Could Oprah Eventually Doom Weight Watchers?

February 16, 2016

By Karen

In 2012, I followed Weight Watchers® PointsPlus® system and lost about 50 lbs. Four years later, my scale fluctuates 6-8 lb., but I remain slim enough to wear all my skinny-sized clothes. To this day, I still count points and weigh weekly. Maintaining isn’t easy.

Last year, at Weight Watchers’ invitation, Oprah Winfrey agreed to lose poundage — again — in a grand way. For a $43 million investment, she got a seat on the board and became WW’s spokeswoman.

Now WW stock jumps every time Oprah opens her mouth, whether to insert food or not, and she offsets her weight losses with bank account gains.

In her latest ad, Oprah claims to eat bread “every day.” She’s lost 26 lbs. since August 2015, or about  1-2 lb. a week, eating bread. What bothers me is that she’s shown only from the neck up.

Check out this photo of her on CNBC. Unfortunately, it’s undated, so we don’t know which diet deserves credit, but Oprah certainly looks like she’s lost more than 26 lbs.

Oprah is following a new WW plan called Beyond the Scale, which “focuses on you, not just a number on the scale.”

It’s all about SmartPoints™ and FitPoints™. PointsPlus folks are screwed because our overpriced WW calculators and P+ cookbooks are now obsolete.

WW’s website offers nothing but empty tag lines unless you join, but independent bloggers with access explain the difference in plans. Instead of counting fat, carbs, fiber, and protein on PointsPlus, it’s all about calories, saturated fat, sugars, and protein on SmartPoints.

Bottom line, PointsPlus are rough on fat and carbs. SmartPoints slam you on sugar and saturated fat.

P+ works for me so I won’t switch, and I wish Oprah well. But we all know her dieting history.

Weight Watchers is throwing some big dice and obviously hedging their bets by saying SmartPoints isn’t “all about the scale.”

After Oprah loses the weight, makes the talk show rounds to show off her svelteness and sends the stock on one last big spike, will she become another yo-yo case, like most former members?

I’ve been there myself, joining WW twice before, only to regain all the weight and more. They welcome yo-yos back to their meetings like old friends.

Oprah has never before made the lifelong commitment that’s required for WW. Can she do it now? Or in a year or so, will we see her rebloated on an Enquirer front page, trying to elude the paparazzi (you know, like Kirstie Alley)? If we do, that flushing sound you hear will be the Weight Watchers brand going down the toilet, no matter how they try to spin the points next time.

Basking in the Weight-Loss “After” Glow

May 13, 2013

By Karen

Through the decade of my 50s I spent fat, I had squirreled away some favorite “skinny” clothes with the slim hope of “What if…” They included 2 pairs of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in 12 and 14 petite. But even after I had dropped 40 lbs., I still wasn’t even close to zipping those suckas, even though I was buying new slacks in size 10.

So we now know that Gloria Vanderbilt pulls sizes out of her ass.

I had blocked the jeans out as too depressing, until I was recently purging the closet of more “fat clothes” and found them again.

Today I’m sitting here, down 49 pounds (at 128 — I yo-yo between 128-130), and I’m pleased to announce I’m comfortably wearing the GV size 12.

It’s a freaking miracle.

Last weekend I was in Coldwater Creek buying blouses (yes, I can button blouses without them gapping) and the cashier took my driver’s license to get some info.

My DMV mug shot, taken in 2009, is downright scary. They don’t let you smile, and I look like some redneck matriarch of a family of bank-robbers…


The cashier did a double-take and exclaimed, “There’s no way I would recognize you from this. This is truly your ‘before’ picture!”

Wasn’t that sweet? Because here’s me today, with my rediscovered jawline…


Losing pounds is one thing, but I’ve been taking measurement since I started with Weight Watchers® in May 2012. Let me lay out what it’s meant to my overall mass…


177 lbs.

128 lbs.



















I’m not telling you this to rub your nose in my success, but to let you know that SUCCESS IS POSSIBLE, even after menopause. It’s not easy, but if you make up your mind and stick with it, you can make your driver’s license picture look like a bad memory.

And you CAN get back in to your skinny jeans.

Why Chris Christie Should “Lose It”

February 11, 2013

By Cole

When Chris Christie ate a doughnut on Letterman last week, he claimed to be a really healthy fat person, and had everybody in stitches.

But the jollies disappeared when Christie told Bill Clinton’s former physician, Connie Mariano, to “just shut up” after she said she worries he’d die in office if elected president.

I agree Mariano was out of line speaking about someone who isn’t her patient. But let’s face it. The dangers of obesity are as proven as the dangers of smoking.

And they don’t call it “morbid” obesity because there’s anything funny about it.

Nationally, Christie has overcome the stigma of being a Republican by displaying common sense, directness, and a willingness to work with Democrats. He blew off campaigning for Mitt Romney to accompany Obama on a tour of storm-ravaged New Jersey, to cite just one example.

