My 10+ year battle with Weight Watchers

Dear lord, how much time do you guys have?

First things first, I am not one to judge or condemn anyone who is doing what works for them. Are you killin counting points? Get it girl. I know many people who had success with this program, and I am truly happy for them and cheer them on from the sidelines.

But let's be honest, if you are, chances are you wouldn't be here. If I had to guess, whoever is reading this is like F YES FINALLY SOMEONE IS WRITING ABOUT THIS - I once read someone's story once and I ended up creepily messaging the person to let her know I cried reading her story because I could’ve wrote it. Thank you, Arielle. 

My first weight watchers experience started my senior year of high school.

I was 16. I am 34 now.

I played soccer my entire life, (even now) and once it ended in the fall, I could not handle that my high school soccer career was over. Instead of getting home at 7:00 every night, I now got home at 2:00, depressed, home alone, and turned to food to cope. In the beginning, it was a few cookies. No biggie. Then it was more. Then it was even more. I would suffocate myself with Chips Ahoy Chewy (the red bag), microwaved for 6 seconds to get them extra soft. I was secretly eating an entire package a day, and I would drive out and re-buy another package so my parents wouldn’t know. I would even eat a few of the cookies in the new package to make it look more real.

My mom, with the absolute best intentions, told me to try Weight Watchers when my clothes stopped fitting and I gained serious weight. It’s the healthy way to lose weight, so of course it made sense. I went, joined up, was super excited, read all my books that I got 15 times over, and counted my points like the angel I was. At my first weigh in one week later, I lost 6.2 pounds.


I freaked out; I found the secret to weight loss. I would breeze through this thing, get back to my normal self, get Lifetime member status, and move on with my life. I wouldn’t need to count points forever, just until I got back to my athletic bodyweight. 

That day, something changed in me.

The day I got home, I wanted to celebrate. I mean, I lost 6.2 pounds in a week, I deserved a friggin award! I started celebrating with food. Not only was I celebrating this wonderful feat with food; it was more than one meal. It was a never ending buffet that day, because I knew I would only have one week to lose all that plus more. If I was going to cheat, it may as well be a victory cheat!

That ‘cheat’ didn’t stop.

I was shoveling food because I was happy, and I had to get back to eating salads the next day. I was shoveling food because the day I said I had to start eating salads, I didn’t want to. I was shoveling food because each day I was getting more and more anxious as that second weigh-in was getting closer, and I couldn’t bear to have gained weight as that would set me back. Shocker - I didn't go to the weigh in the following week.

The following week though, I was getting BACK ON TRACK. I waited until Monday, (obviously), and hit the counting points hard. Another perfect week, perfect points, perfect meals. Perfect weigh in. I lost, and I remember thinking that I was back in it, and eating this way is not that hard. Alas, I went to a party that night like my badass high school self, went to McDonalds, and ate everything in sight at 3am.

Again, I repeated the previous fiasco of eating to celebrate, eating out of anxiety, and eating to avoid a weigh in. Not only did it last just that one week and then I 'got back on track,' it lasted longer. Then, I quit.

Here's the kicker: this was two weeks of my first stint with Weight Watchers. I joined again, then quit. Joined again, then quit. Joined again, then quit.

It got to the point that every time I would join, I had to make up phone numbers. My name was in the database so many times, they couldn't let me back in.

It took me years to realize that my experience with Weight Watchers is what started my binge eating, black and white diet mentality, food obsession, and anxiety around food. I became so obsessive that I would avoid social aspects of my life, because I'd rather sit home and eat. I would hide my food, go out and buy more, and having my driver's license meant I could have complete freedom regarding what I did and where I ate.

This mentality opened a gaping chest wound that took 16 years to heal.

No, I don't solely blame Weight Watchers. I am a grown ass woman who had her experiences as such, and twisted rules and guidelines to fit in the puzzle the way I wanted them to. I know many who have had success with this program, and I fully support them.

For me, it was detrimental. And I am sharing my experience to let you know that if you're experiencing something similar, it is perfectly okay.

Do you find yourself constantly eating when you're not hungry? Take the Quiz to see what type of eater you are - and get the tips to stop! 

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