Thursday, February 14, 2013

WW meeting

I had a really bad Weight Watchers experience this morning. I actually left in tears. Remember how I said I was just going to start weighing in once a month, so I didn't have to listen to the commentary, "Well, at least you didn't gain!" or "You're up a little this week, Katie" or whatever while I'm on maintenance? Well, I weighed in last week, so according to WW, I don't have to weigh in again until March.

As a Lifetime Member, weighing in is only necessary once a month to keep your membership, but you can go to as many meetings as you like (assuming your weight is not more than two pounds above goal). So last week, I decided that I would just weigh in the first week of each month, but still attend my Thursday meetings.

Today, I walked in and said to the receptionist, "I already weighed in this month, but I'd like to come to the meeting. I haven't done this before--do you need my book, or my membership card, or anything?" She got the annoyed look on her face that I've gotten used to, and said, "Let me look at your book." So she looked at my weight record and saw that I was, in fact, under my goal weight and a free Lifetime Member. So she waved me toward the meeting, and off I went.

I wasn't feeling very good about the way she reacted, but I thought maybe I was just too sensitive and misread the whole thing, so I tried to forget about it. Then I noticed that she hadn't given me the little weekly pamphlet that they hand out when you weigh in. I decided to pick one up on the way out.

I stayed for the meeting, but the whole time, I was just feeling really uneasy. After the meeting was over, I walked out into the lobby area and there were two women at the desk--the receptionist who had checked my card, and a woman who always gives a rude impression (she's the one who I had issues with in the past, years ago). I'm not sure if she's like that with just me, or with everyone, but I think maybe it's just her personality? I don't know. Anyway...

I said, "Excuse me, could I get one of the weekly booklets? I didn't get one when I came in," and the rude-impression woman said, "Did you weigh in when you came in?" and I told her, "No, I weighed in last week, so I just came for the meeting today. But I showed my book to her (meaning the other woman)  and--"

As I was talking, she wouldn't even look at me, or let me finish my sentence. She just kept saying "Okay" over and over while I was trying to talk. Not in a, "Okay, I understand" kind of way, but a "Okay, now stop talking, I got it" kind of way. This is really hard to describe. I was stunned at the tone in her voice, and I didn't know what to say. I stood there for a minute, trying to make sense of it, but then I just thanked her for the book that she handed me, and then I left, tears burning my eyes.

When I got in the car, I called Jerry and started crying as I described what happened. I feel SO unwelcome there, and I don't know what I did to deserve it! All I want is to go to a weekly meeting for accountability, and to really get to know the other people in the meeting.

My leader is the only one there who actually makes me feel comfortable and welcome, out of the 3-4 women working there on Thursday mornings. I'm sure if I told my leader the problem, she'd probably tell me to just go have her weigh me in and then I wouldn't have to deal with anyone else. But I hate that this is a problem in the first place--if I feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, I'm sure the chances of others feeling that way are likely also.

I've realized that this is NOT the norm for WW centers. Most people I've talked to have never had a problem like this, and they love their centers and their leaders. So I keep wondering if I'm just being overly sensitive, or if this really is a problem; after today, I really do think that it's a problem.

A big problem I've noticed there is that nobody seems to know much about maintenance and Lifetime Membership. Members spend so much time, energy, dedication, and money getting to maintenance, and achieving that Lifetime status... but when we get there, it's like we're just forgotten. The meetings are aimed at people who are losing weight (which is totally understandable); but I think it would be awesome to have one or two meetings a month that are just for Lifetime Members, to discuss maintenance.

Another problem I've noticed is that everybody who works there seems to be on a different page for everything. It's very inconsistent when I weigh-in, for example. If I worked there, I would look at the book, see that I'm weighing a Lifetimer who is below goal, and I would congratulate them for maintaining rather than saying something like, "Well, at least you didn't gain." They all seem to think that I should be striving to lose more weight, and I'm not.

After today, I just don't have any desire to go to another meeting. I'll weigh-in once a month to keep my membership active and to keep my free e-tools; and when I go, I'll make sure it's my leader that weighs me, and no one else. I may tell her what happened today, but I don't know what good that will do. I don't feel like the meetings are necessary in my weight maintenance, so I'll be fine without them, but I was excited about them because I finally reached that Lifetime status! I've honestly found all the support I need from SparkPeople and my blog, so not attending meetings isn't that big of a deal.

Another option would be to go to a different WW center. It would be inconvenient, but I'm sure my experience would be better.

I want to make it clear that I'm not ranting about Weight Watchers in general. I really like their new program, and I'm sure that most centers are fantastic--I just feel very unwelcome at the center nearest to my house.

Anyway, I don't want to leave this post on a sour note! Today was obviously Valentine's Day, but Jerry and I never celebrate it, so it was just a normal day for us. He was off work, so we went to the kids' school to volunteer at their classroom parties.
Eli's Valentine's Day project

I can't believe all the junk food that they get! I could understand the candy, but Noah's classroom had a huge ice cream sundae bar, a billion cupcakes, cookies, and candy. Eli's class had pizza (this was after lunch), cookies, and candy. And that's what all of the holiday parties are like! I was totally tempted by the ice cream bar, but it's easy to turn down when kids have their sticky hands all over everything ;)

After school, we came home and spent some quality time with the kids. We played the board game Sorry, and then I read a few chapters of a book out loud to Eli. 

I had to call the court at 6:00 regarding jury duty. I've gotten lucky so far, in that I haven't had to go in. As of Monday, I've been "on call", which means I have to call every night after 6:00 to find out whether I'll have to go in the next day. I would much rather just have a confirmed date than to wonder each day, but so far, I haven't had to go in. I'm on call until a week from tomorrow.

I'm reeeally hoping that I don't have to go in next week, because my kids are off school for winter break. My mom is on a cruise, and Jerry will be working, so I have no idea what I will do about childcare if I have to go in.

I really need to plan some adventures to do with the kids next week, so they don't drive me crazy with their constant bickering over break. ;)

94 comments:

  1. I wonder if you could somehow get to know someone else who goes to your meeting and find out if they have the same issues with the receptionists. Or if there is some kind of boss to the receptionist that you could go to regarding the lifetime status issue and how they are rude about it.

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  2. I think you need to be the squeaky wheel and speak up! Who knows who else that really NEEDS those meetings is leaving in tears, and/or never coming back!

