“Drop the Damn Fork!”–Jean Nidetch (Weight Watchers Founder)

21 Responses

  1. kmkat says:

    Oh, I love you! (You can add “…and because I entertain and amuse and enlighten any number of internet readers.” to your list.) I have had vague thoughts of returning to WW, but your description of their latest system makes me say, Meh, and give it up.

  2. So true. I would say you gained that weight the best possible way–living a very full life.

    I actually really like my WW meeting–I go with a group of friends and the leader is is not above slyly mocking the whole thing herself.

  3. Jess says:

    You can’t have her kmkat, I loved her first!! Possibly. Definitely more though.

    Anyhow your people-watching vignettes reminded me for some reason that I was in Walmart the other day and I looked down and realized that my tank top had slipped and my bra was showing. In Walmart. And I thought, “Way to blend, Jess.” And then I thought, “That was funny. I should put it on FB as to not deprive the rest of the world of my moments of brilliant humor.” But then I remembered how horribly mean I think those web sites making fun of Walmart shoppers are even though they’re hilarious and totally justified. Because people have problems. And the bigger their problems are the better they show and the easier it is to make fun of them. So I didn’t. But I couldn’t stand the idea of not sharing that little gem with anyone, so… you’re welcome. My point was that I love your ability to gently poke fun at people and point out the general ridiculousness of life without mocking or stripping them of their humanity. Cuz lets face it, we humans are a frequently ridiculous, yet strangely enchanting race.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Jess: I just fell even more in love with you, thanks to this comment. Bra in Wal-mart? That’s what I’m talkin’ about. And thank you for being able to see what I hope I’m doing but am never sure is being achieved…until I get a comment such as yours.

  4. Meg says:

    “Hungry Hefties”?! That’s good; damn good. I have been one of those many times over. I finally threw away all of my weight watchers crap accumulated over and over again from 1993 until last year. I had an archive of the program changes and the meandering path my weight has taken. I can also picture all of the various leaders – especially the gay man who I stuck with the longest! (“You are lookin’ fab-U-lous, girls!”) Ultimately, WW symbolizes everything I hated and yet loved about sorority rush, and I why I never pledged. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to fit in with that group. I guess I’m just not perky enough. And you are right: the number on the scale – it’s really just a number. Perfectly arbitrary.

  5. Deborah says:

    Oh sigh. I have started and deleted about three times, and maybe I’m too brain-tired to have any business commenting on anything. I couldn’t do the WW thing, or any other group/team/public therapy – at least I don’t think I could. And while I’m reading this, I’m shaking my head, wondering how on earth YOU do it, especially since you’ve got your mental hatpin out (as my ma used to say) and that sort of thing is usually the kiss of death to any sense of participation or belief in a positive outcome.
    Jess is right – you do a good job of walking the fine line between humour and unkindness, and of course your willingness to expose yourself to the Light of Truth is the biggest reason you can get away with making fun of Group Leader et al.
    My waste-no-sympathy Norwegian grandfather set the example for the whole lot of us. If it isn’t good for you, don’t do it. Just quit. Or don’t start in the first place. I’d like to think that kind of self-discipline is available to a majority of the human race, but then I read a story like yours and think I don’t know anything about anything. God knows, I have enough trouble with impulse control, even if it doesn’t involve beer.
    Yup, it’s just a number. It doesn’t define you or have anything to do with your worthiness. There’s no getting around the fact that the self-esteem of women, in particular, is all knotted up with how they look and it’s not going to change in our lifetimes or our daughters’, but just keep it well away from the top of that very fine list of yours, Jocelyn. And keep on teaching the rest of us.

  6. geewits says:

    I’ve never understood WW, so thanks for this insight. I’d rather pay for a dance class myself. Here I was feeling horrid that I’d gained 6 pounds this summer and hearing you say 30 made me feel so much better. But I’ve seen pictures of you and you look much smaller than me and I can only conclude that you got your American pounds and European stones mixed up with each other. You probably lost 5 pounds. You were moving around quite a bit over there. Anyway, have fun with it!

  7. Yeah, I really need to “drop the damned fork” and do it PDQ too as I have to have some blood work done this week, in advance of my six month check-up next week with my primary care physician. And I’m already pretty much knowing she’s gonna have a hissy fit over this thing called cholesterol and she’s gonna be telling me I have to go really easy on the things in life I totally enjoy -Hellman’s mayo for one thing and macaroni and cheese -the substance that takes the center of our dining table usually several meals every week because it is the substance my grandchildren will ALWAYS eat and I have learned, late in life, to pick my battles carefully with those two little hooligans! Cutting back on sugar and carbs was the edict to me almost 2 years ago and to exercise -which is a big, big very dirty word in my world! I did push myself away from the table a little bit -but never really dropped the fork, ya know. I did start walking and still do that but not as much as when I first started walking the dumb mutt simply because the arthritis has taken a bigger hold of my limbs! But, having looked over the lists of acceptable foods to consume while trying to lower cholesterol, it seems the only things left for me to eat are lettuce, raw broccoli and maybe a few carrot sticks or celery. And there’s a drawback to that too because the roughage wreaks havoc then on my intestines! So what the hell is that gonna leave me then that I can eat? Not very doggone much, that much is for sure! And ya know, I figure I really don’t have all that many days left on the planet and I think I’d really like to enjoy them as much as possible so don’t anyone touch my Hellman’s Mayo jar unless you want to risk broken fingers!

