Monday, November 2, 2009

how to get the most out of your Weight Watcher meetings.

I’ve been really excited to read of all the bloggers who are recently taking the plunge and joining the world of Weight Watcher meetings! I’ve been going to meetings for about a year now, and I KNOW they’ve been a huge part of my success. So in light of that, I thought I’d offer up some of the best advice I have for making the most of your meetings.

1. GO. I guess that’s obvious, right? But really, GO. Every week. Even when – especially when – you think you’ve had a bad week. It’s tough to walk through those doors when you’ve just eaten an entire box of Halloween candy, but the more you give yourself permission to skip the meeting when you’ve been ‘bad’, the more you’re REALLY giving yourself permission to BE bad. So go!

2. STAY. Sometimes this won’t be an option, and there have definitely been times when I’ve had to leave before or part-way through the meeting. But try to stay, and really try to get something out of the meeting, even if it’s just one little nugget of inspiration or motivation. The reality is, you’ll have some bad weeks. And you’ll show up, and have a bad weigh-in. And you’ll start thinking crazy thoughts like, "What is the point of this, I think I will just go eat a whole carrot cake, that will teach me!” But then you stay for the meeting and you think a little about what you really want, and how to get it, and you walk out of there refreshed and nixing all cake-purchasing plans.

3. Find a meeting you like. I think it’s obviously important to have a good leader, and members you can relate to, but for me, it’s equally important to find a time and a place that really works for me. Because honestly, if I know I’m going to have a less-than-stellar weigh-in, how psyched am I going to be to get up super early in the morning or trek half-way across the city just to find that out? Not very.

4. TALK. Don’t be shy about celebrating your successes or asking for help or sharing your tips. Even if you’re new. You might feel like you don’t have enough experience or track record to contribute, but honestly, half the time I like listening to the newer people better than the hardened old regulars. The noobs are so enthusiastic. :) I heart them. And make sure to ask for your rewards and stickers, and whatnot. I frigging love those things.

5. LISTEN. Look, I know people get down on Weight Watchers meetings because supposedly all they do is talk about processed foods, but I’ve been to tonnes of meetings, and I find that even though, yes, processed food comes up, I’ve never been to a single meeting where I didn’t hear at least ONE THING that was valuable to me. Even the people who – gasp! – eat processed foods, are working to develop good habits and do better for themselves. Do yourself a favour and try to really listen to the people who are there, rather than focusing on what they’re eating.

6. Make a routine out of it. When I first started going to meetings last year, I went to one that was located inside a grocery store. I loved this because after every meeting, I would pop down and pick up all kinds of healthy foods while I was still feeling all pumped up from the meeting. Then I would go home and watch a downloaded episode of The Biggest Loser. I did this EVERY Thursday for awhile, and it was such a great way to get focused for the week. So try to add other elements to your meeting night / day that make it feel more like an ‘event’, more like ‘you time’. Just make sure your routine is actually conducive to your goals, and does not involve, say, binging at Burger King.

7. Check out the products. I swear I’m not a WW salesperson! BUT I do think some of their products are really useful: serving spoons that are ½ and 1 cup measures? Scales that weigh AND give you the points value? Electronic points calculators you can keep in your purse? SOLD. Not all the products are great (Weird-tasting cheese curls, I’m looking at you!) but some of it really is useful. I also big-time heart the 3-Month Journal.

Okay, I think that’s all I’ve got! How do you make the most out of your meeting? Feel free to share more tips in the comments. Let’s support our new Weight-Watching blogger friends! :)