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  3. Id contact management and let them all your concerns: how unwelcome you feel as well as the lack of support for lifetime members. You probably arent the only one with those issues. And also let them know how much you like your leader and what a good job shes doing!

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  4. Those ladies are.....One word. Seven letters. Starts with a capital J - J E A L O U S!
    Seriously, I read your post every night and almost never comment but this is bulls**t. I totally agree with Kelly. I would report them to higher ups. All you probably have to do is write an e-mail. And, honestly, Katie, who cares if others feel the same way or not? What matters is how they are making YOU feel. I wouldn't put up with that crap. I'm sure it would be taken care of if you reported them. I would hate to see you most to another location because that's exactly what those jealous women want!

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    Replies
    1. For Cindy...Be careful about reporting rude people to management. Half of management are corrupt and you could end up getting stalked or harassed into keeping your mouth shut.
      That happened with me - although NOT with Weight Watchers I hasten to add. That was a different organisation altogether, but you never know for sure what can happen in this crazy world.

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  5. Sorry that happened to you.:( Could you maybe complain to their supervisor?? Your right they probably make others feel that way and they shouldn't. But if you let them get away with that treatment they will just keep doing it to others. Your right that they should have more information on maintenance too!!

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  6. I went to WW as a teenager... I ALWAYS felt unwelcome. Yes, I went with my mom and she had gotten to know some people at the meeting, but I wasn't inspired or encouraged. I went to a different meeting when I went back to WW, but it was in the town I grew up in, and knew too many people. I vaguely remember the ladies who did weigh-in, and I had a favorite one, but I felt judged by most. It's a program to help and encourage, not judge. I'm sorry you had an awful experience. You should be proud that you are maintaining, and that they have to learn what it means.

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  7. Oh Hon, I'm sorry these women are treating you this way. I would report them. If they are treating you like this, there may be others as well. I found a number on their site that you maybe able to get a hold of someone to report the issue. 800-651-6000

    I've felt nothing but support at my meeting. But I'm sure Perrysburg, Ohio is a bit of a drive.

    Mandi

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  8. I think I said something in comments some time ago - you'd be perfect for leading/hosting some kind of unofficial meet up group of lifetime members! You have really figured out how to use this program. I have taken so many ideas from you and it's actually been fun following the program again and getting my college weight gain off of my body! I did not inherit the cooking gene from my Mom so I am just not good at coming up with ideas for foods; I would just do the same thing over and over. You have been able to work chocolate chips and caramel into breakfast oatmeal!! You even worked a pint of ice cream into your plan that one day a while back!!!! I know this is sounding so dorky but you have no idea how much I've learned from you and I've been a lifetime member for somewhere around 20 years. I really don't think the problem is you. It seems like they'd welcome seeing a lifetime member since they don't come in as often.
    I know you don't "need" the meetings but other members need you because you have been where many of them are and you have really great ideas!!

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    Replies
    1. I love this post and agree so much. I made Lifetime at WW in 2008, but maintenance threw me into such a tizzy, and there really wasn't much help. I gained the weight back and lost it again with sparkpeople and a lot of hard work in 2012. I'm so discouraged with the roller coaster, am up 15 pounds and am at that point of wanting to catch it and get back in the zone without gaining it all back again. but just crave junk food all the livelong day. there is so much fear and anxiety in trying to maintain. yet the feeling I get at WW is that "look" and "poor you, in your size 2". Katie, I would LOVE a group of maintainers who could encourage me through the sabotage that kicks in with the word "maintenance". your stories, run schedule, wednesday weigh ins and recipes are SO HELPFUL. I always turn to your blog when I am discouraged.

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  9. Happy Valentine's Day! I'm so sorry about your negative experience at WW. I have noticed that different centers have different vibes. Maybe it's time for a change.

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  10. I wonder if it is because they cannot get any money out of you. All they know is that you came in with a little to lose and have maintained it...they don't know your story.
    It is really easy to judge someone we think has it "easy" without knowing any of what they have gone/going through.
    Sometimes I wonder if they don't expect people to make maintenance and/or keep in it...Lifetimers are few and far between!
    The place I go to seems ok. I have just started going a different night and while I liked the first leader I had on Mondays, I really love the one on Wednesdays.
    I absolutely would say something, if not to the ladies personally I would call someone higher up and tell them your story and how you are made to feel, it just isn't right!

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  11. That's so crazy! I've never been to a meeting, just online, but this certainly doesn't inspire me to go. Weight is something people are sensitive about, so I don't know how they could get away with being so insensitive! I'd complain to the manager for sure.

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  12. Katie, that sucks! I think that you should mention it to your leader, or someone, because chances are, they are treating other people that way, too. I am a corporate trainer and one of the things that I teach is customer service, and this sounds like really lousy customer service! ou do not deserve this, especially in an environment that is supposed to be a supportive one!

    Dede

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  13. I don't usually comment on your blog, but I always read and you always inspire me! I'm sorry you had this experience. I wanted to comment to say that I TOTALLY understand, and I feel the exact same way about how WW treats lifetime members. I reached goal a few years back and wanted to keep going to meetings for the accountability. However, I felt that once I had achieved lifetime status, they were no longer interested in me FULLSTOP. I too had to endure silly comments about "oh, you gained 200g" or "at least it's lower than last time" without them even looking to see that I was a lifetimer. It used to really bug me. Long story short, I stopped going :-(
    Aside from a small blip, I've managed to maintain on my own. But I think it's really sad that they seem to stop caring once you stop paying them money!! At first I wondered if I should find another meeting, but I'm not sure it would help. They really do seem to be solely focused on people losing weight. I agree with you that a meeting every so often JUST for lifetime members would be a fantastic idea.
    I definitely think you should talk to your leader about it. They need feedback so they can improve. I should probably should take my own advice and give feedback to my local meeting too!

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  14. You should call the WW 1-800 number. That is completely unacceptable at any time whether you are just joining, losing, or maintenance. They should never make people feel like that. I love the people at my meeting but honestly I think WW would want to know if people were feeling that way/being treated that way!

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  15. I find that completely unacceptable as well. Do they make those with a longer journey ahead (instead of your journey in the rear-view) feel that way as well? How many others have walked out in tears before ever reaching their goal?

