I love Weight Watchers, because it works for millions of people. I know people that have shed 50 pounds and kept it off for years. I think that simple truth makes them a great addition to a gigantic industry of weight loss.

That being said, I really have a problem with the direction the company has taken in recent years. A trip to the grocery story inspired an impromptu comparison.

Weight Watchers Twinkies, and other various cakes, stacked and on sale.

This seems a bit…stupid, to me. An organization that wants its members to focus on eating better, with whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables…and there is this huge display at the end of the produce section. Why doesn’t Weight Watchers have a fruit stand in grocery stores? Wouldn’t that make sense? Instead, it’s processed snacks made by the Heinz company…the same folks who make that delicious ketchup.

Let me take a step back.

Tonight I had tacos for dinner, and used Weight Watchers low fat 4 cheese mexican style shredded cheese as part of the ingredients. It was awesome. I guess this really has less to do with Weight  Watchers and more to do with me.

I look at the Weight Watchers snack foods and instantly think of Swiss Rolls. Yes, WW snacks have a fraction of the fat/sugar/etc content, but my problem isn’t with the snack. It’s the problem with the ability to eat one snack. I would routinely eat 2, or 3, maybe 4 or 5 if nobody knew about it.

I’m aware of this now, but I get angry because I feel like WW’s snack foods are promoted towards people like me who want to eat better but think they can find a way to overcome overeating a snack. A box of WW Twinkies is something like 8 twinkies at 60 calories each. Why wouldn’t an obese overeater eat the whole box in one sitting? It’s only 480 calories!

The remorse, guilt, and depression of knowing you just smushed a whole box of anything can derail any diet. Send things spiraling out of control.

I guess I was on the prowl to pick on Weight Watchers at the grocery store. These were eye level. I was hungry. You’re damn right I would’ve loved some thin mints!

Across from the WW thin mints, these were also at eye level. I think the purpose is the same, to get you and me the customer to buy these things on impulse.

I guess for me acting on impulse has gotten me to where I am, floating around 250 pounds.

My girlfriend thinks I’m dead wrong, that WW’s goal isn’t to keep people fat. I don’t necessarily think that’s their goal. I think their goal is to keep the heavier people on a constant loop where they support with one hand and offer snacks with the other. They have millions of success stories of people without food issues. Maybe millions who formerly had food issues and used WW to overcome them. I don’t know.

What I do know, is this sort of marketing isn’t really helpful. Not to me, anyway. Normal, relatively fit people who can eat just one Swiss Roll will benefit greatly if they switch to a WW comparable snack. People who are 50,100, 150 pounds overweight, shouldn’t buy anything such as the WW snacks, because they’re like a gateway drug. You don’t get to 250, 300 pounds just by eating badly. You likely have some issues with portion control and snacking.

For me, the first step to losing weight was looking my food in the mirror and realizing there will be a long, drawn out battle to break up with shit like Swiss Rolls. Tonight’s trip to the grocery store confirmed that my battle remains long, but I’m gaining strength.