A Question For Weight Watchers Members

I’ve missed my last two meetings.  I have good reasons that would probably sound like excuses (one regarding an underground fire and one regarding my last trip,) but this post isn’t about that.  It’s about the fact that I miss my meetings when I don’t attend them.

I’ve stepped away from Weight Watchers twice, but I came back because the meetings keep me accountable.  Attending weekly meetings helps me take steps in the right direction (at least most weeks.)  Some of you don’t need that; I’ve learned that I absolutely need that.

After missing two meetings in a row I started to consider something that I had not previously considered – attending a meeting/weigh-in that is not my regular meeting.  I tried it a couple of times during my first year with Weight Watchers.

I was on vacation for the week, but there are meetings everywhere – even on the Jersey Shore, so I took a few hours out of my week long beach coma to attending a meeting.  It was horrible!  I left before the meeting was over feeling completely disgusted by the leaders practices, and I decided that I’d wait for my meeting next time.

I tried another meeting when snow prevented us from having our regular meeting, and I didn’t like that one either.  I preferred my meeting, and at that point, I decided that I would stick to what worked.  I didn’t visit other meetings until I left New York, and it was a struggle to find one that fit my needs.

After a lot of wasted time and a modicum of effort, I have found a meeting that works for me.  I like the leader, and I like the people.  I like the fact that it’s so conveniently located, and I like that it’s an afternoon meeting on my favorite weigh-in day – Thursday.

If you’ve followed along on my journey, then you already know this – I am extraordinarily picky about the Weight Watchers meetings I choose to attend.  Every leader I met has been well-intentioned and friendly, but I need more than that.  And I’ve found it.

My life, though more settled than it has been in years, is still crazy at times.  I travel more than the average person, and there will be times that I simply don’t make it to my meeting.  In my mind it is not a license to eat without consequence, but I do find that I am more relaxed in my choices when I’m not facing the scale in the next few days.

It has finally occurred to me that it’s a waste of time to make poor choices, and I’m trying not to.  Does that mean I should try incorporating other meetings when I can’t make mine?  I really don’t like the idea, but it’s something that many successful WW-er’s do.  Am I missing something?

So my question for Weight Watchers member is simple.  Do you go to meetings when you can’t attend your regularly scheduled one?  If so, do you think it helps you stay on track with your goals?  I really want to hear your thoughts, especially if you’re a WW-er!

 

 

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35 Comments

  • Reply
    timothy
    April 23, 2013 at 1:54 am

    i dont i work 3rd shift so i need early moring if possible and there’s only 1 at 7am on sat. i missed it one week and went on my off day mon but then not only didnt i like that leader or some of the people/energy when sat rolled around and i went to my regular meeting i couldnt weigh in UGH! lol
    i’ve missed my last couple cause i got stuck at work one week and was running a 5k (my 1st YEAH!) the next week. i have found i’m slacking and it worries me too, but i understand needing that perfect “fit” mayhaps we should both be more open but alas i want what i want and for what we’re paying a month we should get it. i dont think it’s too much to ask.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 23, 2013 at 3:10 am

      Things definitely come up, but at the risk of sounding like I’m living in the past (I promise I’m not) I remember how devoted I was to my meeting. I showed up unless I was a thousand miles away, and I am doing that this time too.
      My “excuses” were pretty good, but I also need them to be rare. I agree that you and I should probably be more open, but it sounds like we both have been.
      You made another good point. If I had weighed in Monday (which I strongly considered) I wouldn’t be allowed to weigh-in Thursday. Forget that! I look forward to my new week.

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      • Reply
        Sacha (@zigged)
        April 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm

        Are you sure you wouldn’t’ve been able to weigh in again? I thought that too—only one weigh-in a week—but have been able to weigh in twice within a week on more than one occasion. Best I can tell, e-Tools only counts one weight per week but if you miss your normal day and weigh in later in the week then you’re still able to weigh in your next normal day; e.g., if I normally weigh in on Monday but go to a Thursday meeting instead, I can still weigh in the following Monday even though I have a weight from Thursday.

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  • Reply
    Lisa
    April 23, 2013 at 5:06 am

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to feel comfortable and sticking to the meeting you like. Is there something else you can do when you can’t make it to your meetings to help you hold yourself accountable? Maybe just go to a meeting somewhere else for the weigh-in and then leave? Or weigh yourself somewhere else? That way you may be less likely to slack off in the days leading up to it. I wouldn’t go to a meeting where I really didn’t like the vibe or the leader, it’s just not worth the time or aggravation. It sounds like you’ve tried hard to make other meetings work, and they just don’t for you. And that’s fine! I also think it’s fine to miss them here and there, as long as you’re not letting those legitimate reasons keep you from maintaining the healthy habits you would have otherwise.

