Sunday, March 3, 2013

What happens at a WW meeting?

I've had a few people ask me since I've rejoined what Weight Watchers meetings are like and why I make it a priority to go to them.  Some people picture it like the weekly end of biggest loser, with a big scale in front of a room.  Others wonder what there is to do other than weigh in, and ask why not just do that at home.  So I figured I'd make this post all about the what and why of Weight Watchers meetings.

When you walk in you'll likely see 3-4 counters along the one side with a private area for weighing in, and some shelves of WW products on the other side.  As they arrive most members get in a line and wait for one of the WW staff to call them over to the next available scale/counter.  The leader is often in this area greeting people as they are waiting in line.

Each week I get in the line & wait for the next available scale.  When it's my turn I go behind the counter where only the staff member and I can see the scale.  It's just a normal size scale with a digital readout on the counter, not a giant biggest loser scale.  You can wear whatever you want when you weigh in.  I typically take off my shoes, but some people even wear their shoes to weigh in.  Others will take off as many layers of clothes as possible before stepping on the scale.  I always wear the same pants on weigh in day, and then change into jeans once I've weighed in.  The staff member scans my membership card, prints a sticker with my results and sticks it in my journal.  If I've reached any sort of milestone (each 5lb loss, 5% loss, 10% loss, etc) she'll ask me if I am willing to celebrate at the meeting.  So, if you're shy I guess you can decline being recognized during the meeting, but I always say yes.  Then she hands me my weekly magazine and a name tag and I walk into the meeting area.

The meeting area is just a room with a bunch of chairs and a presentation area for the leader.  Some people sit and keep to themselves while waiting for the leader to start the meeting.  Others make small talk or check in with other members and see how they're doing.

The leader shares information about the program and what makes it work.  A lot of the meeting is usually hearing the members respond to what is working or not working for them. The leader usually gives out little "bravo" star stickers for those who participate during the meeting time.  I always stick these in my journal next to my weight results for the week.  It's a silly thing, but opening my journal and seeing all those little bravo stickers is pretty fun.  It's like my journal gives me a round of applause every time I open it. :-)  The leader also takes time during the meeting to celebrate and scale or non-scale victories.  The scale victories are usually stickers or other awards for reaching weight loss milestones.  Each person that gets one of these little awards gets a chance to share how they are doing and what is helping them reach their goals.  The meetings wrap up with everyone writing down something new they are going to try to do better this week.  New members have the opportunity to stay after the meeting for a quick start explanation of the program.

That the what of meetings... now for the why:

  • Knowing I am going to my meeting to weigh in and report my progress to WW (and my leader) helps keep me accountable throughout the week.
  • Being in a room full of people that are working on the same thing as me is reassuring.  I'm not in this alone.
  • When I see & hear someone else's success, I know the program works and it motivates me to stick with it.
  • When I see or hear someone struggle, I am comforted in my own struggles.
  • Marking my progress each week in my journal and earning rewards for my accomplishments keep me motivated.
  • It just works!
 This week I managed to take off 4.4 of the 6.6 I gained on the cruise!  Awesome!


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