As a graduate student, I became fascinated by the process of introducing new innovations and the consumer response and their adaption rate to said innovation. When our amazing Weight Watchers leader Jodi started to drop hints that big things were on the horizon, I was stoked. All I could think was “GAAAAAHHHHH CHANGE MANAGEMENT AND DIFFUSION OF INNOVATIONS!!!!!”
If you think about it, the idea of changing someone’s eating habits is a herculean task. How do you retool a system that’s been implemented for nearly half a decade without hacking a few people off? (PointsPlus came out the first year I started losing weight. It didn’t affect me because I was doing the old system on my own.) Don’t believe me? Just ask the lady who got up in the middle of my Weight Watchers meeting this morning and yelled “this pisses me off!” Or…ask a Weight Watcher how many points are in a tablespoon of peanut butter (3ppv) or a square of dark chocolate (2ppv). They know the point value of their staples down to the number. But what happens when you know the point value of everything? You know where the loopholes are, too.
And this is why I am looking forward to the new Smart Points system. In the previous incarnations, you could easily cheat the system to your gain (pun intended). With Points Plus, you only had to calculate fat, carbs, protein, and fiber; in the older system, you only had to track calories, fat, and fiber. While those are significant numbers in the world of macro nutrients, they don’t tell the whole story. Think about a nutrition label. What are you missing from that equation? Think about sugar and saturated fats and folic acid…wait…OK not the last one but you get the idea. The new system finally addresses those blind spots that we knew were there but just avoided. But if I’ve learned anything while losing weight, it’s that you have to confront the unpleasant bits if you want to grow. It’s like opening the envelope of a bill that you know you need to pay but for some crazy reason think that if you don’t open it, it’s not due. I learned early on that it’s never nearly as bad as we think and that it will get easier with time.
I thought a lot about the head-in-sand concept during my meeting this morning. This week, I didn’t eat really well. I made some smart decisions, but I also indulged a bit. Enough to decide to quit counting because I felt guilty about how bad I was doing. During my weigh in, Jodi asked me how my week was. Softening the blow for a gain, I told her “not great. I was sick all week and I just sucked.” “Well,” she said. “You lost 3.4 pounds!” “WWWWHHHHAAAAATTTT!” “Yeah! You know, you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. It’s never as bad as you think.” That idea really resonated with me, especially considering how well it ties in to the new system and its focus of eating the right things for your health and loving yourself in the process through positive affirmation and fitness. (I could talk about excited I am about the new emphasis on fitness, but that’s another blog post.)
The new system will be an adjustment. No bones about it. For the first time, chocolate is more points than chicken and white and whole grain pasta is the same amount of points. I also have less daily points and weekly points. From the discussion in the meeting room, it seemed like most men got less points and women actually got more (if that’s the case for you, comment below!) But I think if we want to improve and lose weight as a community, we have to throw a wrench in the system every once in a while. It was time for an update and I’m ready for the new adventure.
What about you? What do you think of the new system? Any crazy stories from your meeting? Comment below!