A subject I wanted to cover as part of my blog was slimming clubs as these have helped me in the past and I will explain when they can work for you and when they don’t.
I would say most people have a common impression of a slimming club, people crowding into an old drafty town hall to step off a scale and told to eat dust. Lots of people completely dismiss them as something that can help, or are to ashamed to attend one.
Well these clubs can help you in certain circumstances which I will explain and you don’t necessarily need to tell anyone that you are attending one if that’s your worry.
Choosing a club
Choosing a good club is key to your success and for meeting your own personal goals. Here are some points to take onboard;
- What is method to losing weight? – FAD diet clubs are a NO, there must be a controlled and healthy approach to slimming. This is key to your food relationship and keeping off the weight once you hit your goals.
- Venue – The venue is very important to me as I don’t want to create a negative association with the club this must all be positive. If the venue is too cold/hot or other tenants in the building interrupt by being noisy I would think twice. The negatives become excuses for attending or can distract you from fully engaging in the sessions.
- Location – You can find clubs in lots of locations and often its not hard to find one near your home. However if are not ready to let friends and family know your goals then choose one at which no one will know you.
- Support – All groups must be warm and welcoming and you need to build a rapport with your consultant. A group should be a safe and non judgmental environment, in which you can discuss your fears and worries openly. If this isn’t the case do not attend as this will actually have the opposite affect on your journey.
When they don’t work?
It doesn’t matter how good a slimming club is it will never work if your heart is not in it. Ultimately it is up to you to break your cycle and realize your habits. A good consultant can help you with this journey but unless you engage it will never be successful. Its like alcoholics anonymous in order to fight alcoholism you have to admit that you have a problem. In order for me to lose weight and become healthy I must face myself and admit I have the wrong food relationship.
Let me give you an example approx. 10 years ago I was in my usual cycle of eating the wrong foods. My wife one evening said ‘I want to join Weigh Watchers I used to do it at Uni and it really works’. I somewhat reluctantly agreed to go with her and so off we went to join our local club.
Upon joining the club we were given our packs and the plan explained to us. We both had a set number of points calculated that we had for each day and in our packs were the foods we could eat and the point values against them. Easy hey, I just need to make sure I don’t eat all my points so what did I do. Well first of all I started to drink my points I would starve myself most the day and use the points to drink beer or wine in the evening. What a healthy diet! I have now got myself here what could possibly go wrong! We would talk in group about (not with the consultant) how we could save our points and use them for going out the next night etc..
To top it off if I had a week where I lost some weight I would celebrate, it’s the how I celebrated which is the fifty shades of messed up. I would justify a good night on the scales with I can do what I like, so on the way home from the club I would go to my local Chinese get a takeaway get home eat it and sink some beers. What I’m basically doing is undoing all that hard work, as I hadn’t addressed what I had needed to. That was my relationship with food so I was going through the motions but sabotaging the plan put it front of me.
I ended up leaving the club and not achieving much and I wouldn’t say that is a problem with the Weight Watchers program, it was me not wanting to change.
When they do work?
So when do these clubs work? Well they can and it’s a club that set me off in the right direction and led me to educated myself and understand nutrition.
It was 8 years on from ‘Weigh Watchers’ and I got to the point in my life when something had to change as I was at a particularly low point, as was my wife. My wife said to me ‘I want to join Slimming World can you do it with me’. She was very clear that she couldn’t achieve it if I didn’t engage. At this point I thought I owed it her and my family to engage and admit to myself something had to change.
So we decided to give it a go, I found their plan really accommodating when I found out I could eat as much as I like! Seriously was someone joking? But it was true, along with this you had a number of syns which you could use to eat other foods or have a glass wine etc… At first I struggled as I couldn’t understand why I could eat some foods and yet have to syn others. I remember telling my wife we couldn’t eat pasta as its carbs and we would put on weight. She told me to trust the plan and I did.
The result was I managed to lose 3 stone with this club, now I am not saying they were any better than weight watchers. The key to all this was that I engaged in the plan given to me. But added to this it made me not only address my food relationship but learn about food and different types.
When we decide we are going to engage and meet our plan we need to write down our goals and the reasons we want to change. This is key as when we falter or are in a low mood we can read these to regain focus and determination. Also make sure you know what motivates you as knowing this you can really get a boost when you need it.