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  • Reply
    Kim
    April 23, 2013 at 5:49 am

    I have kind of a wackadoo work schedule so I meeting hop out of necessity. I do have a “regular” meeting that I attend when I can, and I definitely like that one the best, but I’ve found that a different meeting is better than no meeting when it comes to staying on track. Each meeting had its own personality and even if it’s not my favorite meeting I always get something out of it. I did run into one leader who I felt really had no understanding of those of us with a longer weight loss journey (I am trying to lose 200 pounds), so I don’t go to her meetings any longer but otherwise I’ve felt that the meeting hopping has been beneficial. I hope that helps!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      I understand that feeling all too well, Kim. From start to finish I have more to lose than that, and it’s hard for me to connect with leaders who lost 20…even though they can still be completely lovely.

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  • Reply
    marthabilski
    April 23, 2013 at 8:05 am

    If the meetings help you then maybe practice “principles over personalities”. It is about the accountability piece. If you go with an open mind, you may be pleasantly surprised- and then you will not have the ‘missed a meeting shame’ which can be the first step away from going to any meeting at all.
    Currently I am using the on line tools as my schedule does not allow me to make any regular meetings. At the very least I can be accuntble to myself.
    Thanks for sharing your journey. And I wish you the best of luck!

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  • Reply
    Tara
    April 23, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I don’t always attend meetings, but I find another centre and weigh in on the same day. I even did it in Vegas once! Keeps me on track!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      I know of one center in the area, but there’s probably more than one. That’s a good idea.

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  • Reply
    Jackie
    April 23, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I’ve been to one other meeting when I was unable to attend my ‘regular’ one, and I preferred that leader. I feel as if my regular leader is always trying to sell something to the group.
    Many years ago, I attended meetings in NY, and the leader was excellent.
    I agree. The leader can make a difference.
    Good luck!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      I’ve been in meetings in which I feel like they’re trying to sell, sell, sell. I don’t really have a problem with it as long as it’s not the magic answer to everyone’s questions.

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  • Reply
    Lorraine
    April 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Hi Kenlie
    When I’m out of town, I try to go to a meeting otherwise I feel like “I’m open for business” – meaning that I can eat all I want; after all I have another week to recover, right? WRONG! I’ve noticed than when I don’t do this, I get in “trouble” with my food choices and ultimately on the scale. Then I get frustrated and even stop going all together to the meetings due to “shame” of gaining weight. I don’t always like other meeting leaders, but what’s the harm if it’s not your regular meeting? If I were you, I’d approach those meetings with an open mind, you don’t have to like the leader, you are there to keep yourself accountable and that happens when you step on the scale and see the results of your efforts during the week with your regular leader or not. 🙂 Good luck!

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  • Reply
    Stephanie
    April 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    We are going to Hawaii next week and I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to attend a meeting while we’re there. I feel the same way as Lorraine – if I KNOW I’m not going to make it to the meeting then I throw caution to the wind and act like a moron. I don’t want to lose my momentum while on vacay, but I also dislike the idea of going to a meeting. I like the idea of at least weighing in. There’s accountability with that.

    If I don’t make the meeting because of something that comes up at the last minute, I try to at least weigh in the next day. We now have a center that is open most of the time during business hours and you can pop in to weigh in.

    I need the accountability – I’ve got to weigh in each week or I lose it. I hope that some day I’ll be strong enough to be okay without a weigh in each week, but for now I’ve just got to do it.

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  • Reply
    Nanci @ This Crazy Life of Mine
    April 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    GREAT question! I have been back at WW for 16 weeks now and I’ve only missed one meeting because of a 5K I was doing, so I weighed in at another meeting closer to the race. I only weighed in, did not stay for the meeting.

    This is my 5th (or 6th??) time back at WW. I had huge success the first time, hit goal, and made lifetime. That was with one leader, Saturday mornings, who to this day is my most favorite leader ever. Times 2 – 4 (or 5? geez) I tried going back to other meetings, playing with different days and they all had different leaders. None of them clicked. The meetings didnt have them same vibe or feel. All those times I ended up quitting. I love a full meeting, I love the talk, the banter, and the camaraderie. I think the meeting plays a HUGE role in my success.

    When I made the decision to go back again on January 1, I knew I had to go back to the meeting and leader that helped me so much the first time. The minute I walked in there and saw Beverly, I knew it was right. This time back is the longest I’ve stuck with it since that first timeand I am down almost 17 pounds now. Beverly is an amazing leader, she calls the meetings “parties”, and she has been a leader for 30 years now. She is genuinely interested in every single person in that room and it shows. I adore her.

