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Friday, December 11, 2015

YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! YOU'RE NOT MY MOM! TheBrains Struggle with the New Weight Watcher's Program


Goodness! What is all the racket? Oh - Oh dear. It's TheBrains - or rather, it's my precious little wild child of a RIGHT BRAIN and I suspect she's upset about all the changes Weight Watcher made in their points calculations this week. Let's listen in and see what transpires.

* * * * *

RIGHT BRAIN: AAAAARGH!  AHHHEEEE! (kicks metal trash can with a loud CRASH!)

LEFT BRAIN: Here Here. Stop


LEFT BRAIN:Shh shhh. calm down (reaching out and touching a shoulder)


LEFT BRAIN: (grabbing in a big hug, tightening her arms)  Shh shh. It's going to be alright.

RIGHT BRAIN: (struggles a moment then bursts into huge gulping sobs)

LEFT BRAIN:(snuggles and rocks gently) Calma calma - it's going to be alright. I will take care of you. We're going to be okay. I promise

RIGHT BRAIN (sobs harder but stops struggling)

LEFT BRAIN: There there, honey. It's going to be okay. I swear it. We'll get through this together.

Some minutes later .....

RIGHT BRAIN (sits quietly, just a few shuddering sobs every now and then)

LEFT BRAIN: Okay now? Is it all out of your system?

RIGHT BRAIN mmmm. maybe not all of it but yeah, mostly

LEFT BRAIN: I completely understand how frustrated and frightened you are


LEFT BRAIN: Of course. We had all these plans. We worked out steps to take. We have worked very hard to get down to the happy weight number and were going to get to January feeling proud and fit and hot hot hot ... and now Weight Watchers has changed their tracker, their points calculators, and assigned such high points to the fun foods of Christmas that we're going to feel frightened and guilty just looking at them. Not to mention how much work we're going to have to do to relearn our basic healthy foods' new points. and their new website is S L O W and cumbersome.

RIGHT BRAIN:  Oh. you do understand. It was heaven. And now it's all ruined. Ruined ruined ruined!

LEFT BRAIN: No. It's not ruined. It's changed. That's all

RIGHT BRAIN:  Ruined AND changed

LEFT BRAIN: (hugs tight) No. It's just different.

RIGHT BRAIN:  I hate Weight Watchers. I hate them hate them hate them

LEFT BRAIN: (hugs even tighter and laughs) No you don't. You hate change

RIGHT BRAIN:  Well - they made me change. I hate them for it

LEFT BRAIN: (cups her face and looks into her eyes) No they did not. They offered you a change.  They also took away something you knew and liked. But only you can make you change. Or ... rather ... only we can make us change.

RIGHT BRAIN: You mean you think you can make me change and  YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!

LEFT BRAIN: (smiles tenderly) You're absolutely right. I can't make you change -I don't want to make you change. But I can point out a truth or two.  Admit it now. No matter what else you also feel, you also feel that there is something fundamentally right about the new things they're offering.

RIGHT BRAIN:  (squirms, pouts) I hate them

LEFT BRAIN: It's okay to hate the awful feelings of change. The scariness. The doubt of self, the feeling that you will fail at this change and fail where you had been a success.  But tell me this. Has there ever been anything fabulous we've achieved that didn't include the awful feelings of change?

RIGHT BRAIN:  (thinks a moment) Yes! When we changed from knitting american style to continental - it was fun!

LEFT BRAIN: But it was hard too, wasn't it?

RIGHT BRAIN:  Well - yes. But I don't mind hard. I hate pain. Besides - I wanted to make that change. I don't want to make the changes that Weight Watcher's asking me to make

LEFT BRAIN: You don't want to be healthy and thin?

RIGHT BRAIN:  I want SUGAR! SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR - right NOW at Christmas time I want SUGAR!  

LEFT BRAIN: Laughs out loud)  Well so do I. Maybe not that much sugar - but yeah - I do want me some sugar.

RIGHT BRAIN:  Well - well?!? Weight Watcher's made anything with sugar in it so high in points that we cant ever have any sugar again. We will die without ever having sugar again and all the black pepper refrigerator cookies in the world will go to SOMEONE ELSE!

LEFT BRAIN: (hugs tightly again) You are so utterly cute.

RIGHT BRAIN:  I'm not cute! I am mad. and grieving. and angry

LEFT BRAIN: And cute. And I completely understand the way you feel but tell me ... when you read the new Weight Watcher's way of calculating food points didn't you instinctively feel that it would nudge us into healthier eating, and slimmer eating and maybe even a kind of preventive eating that would keep our hearts healthier - stave off diabetes - make the last years of our life more comfortable. Didn't you feel that little twinge of "YES"?

RIGHT BRAIN:  (squirms)

LEFT BRAIN: (gives her little shake) Didn't you?


