Celebrating Successes with Weight Watchers at Work
By Mika Ono
Chocolate. Cheese. Potato chips. French fries. Peanut butter.
Mood foods that can ruin any diet. That was the theme of a
lively and often humorous discussion at last week's Weight
Watchers At Work meeting on The Scripps Research Institute
The group, which is led by a Weight Watchers instructor,
meets every Tuesday at noon to offer support, advice, and
resources to those struggling to attain or maintain a healthy
"Nobody is critical of anyone else," says Vivian Lodes of
Human Resources, who is the contact person for the group.
"We just try to help. The program is not about dieting, it's
a common-sense approach to lifestyle change."
The Weight Watchers system is based on assigning a certain
number of "points" to each food item, determined by the amount
of fiber, fat, and calories (the higher the fat and calorie
content and the lower the fiber, the more points the item
scores). Participants try to stay within a certain number
of points each day, according to their age, weight, and weight-loss
goal. The system also encourages increased levels of activity.
In TSRI's meetings, each participant's large and small successes
are enthusiastically celebrated. Last Tuesday, the group cheered
and applauded one person who reached the 10-pound mark in
her weight-loss program and another who had dropped a total
of 40 pounds.
Lodes herself met her goal of losing 32 pounds three years
ago, and has kept the weight offwhich she attributes
to her continued attendance of Weight Watchers meetings. "No
one should have to do this alone," she comments.
Despite this remarkable success, Lodes's office is full
of foodgrapes, cucumbers, kettle cornand even
chocolate. "I learned food is fuel," she says. "I don't skimp,
but I learned about portion control, how to shop, and how
to cook. Would you like to try some kettle corn? It's delicious!"
And what is the answer to those high-calorie mood foods?
At last Tuesday's meeting, instructor Ro Keenan suggested
finding ways to satisfy the craving without going overboard.
Ideas from the group included using low-fat cheese instead
of high-calorie Brie, eating salted popcorn instead of greasy
potato chips, making a little peanut butter go a long way,
sharing a portion of fries rather than eating a whole serving
yourself, and buying small, individually wrapped portions
of chocolate instead of larger blocks.
The cost of a 10-week session of Weight Watchers meetings
is $125 (free for those who reach and maintain their weight-loss
goal). TSRI will reimburse $100 per year of these costs. For
more information, contact Lodes, x4-8068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carrie Gabaldon (left) and Vivian Lodes
show some of the Weight Watchers ribbons, stars, and stickers
they received in recognition of progress toward their weight
loss goals. Photo by
Resources for participants of Weight
Watchers at Work include recipes and advice on healthy eating.
Photo by Kevin Fung.