    So, I think the meeting plays a huge part in your weight loss. I have to go to the meetings. It starts my week off right, it’s like a reset. I need the accountability of getting on that scale and I love chatting with other members.

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  • Reply
    Lee Ann Deemer
    April 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    When I finally reached lifetime status with WW (I had joined/re-joined a dozen or more times) – I never missed a weigh-in. When I couldn’t stay for a meeting – I still weighed-in. When I knew I had pigged out all week & gained a few pounds – I still weighed-in. When I couldn’t attend my regular meeting that I really enjoyed – I attended a different meeting &… I still weighed-in. It was very important for my success to weigh-in every single week. And then unfortunately I quit attending meetings once I reached goal. So now, once again, for the “umpteenth” time, I am back @ WW weighing in every week. Thanks for your blog. I really enjoy reading your posts. You are truly an inspiration to me!!!

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  • Reply
    Mommahunt
    April 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I am sort of particualar about mine and I don’t mind weighing in at another time or location-I just only do MY meetings.

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  • Reply
    Liz
    April 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    No, I haven’t attended other meetings when I can’t attend mine. I don’t know why, but it just feels weird to me. I usually just weigh myself at home and try and make it the next week.

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  • Reply
    Tanya
    April 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I have has intentions of going to off schedule meetings but have only done it a couple of times. I’m like you in that I’m very picky. It took me many shots at WQ to find the right mix of leader/group and I’ve been lucky enough to have one awesome leader be replaced by another equally awesome leader when she left WW. I find when we have a sub or I don’t make it to my meetings week is “off” and I don’t do as well.

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  • Reply
    Heather
    April 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Back when I was going to meetings I ALWAYS made sure I weighed in every week!! Even if that meant going on a different day. Our meeting place has “open” hours for people to just go weigh in! I loved that because it was always a time I could make when I couldn’t go to my Saturday meeting. If your meeting place or any meeting place in whatever town your in has that, it could be an option for you to stay accountable without going to a new meeting!

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  • Reply
    Deb
    April 23, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I don’t go to meetings at all, and never have been to one, nor do I ever want to. For me the stress of being in a room with strangers would be too high and I would dread going there every week to the point of making myself sick. I do it all on my own, and make myself accountable on my blog every day.

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  • Reply
    Dacia
    April 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Whenever I would travel I would find a meeting location/time beforehand and make arrangements to attend a local meeting if for no other reason to weigh in and grab the weekly. I found that even if something came up and I couldn’t make it after all I was still able to stay on track alot better because I had a weigh in looming. I always liked having that scale motivate me to make better choices-I was never sad when I saw a gain while on or after vacation because I knew that I did the best I could- indulgences in moderation 🙂

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  • Reply
    Lori
    April 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Kenlie, I do WW-at-Work. When I miss a week due to a holiday, like Thanksgiving week, I weighed in at a regular WW site the following day. I too NEED my meeting. If only to weigh in to help keep me on track. I don’t typically stay for the meeting.

    However, I do think that it shouldn’t matter how much weight the leader has lost. It’s hard work getting it off. It’s much harder keeping it off. I would focus on what piece of information will help keep you on program.

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  • Reply
    JoAnn
    April 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    If I cant go to my regular meeting, then I go for the weigh in only.
    Just that helps tons in keeping me accountable. I may stay for a few minutes just to check out the meeting leader and the general vibe and I give myself permission to get up and walk out if I am not comfortable after 10 minutes into it. I have to admit there have been a few meetings I enjoyed and stayed the whole time.

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  • Reply
    Maddy
    April 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    The last time I did WW I went to meetings… it was before online WW. I sorta liked it… the receptionists were great. The leader… well I hung in there. It was like pulling teeth to get my 25 lb keychain (I think it was a keychain.) This time around I am doing it on my own online, but I don’t get the same experience. It doesn’t help that I am meeting shy on my own. I guess you have to ask yourself… could you do it on your own? If not, then you may have to plant yourself in a meeting a week and take what you need from it and leave the rest. Like a person stated above, practice “principles over personalities”?

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  • Reply
    Abigail
    April 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Let me start off by saying I am not, nor have I ever been a member of weight watchers. But if you need the accountability of weighing in, being at a meeting and you don’t like the ones you’ve attended outside of your group, have you considered weighing in and posting here(or to your friends or someone in your group or just to your team leader)? Or weighing in at home and Skyping your meeting? I’m not sure but I would think a free service like Skype would be available at a meeting like that … It seems like you’re using it as an excuse to say well I can’t make it to a meeting , but you need to be accountable to yourself then, Find a way to make it work, I know you will! good luck!

