This isn’t specifically about Weight Watchers, but as a Weight Watchers leader there were many times that I watched a member lose 30 pounds. During that same time, that same member also gained 40 pounds.
People experience that phenomenon with any weight loss approach whether it’s a commercial weight loss service or a do-it-yourself weight loss; it doesn’t have to be Weight Watchers.
Many times that member would return anywhere from 6 months to a year later. Some of those members returned weighing as much as 50 pounds more than before quitting.
These returning members would say to me, “I wish I’d never quit. I wasn’t doing great, but at least I wasn’t gaining like this!
I know it makes no sense to be paying a commercial weight loss company to lose weight and not lose weight. It seems to make even less sense to pay to gain weight. I get that and that’s the part that makes me feel the most helpless. I understand why somebody would quit.
It makes me sad when members quit before achieving their goal. I have faith in them and their ability to lose weight and keep it off, but if the member doesn’t have faith in self, it’s not going to happen. I understand why they’re reluctant to keep paying for something that’s not going to happen. It’s only common sense!
Here is how I see it.
If somebody only gains after quitting Weight Watchers or whatever weight loss program she’s doing, then it stands to figure that the program that prevented a major gain was marginally effective. If it worked a little, then it had the potential to work better.
Building on the recognition that there was success in a weight loss effort in which the end result was weighing more than when it was initiated we have a place to go to build more success. The success can’t happen if an individual quits. Nothing good happens when we give up.
Imagine if instead of giving up you took an objective look at what we’re doing.
What if you found that the “losing weeks” were the weeks we barely ate anything. You might further discovered that “gaining” weeks were the weeks you either were celebrating the loss or weeks you were so discouraged you just didn’t care.
This information would enable you to make some tweaks to avoid the swinging from deprivation to over-indulgence. If giving up was not longer an option you could focus on making easy, user-friendly behavior changes that were sufficiently effective in slowly moving you to your goal.
If you don’t give up, the worse that can happen is you slow down your rate of weight gain, and the best thing that happens is you learn how to make your weight goal compatible with your lifestyle which enables you to achieve lasting weight maintenance.