But if he blows this colossal opportunity to inspire the nearly 70% of American adults who are overweight or obese and do more to help the country get healthier than any garden Michelle Obama can ever plant, he probably doesn’t belong in the White House in 2016 after all.

All the guy has to do is stop making jokes and excuses and step away from the doughnuts.

Being fat has no valid defense. There are myriad excuses, some well-founded, but NONE of them make obesity healthy.

Christie should follow the lead of Mayor Kenneth Wright of Portsmouth, Va., who weighs 400 lbs. and took the opposite tack last week by announcing his intention to lose 100 pounds in a year so he can be a role model to Portsmouth’s 39% of overweight adults.

If Chris Christie could show us he can solve a problem as intractable as his girth, he’d have the Republican nomination — and probably the election — locked up.

Sure, the first few months will be embarrassing when the press catches him huffing and puffing as he gets moving. But men lose weight so much easier than women, he’d start improving quickly, and positive reactions would fuel his motivation.

And it would only get better.

I just don’t understand why he’s fighting it. Christie has nothing to lose by owning up to his weight problem, and everything to gain by losing it.

Besides, at Cats Working we say, if Karen can do it, anybody can…

UnFoodie Copes with Weight Watching

August 6, 2012

By Karen

Part 4 – PointsPlus® vs. Reality

Jennifer Hudson says you can believe in Weight Watchers® Because it Works™, but Jennifer isn’t looking fabulous these days because it’s easy.

With WW, the first hurdle is to lose your interest in food. If you want stay within points and drop pounds, you can’t indulge in more than an infrequent bite or two of anything that’s worth eating.

(Note: WW PointsPlus® values in parentheses.)

I no longer cook in oil (4 per tbsp.) or use real butter (3 per tbsp.). Cooking spray (0) is my new best friend. Screw the ozone layer.

This brings me to my biggest gripe with WW. To play the points game and eat enough to stay alive, you’re compelled to embrace the chemically-engineered low-cal, no-fat, sugar-free foods that caused this obesity epidemic in the first place. Or go vegan.

And fake food is typically more expensive than the real thing.

In 10 weeks I’ve lost 15 lbs., but I’ve given up some of life’s little joys…

  • OREO® cookies (5 – 3 cookies)
  • Nutella® and peanut butter (5 – 2 tbsp.)
  • McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with cheese (14)
  • Fried calamari (11 – ½ cup)

Almost every meal includes stuff I don’t really like, such as cantaloupe, grapes, carrots, lettuce by the head, and truckloads of zucchini.

I’m almost always hungry. Sure, I could binge on bananas, but what’s the point? I’d be hungry again an hour later.

WW wants you to eat plenty of nuts, but it’s a Catch-22. Twenty-three almonds are 5 points.

When I’m not destroying the kitchen preparing meals (every bland meal-for-one seems to involve at least 30 minutes of intensive chopping and a sinkful of dishes and pans) I do 10,000+ steps a day, either pedaling my stationary bike, walking around, or stepping in place in front of the TV while I watch it.

Yes, I know it’s all good for me, but most days I feel like I could bite the heads off geeks.

I bought a WW cookbook thinking I’d find some different, flavorful dishes. Wrong. The P+ on anything worth fixing make it not worth eating.

Frozen meals aren’t a viable option, either. Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® frozen meals aren’t particularly low-point — and the portions are measly. Ironically, the few beef dishes seem to have lowest points (4-6) because they contain an ounce of meat in a criminally-empty tray. Most of the meals are white-pasta-based, although WW preaches whole grains.

Desperate for crunch, I tried Seapoint Farms Dry-Roasted Edamame with Wasabi (3 – ¼ cup). Light and dry, like I imagine eating bugs would be, and too many points for what you get. And the wasabi scorched my sinuses like I French kissed a blowtorch.

Some evenings I make popcorn from scratch. One-quarter cup of dry corn (3) in 1 tsp. of olive or canola oil (1) is only 4 points, and I’ve got the perfect bowl that makes me feel like I’m eating a lot.

For protein, it’s mostly baked fish and chicken (1 per oz.) and a lot of faux Boca® Burgers (3) and Morningstar Farms® Chipotle & Black Bean ¼ lb. Burgers (5).

I never eat potatoes (4) or rice (5 per cup, white) unless they’re in a frozen meal.

Only someone who’s nursing an eating disorder can eat this way indefinitely. The fact is that most of the American diet is fattening, unhealthy — and DELICIOUS. Anyone who prefers WW is a pervert.

But I intend to stick with this chronic deprivation until I lose the weight.

My first payback finally came just this past weekend when some size 18W pants I had bought in May wouldn’t stay up.

As disgusting as my meals have become, becoming too small for “fat pants” makes it all worthwhile.

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