    The Kidless Kronicles

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  16. I completely agree about needing a separate meeting for maintenance. I did not feel like I got the support I needed after reaching lifetime and eventually quit going. Losing weight is one thing, keeping it off is another. I struggle with this every day. I too agree that they should be reported. That 's poor customer service. Nevertheless, you are such an inspiration.

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  17. Ugh, I am so sorry that happened to you. :( I used to go to WW meetings and loved the program but due to cost, I switched to counting calories using MyFitnessPal. I still try follow WW good health guidelines but track differently now.
    Anyway, a friend of mine that lives in the suburban Chicago-land area has reached lifetime with WW and her WW center actually DOES have a special meeting for lifetime members once a month. Maybe you could find out if there is a center in your are that does that. OR you could become a leader and run one yourself. You would be SO good at that! :) And just think, you'd be getting paid to talk about weight loss and maintenance. Something to think about!

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  18. I've never had any dealing's with Weight Watchers but I doubt this is what they'd want their business to known for. I'm sorry this happened to you. If I were you, I'd write them an email with the pro's and con's of the program, at least in your experience. Make your suggestions to them, they won't know what's needed or missing if no one let's them know. I would mention the unfriendly staff also (without names), then let them know the friendly, helpful staff (by name). Then I'd print out a copy and give it to the manager of that particular Weight Watchers office. They need to be held accountable. You're not doing anything wrong or getting anyone into trouble. Their attitude and behavior did that for them. Since I know your shy, don't think of doing this for yourself, think of doing it for all of those other women who've left in tears too. You're doing an excellent job and should be proud of yourself

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  19. Katie,
    You shouldn't feel uncomfortable when you go to your meetings, no matter what stage you are at. The receptionists jobs are to greet & welcome everyone entering the meeting. If they are rude or have attitudes, the corporate & regional offices need to know about this recurring problem. If it were me I would draft a letter explaining the situation (like you did in your blog) and also express the disappointment you're feeling in the lack of knowledge regarding the maintenance portion of the program (again thats a reflection of the lack of training at the regional level). Weight Watchers has spent multi millions on advertising to get new members, they sell their brand and their employee training program is ALL about customer service and putting a happy face on - I guarantee this. If you take the time to draft a non-confrontational letter and send it to WW I will almost guarantee that you will get a response and see a big change at your next meeting. If you don't then the next step would be to draft another letter addressed to the president/ceo of WW directly & make sure to cc everyone. Good luck!
    Shawna

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  20. I made lifetime many years ago. As much as I love weigh watchers and I really do, I found exactly the same thing. Once I was lifetime the support seemed to stop. It was very hard to stay maintaining and I did end up gaining. I truly believe that they need to do more for people once they hit life time.

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  21. First I think you should write to the weight watchers headquarters... you are the end product... what they are that each of their members achieve. They should know how someone who should be congratulated and supported feels. And I love your idea of a maintenence meeting. Even if it was only once a month, Im sure it would be very helpful to have a support group of others striving for maintenence too.

    Second, so sorry that you were made to feel that way. Completely unacceptable!

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  22. This post makes me so sad and angry for you. You are such a HUGE HUGE HUGE inspiration (just earlier today I flipped through your posts to look up the directions on how to make a 'X number of days binge free' ticker because it is such an awesome idea). Sometimes when I want to binge, I look through your pictures and see how awesome you are. Earlier this week when I read a post, one of the "you also might like" links to posts at the bottom was the video of your 10 pound pictures and your story and it made me cry because if you can do it, I can do it (BTW I have watched that video before and it was just as awesome the second time).
    Please dont let some snotty woman ruin your experience. I would never have the balls to do this myself, but I think in your instance you should keep going to meetings, only have your leader weigh you in, and if the snotty lady says anything just tell her "You have been rude to me in the past and I prefer you do not weigh me in" You deserve to be treated like the superstar you are.
    As for the meetings not covering much about maintenance, I was in WW about 10 years ago and I remember it being the same way. Nothing against WW, but I think a big part of their schtick is to get new people in the door. And if new people only come to one meeting to see if they like it and that one meeting is about maintenance and not losing, that new person might take their money elsewhere. Too bad they cant find a nice balance of the topics.
    That pic of Eli is SO cute!
    Pizza and a bunch of junk AFTER lunch? Didnt we just pass a bunch of new health initiatives for food in our schools? WTH.

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  23. After all the good things you have shared about WW I am disappointed to hear you are having customer service issues. I've joined WW numerous times over the past 20 years at 7 different locations & have never had anything but positive experiences with the desk staff.
    If you feel this way, chances are others do also. I hope you call and share your experience with their corporate office.

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  24. Katie that makes me sad that you are having such a bad experience with the receptionists at WW. My favorite part of WW is the meetings and the interaction at the meetings with not only the members but the staff. I think you should speak up to the leder. We had tat issue once and people complained and our leader made sure to rectify the situation. I feel like you are being cheated out of a great experience because of someone who has the wrong attitude towards members. You should be congratulated for staying at or under goal because that s not easy and you worked hard to be wowed you are.

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  25. I am so sorry you had to go through this at WW. I know what you are talking about and I know that feeling of walking out of somewhere in tears. It is not right. I urge you to report it to WW management. You are a great supporter of their PP plan on your blog. You have achieved such an incredible weight loss and your journey is inspiration. I think the women are jealous and see you as a skinny girl and are judging you without knowing you and they are so wrong to be doing that. They need to be held accountable. And, I'd suggest trying the WW place that is further away one time....see what it is like. Go once. if you love it, drive and go each week. If it is so so or lackluster, then at least you will know you don't really want to go to that one. Just maybe it would be super?? We have loads of healthy eating initiatives at our schools and what you described is not allowed. Today the kids had red bell peppers, dip, crackers and strawberries at their party.

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  26. I am so sorry you're having such a shitty experience w/ the employees at your WW center! I've honestly had to "shop around" for the best leader/receptionists. Nobody has been that RUDE to me like they are treating you, but some receptionists/leaders just don't mesh with my personality. One receptionist would always announce my weigh-ins loudly, so that other members could hear! I did NOT like that! Especially when I would gain a pound for TOM or so.

    ANYWAY, I suggest contacting WW corporate and/or talking to your leader about the issue. Maybe she can have a chat w/ the other ladies about their attitudes.