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  • Reply
    s.
    April 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    i think you should stop using the meetings a crutch. think WHY do I need them? you DON’T need them. if you want to lose weight there is nothing magical about a WW meeting. ive never done WW personally so I cant speak for it, but I just don’t see how it should have anything to do with wanting to be healthy and exercise. do it for you, not for a meeting. what difference does it make if you weigh in at an official meeting or on your scale once a week? you can do this! you dont need an artificial set up to make it feel “real.”

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      I like the accountability of weighing in and having an official record. It works best for me, but kudos to those who don’t need that.

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  • Reply
    Amanda
    April 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    When I was involved in WW, I only went to my leader’s meetings. She was just the best and no one else felt as good. They were super nice, but it wasn’t the same.

    I just quit WW in the last few months to save money. I’ve been working with MFP and it’s going alright for me. I’m getting used to counting calories instead of points finally.

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  • Reply
    June
    April 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I am a lifetime member of WW and I have gone to meetings on a regular basis and I have had times in my life that I didn’t go. I find that the accountability is needed by a lot of people and that is one of the reasons that a lot of the weight loss groups work. It is very easy for me to fool myself into thinking that the choices I made that day were good enough to eat that extra slice of lemon cake. When I really know they weren’t but being an addictive personality makes me lie to myself about those kinds of things. I have been to some bad meetings in my time but like a friend use to say, ” If you have never been to a bad meeting then you haven’t been to enough of them”. LOL I just love meeting new people and that usually is why I will go to a meeting when out of town. I love listening to them share a recipe or a new way of trying something that I might not have heard in my home meeting. It’s usually not about the leader for me. It’s usually about the other people in the meeting.

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  • Reply
    Gail
    April 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I have yet to find a good WW leader here. My old WW leader would just talk about her mom and her cats and offer up weird “OMG zero Point!” diet soda/jello/wheat bran muffin recipes, not to mention the befuddled condo commandos. So I’m doing WW Online and it’s much better. It still reminds you to weigh in once a week and if you don’t there’s a big red exclamation point on your home page until you do.

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  • Reply
    Kristy
    April 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I don’t attend WW, but I have a friend that does and she has the same problem you do. One, if she doesn’t go, she’s not held accountable so she cheats more often..and the online version doesn’t work for her in that regard. Two, she prefers her own meetings. I guess it’s a comfort thing, maybe.

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  • Reply
    Sacha (@zigged)
    April 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I ♥ meetings. I found a leader I really adore—on Monday mornings, eek!— and I find it hard to attend other meetings if I miss hers. But you know what? I do. Often I’m pleasantly surprised (because my expectations are so low, probably) but even when I’m not I feel good that I went. I weigh in for accountability but I stay for meetings because I get so much out of the experience. It’s great to be in a room of people who understand that we are struggling and need support. When I am away from home I look for meetings in the area so I can go and I’ve never regretted it.

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  • Reply
    Janice
    April 30, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Knowing that I have to weigh in keeps me accountable. I have gone to other meetings when on vacation or working nights. Just knowing I have to get on the scale keeps me honest!

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  • Reply
    Tracy
    May 4, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    It’s been awhile since I attended a W.W. meeting & mostly for the simple fact of I didn’t enjoy the leader, felt like she really couldn’t connect with someone who had over 175+ pounds to loose. Also I didn’t connect with any of the members and for me well although that may sound selfish, but it is important to connect with people who are a similar journey. I wish W.W. offered some type of bio’s on the leaders across the different meetings, like how much they had lost, what drives them to want to be a leader, and then even feedback from current or previous member of that group in regards to how they personally liked the leader..maybe it’s to much to ask, but I think people would have more success and actually commit to showing up for the weekly meeting…Am I the only person that feels that way or is it to much to ask??

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  • Reply
    Amber
    May 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I definitely will find an alternative meeting if I can’t go to my regularly scheduled one. The day I choose to go luckily has 4 options, so because my day sometimes doesn’t allow me to go to my preferred time, I’ll do everything I can to make it to one of the other times (including waking up an hour earlier to get there!).

    Meetings aren’t really social for me – and never have been (I’m on my third and FINAL go around with WW). I go to weigh in and I stay because I feel like I’m paying $42 a month so I may as well learn a little bit along the way. I’ve only had one leader that I really didn’t like, the rest have been fine. As long as they’re upbeat, excited to share what they know and make the meetings interesting, I’m ok…if they don’t, then I know not to go to that meeting time again!

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