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And People Have Feelings About It!
Woah! Weight Watchers announced some major changes to the program and company today and people are having ALL the feelings about it! As a member I use their app and they have a section called Connect which is sort of like Facebook where people can post and other can comment. I’m rather blown away by the reaction some people are having to something that seems so great to me.
I used to be a receptionist and leader for Weight Watchers. I’ve also been a member off and on for many years. If you’ve been around the company for any length of time you know that change is inevitable. Usually sometime around the start of a new year they’ll roll out some tweaks that don’t impact the plan itself but that are designed to help members be more successful. Then every few years they’ll make major changes to the plan itself based on the newest research in weight loss.
So while this announcement was pretty big, it was NOT a plan change. That’s being incorrectly reported and WW is doing their best to clear that up in the comments on their posts. They just spent a lot of time introducing Freestyle (read about how much I love Freestyle here) so it’s not time for a plan change. What they are doing is what I’ve been hoping they’d do for a long time.
Focus on Health
They’re changing their name to just “WW” which is honestly how many people refer to them in typed conversation now anyway and we know how much people love to text so I’m thinking that’s a smart move. Their new tag line is “Wellness that Works” and they’re just adding in a bunch of really cool stuff. They’re revamping their activity points, they’re partnering with Headspace to get into a mindfulness approach. They’re dumping the garbage ingredients from the foods that carry their name, and they’re creating some new products. They’re also creating a rewards system that I’m super excited about.
But that’s not what has people’s panties in a bunch (though a fair amount seem upset about meditation even though it’s not required). The biggest change is that they’re trying to appeal to people who just want to make healthy lifestyle changes. I’m not sure how that all shakes out in terms of what will be required for membership, and whether or not people will need to weigh in, but it’s got people shook.
I personally think all of the changes sound amazing. I also don’t think that they’re going to be suddenly flooded with memberships by super fit healthy people who just can’t wait to plunk down their cash to track their exercise. WW has already been struggling to compete with other free apps so that wouldn’t make sense. I think weight loss is still going to be their main focus, they’re just trying to work on the whole person and not focus on that number on the scale. I also think they’re trying to appeal to people who don’t feel like they fit in because they don’t have hundreds of pounds to lose. I know I’ve seen a lot of comments by smaller members who feel like they’re being judged for being there. This should remove some of that. I hope it removes that.
I saw someone comment “we came to WW because we wanted to change, so go with the change” today and that’s my motto as well. Change can be scary, but it can also be awesome. One thing WW always seems to remember is where they came from. They remember their founder Jean Nidetch fondly and I don’t think they’ll sway too far from her founding philosophy.
So, if you’ve ever thought about giving Weight Watchers a try but didn’t know if it was for you, now might be the time. I haven’t seen a date for the changes yet, but it won’t be too long I’m sure. They’re always running specials for new members, and if you sign up through Ebates you can get cash back too! So join me and let’s do this together!