“I’m not losing weight on Weight Watchers…”
Haha ok, gotcha! The truth is I’m not doing Weight Watchers (now WW). The bigger truth is that we are not here to run down other businesses.
In fact, we hear a lot of good things about Weight Watchers. However, after working with thousands of women who want to lose weight and get healthy, we have learned 3 key principles that are different than what WW teaches, that we believe are foundational. And these key principles are cornerstones of the WeighDown Lifestyle.
But before we get to those 3 key principles, let’s talk for a minute about 3 things that Weight Watchers does really well.
3 Things Weight Watchers Does Really Well
We all know that when we have support in life, things just go more smoothly. Support and community can provide us with encouragement, motivation, accountability, and fresh ideas – all of which are proven to help with weight loss.
2. They aren’t another “fad diet.”
One of the things that I appreciate about the Weight Watchers community is that they aren’t some fad diet that tells you to never eat a certain food group again. I believe that WW’s goal is to help people use moderation with what they eat, while still enjoying food – and that is awesome!
3. They’ve got a semi-holistic view of weight loss.
WW has come a long way over the years by acknowledging that weight loss is more than just what you put into your mouth. For example, WW talks about how crucial sleep is to overall health and weight loss…. water consumption, and movement…it all works together!
So here’s the thing…you are probably here reading this because you are struggling to lose weight, and it seems like WW is not working for you.
What To Do When You’re Not Losing Weight On Weight Watchers
Trust me, I’ve done as much calorie and/or points counting as the next person out there. I know after having lost 125 pounds (between 2 pregnancies) that there are 3 key principles that are foundational to weight loss. I believe that these 3 principles are missing in WW and almost every other program out there.
While these 3 keys might not seem revolutionary, stick with me here – because I know that if you implement them, you will see the results you’re looking for.
1. Learning to feel your feelings instead of feed them.
This is such a HUGE concept…and a difficult one. Almost all of us have heard of emotional eating, so it’s not necessarily a new concept. But it’s one that we all struggle with. You know how it goes…you’re angry or stressed or sad, and the first place you find yourself is in the junk food cupboard.
I don’t have any statistical data to back this up, but from experience of having worked with thousands of women, I would say that emotional eating is something that we each combat every day. As a society, we have learned to use food to manage and navigate our emotions. Often it’s in place of actually addressing and processing them.
Many of the foods that we turn to in emotional eating give our bodies a neurochemical response that feels good (I’m no scientist, but we get that hit of dopamine from eating). It helps to numb our pain, or to soothe our anger, or to make our celebrations happier. But the problem is that food is not solving any of our issues -in fact, all that emotional eating is actually hurting us. Because foods can either help or harm us – and in times of emotional eating, we tend towards the foods that harm us (processed junk, anyone!?)
That’s why in the WeighDown Lifestyle, a HUGE component of what we talk about is this concept of digging in the dirt. We have to actually dig deep and find out what is going on beneath the surface. We need to ask ourselves the hard question of why are we turning to food to manage our emotions. It is not an easy question to ask ourselves, and we must be ready to do the work to actually FEEL our emotions instead of FEED them. (This issue is actually why we created our Food Freedom Workshop – check it out here)
With 100% disclosure, I need to say here that sometimes we need to seek professional help with this. There is no shame in getting help – in fact, it takes SO. MUCH. COURAGE to dig deep, do the work, and to ask for help.
Here’s the key… If we do not learn to feel our feelings, then anytime an emotional scenario presents itself in our lives, we end up feeding it. Then the food has control over us, and that is a big hindrance to any weight loss journey.
So if you are struggling to lose weight on WW, ask yourself how much emotional eating is at play in your day-to-day life.
2. Invite God into the journey
When Ruth (my mom) and I started the WeighDown Lifestyle, our mission was to help women learn to love themselves again and to see themselves how God sees them.
So this meant more than just losing weight and hitting a certain number on the scale.
It meant helping women to learn to view themselves as valuable and to treat their bodies like a temple, not a trash can… Helping women to look in the mirror and see themselves as a beautiful creation – not a series of mistakes.
It meant helping women believe that with God in the journey, all things are possible – INCLUDING losing the weight and keeping it off! (Because the truth is that many women do not believe that it’s possible for them – they believe it’s possible for everyone else, but the narrative in their head says they’ll never be able to do it).
It meant asking ourselves if the way we are choosing to treat our bodies is actually honoring to God – because He asks us to take good care of the bodies that He created for us.
It meant surrendering all those emotions to Him, rather than turning to the junk food cupboard for comfort. Peter tells us to cast all our cares on Him!
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
As Ruth and I began our own journeys of learning what it meant to treat our bodies like a temple, not a trash can, we realized that many women have lost sight of what it means to take care of themselves. We are called to love ourselves. Not in a vain or conceited way, but in a way that honors who God made each one of us to uniquely be.
And that is why, inviting God into our weight loss journeys is the missing link in most other programs.
Because when we learn to view our bodies as beautifully made by a creator who loves us, we begin to think differently about the decisions we make. We begin to think different about what we choose to fuel our bodies with!
Which….leads to point number 3!
3. Learning to view food as fuel.
Ok, I’m just gonna say it – foods can either help or harm us. So whatever you are choosing to put into your body impacts the way that your body functions.
I like to think about the analogy of a vehicle – vehicles require fuel to run. And it is absolutely imperative that a vehicle has the right type of fuel. For example, you wouldn’t put diesel fuel into an electric car (or a gas-powered car!). That would cause it to blow up or break down.
Our bodies are the same way – we need the right fuel in order to function the way our bodies are designed to.
And all the processed junk that exists out there today is not good fuel for our bodies.
So as you think about what type of fuel you are using for your body – begin to ask yourself…”does this food help or harm my body?”
Let’s talk for a minute about all those fad diets that have given us mixed up messages about food.
Maybe you are currently doing a calorie or points counting diet – how many times have you “saved up all your points” to binge on brownies and ice cream after dinner….meanwhile you haven’t given your body any good fuel to run on for the day.
Or maybe those processed “100 calorie snack packs” have less points of calories than a banana or an apple, so you are choosing that processed junk…that’s not good fuel for your body either.
Not all calories or points are created equally – some provide very little nutritional value to our bodies as fuel! But if we are only viewing food through the lens of points or calories, then we are missing the point of WHY we eat.
We eat to live…we eat to nourish our bodies. And so the more that we can learn to view food as fuel for our bodies, then we become more aware of choosing foods that actually nourish us!
Consistency Over Time Gets Results
Now, all that said, 1 unhealthy meal won’t make you unhealthy and 1 healthy meal won’t make you healthy – it’s what we do consistently over time that gets results.
The Biggest Action Step You Can Take To Lose Weight
So I’m not saying that you should never eat a brownie and ice cream again – nope! Because that’s not how life works!
But what I am saying is that brownies and ice cream as your source of points or calories on any given day is not a helpful way to live.
Ok – so there you have it – if you are not losing weight on Weight Watchers, I would venture to say that you could implement these 3 key points and get a drastically different result.
And if you need help with these 3 points, I would invite you to come check out our Food Freedom Workshop! It will help you to address these 3 points so that you can get back to a healthy weight once and for all 🙂
Remember, you are a woman chosen for greatness!