Well, I finally did it – I joined Weight Watchers. Like many of you, I’ve struggled with losing those last 10 pounds, over and over again. Over the years, I’ve probably lost 150 pounds – and gained 160!
I tried all sorts of diets – prepackaged foods, no carbs, all carbs, no sugar, detoxes and cleansers. They all worked, for a while, and then I lost motivation, got tired of eating tasteless food, or figured that I had it beat and didn’t need any more dieting to maintain the weight loss. And then the weight came back…
The problem was that I TRIED all of these diets. I didn’t COMMIT to any of them.
And that’s where Weight Watchers comes in. The program makes it clear that it’s a commitment – in many cases, a lifetime commitment. You can’t go half-in and expect it to work.
It’s the same thing with social media. A few tweets here, a Facebook update there, and a few more people in your Google+ circle just doesn’t get the job done. You may gain a little traction here and there, but in the long run you’ll be right back where you started – or worse. All that hard work, and nothing to show for it.
With Weight Watchers, you learn about portion control and making good choices when it comes to food. Keep your food intake at a reasonable level, choose the foods that are good for you, and the weight loss will follow.
With social media there’s a temptation to jump into everything – a little bit of Twitter, a taste of Facebook, and sampling of Google+ – and before you know it, you’re in over your head. Take a critical look at your social media options and decide what’s right for your business. What’s going to move you closer to your goal? And what’s just going to be a major time suck? If it’s not going to bring the outcomes you need, don’t do it! Keep the ‘portions’ manageable, make smart decisions, and the social media results will follow.
The other big thing with Weight Watchers is the emphasis on planning. You’ve got to plan out what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it. Then you have to implement that plan – put together a grocery list, go shopping (if it’s not on the list, don’t buy it!), cook, and then eat what’s on the plan (if it’s not on the plan, don’t eat it!). It’s not easy, but it works.
Develop a plan for your social media efforts. Decide up front where you’re going to invest your time and effort (e.g., a Facebook fan page, regular tweets, writing and responding to blog posts) and, more importantly, how much time you’re going to spend doing it. Set a schedule and stick to it – consistency is critical. Put together a list of ideas or topics to share with your followers, shop around for other great content to share, cook it all up with your own special blend of personality and experience, and then share it with the world. And remember, if it’s not on the plan, don’t do it!
Finally, Weight Watchers doesn’t work without measuring and tracking. What you eat, amount of exercise, servings of vegetables and fruit – whatever it is, you have to measure it and then write it down, capture it in a spread sheet, or update it using the online tracking tool.
The point isn’t to track everything, but to track what’s important. If it doesn’t impact your progress, why track it? But unless you track everything at the beginning, you probably won’t figure out what’s working for you and what isn’t. Capture what you’ve done and what the outcomes were. Then focus on what works.
So far I’ve lost 11 lbs with Weight Watchers and I know that if I stay on plan, I’ll hit my goal weight. And, more importantly, with commitment, portion control, good choices, planning, and tracking, I’ll be able to maintain that weight loss indefinitely.