Weight Watchers® Online: Reached the Dead End

By Karen

Part 8 — WW Offers Zip for Success

At Christmas, I was within 10 pounds of my Weight Watchers® goal when I hit a horrible plateau. Since then, I’ve averaged about 0.6 lb. a week, losing zilch MANY of those weeks — extremely frustrating.

But yesterday I FINALLY hit 130 lbs. In fact, I saw 129 on the scale for the first time in many years.

In case you’re just joining us, I’ve spent 10 months losing 48 pounds using only WW’s cumbersome, TMI-gathering website. I stuck it out with the site believing I would ultimately achieve “lifetime membership” and get breaks on future fees if I ever needed WW again.

Upon reaching my goal, the site showered me with stars, but the next step, this tiny token — lifetime membership — was conspicuously missing.

They buried it well, but I finally uncovered  this little nugget…

Lifetime membership is only for Meetings members.


My theories on why WW deems online members unworthy…

1. Online membership is cheaper than meetings, so our obesity isn’t profitable enough.

2. WW doesn’t trust us. They need to personally weigh us to believe PointsPlus® actually worked.

3. WW knows their plan rarely works long-term (which is why they have “lifetime” members in the first place).

Well, I intend to beat the odds by staying slim. For the good years I have left, I don’t want to be fat. Besides, replacing my wardrobe has been expensive.

The bottom line: I invested $189.50 in WW online for 10 months and dropped 27% of my total body weight. It has transformed my life and my outlook in amazing and priceless ways.

In the same period, I could have spent this on food from…

Nutrisystem® – $4,125 (or $2,500 on sale)

Jenny Craig – $3,655 ($85/week)

Since those plans don’t teach you how to deal with “real” food, once off their controlled meals, you’re at great risk of regaining.

WW online has been relatively economical, but it would have been even cheaper if I’d realized sooner there’s absolutely no payoff for reaching goal.

WW is the biggest loser here. I’m a walking advertisement that even post-menopausal women can succeed on their plan. And now they’ve lost me forever with a penny-wise, pound-foolish policy.

If you’re considering Weight Watchers Online, go for it! But just stick around until you master tracking and gather all the points information you’ll need (most of it is available free on other sites, anyway).

Then cancel.

The WW site layout is a pain, the content redundant, with too much no-brainer info, you’ll find better recipes elsewhere, and the member message boards really suck.

WW products in the grocery store (ice cream snacks, Smart Ones® frozen meals) contain no magic. You get as much/more taste for the same/fewer points with The Laughing Cow® and Lean Cuisine®.

In case you’re curious, read the benefits for WW lifetime members.

10 Responses to Weight Watchers® Online: Reached the Dead End

  1. leannenalani says:

    CONGRATS on reaching your goal!!! What a huge achievement!

    That’s terrible about WW. I gotta say I’m not surprised. It’s not as profitable for them which is a totally stupid reason, but they’re in it for the money. I made lifetime with them through the meetings back in the mid 2000’s and was so excited about it, but their methods for maintenance were completely ineffective (obviously, considering I gained ALL the weight back). This time around I was able to figure out maintenance on my own through research, and that has been the most effective method for me.

  2. bunchie62 says:

    Karen, you met an awesome goal. Your literary/journalistic tendencies are sparking your sense of “calling a spade’ and I do applaud that. However, do we not know as subjects to marketing ploys that status is a means to reel folks in? Donate 100 and you’ll be this, lose 50 and you’ll be this, log in 1000 times and you’ll be this…OMG Karen, you are a wonderful example of health…however it was achieved. Do not be surprised that WW has bought into the same scheme. They need to in order to survive. It is you, KAREN, who did the hard work and got the results….bravo!!

  3. catsworking says:

    Thanks, leannenalani. At the rate I’ve been going lately, I had really despaired of EVER getting there, and WW was no help whatsoever. They don’t address at all what happens when you hit the wall and your metabolism totally adjusts to your new eating habits. I found out myself that the way to break through it was to eat some animal fat. A nice steak or a juicy burger one day, and I’d drop a pound the next day, after being a good little girl on PointsPlus for WEEKS and losing nada.

    I am so thrilled to be back in the 120s, words fail me.

    WW now says I can eat 32 points a day for maintenance, but I’m afraid to go there. Besides, I’d like to drop 2 more pounds to make it an even 50 lost. (But I’m soon going on a cruise, so it may take a while to get there because I don’t plan to count points while I’m gone.)

    The previous time I joined WW, I lost 27 lbs. and got down to a size 6, only to gain it all back, and a lot more. And for a very long time, WW was sending me regular mailings begging me to come back, as if they KNEW I was getting fat again. Their obvious lack of faith in their plan and their customers is what disturbs me most.

    The bottom line is that ALL these weight loss companies are exploiting obesity for profit, and they only love you when you’re fat and they can keep making money off you.

    This time I feel like I’ve got it licked, and as long as it’s taken me to drop most of my ugly poundage, there’s no way I’m letting it creep back on. All the motivation I need is a look in the mirror. And WW won’t have me as a success story because I did it online and they don’t think it counts. Screw ’em.

    PS: I’ve emailed them a link to this blog post, after they didn’t respond to my first email asking why onliners are ineligible for lifetime membership.

  4. catsworking says:

    Welcome, bunchie, and thank you. Yes, I am feeling pretty proud of myself for having stuck with it, even though the last few discouraging months of teeny-tiny progress.

    I’ve got an appointment for my annual checkup in mid-April, and the doctor hasn’t seen me since before I started on WW. I know my blood pressure is great and hope I can get off at least one of the meds (iffy, since it first got high when I was thin), but I’m looking for significant improvement in my cholesterol and hope to drop that drug. I’ll keep you posted.

  5. Thanks for you evaluation of WW. Congratulations of reaching your goal. You are an inspiration for others – I’m going to back read your posts to get a feel for you journey.

  6. Zappa's Mom says:

    Karen,reading about your success over the last year has been thrilling! I just want to hug your teeny-tiny little self!

  7. catsworking says:

    ZM, one of my biggest thrills is being able to see my collarbones again. I used to watch reruns of Sex & the City and fixate on all their collarbones. At the time, I could no longer feel mine under all the fat I’d accumulated on my shoulders.

    I’m still no Sarah Jessica, who looks like a poster child for anorexia although she claims to eat like a horse, but I’ve got my collarbones back.

  8. adele says:

    Congrats on reaching your goal — even if Weight Watchers won’t acknowledge your success. Knock ’em dead on your cruise; be sure to wear something slinky.

  9. catsworking says:

    Thanks, Adele. I just got an email from WW congratulating me on being an online subscribe and offering me $10 off a $50 purchase. Ha, ha! I’m pulling the plug on those suckas any minute now.

  10. leannenalani says:

    Yeah I lost weight with them before PP. I tried again later with PP and it didn’t help me lose any weight. I’ve been just tracking my food and calories (and all the other nutrition facts) which has helped me lose the weight and keep it off. Those smartphone apps are awesome with helping me estimate how much to eat based on exercise and all that stuff.

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