Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WWWednesday - A corporation is a corporation...

.. is a corporation.

Oh yeah.  Down 1 lb this week.  *slow clap*

I'm feeling disillusioned with the program this week, but on a scale much grander than my usual "This is hard, wahhhhh" type disillusionment.

So Weight Watchers rolled out their new Points Plus program this week.  The difference here is supposed to be where the old Points program assigned foods a points value based on a food's fibre, calories and fat contents, the new system also incorporates protein and carbohydrate contents into the points value.  As a result some foods, such as fruits, go down in value and some go up.

I mean, in theory it makes sense, right?  Sure.

Here's what irks me.  In the four years I've been with this program, I have been witness to no less than four program roll-outs.  I have paid enough money (not even including recipe books and guides) into the program that I could probably bank roll the education of all of Fluorine Mark's children and still had enough for a nice dinner.  Myself, being the el cheapo I am, haven't bothered much with the peripherals of the program.. the measuring spoons, the fancy journals, the walking tapes, the fancy electronic points calculators.. no, aside from the initial food guides the first year I joined and 2-3 recipe books, I pretty much pay my weekly fees and that's it.

Boy sometimes I'm glad to be a tightwad.

Back to the reason for my aggravation.  Basically, this new points system renders all the old books, accessories, trackers, calculators absolutely moot and irrelevant.  And if there is one thing that gets my plus-sized panties in a bunch, it's planned fucking obsolescence. 

So those people who did shell out for the fancy calculators, the food guides, and all that fun stuff, have got to do it again.  With the old program, you could get the fancy calculator or you could use the paper sliding graph that was provided with your WW package.  Now because of all the variables involved, they couldn't effectively design a paper slider, so you pretty much HAVE to buy the fancy electronic calculator.  They were marked down from $15 to $5 as a promotion for the opening week.  I bought one, but I was NOT happy about it.

     
An early version of the paper points finder.

Fancy pants electronic calculator.  Yes, I totally stole this pic from Amazon.  That's what the little camera means.
Frankly, the whole thing seems like a money-grab to me, and I said this to the ladies at the meeting today.  Let's change the whole program around, and bring in all new tools and materials.

Let's face it, although it touts itself as a lifestyle, and a support group, it's foolish to forget that above all Weight Watchers is a giant money-making machine, a corporation.  Sure it looks good on paper, in all reality, no matter what your mission statement may be, we know in the corporate world that the real mission is getting as much money out of the little guy (or the bigger gal) as humanly possible.

I've got some thinking to do.

5 comments:

  1. It's true. That's how they make their money. Your weekly fees aren't bringing in the big buckeroos, so they have Product Managers who come up with new, bullshitty ideas to 'make it new and different'.

    It's complete crap, but it's exactly as you stated - planned obsolescence. Douchebaggery indeed, but they care more about their shareholders than the average paper-slide toting person.

    Booo-urns.

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  2. the thing i don't understand is... obviously people lost weight on the old program, so was it really so bad that they needed to completely switch everything around? answer: no. but i think the worst part about it, is that most people will just mindlessly go along with it and not even stop to think about the fact that they are getting swindled! it's like they're literally banking on the fact that people aren't using their brains, and in some cases are so desperate to lose weight that they will do anything!

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  3. That's true Jess. It HAS worked for a lot of people. If you go back and look at a WW book from the 80's though, a lot of the change have been good changes. The old programs are hard as hell to follow IMO and bringing in the points thing was a good call. I just have a hard time believing that they couldn't have instituted this without rendering ALL the old materials useless.

    But you're right, they ARE banking on people being desperate enough to lose weight that they'll shell out for this stuff. Hell, with anything else, I'd be 'eff this' and quit, because I don't WANT to give my hard-earned money to someone that is actively trying to find new ways to take it.. but I'm not sure I will, because it HAS been working (you know, when I'm working with it).

    I'm afraid that if I don't I'm going to backslide. So there's your example right there.

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  4. I'm struggling with the new program too but you're being a bit too hard on old WW. I know I'd rather the company update the research periodically (every 12 years for a major overhaul is not that big a deal) and have it reflected in what we eat.

    This new plan is healthier with a bigger emphasis on whole foods instead of processed high fiber junk. If you don't want to buy all the "tools" - do Simply Filling - you don't even need to track and it works too.

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  5. Updating the research I have no problem with, and I totally get the idea of not wanting to be stagnant.

    However, I am bothered that this particular revamping is one that has A) effectively rendered all past materials obsolete
    B) made increasingly difficult for people to follow the program outside of the program.

    It's frustrating, because the recipe books, the trackers, the electronic calculators.. these are an INVESTMENT that faithful weight watcher members have made with their hard earned money. Some of the people commented on the manmeetsscale.com that they had purchased their old calculator a mere few weeks before the new program was rolled out. Why are they selling the calculators when they are going to be useless in a matter of a few weeks?

    To say that you can 'just follow the other program' completely misses the point. As a member, I, along with others, have made an investment and I think as a long-time member we are deserving of at least an attempt to create a program where our previous investments are still relevant.

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Engaging in discussion and/or general sucking up.. that's where it's at!