The program has not changed a great deal. They’ve made some minor Points Plus target changes, giving some people the ability to go to a Points Plus Value as low as 26 (it used to be 29). They’ve instituted a range. In effect, they’ve made a flexible program even more flexible, which I think is good.
However, the biggest change (at least in my opinion) is how it’s explained to the new members (as well as returning members who would like to have it refreshed). It’s called PowerStart.
What is PowerStart?
Previously, new members would stay for a single “Getting Started Session,” where the concept of points (or points plus values) were explained. The weekly points plus allowance and activity points were also outlined, as well as the concept behind the Weight Watchers program in general. It took about 30 minutes, but was necessary if you wanted to be successful – as I’m sure people do when they join. However, one thing they found out is that in trying to take in that much information, especially while being a bit emotional at the time, people were overwhelmed.
Think about it. Most people who join Weight Watchers – or any diet plan – are not in a good mood when they begin. They tend to be sad, feel guilty for putting on that much weight, or scared. After all, no one wakes up one morning and says,
“Yay! I finally put on enough weight that I can go to Weight Watchers!”
By the time they show up, they’ve tried everything; nothing has worked; so they broke through the veil of denial and decided to do something about their weight. But let’s face it, when you finally admit to yourself that you’ve “let yourself go,” you don’t feel so good about yourself. Therefore, when somebody starts a diet program, she usually feels bad about herself. Add to that feeling that they’re absorbing a lot of information and, well, what happens is they get distracted; they don’t learn it, and their heads explode.
What to do?
Weight Watchers has changed the game, so instead of one” getting started session,” they have introduced three PowerStart sessions; each one focuses on the basics of the program for just a few minutes but spends a lot of the time focusing on three different skills that will help the members actually make some helpful and healthy changes – and begin without delay.
The first power start session is called “power spaces;” its purpose, summed up, is to give people an idea about how to clean up their environment — the simplest level of change — so that they can be more successful from the moment they leave the meeting room.
Possibly the most important component of PowerStart is that in each power start session, there is an activity for the members to do.
I’ll be honest. I was a little hesitant about the power start sessions because — well honestly I didn’t want to stay later — but also I had some doubt that people would stay three times; it was difficult to get them to stay after the meeting one time. Yet, in observing the members today, I was impressed. They really did get involved in the activity, and it got them thinking and discussing how they could implement their ideas. They were able to come up with plans that would enable them when they left the meeting.
Then it occurred to me, how often do we — not just with regards to our diet — come up with great ideas but we don’t implement them? Oh sure, we say, “One of these days…” and our intent is there, but nothing happens.At least with regards to Weight Watchers, Points Plus 2012, and Power Start; the system is allowing people to create a plan they can implement immediately.
It’s not just about planning or thinking about it, it’s about actually putting together something and doing it – NOW!
The bottom line, as always, is it’s better to actually do something — and do it now — than to wait and promise to do something later.
Kudos to Weight Watchers for this concept. It worked well.
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