Which brings me to Weight Watchers.
How did I get from smart phones and social media to Weight Watchers?
Last week I joined Weight Watchers. I really need to drop some weight and wasn't doing too well on my own. While I agree that Primal and Paleo eating, which could be considered low carb, is probably one of healthier ways to eat, it is (IMO) very hard to accomplish.
Last week a friend whom I had not seen in several years came over and I was stunned at how slim she was. Her answer? Weight Watchers.
So I decided that getting out of the house, spending time with other people on the same journey, and having some accountability would be a good thing.
I signed up online and attended my first meeting last Monday evening and was looking forward to chit-chatting with other peeps at the meeting.
I really should have known better. As soon as people were weighed and were waiting for the meeting to start, out came the smartphones. My annoyance level immediately shot into the red zone.
I had attended (unsuccessfully) Weight Watchers a gazillion years ago and this is not what I remembered. Even though I did poorly on the old program, I still remember meeting all sorts of like minded souls who inspired and cheered each other on.
As a newbie I was asked to spend some time after the regular meeting with the group leader, an elegant and slim older woman, to help me get started. I had already started using the meal tracker online and asked a question about something or another.
The response was to tout the WW app on my phone and how I could scan stuff in the grocery store to check points.
"Umm, I don't have a smartphone."
If I had grown a second head the look on her face couldn't have been more startled.
"Well, how do you get online?" she asked.
"I have this thing at home called a PC - you know, a computer with a yuuuuge monitor. It sits in my office and functions much like a smart phone", I answered. "If I need information about an item while in the grocery store, I read the label."
Another puzzled look and I was sort of dismissed as some relic from a bygone era. Remember, this was not some twenty something gal, but a woman who was probably well into her sixties.
What's my point?
My point is not to go all snarky on WW, the elegant group leader who was doing a very good job, or the WW program, which has proven to be fun - mainly because they now have a spot-on website program to track points, but to express my distress at not having people with whom to socialize.
I pretty sure we're all aware of the lost hours watching cat videos, cruising Facecrap, and reading the news. Surely, it's not just me suffering from easy distractibility as I flit from one story to another and my diminished ability to concentrate even when away from my screen.
The phones are getting smarter and we're getting dumber. If someone attending WW has a phone to scan a grocery item, why bother to learn to read a label?
Young people don't need to be connected to the internet 24/7. They could do quite well with a simple phone that makes calls or texts. Recent studies are showing that high smartphone usage is causing skyrocketing depression and even suicide in young people.
I recognize the wealth of good things that a smartphone can bring to people who need such a device. But, how many people really need to be that connected?
If you have a smartphone and you love it, there's no need to justify your usage to me or anyone else. If the technology does more good than harm in respect to your core values, then have at it.
And if you don't have a smartphone there's no need to feel like some Luddite. We're all individuals and need to make our own decisions.
Next Monday will be my first week weigh in and I think I'll do well. The plan has changed considerably since my first go round and I'm really enjoying playing with my smart points. Every food is assigned a point value. You get so many points per day plus an extra amount per week to be used, or not used, as the need arises. When you've used up your points they're gone, kaput, finished. It didn't take me long to become obsessed with low point meals and being ecstatic when I ended the day with left over points.
There are some things, due in part to my medical background, I don't agree with, notably fruit being unlimited and their war on fat. However, I do recognize what they're trying to accomplish in the way of helping people make better choices for what they eat. So, I obediently eat a small apple every night for my snack -sometimes with a tablespoon of almond butter.
Their on-line tracking system is outstanding and must have taken a gazillion hours to code - and I thank them.
One of the HVAC guys who came to my house last Tuesday is also a newbie in the program and has lost 23 lbs his first month. Can't argue with success.
To keep me even more accountable, I plan to post my weight loss every Tuesday after my Monday evening weigh in.
Cal Newport: Are You Using Social Media or Being Used By It?
MIT Technology Revieww: Smartphones Are Weapons of Mass Manipulation, and This Guy Is Declaring War on Them
Bloomberg: Smartphones Are Killing Americans, But Nobody’s Counting
PBS: Analysis: Teens are sleeping less. Why? Smartphones
Deals in Women's Shoes
Some gorgeous women's Jewelry Deals (Guys - Christmas is coming, hint, hint)