Awhile back I won a contest sponsored by Bella and received a 10-week membership to Weight Watchers. I did WW when I first started losing weight and was horrifically frustrated with the speed of my loss. In retrospect, I had a perfectly normal and healthy loss of 1/2 a pound to a pound a week (with occassional bursts of 1.5-2.5lbs). It was a little on the slow end, but really not bad considering I was working a full-time job, a part-time job, job searching, couldn’t find a good gym within 15 minutes of my house and have health issues that compromise weight loss (PCOS). Now that I’ve been bouncing around a total loss of 52-57 lbs for the past SIX months, I kinda think my previous weight loss was practically warp speed in comparison.

Bella’s contest came at the perfect time. I work at a college and while I don’t have the summer off, the summer is a much more relaxed pace with fewer distractions and Fridays off. The WW voucher came in the mail just before Memorial Day, as I was still figuring out my summer schedule and just as I was about to travel back home to Connecticut for my sister’s MBA-smarty pants graduation party. I finally made it to WW last Thursday evening after driving around attempting to find their new location for a half hour or so. Apparently, the old WW center had just moved locations. The move was so fresh that the WW website hadn’t been updated yet and the fumes from the new carpeting and paint kept everyone high throughout the meeting.

Unfortunately, the meeting was a bust. The leader was a substitute who clearly struggled to manage a group which included two ladies (a mother-daughter duo) who chattered nonstop and monopolized the conversation, interrupting other members at times.

I’ve had this experience before. Sometimes, it’s just because there’s a new group leader who isn’t very skilled at effectively managing the groups. Other times, it’s members who simply cannot take a hint. So what did I do?

No… I didn’t quit. I kinda like the little gold foil stars recognizing my accomplishments and ribbons, magnets and keychains to commemorate success on the scale. Instead, I went another meeting Friday morning.

HUGE (haha!) difference. The leader was funky, spunky and sassy and didn’t rely on the script. She deftly engaged members who weren’t speaking, didn’t allow anyone to monopolize the conversation and kept the Eeyores of the group from demotivating the rest of the group. This lady knew what she was talking about! Added bonus for her talking about some enviro-friendly ways to have weight loss success and for saying “Suck it up people! We’re not wasting paper towels or copy paper so you can weigh in with bare feet. Your Old Navy flipflops can’t weigh more than an ounce or two.”

This leader might not work for everyone, but that is why WW employs a whole host of leaders. They also now post a schedule and list of who leads it on the website–so if you know that Barbara is kinda boring for you, you can choose the meeting Leslie leads instead.

Here are more tips for choosing a meeting:

  • WW allows you to attend multiple meetings a week (but you can only WI once a week). If you don’t like your leader, try another one that week.
  • Think twice about your WI day. I know plenty of people who insist they can’t do Saturday morning meetings, because their WI will be messed up by Friday night drinks and dinner with friends. Or they only want to attend Monday meetings because it forces them to “be good” on the weekend. If this truly works for you, great. But when the scale isn’t showing your weight loss efforts, it doesn’t matter what day you WI. What will help you stay motivated is focusing on your goals, your non-scale victories (NSVs) and the assistance of your leader who may recognize the NSVs more easily than you do.
  • Set yourself up for success. My WW location shares a parking lot with a pizza place and McDonald’s. When I was first starting WW and doing meetings in the evening right after work, I NEVER would have been able to go there without stopping for fast food on my way out. The stress of the work day, my fast food habit and being too hungry thanks to a normal than usual dinner ALL would have driven me to eat poorly after a meeting. (I wouldn’t have done it before the meeting, because I knew I had to weigh in!) Consider this as you decide what meeting you go to.
  • If you choose to go to an evening meeting, keep your weight loss (or lack of a loss) in perspective. Your weight will more easily fluctuate thanks to eating a little more sodium in your lunch than usual or whether you had more water than typical.

Oh yeah… I should probably report my loss for the week. 4.4 lbs. Don’t get too excited. Half of it is probably due to switching from an evening meeting to a morning meeting, but it is a pretty good week 1 result. Now… if I can maintain it through my Cedar Point weekend and loose a touch more next week, that would be amazing.

I won’t be around tomorrow, but I will have a blog posted about food. Or, more specifically, a renewed favorite breakfast obsession.

Next Week’s Fitness Plan:

  • Tomorrow: working out at the hotel gym. Not sure what kind of equipment they have, but I’d like to do a 20-30 minute walk/run and do some kind of strength workout. In the evening, we’re going to the water park which means LOTS of stairs.
  • Saturday: walking and biking around Kelley’s Island
  • Sunday: off/walking around Cedar Point (although I don’t think standing in long lines really burn that many calories!)
  • Monday: Off (unless the hotel has a gym)
  • Tuesday PM: Spin, weights, BL yoga
  • Wednesday AM: 30-45min walk
  • Wednesday PM: 45 min spin & 15 min abs
  • Thursday AM: weights, 30 min cardio
  • Thursday PM: 30-45 min swim, BL yoga
  • Friday: abs, walk (4 miles)
  • Saturday: walk 4 miles
  • Sunday: off

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