Saturday, March 8, 2014

Drawing The Line

Sometimes I wish I had unlimited time to blog so that I could write about all the stuff that interests me at the moment it hits. Instead I'm tossing things around in my head and by the time I sit down I've usually forgotten all about it. Or I have so many ideas I don't know where to start.

Yesterday I read a blog post via Facebook where a girl was talking about how she ended up with an eating disorder by going to Weight Watchers.

As a former member of Weight Watchers I was a bit like wha?

I remember when I first went to Weight Watchers. Using that little slide ruler to figure out the fat, fiber and calories. I remember the eye opening to realize how many points things were. And it worked for me. I lost 50 pounds when I went to Weight Watchers.

Did I learn that eating frozen meals weren't very good for you? No. But no one really talked about that back then. I did learn that in order to stay within my points I couldn't eat a lot of rice and potatoes and candy bars.

I stopped going when I got pregnant with Melissa and after I had her Jessica was in Kindergarten and it was about impossible to make it to the meetings. Eventually I stopped going and slowly the weight crept back up.

That wasn't Weight Watcher's fault. It was my own for eating heaps of food.

Anyhow, this girl was talking about how when she joined she was already pretty thin (looking back she sees this) and how she had so few points allotted to her that she was basically starving herself. She learned to just be hungry and to power through it and then she was super thin and had an eating disorder. All while she was going to Weight Watchers.

I remember one time when I was at a meeting I was talking to the leader one on one, and she told me how she had to turn someone away from their program because she was losing too much weight and it was obvious to her that she had an eating disorder. Looking back I wonder if they offered any kind of outside resources or if they. Probably not.

I can see how easily it could be to get "too thin" and to have an eating disorder, but I don't think you can blame a program. I think that is something that is in your head. I think blaming Weight Watchers is like blaming a gun for killing people. It's not the gun it's how you use it.

I'm sure if you are reading here you know by now that I use Lose It now to count my calories. I "loosely" count my calories now. I learned really quickly that I can eat a nice meal made with real food for less calories than I could eat a frozen Smart Ones. One just takes a bit more planning and time. One also keeps me fuller and hopefully healthier.

I've also learned that if I only eat 1200 calories a day I might feel like I'm going to pass out every time I get from my chair at work and my hair falls out. I could totally blame Lose It for allowing me to manually over ride their weight loss "goals" to under a certain number. Or I could accept that it's my place to know when I'm doing something dangerous and to not do that.

I think that's where the difference lies in people that have eating disorders and people who don't. You wouldn't be able to see that line. I'm no expert for sure but that's just my take on it.Pin It


Crochet Addict UK said...

If you have an eating disorder you can't see anything except getting thinner. It's about power and it's the one thing you can control. I think the problem is if you join in a weight losing problem you are constantly getting positive messages for losing weight. If you need that boost then losing more weight can be addictive. I think they do have to look out for it and be aware of people that the program could harm. I think they should be aware of somewhere to send the person for help so they don't feel even more abandoned.

Chris H said...

I totally agree. It's not anyone's 'fault', some people are just predisposed to forming an eating disorder.
Me? Never! OH HOLD ON... I am an over eater, that's a disorder???

Like you, I know damn well what I should or should not be eating. It's in MY HANDS to make good choices. For sure.

Susan made a good comment too. WW and other weight loss groups should have practices in place to help anyone with a serious eating disorder.

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