I did not weigh in Saturday or attend the meeting. There were several reasons in favor of my going (I could have gone and not weighed in actually):
1. It is part of my routine. It is a habit. I go to my Weight Watchers meeting and weigh in on Saturday as part of my weight loss habits. This is a habit that has helped me lose almost 58 pounds. Successful habits shouldn’t be casually broken. Since October, 2013 when I returned to regular meetings, I have never lightly skipped a meeting or weigh in. Before that, if I had a bad week where I was off plan, I often wouldn’t go to a meeting. I would want to wait until I lost whatever I had gained that week. This was my downfall when I got to lifetime. I gained 5 pounds and didn’t want to go back until I was at goal weight. That was a huge, huge mistake. By making going to meetings a routine, I guarded against not going just because I had a bad week. I felt I needed to own those gains that I legitimately earned through my choices.
2. Going to a meeting helps me keep weight loss in the forefront of my mind. I am in a room with a bunch of other people all focused on weight loss and maintenance. This helps me to keep myself centered on what is important to me. I don’t get distracted with other things that would detract from weight loss.
3. Having a weekly weigh in at Weight Watchers has been hugely important for me in shaping my behavior the entire rest of the week. I hate to go to a meeting and have a gain at weigh in. Sure, it happens. And, the receptionist is always nice about it. I’ve never had a bad reaction, ever. But, I still hate it. When I weigh in on Saturday morning, if my Weight Watchers week ended on Friday, I wouldn’t eat high calories on Friday (or Thursday for that matter). I would be careful later in the week, because I would want a good result on the scale. Years ago, I was an online only member of Weight Watchers and it wasn’t very successful. The reason was because there wasn’t some third party weighing me in. If it was Friday and I wanted to go out to dinner, I would do it thinking I would do my weigh in on Sunday. I was constantly saying I would start over the next day (or week). The weekly weigh in structures things for me so I always have the short term goal of simply having a loss each Saturday.
4. I don’t like to post here and say that I didn’t weigh in unless I have a “good” excuse for it. Obviously, what I think is a good excuse may not be what someone else would think is a good excuse. But, there are times that the only reason I went to a meeting and weighed in was because I didn’t want to say here that I just didn’t want to go.
5. I knew there was going to be a summer charm. Those usually require attending something like 10 out of 12 meetings to get the charm. I don’t ever do anything with the charms, but I like to get them. I’m not sure if the charm was starting this week or not, but the possibility was a factor.
Despite those good reasons to go, I didn’t go. And, I didn’t have an excuse like being sick or going out of town or having a schedule conflict. But, there were factors that caused me to decide not to go and to really decide that I don’t necessarily have to go every week:
1. I had a good week. I ate less calories than the week before, averaging 1212 calories a day. Fitbit said my daily calorie deficit was almost a 100 calories more than the week before. Up until about Wednesday, I thought I would have a loss this Saturday. But, Thursday morning my weight — for no clear reason — jumped up about 2 pounds. I’m not really sure why. Perhaps it was due to my weight training on Monday and Wednesday. Maybe it was that Wednesday was a higher carb day than usual. My weight did come down a bit on Friday and Saturday morning, but I was still a pound higher than last week. Now, had this been due to my eating too much, or not moving enough, I would have surely gone to the meeting. I don’t think I should skip meetings because of making bad weight loss decisions. But, in this case, I hadn’t made bad decisions. I had a good week in terms of eating and activity (360 minutes of exercise). I think the jump up in weight is either water retention from the little higher carbs mid-week or from my body getting used to the strength training.
2. The routine thing is important to me. But, sometimes habits should change. I have been thinking about my Weight Watchers meetings lately as I get closer to goal weight. Once I am at 148 — a loss of only 1.6 pounds from last weigh in — I will be considered lifetime at goal. At that point, I will quit paying for my monthly pass. I will again be able to attend meetings free so long as I weigh in once a month and am not more than 2 pounds above my goal weight of 146. Right now, I go every week for all the reasons above (plus the fact that I am paying for a monthly pass and want my money’s worth). My husband goes with me to meetings even though he is lifetime at goal. He only weighs in once a month. The point is that once I am on a monthly weigh in schedule, I’m not sure that I really need to go to a weekly meeting. I like the meetings, and I will most likely go more often than monthly. But, I don’t think I have to go weekly either.
3. I’m not sure the weekly meeting really does that much now to help me keep weight loss and maintenance in the forefront of my mind. This blog does that. In the old days, when I didn’t go to meetings, I would focus more on the here and now of eating and enjoying some yummy food. I would push thoughts of weight out of mind. But, I’m not likely to do that any more given that I post on this blog regularly and read tons of other blogs. And, now my husband is also working to maintain a large weight loss.
4. Yes, the weekly weigh in has been key to my success at losing weight. I don’t like to have a third party weigh me in and see a gain. It structures my week. But, in reality, I’m moving from a weekly weigh in to a monthly weigh in once I lose another 1.6 pounds. Theoretically, I guess I could weigh in every week, but I doubt I will do that. While the weekly weigh in has helped me, it has its disadvantages. I feel very constrained as to what I wear to a meeting. I always wear the same thing – a very lightweight tank top or T shirt and shorts. During winter I would bring long pants and change after I weighed. And, I was constrained from being able to ever eat heavier on Thursday and Friday. Note, I’m not saying eating more food over the course of the week. I don’t plan to change that. It is just that now I front load my calories to the early part of the week and eat lighter the rest of the week. It would be nice to be able to occasionally do the opposite. So, once I only have to weigh in monthly, I will only weigh in monthly most of the time. I do still plan to post an unofficial weigh in here and think that will suffice to keep me honest. So, given that the weekly weigh in will be going away soon, I didn’t feel that bad not having it today.
5. I had a trial of not weighing in when I missed 3 meetings in a row in May. I actually didn’t want to miss 3 in a row. Various things caused the meetings to be missed. And, I didn’t go off track. I never lost focus on weight loss. I counted my calories. I recorded my points plus. I exercised. I did everything I would have done had I been going to meetings except I ate more on Friday in some instances. I did have one bad weekend, but that was because of being out of town. I got back on track as soon as I got back.
In short, I think I needed weekly meetings and weekly “official” weigh ins during a lot of the time I’ve been losing this 58 pounds. But, I don’t think I need them to that extent any more. I do expect to go to my meeting next weekend. But, if I didn’t go I don’t think it would be critical. I am still following the same eating plan. I am still tracking my food. Today, I went to the Y and did the elliptical and did a third strength training session on my own. I came home and later walked on the treadmill some. I am confident I will stay on plan for this week. I will weigh myself every morning. I will probably choose to go to the meeting next Saturday. But, I don’t think that right now I have to go and weigh in unless I have a week where I overeat and legitimately gain weight due to my food choices. If that were to occur, then it would be very important for me to go to a weigh in, just to acknowledge and own the result of my choices. But, other than that situation (which doesn’t happen very often), I don’t feel compelled to go to a meeting to weigh in (except that once I’m at goal I will weigh in monthly).
Sunday Morning Edit:
I posted the above just a little after midnight on Sunday morning, then I went to bed. So, I got up a little while ago and as usual weighed myself. I weighed 149.3 down over a pound from yesterday. Had I gone to a Weight Watchers meeting this morning I would have shown a loss. Go figure.