  8. Jazz says:

    You make me want to go to WW just to see those people. And then go home with you and split a bottle of wine.

  9. Monica says:

    as long as you still can run an hour a day, I wouldn’t worry too much if I were you… And I’m convinced that for example your beloved couldn’t care less as long as you keep on rubbing that back neck…..

  10. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    I love how you ended this–when you add up the numbers in your life, it’s perfectly overflowing. Brava!

  11. Robin Preble says:

    Love it. Well done.

  12. sweffing says:

    What a bravura performance of a post! Loved, loved, loved it. Especially since I read it after I had just come home from a Slimming World evening:)) Thank you so much, it made my day. XX

  13. pam says:

    Loved the post Jocelyn. So much to say to you.
    I am in a non weight- related night class each week. This is the fourth week that Ms Coughalot has not done anything about a cough that racks through the tutorials in our small group (croup??) of five so that we miss every tenth word. You know the type that sits with arms folded and prepares for the loudness of it. In contrast Mrs. Aquiesence near me is all sympathy, Three weeks I can stand, four is pushing it, tonight I think I’ll brain her with the glass of water lavished on her by the instructor and pelt her with Fisherman’s Friends lozenges. Has she not heard of these things???
    There is a strict unstated seating code (the territorial/security factor) where the participants like to sit in exactly the same place each week. I delight in breaking this up. What is this with normally affable me?
    I feel better getting this off my chest, as I know you do. Those meetings can bring out the worst in a person.
    Re” …it embodies everything I hate about “Go Team, thinking”. My husband informs me that the term “taking one for the team” which I used enthusiastically recently ,has an entirely different meaning to what I thought. It does NOT mean achieving a goal by a participant on the sporting field contributing to the success of the players, and is definitely not to be used around little sports players when they finally get their hands on the ball. Who knew?.
    Your comment on my post? I thought of you as I wrote that post. I knew that had this gigantic roasted slab of your favourite food fallen from the skies in Turkey and landed slap-bang in the middle of your table in Turkey, hell, who knows in which manner of grateful gastronomic frenzy you’d attack that thing!

  14. Friko says:

    one way and another I wonder: why bother?
    dieting is such a soul destroying way of life. eating normally, happily, and not overly greedily feels like being so much less effort to me. I wish could follow my own rules.

    During my recent stay in hospital I overheard two visiting ladies talk. Both were thoroughly overweight.

    “I have yet to find a food I don’t like”, the one said. “Me too”, said the other.
    They were very happy to have found each other and were almost congratulating themselves and each other on their relaxed attitude to being fat.

    “Life’s too short to worry about what you eat”; they said.

    I don’t know how I did it – iron self control, that’s me – but I said never a word. But I was thinking that their life might indeed be too short, and become a bit of burden on top of it, if they continued their happy gluttony.

    Ah well, now where did I put that chocolate bar.

  15. sqt says:

    I did WW for about a year and a half after gaining a bunch of weight after a stressful year full thanks to my parents and their financial meltdown. Anyhoo. I lost 35 lbs and then couldn’t break the plateau to save my life. I was at an acceptable weight, but starving. Then WW changed their system and I could no longer tally points in my head. I had to buy more books and a stupid calculator and it just became aggravating. I got all the awards and stickers, hit my lifetime goal and all that– and still had to pay $40 if I wanted to go online. Oh, I could attend meetings and have the women shake their head sadly if I didn’t lose any weight (despite being at my goal weight). I got sick and darn tired of having to face their faux sympathy every week and lost interest in the whole thing.

    I have since cut all grain based food out of my diet in an effort to alleviate chronic pain from arthritis and dropped 10 pounds in a month– way faster than I ever lost on WW. I don’t count calories, eat butter and fatty meat and feel tons better. I’m at the lowest weight I’ve been in 15 years and have significantly less joint pain. And I’m not starving.

  16. Pearl says:

    Ahh, Joce, you’re killing me over here. 🙂


    p.s. And do please share my warnings re: New Guy Fresh Outta College. The world needs to know…

  17. You are so right that there is much more to you than how much poundage there is to you. When I lived in Minnesota, I noticed that Lunn’s Market, to this date the best supermarket I have ever seen, had far more cookie/cake/pastry aisles than food stores in other places, which I attributed to the bitter winters. So be careful not to lose too much weight at WW – you will need some of it to keep you warm in a few months. (And you’ll always be beautiful, regardless.)

  18. I sit wrong that this post makes me want to go to WW just for the bloggability of it all? Yes? Okay, then I’ll say this instead:

    I’m not sure believing in “Eat Less, Move More” and sympathy/empathy are mutually exclusive. It’s something I’ve said to patients who come to me for help with weight loss, but it’s coupled with a look at all the issues that get bound up in weight and body image and happiness and so on. And I encourage people to consider WW because in spite of the silliness and in spite of the fact that of course they are in it for the money, it’s still one of the sanest systems going. Also, I don’t think putting on weight in trying times in any way negates a richly lived life. Life is about so much more than what size you’re wearing. I do worry about health, having had some serious health issues, and I know the link between excess weight and the breast cancer my mother had twice. But it’s not even on the list when I review all the amazing things about my life so far, let alone near the top of it. And life without some indulgences – what is that worth? I say this with a glass of wine at my side.

    Still, I would so like to be at that meeting, taking notes for a future post.

  19. lime says:

    i vastly prefer your definition of fit to weekly weigh-ins. well except for the running for an hour part 😛 let me walk and i’m ok with that.

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