    If that doesn't work, then I say go to a different meeting time. They don't have the same Receptionists every day. Maybe look up when your leader is also there(if you like her!), and see if it's a different bunch of receptionists.

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  27. I am a new reader - hi! I worked for WW eons ago when I reached Lifetime and we were taught not to comment when weighing people in so I really think this is an issue with these specific receptionists and you really should share your feelings with your Leader or call customer service. Easier said than done, I am not confrontational by nature, but I hate to see you give up on attending as a Lifetime member because of these women behaving inappropriately. P.S. I am no longer at Lifetime weight so I have not attended mtgs in avery long time (just thought I should add that as a disclaimer in case something has changed)

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  28. If that woman was rude to you, I GUARANTEE she is rude to other people. Maybe if they get enough complaints they will do something about her customer service skills!!

    I also agree that you have sooo much to offer people at the meetings. They would truly be missing a gem of support and information if you weren't there to contribute.

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  29. I doubt you need to hear it again, but I completely echo what everyone else has said-- PLEASE contact headquarters about this, for *you*!! They definitely would not want this going on. (As a business owner with my hubby, I can say that I would DEFINITELY want to know if one of our employees wasn't conducting themselves appropriately or professionally, and therefore turning people away and giving our company a bad image!!) They can't fix what they're not aware of.
    Also maybe talk to your leader, giving her a heads up-- especially since you feel comfortable with her.
    Lastly, maybe so as not to end with a bad taste in your mouth (no pun intended! ha), just go to at least one of the WW meetings that is a little further away, *just* to see that you can actually have a good and positive experience!
    (((HUGS))) to you girlie, you rock! You inspire people and affect lives wayyy more than you know!

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  30. My mum was a WW leader for 8 years and I used to help her by doing the weighing or the desk sometimes. It was a few years ago and here in the UK so maybe we do things differently here but the ladies who helped my mum worked for her, she picked them (or they volunteered) and they were a reflection on her. I think it's very important that you let the leader know how these ladies made you feel, no-one should be brought to tears and clearly they need some training in how to talk to people. The way it worked for my mum was that her helpers would earn a (tiny) percentage of whatever the takings for the class were that week, but even if someone was paying nothing at all (like yourself), that should never ever have affected the way they were dealt with. The money they earned was such a pittance that really it would only have made pennys (or cents) difference. They certainly weren't doing it for the money, those that did it were doing it because they believed in the diet (and my mum) and wanted to help. The ladies you encountered dont sound like they like doing it, that it's a chore and a hassle and that's not a good impression to make on anyone. Please please please tell the leader what happened, it's important that she knows.

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  31. That's terrible about your experience at WW today :( It'd definitely put you off going again. I must admit there is one lady at my meeting who's comments I definitely don't appreciate when I weigh in. I try to avoid weighing in on her side of the line if possible!

    Yay for board games. I've been getting into them more with Paul, it's so much nicer than sitting in front of the TV together!

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  32. Definitely speak up. I help out at a WW meeting here in the UK (and I'm a former leader) and I would not be very happy if any member were made to feel how you did.

    I assist the leader with the weigh in, and many gold members (lifetime members) still come through the doors. We take a slightly different approach to these members as we are aware they are maintaining. We celebrate any loss or stay the same, and if there is a gain (expected or otherwise!) we try to pinpoint how the member is feeling and then react appropriately. For some members maintaining can be just as tricky as the initial weight loss journey.

    I am sorry this person made you feel bad - I know that my leader would want to know if one of the team were making people feel uncomfortable. That person would be out of there so fast her feet wouldn't touch the ground!



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  33. Wow, a place like Weight Watchers is the LAST place a person should be made to feel bad about themselves. Talk about needing some sensitivity training. If I were you, I absolutely would say something about it to your leader and tell her that the treatment you received makes you not want to come at all.

    I also know how you feel about the lack of maintenance support--and it's not just at Weight Watchers. This is something lots of us have lamented over on the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team on SparkPeople. There's so much support and so many resources for people looking to lose weight, which is great, but so very little for people who want to maintain, which is a lot harder than weight loss in many ways. That's why we've worked so hard to make our maintenance team very active and engaging on SparkPeople. We recognize the gap the weight-loss industry has in providing support for maintainers and are trying to fill it!

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  38. Bad customer service, no matter what industry you are in, is not acceptable. They are getting paid to do a job as receptionists for WW and they are providing bad service. The leader should be notified. In the mean time, I'd try a different location. It may be inconvenient, but you may find a group of people you are happy to be around instead of these sourpusses!

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  39. Have you ever thought about going to the group leader and discussing with her your thoughts about having a meeting for lifetime members? You would be a great leader for that!

    Maybe the lady at the front desk is struggling with something of her own. Whether it be an ill family member, her own weight, etc. Its hard to know what the back story of someone else is when they are rude and wont open up. I am sorry you have had such a lowsy experience.

    My kids have today and Monday off of school. I *think* I am not that far from you (I am in Ann Arbor) so if you want to meet a follower and have the kids play somewhere, just let me know! They are 5 and 3 (and I hope that didnt come off as creepy. LOL)

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  40. I don't normally comment on blog posts, but this one hit home. I too am a lifetime member of WW but haven't been in YEARS because of the exact same issue. They don't know what customer service is and the inconsistency of how things are run by different people is horrible. Try not to take their attitudes personally -- you are a tough cookie (no pun intended!) and should be proud of that -- among other things.

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  41. Hi Katie,

    I've read your blog for a while now, but never commented before. I don't know if you even have time to read all these comments! I love your blog, it is very inspirational.

    Anyway, I can COMPLETELY relate to your experience with the WW receptionist. At the old center I used to go to there was one woman who was awful. Even when I lost, if it was just a little bit, she'd make me feel bad about it. She was always very rude and it made feel terrible. I started skipping meetings because even though I liked the leader, I couldn't bare to face weighing in.

    Finally I just decided this is silly. I can't let this mean person stop me from going to meets. So, when I went I would get in line and if when it was my turn she was the available receptionist I would let the person behind me go ahead and wait for someone else. If no one else was waiting I would just politely say, "that's ok, I will wait for the other receptionist to be free." I know it was a little rude, but it saved me from being upset all the time.

