. For the other 25%, just walk more.

2 Responses

  1. In my area of Louisiana, they are running a “buy one month, get one month free” special on the monthly membership.
    For a really cheap deal, though, just buy their online program. For $9.95 – $12.95 a month (you get a discount for signing up for three months) you can use all their online tools but meetings are not included.

    Personally, I found meetings useful at the beginning, but less so later on. If I was doing WW on a budget, I’d hop on the special, then move to the online program after my two months had expired.

    Before I joined WW, I thought I knew how to eat, and that I had to be starving to be a healthy weight. So I would starve myself until I couldn’t take it anymore, then yo-yo right back. I did this for years, because I thought there were no other solutions to the problem, and I was totally miserable. WW seems to have solved that problem for me (have maintained target weight for eight months now, without hunger problems. I realize that it’s not a super long time, but MUCH better than I have ever done before). I agree that their program is worth the money.

  2. I’ve never done the Weight Watchers program. That is one program that everyone who has tried it, likes it and sticks to it. So I need to get on the ball.

    I really like your statement at the end: “Eating and eating behavior are 75% of the problem, so hit that first and hit it hard. For the other 25%, just walk more.” That is so true! And I heard this from a personal trainer about 4 years ago.

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