…They changed the questions.

I really don’t know what to think of the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus program. It was launched in Canada after I had become a Lifetime member and I now go to meetings once a month to weigh in. Yesterday was the first meeting I’d been to since it was introduced. I’ve heard the basics from friends and know most of the key differences, but I haven’t switched over yet.

Truth be told, I’m not actively tracking my points now, I’m just eating mindfully. I spent a year learning what my average day looks like, what points values are in my regular foods and snacks, and I can get through a day easily staying within my points allowance.

So WHY should I change? The whole POINT of starting WW while on maternity leave and doing it for almost a year before going back to work was to get so ingrained in my new lifestyle that I would never have to think about it once back at work full time. I know my points, I know my body, I know how to manage both.

I now feel like I can’t really attend a full meeting because I won’t be speaking the same language as everyone else. All the snacking tips and tricks have changed, so anything I would have suggested as a great 2-point snack is probably something like four points on the new system and I’d be laughed out of the room! I truly believe that meetings help you be successful on the Weight Watchers program, and even though I only go once a month now, I feel like I’ll be missing out.

Sure, there are some great things with the new Points Plus program. The free fruit is fantastic, and it does encourage people to choose healthier options for snacks, etc. A free banana would obviously be more attractive than that 4-point (I’m guessing) 100 calorie pack of Cheetos…most of the time. Some days the Cheetos are necessary.

But that’s another thing (the whole “I’m guessing” comment). The previous WW points formula was fairly simple. You could use any variety of slider gizmo or online calculator to figure out the points value. It got to the point (no pun intended) that I could look at a nutritional label and (almost always) accurately predict the points value per serving. That’s a handy ability when you’re grocery shopping and your husband suggests a new item you’ve never tried before. You could know in seconds if it would be a reasonable choice or not. Now that’s impossible, thanks to the completely convoluted formula that is so far beyond my math-hating brain’s capabilities. Now you have to dig around in your purse for the WW points calculator, which you’ve HAD to purchase for $9.00CDN. Well, that’s not entirely true. You don’t have to purchase it if you’re an online member and already paying for eTools. You can then access the Weight Watchers app on a smartphone and access the info that way. But still, you’re paying.

Before I reached Lifetime I was on their Monthly Pass program, and it included eTools. eTools is not cheap at the best of times, so this was a screaming deal. What they don’t tell you at the time is that once you reach Lifetime, you cancel your Monthly Pass and eTools disappears right along with it unless you start to pay. Shouldn’t Lifetime members be REWARDED for their hard work with something like free online access, something more than a key chain? (Okay, I guess the new body, new lifestyle, etc are their own rewards. Rub my face in it, why don’t you.)

The whole thing seems like a lot of work, EXACTLY the thinking I didn’t want to have to do. I don’t want to have to re-learn the program, the points, the way of life.

This was not meant to be a Weight Watchers-bashing post. I still believe in the program. It works and it’s a healthy way to lose weight, probably even more so with the new system. If I was starting WW today I would be totally excited by all the new books, calculators, snack ideas, etc. But I do feel a little hung out to dry as a Lifetime member. Even the PointsPlus Pocket Guide for Lifetime Members I was handed yesterday doesn’t address how the new program will affect those on maintenance that have already succeeded. Even a one-pager on the transition targeted at Lifetime members might have been helpful.

So far I’m holding fast and steady at around 2.5lbs BELOW my goal weight, so for now, I’m good. Even at this post-Christmas weigh-in I was down 0.2lbs, so my system is working for me. I’m going to stick with the program I learned and know inside and out. If I run into challenges and start to see the scale creeping skyward, then I will look at learning PointsPlus.

I do feel a bit like I’ve been kicked out of a club and the only way to get back in is to go through a massive initiation ritual, but I can deal with those insecurities. I won’t bow down to peer pressure! I have to do what’s right for me.