I read this morning that the founder of Weight Watchers, Jean Nidetch, passed away at the age of 91.
Weight Watchers and I have a history. Would it surprise you to know that I am a lifetime member?
I first joined in about 1991. I weighed about 185 and ended up losing 45 lbs. or so to get my lifetime membership. Over the years I went back many times. Lifetime Members need never pay a joining fee and it is free to weigh in if you are under your goal weight.
I also appeared in Weight Watchers Magazine after doing an ad for the Dairy Farmers of Oregon. I received copies of many of the photos that they took for the photo shoot and here is one of the ones from the ad:
I had a lot of problems with food at that time in my life. I was binging and purging, binging and starving, binging and compulsively exercising. I lost most of the 45 lbs. that I lost at WW by binging for three days and then not eating for four days until my weigh in.
This is not the WW plan.
I haven't been back to WW since right after my youngest daughter was born in 2003. I don't think I'll ever go back, but I do think it can be a good plan. I'm just done with dieting. I don't eat traditional diet foods for the most part. When I was fat, I ate WW meals almost every day. I ate diet margarine, sugar free drinks, fat free dairy products. Now I eat real butter, real cheese, real sugar and real cream. I think these foods are far more satisfying than the diet version. And I think diets are temporary. What I do now is permanent. It is my lifestyle. I eat all foods in moderation. I track my foods using My Fitness Pal, but mostly I do so because in my mind, I have always eaten way too much. I just don't have a good mental barometer when it comes to my food and weight and what I have or haven't eaten. I get really uncomfortable and things feel "out of control" if I don't keep track of what I'm doing. I feel like that beautiful 19-year-old skinny girl in the picture who hated herself and hated her body. Who wanted to be so small that she no longer existed. Who once dieted and took laxatives until she weighed 119 lbs.
But I'm not her anymore.