    Hope this helps!

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  42. I would contact the corporate office and make a complaint.

    V's class was not allowed to had out valentine's with candy, there wasn't a party either. He had angry bird erasers he put in his valentines

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  43. I am sorry you felt that way :( Super cute Valentine you got there

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    my web page - golf tips magazine

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  45. Hi there - as a WW leader for 5 years my advice is to absolutely reach out to your leader and also to find out who the territory manager is there and reach out to him/her and tell them the situation. No one wants a person with that kind of an attitude on their team!

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  46. Hi Katie. Usually I read your blog right in my email so I don't always see all the comments but today I came over to the blog directly to suggest you call WW head office or speak to the site supervisor but I see lots of people feel the same way.

    Here is what I wish the leader had said to you "Great job Katie! You are still on goal. You must be working hard!"

    That is what you deserved to hear!!

    Amanda

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  47. Have been reading your blog for a while and never commented - but after reading today's I just had to. I went to Weight Watchers for several weeks and was having good success with my weight loss. I liked the accountability and the weekly tips from the meetings. I had signed up during the free registration time and didn't realize that when I missed a meeting I still had to pay the weekly fee. So, one week I was out of town and when I went back the next week I had $12 cash in my pocket to cover the meeting cost, no other money. We were on a pretty tight budget and I had been setting that $12 aside to go to meetings. Anyway, when I got up to the counter the lady in a very rude voice said VERY LOUDLY "You missed last week so you have to pay $24 this week." I told her I was unaware of that and just had $12 cash on me. Again, very LOUDLY she said "When you miss a meeting you have to pay for 2 weeks the next time so it is $24" - let me tell you, it was very humiliating. I apologized and was very flustered, took my book from her and went out to my car past all the people waiting in line watching me and cried. Needless to say, I never went back. Now, you may think I should have just pulled out my debit card and paid the $24, but I was just so flustered and embarrassed standing there with my $12 in my hand, this woman raising her voice at me and looking at me like I was a complete idiot, a line of people behind me, that I could not wait to get out of there. I have not been back to a WW meeting :( I honestly felt so judged and humiliated. It took a lot of courage to go to those meetings for me, and I don't think I will ever go to another one. I don't understand why she didn't just quietly tell me about the $24 and if I didn't have it offer for me to pay it the next time -but she seemed intent on making me feel as badly as possible. I love the WW program, but they need serious work on the people skills of those working in the centers.
    Mary Ann

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  48. Hi Katie,

    I've been reading your blog as inspiration for my own weight loss and fitness journey, and just want to add to the chorus of comments suggesting that you speak to your leader if not to Corporate. It sounds like a consistent problem, and maybe it's keeping a LOT of lifetime members like you away. It's one thing for the receptionists to be unfamiliar with the lifetime thing because (maybe) so few people get there, but that doesn't matter, if it's part of the WW program, they should get familiar with it. Also there is no excuse for being rude all the time. All the best!!

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  49. I have learned so much from Weight Watchers, however it has been a challenge to find a leader I was happy with, and when I found her, I really was unhappy with some of the people in the group(many know it alls). I wish you would become a leader and that I lived close enough to attend your meetings!
    I have lost weight many times and always struggle with maintenance , 30 lbs and I will be back at lifetime and was counting on the accountability of e WW program to keep me on track this time. I love the idea of a lifetime class and will look in my neighborhood for something like that.
    Back to topic, I would let corporate know about your experiences, weight loss is such an emotional issue, no one should feel uneasy or bad about themselves when attending a meeting. They build their program on support..it should start at the door.

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  50. Hi Katie,
    I am new to your blog. A friend contacted me last night and told me I should definitely read this one. She and I were in our WW meeting yesterday and I had the same feelings about maintenance. My friends keep reminding me that WW is a business and when someone hits maintenance they no longer are paying so everyone looses interest. If WW taught us to maintain they would be out of business. I also feel that WW thinks they have done such a great job of teaching us everything we need to know through the weight loss process that once on maintenance we no longer need their help. We had a substitute leader yesterday and she had lost over 100 pounds on WW. I asked her how she has maintained. I have struggled for years to maintain my weight loss without success and have ended up back at WW paying the weekly/monthly fee. She told me she is still tracking! She said for her she has to write everything down. That just seems crazy to me. She asked if I had tried the simply filling program. I told her I had. I don't want to be restricted like that the rest of my life. We have talked in our meetings about a maintenance group but nothing has gotten off the ground. A few of us met early, during the weigh in time, for a while but it soon fell through. Maybe we need to start a campaign with WW to get something on maintenance going. If enough people call the 800 number and complain that there is nothing for people who are trying to maintain maybe they will get the hint.

    As for the rude weigh in people I think you need to speak to your leader and tell her if something does not change you will be contacting WW through the 800 number. There is a woman at my meeting who would comment on a weight gain at the scale and a couple of us just started telling her we didn't want her to say anything. She got the message.

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  51. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience there. I have been to places, like doctor's offices, where people are just nasty. I don't think I'd ever be able to do weight watchers because of my anxiety, and the fact that my weight fluctuates so drastically from day to day. It can be the same all week, and if I eat out, no matter if I eat something healthy and I'm in my calories, I gain a pound or 2. We ate out the last 2 nights and even though I planned my calories carefully, my weight is up.

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  52. My neighbor is a leader - you really need to call & complain. THe corporate office really doesn't like for the members to be unhappy (which is a good thing!). THey do "mentoring/coaching" to improve things - so it's not like you'll get them fired or anything - but you really should complain. There are probably other members who feel the same way! I used to love my center - everyone was so nice, though occasionally one would have a bad day - and you could tell - but in general they were all really good & welcoming. THey need to realize you're their bread & butter! If the members drop, the meeting is in jeopardy of being cancelled.

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  53. Katie, I haven't read through the comments, but I'm assuming others might tell you this same thing: You need to contact WW nationals! Whether or not you are being too sensitive I don't know (based on what you described, I can't imagine myself falling into tears, but everyone has different levels of tolerance), but I think you have some great points about the maintenance program in general that I think the national office should hear. As far as the woman's rudeness. I would TELL YOUR LEADER. Personally, I would talk straight to the woman myself and tell her what was bothering me, but based on what you wrote, I'm just assuming you would avoid such confrontation...so using an in-between person like the leader would probably be the best step for you. These people aren't volunteers. They get paid. Which means they are employees. Part of their job is customer service. It sounds like someone needs to counsel these women in the proper way to talk to customers.