LEFT BRAIN: You recognized that this new way of calculating what and how much we should eat will edge us away from eating sweets and other white food. It'll push us into that next level of healthy eating we ought to be doing.

RIGHT BRAIN:  Oh you. You are all about doing what we ought to be doing

LEFT BRAIN: I can't help that. It's my role

RIGHT BRAIN:  But I don't want to do what we ought to be doing. I want to be lucky! I want the weight loss fairy to tap me on the head and make me thin even if I do eat Black Pepper Refrigerator Cookies made with Butter.

LEFT BRAIN: Can't help you there either. Feelings are your job. But I can make a suggestion.

RIGHT BRAIN:  What. Suffer? Suck it up? Be miserable for the rest of our lives?

LEFT BRAIN: No dearest sweet thing. Nothing so draconian. Do you want to hear it?

RIGHT BRAIN:  Well, of course I do.

LEFT BRAIN: (smiles) Okay .. first off - what say we don't worry about these changes At All.

RIGHT BRAIN:  You mean ... don't do them?

LEFT BRAIN: Maybe. Maybe not. Let's just wait and see. Let's just read all the material, use the tracker and don't give a damn about if we go over our points or not. Just use it and see what the numbers end up looking like

RIGHT BRAIN:  But what about feeling guilty? What about seeing that a single brownie is 17 points which is more than half the points you can eat in a day? What about that?

LEFT BRAIN: Well - it is what it is. We don't have to care about it.

RIGHT BRAIN:  But what if we eat  a brownie

LEFT BRAIN: So what? Who cares. This is a fact finding week. This is a get to know something different week. We're just curious. We won't let the tracker judge us any more than we let the scale judge us.

RIGHT BRAIN:  But the tracker was always protecting me from getting fat fat fat

LEFT BRAIN: Well - yes, in a way it was.  But this week it's not going to be. Maybe not this whole month. What do you say that for the rest of this month we just watch and see what the tracker looks like.

RIGHT BRAIN:  But what if we get so fat we can't wear our clothes or our tummy hurts?

LEFT BRAIN: My dearest dear.  Do you think I would let you eat till your tummy hurts?

RIGHT BRAIN:  Well. No. No I think you would stop me.

LEFT BRAIN: There you have it. Let's just look at this new program as a super big math problem. Let's figure out the math of the new Weight Watcher's program.

RIGHT BRAIN:  Oh. Oh. .I like math problems.


RIGHT BRAIN:  And you actually like this new program don't you?

LEFT BRAIN: Actually - yes. I already know it's a good program. I think they timed it horribly. A change this  big should have been rolled out in October, not half way to Christmas. It's a huge change that targets holiday food the most so it's really asking people to give up not just sugar, but memories, traditional foods and ceremonies. It's asking people to be in Fresh Start Mode just when they're trying to be nostalgic. I can't believe the psychologists at Weight Watcher's were consulted.

RIGHT BRAIN:  Or if they were, they're all a bunch of 25 year old left brain metro-central modern emotionless robots who had mothers like William's college roommates';  mothers who never cooked a meal in their lives.

LEFT BRAIN: (smiling) maybe. Probably. I agree. So, the timing of this is abysmal - but you know - just because they say we ought to do something doesn't mean we have to, now, does it?


LEFT BRAIN: And aren't you just a little curious to get to know it better? to just try it?

RIGHT BRAIN: Well. Well. yes.

LEFT BRAIN: And we don't have to do anything more than just learn about it. and use the tracker to do that learning. But we will not  treat the tracker like some giant big scolding finger, right?


LEFT BRAIN: Feel better?

RIGHT BRAIN:  That's all?

LEFT BRAIN: Yup. That's all

RIGHT BRAIN:  Oh. Then yes. I do feel better


RIGHT BRAIN:  Are we going to order a fitbit today?


RIGHT BRAIN:  Oh. I feel lots better then

LEFT BRAIN: (Grins) Good.

* * * * *

Well. There you have it. TheBrains have to rethink their holiday strategy, maybe even come up with some new goals and steps, but I think they're going to be alright.


  1. I'm with I have found this adjustment challenging -- I'm an online user so got ZERO explanation about what lay behind the new calculations. Had to look it all up on Google. I've mainly left sweets behind...but they've upped the points for cheese and peanut butter too...based on their revised views of fat content. Growl!! Turns out my allowances are the minimum DPA and minimum weekly "SmartPoints"...all because this go 'round I want to take off only a few pounds and maintain thereafter. 'Way to make it harder for Women of a Certain Age, eh?! And then there's that irritating animated exercise image...I've asked them for an "OFF" button for that one! Hugs and Merry Christmas, Bess! :-)

  2. Yes. there are many flaws with the web page. Too big to see a day on the screen without scrolling. To slow - which means the program is way bigger than necessary. and did you notice - you don't get to "earn" points via exercise unless you log on and change your settings.

    But the nudge to less white food is a good thing.