Here's What You Need to Know Before Your First Weight Watchers Meeting

When I first joined Weight Watchers, I knew immediately that the plan that included meetings was the one I needed to get. You have the option of just having an online membership and going about it on your own at home or you can pay a little more and attend a weekly meeting. While initially gearing up to join Weight Watchers, I didn't want to do meetings. I knew I had to because I knew they would be important. Let me tell you exactly why.

They keep you accountable

When you have to go into a Weight Watchers meeting every week, you're being held accountable for your actions, but not at all in a shameful way. You don't necessarily have to get weighed if you don't want to, and you don't even have to participate in the meeting verbally. But having face time with your meeting leader and the rest of the people on a similar weight-loss journey will keep reminding you what you're working toward. If you do get weighed, however, it's a visual reminder of how the past week went for you, whether it's good or bad.

You don't have to participate, but you should

I went to a lot of meetings before I was willing to say anything. Each meeting has a discussion topic, ranging from handling holidays to weight-loss questions. There will always be people in your meeting who are willing to talk, and if no one wants to, your leader will keep the topic going so you can still walk out with some valuable takeaways. You definitely don't need to say anything if you don't want to, but I found the more I actively participated in the discussions, the more I felt like I absorbed the information and was really able to utilize it in my real life.

You will absolutely celebrate any victory

Everyone knows losing weight is hard work. It's so hard! In your meetings, there is always, always, always time to celebrate everyone's victories, whether you lost a pound or you walked an extra block from the subway station last week. If you're proud of it, the rest of the people in your meeting are proud of you too. And celebrating these victories, no matter the size, is great motivation to keep working toward more victories.

They are not corny!

Some motivational meetings can be corny or irrelevant, but trust me that Weight Watchers is not. The information you're given is valid, and the discussions, at least in my meetings, are like college class discussions. Everyone's in a semicircle, discussing a topic like mature adults and bouncing ideas off one another. Your instructors will take this time to motivate you without sugarcoating anything. They'll empathize with what you're going through — because they've been there — and they'll give you realistic advice on continuing the journey.