Life with Kelly

why I quit weight watchers after 10+ years

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This is my story of why I quit Weight Watchers.

First things first, I am not one to judge or condemn anyone who is doing what works for them. Are you killing counting points on Weight Watchers? Get it girl. I know many people who had success with this program, and I am truly happy for them and cheer them on from the sidelines.

But if you are, you probably wouldn’t be here.

If I had to guess, whoever is reading this is like F YES FINALLY SOMEONE IS WRITING ABOUT THIS – I once read someone’s story and I ended up creepily messaging the person to let her know I cried reading her story because I could’ve wrote it. Here is the post, and thank you, Arielle. 

It started my senior year of high school.

I was 16. I am 32 now.

I played soccer my entire life, (even now) and once it ended in the fall, I could not handle that my high school soccer career was over. Instead of getting home at 7:00 every night, I now got home at 2:00, depressed, home alone, and turned to food to cope. In the beginning, it was a few cookies. No biggie. Then it was more. Then it was even more. I would suffocate myself with Chips Ahoy Chewy (the red bag), microwaved for 6 seconds to get them extra soft. I was secretly eating an entire package a day, and I would drive out and re-buy another package so my parents wouldn’t know. I would even eat a few of the cookies in the new package to make it look more real.

My mom, with the absolute best intentions, told me to try Weight Watchers when my clothes stopped fitting and I gained serious weight. It’s the healthy way to lose weight, so of course it made sense. I went, joined up, was super excited, read all my books that I got 15 times over, and counted my points like the angel I was. At my first weigh in one week later, I lost 6.2 pounds.

I lost 6.2 pounds in my first week at Weight Watchers.

I freaked out; I found the secret to weight loss. I would breeze through this thing, get back to my normal self, get Lifetime member status, and move on with my life. I wouldn’t need to count points forever, just until I got back to my athletic bodyweight. 

That day, something changed in me.

The day I got home, I wanted to celebrate. I mean, I lost 6.2 pounds in a week, I deserved a friggin award! I started celebrating with food. Not only was I celebrating this wonderful feat with food; it was more than one meal. It was a never ending buffet that day, because I knew I would only have one week to lose all that plus more. If I was going to cheat, it may as well be a victory cheat!

The problem was: that ‘cheat’ didn’t stop.

I was shoveling.

  • I was shoveling food because I was happy, and I had to get back to eating salads the next day.
  • I was shoveling food because the day I said I had to start eating salads, I didn’t want to.
  • I was shoveling food because each day I was getting more and more anxious as that second weigh-in was getting closer, and I couldn’t bear to have gained weight as that would set me back.

Shocker – I didn’t go to the weigh in the following week.

The following week though, I was getting BACK ON TRACK. I waited until Monday, (obviously), and hit the counting points hard. Another perfect week, perfect points, perfect meals. Perfect weigh in. I lost, and I remember thinking that I was back in it, and eating this way is not that hard. Alas, I went to a party that night like my badass high school self, went to McDonalds, and ate everything in sight at 3am.

Again, the cycle continued.

I repeated the previous fiasco of eating to celebrate, eating out of anxiety, and eating to avoid a weigh in. Not only did it last just that one week and then I ‘got back on track,’ it lasted longer. Then, I quit.

Here’s the kicker: this was two weeks of my first stint before I quit Weight Watchers. I joined again, then quit. Joined again, then quit. Joined again, then quit.

It got to the point that every time I would join, I had to make up phone numbers. My name was in the database so many times, they couldn’t let me back in.

It took me years to realize that my experience with Weight Watchers is what started my binge eating, black and white diet mentality, food obsession, and anxiety around food. I became so obsessive that I would avoid social aspects of my life. I would hide my food, go out and buy more, and having my driver’s license meant I could have complete freedom regarding what I did and where I ate. This mentality opened a gaping chest wound that took 16 years to heal.

This realization is what pushed me to quit Weight Watchers for good.

No, I don’t solely blame Weight Watchers. I am a grown ass woman who had her experiences as such, and twisted rules and guidelines to fit in the puzzle the way I wanted them to. I know many who have had success with this program, and I fully support them. For me, it was detrimental. And I am sharing my experience to let you know that if you’re experiencing something similar, it is perfectly okay, and you are not alone.

Feel free to get in touch with me here and let me know how I can help you stop dieting for good!

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  1. […] I started enjoying exercise more. I began playing soccer. I got started back with CrossFit. If you know me, nothing jacks me up more than power cleans and snatches. I was filling the void in my life that was competitive sports. Read how I filled that void of competitive sports in this blog post. […]

  2. Karyn Mosca says:

    This was amazing in every sense of the word. I have to be honest and say I nodded,cringed, and said “oh shit” more times than I’d like to admit. I am most , if not all, of the things discussed in the episode and on your blog post. It’s such a great feeling to know you’re not alone and that there are ways to move on to a more positive and
    freeing lifestyle!!! Thanks girl for giving me yet another a-ha and oh shit moment!

    • Kelly Lyons says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words Karyn! This REALLY hits home for people that have a similar experience, and I am so glad you opened up to let me know about yours!

  3. AB says:

    Thank you for sharing this story! I definitely find comfort in knowing that I:
    1. wasn’t the only one who ‘failed’ over and over at this weight watcher thing
    2. Wasn’t the only one who used to microwave the chewy chips ahoy cookies and secretly binge them!

  4. Candace Welsh says:

    I was revisiting my after school days of binging. I would at
    times would skip breakfast or lunch and then binge after school. I have struggled with with all my life. At times planning an overeating day. I later found a lot of reasons for this – depression being one. Medication helps that but learning to recognize emotional very restricted or overeating. Just started getting your blogs and emails and already fine them very helpful. Thank you.

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