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  54. Katie, you need to call the 800# for WW and let them know how you feel. You are NOT wrong. Also you have to be a lifetime member to work at WW center so all of those ladies should TOTALLY understand how you feel.

    The location I go to, I would drive out of my way for but only because my leader is AWESOME! The staff isn't awful, I like a couple even and a couple not so much. I'm lucky enough that the meeting I go to is crazy busy that I can just pop in for a meeting without having to check in.

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  55. Katie, I'm sorry that happened to you. I think those women @ that WW center are just rude b****es who are jealous because you're thin. I'm guessing they have no clue how far you've come. I don't think I'd go back there at all, unless you really think you need the accountability of weighing in once a month.

    On another note, my boys' elementary school used to be all about the sweets and treats at class parties but a few years ago they did away with that - they're only allowed healthy snacks now (pretzels, fruit, veggie trays, etc.). On Valentine's Day lots of kids still give out candy with their Valentine's but they have to bring that stuff home - not eat it at school.

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  56. OK...I am attempting to post again...I lost the first one! :S
    You should tell someone, either your leader or someone higher up at the head office, about your experience. I have been to WW countless times, but not for several years because of the cost. At our meeting, they always had "Maintenance Circle" where lifetime and maintenance members met off to the side, before the meeting started, during weigh-ins. I have never made it to goal, but it looked to me like it would be very helpful. Maybe you should try another location, just to see what it is like and if you are made to feel the same way.

    Regarding Sparkpeople: Any tips on navigating through that site? I find it to be overwhelming.

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  57. Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience at your meeting. I would talk to the leader next week and if she brushes it off I would call the 800# and let them know because like you said maybe other people are feeling it. Some may even quit going because of it and that is not what WW is all about. She sounds like she has poor people skills. We have one lady that I call sour puss because she always looks and acts miserable, I avoid her like the plague. I did get stuck with her this week and after she got my weight "Ok you can get down" so I had to look at the book myself to see what I lost. I don't need confetti and streamers, but a "You lost 2.8#, good job" would be nice. I question why she is even in the business she is in. We need positivity and kindness, not negative vibes. Maybe ask your leader if there is a specific meeting that maybe one more lifetimers go to. We have 2 or 3 lifetime members at our meetings and they speak up and talk every week. I like to hear what I have to look forward to.

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  58. "Well, at least you didn't gain," is a horrible thing to say, whether someone is maintaining or losing. It pretty much minimizes the fact that person stayed on-track all week. People should be congratulated for maintaining, no matter what their situations.

    I think you should write a letter to the manager detailing their attitude and how unwelcome you feel. I seriously doubt you're the only person who has an issue with them.

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  59. This is why WW has never worked for me. There is an extreme focus on the numbers. That goal weight is the end-all be-all. And... WW is a for-profit business so it's not a surprise that maintenance is not a priority.

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  60. That was so wrong how you were treated. It doesn't matter what the business is, Customer Service should always give respect and dignity. The fact that these ladies are not representing WW in a shining light could cost them other customers. Your perception of the treatment here can wind up tainting you towards WW.
    And don't these ladies have anything better to say than "at least you didn't lose? There are so many things you can say to congratulate someone maintaining. Even a simple "good work!, or enjoy the meeting" and a smile is good enough. My leader just says "good maintenance." It isn't much, but it suits me.
    Anyways, you are right, maintenance gets ignored, I don't know if it really is much different than trying to lose. I find it's always nice to talk to others who are maintaining and pick up ideas.
    Love your Blog, and you always inspire me!

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  61. The world is set up for weight loss but really has no idea what to do with those of us who are trying to maintain that loss. That doesn't excuse the rude behavior you experienced at WW, but it sounds like most of it is coming from ONE woman. Do you suppose she is jealous of how tiny you are? Or resentful that seemingly you came in to your first meeting with very little to lose and gained lifetime status fairly quickly? If people aren't familiar with your story, they might not give you all the respect you deserve for your huge accomplishment. I would think that is a little frustrating for you. I want people to know I lost a CHUNK of weight, and not just a few pounds. I'm not even embarrassed anymore for people to find out how much I weighed at the beginning, even though, back then I would have died if anyone knew how much I actually weighed. I, myself didn't even know!

    There are a few blogs written by people who are maintaining, and even one written by a doctor who is getting her specialization in the weight loss maintenance area, which is very new. WE NEED HELP! You're not going to the WW meetings for fun, you're going for the socialization and support you thought you would get after becoming a Lifetime Member. it makes me pretty angry to read how you were treated. Definitely tell your leader, she needs to be aware that one of the people working in the center is not as welcoming as she should be, in fact she is hostile! No excuse for that kind of behavior in a place that makes their living from people who want to lose weight and need support. That support should not STOP when a person hits a goal weight.

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  62. This may already have been said, but I haven't read through the previous 61 posts!

    What you experienced is NOT ACCEPTABLE at Weight Watchers. What I would suggest is calling the 800 number (it is on the WW website somewhere) and telling them about your experience. They take their training very seriously and will get back to the manager of that center--and, when it gets there, it will be an anonymous complaint.

    I'm glad you have a great leader--unfortunately, unless she is the center manager, she probably won't be able to do anything. That is why I would suggest calling WW directly.

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  63. Katie, as a lifetime member myself, I have never been treated the way you have been treated. But, this is my suggestion on what I think you should do. First of all, do they know how much weight you've actually lost? They may think that you are just maintaining a 5-10 pound weight loss (because of your weight watchers chart) and that to them is no big deal. You really need to politely let them know that you are actually maintaining a 125 pound weight loss and it is no easy task and you need all of the support you can get and that is why are are coming to the meetings. Let me know what you need and what they aren't providing for you. You deserve that. If you don't ever say anything to them, then they don't know.

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  64. Just chiming in to agree with everyone else! This is not acceptable. I experienced something similar when I weighed in with a different receptionist one time. I had been at goal for 5+ years and happened to drop a pound that week. "Oh good job! Looks like you're getting back on track!" I was stunned. I hadn't been gaining but maintaining.

