First of all I’d like to say hello and welcome to my newest followers *waves* – if you missed the first two sections, you can find part 1 here and part 2 here. For my regular readers, thank you for sticking in and the support you have given me in 2015 – it’s been immense, and made my brain-farts completely worthwhile. I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016.
So now we’ve covered the eating and the moving part, I’m delighted to talk about a completely NEW part of the Weightwatchers plan. It’s laid out in a third booklet called, simply, ‘smile’.
I am ecstatic. I am satisfied. After a short discussion with my leader, I am now also convinced that the plan developers stalked the two of us before coming up with the third part to the new approach. For regular readers of this blog, you’ll know that I have anxiety problems and have fought hard over the years to not let it ruin my life after a nervous breakdown nearly did. I’ve talked long and weary time and time again about the importance of not just physical health, but mental health too. I’ve banged on endlessly about how the two go hand-in-hand and being healthy ‘upstairs’ is just as, if not more important than the physical part. It affects weight. It affects our attitude and habits towards food. By bringing out this little booklet, Weightwatchers have told me I’m right. I’m not going to lie, I like being right.
The idea behind the ‘smile’ booklet is to focus on the mental wellbeing side of your weight loss journey. I’d like to mention that this is entirely new territory for a weight-loss company and therefore very brave indeed. It’s perfect. Every single thing they mention in this third booklet I have talked about in blog posts, so WWs, you’ve done right.
So what does it actually entail?
The idea here is to put yourself first. Take some time to look after your brain and reap the benefits in your weight loss journey. Suggestions for a generally more positive outlook on life, self appreciation, relaxation and accepting flaws are all mentioned. Tips and ideas to help empower and ultimately make better choices because you don’t feel like a bag of crap all the time. To me, this is far more valuable than anything else WWs has to offer. I hope members take this part seriously and actively pursue this aspect of the plan. I’m convinced it will pave the way to success.
What has creeped me out is the uncanny resemblance to things both my leader and I have been doing long before the plan came into being.
My leader has always talked a lot about being ‘thankful’ or ‘grateful’ for things, and you see a lot of it even in her
personal social media posts. In the ‘smile’ booklet, there’s a page on gratitude and how it affects our outlook. Weird, eh? Because I do a lot of writing (fiction as well as blog posts), every year I take up a writing challenge. In December of 2014, I decided this year I was going to do “52 weeks of gratitude” – a challenge which gives you a weekly prompt on what to write about being thankful for. It’s been thought-provoking, and made me a much nicer, more tolerant person. And I’ve completed it. So what the ‘smile’ booklet wants me to do, I’ve already been doing for the last year. If you fancy taking the challenge yourself, just Google the phrase. I dare you. It doesn’t have to be a literary masterpiece, even bullet points once a week will do if you’re not the creative type.
I’m a firm believer in harnessing creativity and I think everyone has some, you just need to dig about to find it. One of the things the booklet mentions is inspiring that creativity through Pinterest – a virtual pinboard (I call it virtual hoarding) to collect ideas, concepts and stuff you like. Surprise, surprise, I’ve been using it for years. If you’d like to take a look at my Pinterest boards, you can find them here. I have over 12,000 pins on various subjects including running, writing, computer games and boxes (yes, you heard me). If you decide to use the site, you can find oodles of Weightwatchers-inspired boards with recipes, tips and giggles.
The other odd thing that really got to me about the ‘smile’ booklet was the ‘relaxation’ part – Adult colouring has become quite popular again recently, and in the back of the booklet is an abstract rabbit for that purpose. I’m not much of a fan of colouring in, but a week before the plan was unveiled I drew the picture on the right-hand side in my journal. Creepy.
Although I am 100% weirded out, I know that I’m doing all the right things to keep myself on track, and doing the best I can to combat those dark days and my inevitable periods of lockdown. I’m just so, so glad that Weightwatchers have recognised this – I know I’m not alone on this one, and by writing this blog I wanted to share my experiences to help others if I can. Thank you Weightwatchers for making my private whispers loud enough for everyone to hear.