    Unfortunately, I have been in WW meetings (not all, just some) that don't really encourage maintenance. It's a lofty goal, but they didn't seem to want you to actually get there because then you quit paying. Sad way to treat your best customers.

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  65. This post made me so sad to read. I'm so sorry you felt so unwelcome. I think you should definitely tell your leader or ask who the district manager is, that behavior is completely unacceptable!! I agree with the last post that said "that don't really encourage maintenance. It's a lofty goal, but they didn't seem to want you to actually get there because then you quit paying."

    They should have some speacial training for receptionists about dealing with Lifetime Members.
    I love your blog, I started running because of you and this blog, Last year I ran multiple 5ks and a 10k, this year I am running my first 1/2 marathon! Thanks for being brave enough to share your journey.

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  66. I agree with everyone. It doesn't matter whether you've gained or lost, weighed in or not, customer service is key to ANY business. Look at how many people you reach with your blog. Like Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman: "Big mistake! Big. Huge!" Word of mouth is a powerful thing.

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  67. Hey Katie! So sorry about your WW experience. I think you should totally speak up! I agree with the Lifetime issues. I even commented on one of your last posts about the very thing. I also know that it can be frustrating when the front desk people are not friendly! So I have actually been training this last week to work for WW and hoping to bring some encouragement and a friendly face to our meetings! :) I have seriously thought about writing the CEO about the issue for Lifetimers and their need for a different support meeting...at least twice per month..the other 2 wks of the month we could sit in a regular meeting and help with ideas of what worked for us when we are still losing. Again, I would encourage you to speak with the leader about Debbie Downer the rude receptionist...I know that you arent the only one and others may feel like they cant speak up.

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  68. I am sorry you are having such a horrible experience with your meeting place. Something should be done about those ladies.

    I wanted to comment about your jury duty. Here in Texas, if you have children, under the age of 10 (I believe) you can recuse yourself from duty. Can you do that in Michigan?

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  69. Seriously - I am angry for you. Those women have NO BUSINESS working for weight watchers. The job description dictates that their disposition is friendly and they are supportive..... Of EVERYONE. Weight loss is HARD (not that I have to tell you) it's even harder if you have someone making smart ass comments or treating you like you're an idiot. I wish you lived near me, you would so love the people at my meetings. They are NOTHING like those women. You really should make a complaint, if not for you - think of the woman who is just starting, who is ashamed of her body and is afraid of the first step. Imagine her first step is on the scale in front of that monster. Oh man, I am just mad. What rude jerks. They have NO place at weight watchers. They have lost sight of what it's all about. Sorry - I don't mean to sound like a ranting lunatic! :-P

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  70. You are an amazing inspiration to me and it makes me sad that you have put up this kind of crap. I've never had a problem with anyone at my Weight Watchers meetings, but I'm not at maintenance. I whole heartedly believe you should say something because if they have made you feel that way, then I guarantee they have made others feel the same way.

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  71. Katie - I am so sorry you dealt with that at a meeting. I would DEFINITELY tell your leader. As a leader, I would be appauled in my receptionists were treating people like that or making them feel like that, and would 100% want to know so I could talk to them and coach them. Every time you write about them saying things like "at least you didn't gain!" it makes me cringe. It is not for us to judge your progress, especially since you're a lifetime member trying to maintain!!! God it makes me so mad.

    Also, I do get what you're saying about Lifetime member meetings, but as a leader I do find it really important to have lifetime members in the meetings to help encourage others that they can get there, and give insider tips into what works. I'm surprised your leader doesn't engage you a little more and ask questions that you can chime in about.

    I would see too if there are other meetings at the center you go to, because a lot of times different leaders and receptionists work the different meetings and it sounds like you might find one that you like better if you look around a little.

    If you have any questions or anything that I can help you with regarding WW or the meetings or anything, please let me know.

    Thanks!

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  72. It's awful that you've had such a bad experience. I wish you lived near me because I LOVE my meeting. I had to shop around quite a bit. We basically have the same leader for most of the meetings in town, but the members can really make a difference.

    Anyway, I would not hesitate to look for a way to make someone else aware, such as the leader. Being welcoming and empathetic is literally part of the job description, so this person is not fulfilling her responsibilities: http://www.weightwatchers.com/job/jobdetail.aspx?pageId=1144861

    One time a member brought up an experience where she was made to feel bad about not losing weight (at another location). Our leader stopped the meeting and went off on a 10 minute tangent about how she found that completely unacceptable and apologized on behalf of the entire WW organization. Really Katie, that should not be happening and someone needs an attitude adjustment and perhaps a new job.



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  73. You can't let this go...honestly. There are too many GOOD leaders and receptionists that you can't let the bad ones get away with that. You should be welcomed at any and all meetings no matter where you are in your journey. You need to make someone aware. If the area manager knew that was going on that lady would be GONE. You shouldn't leave a meeting crying - ever. The job of those women is to make you feel comfortable and you did nothing wrong...you shouldn't be punished for being successful. Please, as someone who manages people who do customer service for a living, make them aware of the problem. Otherwise, the bully wins. That's all that is. It's a shame that it still exists in grown ups.

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  74. I am really sorry about your experience, Katie. That is unacceptable. Chances are they are making others feel the same way you are and that is not OK. Can you speak with this center's manager? Or if she is one of the rude women, is there a regional or area manager? At the least I would mention it to your leader.

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  75. That is too bad. WW is like everything, there are good people and bad. I actually had a very nice leader but it was like listening to a crazy person. Rather than discuss the topic, she would tell us stories about her weird unbalanced eating habits and stuff. Honestly, the meetings felt like they were on the verge of encouraging total eating disorders. We got the same thing, oh, do you want to take off your sweater, jewelry, it's was weird and it made me super uncomfortable. Unfortunately it was WW at my work and the only convenient time.

    Pretty much half the class quit b/c they couldn't deal with her eating issues. I tried maintenance and I agree, they spend so much time and energy on the losing that the maintenance is pretty much ignored, but then again, there is no money is maintaining, it's all in losing. Quite honestly, after losing and maintaining, maintaining is WAY harder.

    I think WW is a great program and provides a really easy tool to help people lose weight. I don't agree with all their weird foods that are full of preservatives or their lack of support for maintenance. I also think they should do better about screening and reviewing their leaders and staff. As you experienced, one moment could totally make someone have a bad day or turn them off their journey to be healthy. I really wish they would allow members to submit assessments of leaders. How do you improve if you don't get feedback?

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  76. So sorry to hear about that and your feelings were hurt! I have tried WW in the past but I just felt I didn't get the support and encouragement I needed from other members or staff.
    I really enjoy the organization TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). They are super supportive, have lots of socializing and fun games/activities and the best part their fees are inexpensive. You can use whatever meal plan you choose just like SparkPeople.
    You really should speak to someone in regards to how that staff member acted. She needs to know her behavior was not acceptable.
    Hugs!
    Nancy

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  77. Katie, so sorry to hear you were treated so poorly...unacceptable.
    Speak up, I can just imagine how she makes others feel. Imagine that on top of the stress of having to face a scale. STRESS!!

    HUGS girl.

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  78. WoW! What a bitch! I would call corporate and complain. Seriously, that's uncalled for.

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  79. I tried Weight Watchers for a while, and I had a similar experience. There were two ladies who would give me differing opinions on things and I just didn't feel like they knew much. It's exactly why I quit going. I felt I was paying for not much. I use My Fitness Pal now, which is a similar concept and I don't have to pay for it.

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  80. I stopped going to WW when my leader said it was pathetic that I was crying over a story someone else was telling. I've never been so publicly embarrassed. I walked out almost immediately and never went back.

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  81. Hey - I'm a Lifetimer too and I feel the same way. We DO basically get abandoned and receptionists are ill-informed about how to handle the process or us ongoing. At this point it's a security blanket for me - I've been using myfitnesspal.com for nearly a year with great results.

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  82. I think you should complain. Even if no one else has this problem with them, they shouldn't be like that to ANYONE. And it's more likely that they're icky to others too, as you said.

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  83. You should def. complain to WW about it. I trained to be a leader (later decided it was too much of a commitment with all my traveling and changed my mind about it) and they would go crazy if they knew that was what you were getting at your meeting. First of all, you can go to a meeting every day if you want. They should be giving you the materials, no questions asked. You are a paying customer and in addition have probably inspired 100s if not 1000s of people thru this blog to give WW a shot too - this treatment (no matter what) is utterly and completely unacceptable.

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  84. I love WW at my center. I dont think they would want anyone to ever feel the way you felt. I also think if that woman has a heart, even if its buried deep down in a dark hole almost made into non-existance she should know that her actions had such results. I bet she doesnt realize she is doing it. I would definately leave them some feedback. Plus, I love your blog. You are so very inspiring. Ive shared your blog amongst a group of mothers on FB that we are all trying to shed pounds after our babies. Everyone agrees that you are someone we wish we could be. :)

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  85. I understand how you feel. I was doing well on WW in 2011 and ended up giving up over the way the meetings made me feel. I should have found another meeting, which is what I've done when I rejoined last week (8.5 lost in the first week!). I think it's terribly important to have Lifetime Members in the meetings! They share knowledge and give us hope that it can be done. If you don't want to talk to your leader about this, call the corporate office and let them know. Weight loss is a very touchy topic and should be treated with kindness and respect. Thanks for being such an inspiration to us all.

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  86. I agree 100 percent about having a lifetime/maintenace meeting at least once a month, it would be very benefical. I work for WW as a receptionist and I hope my members dont ever feel the way you do, I am sorry you had to go through this. As a WW employee we are told to make the members feel welcome and celebrating their milestones and such along the way. I would report her to the higher ups, maybe ask the leader who the Terrioty Mangager is and get in contact with her.

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  87. I'm so sorry you felt like that, Katie! Definitely try another meeting...maybe in the evening or on another day...I always feel supported by the WW staff and you should too! They should be grateful and proud of your attendance, not treat you like you don't belong!

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  88. I don't normally comment on women forums much nowadays as I have taken to distrusting most women, and this person's experience is the reason why.
    I went to Weightwatchers meetings a few years ago and lost weight successfully, but to address the poster's concerns realistically, most clubs, societies and communities do have their small numbers of insiders, those who belong and those who's faces just don't fit.
    You always get that 'group-within-a-group' mentality just about everywhere you go; the 'insiders' and the 'outsiders' so to speak.
    I've tried to ignore it and just carry on with my life. I don't go to meetings anymore as the leader did not seem to like me. And there were one or two who seemed to have 'issues' with her.
    You always get this c...p with women for some reason.
    However, the main thing is if you lost weight, as long as the diet plan works then it's worth the money. Forget about the rest.

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  89. Wow!! I just had a bad experience at a WW meeting last night and today ran a search to see if anyone else had one and your blog was the first that popped up!! (and so glad it did - a new blog to enjoy) My issue is different than yours but if the leader was the regular one (and not a sub)I wouldn't go back.

    I also totally agree with you about Lifetime members. I became one in 2011 and it's like WW just kicks you out the door; trying to do the monthly weigh-ins and stay for meetings is totally confusing; as no one seems to know what to do with LT members!! Also the reading material regarding LT membership is very contradicting and each leader/receptionist handles it differently.

    I'm hoping this time around is my last time around and I can truly keep it off (I admire that you have); however things like what happened to you and what happened to me really throw that wrench into an otherwise working wheel!

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  90. I'm hoping that another office would be better! We have a few lifetime members (I just started) and our leader and the whole center celebrate their work so much. Our leader asks questions often of the 'lifetimers' to give us advice and I LOVE IT! Having several lifetime members at this center has really helped me, as a newbie, a lot! GOOD LUCK...and can you post a follow up? I'm dying to know what happened!

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  91. I found your blog awhile back and keep rereading your story. I have had a similar type experience at my last attempt at WW. I would lose weight one week but not the next but I hadn't gained for that week either, the woman weighing me commented each time that it is not acceptable and it is impossible to lose so much one week and not the next. I would basically track my points only eating my daily allowance and walk 10,000+ steps a day and the next week I'd track but eat ALL my points and not walk so much.I stopped WW all together after that and have failed on my own several times..but then I ordered new books from the online shop and as of today have started back on my journey. This person all so encouraged me to not buy the cookbooks, which I loved getting, she said I didn't need them because I was on the "ultimate" plan. I often wonder if she was some how trying to sabotage me. cheers, Karen in New Zealand

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)