I worked for Weight Watchers and was a horrible employee because I felt good about my body.

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I worked for Weight Watchers and was a horrible employee because I felt good about my body. (You are not supposed to feel good about yourself and trust your own body or doctor if you work there). I also really didn’t like weighing people and would just try to chat with them about their day and their feelings and make them feel a sense of belonging and not shamed before they weighed in - not exactly what I was supposed to do) 

I had been on my own journey - well really a life long journey of reclaiming my health, listening to my own body and figuring how what I needed and wanted for my body and life. I liked the community aspect of weight watchers. I liked the part where people sat together and shared how their week was and that they ate ice cream and someone else said ME TOO! and everyone instantly felt less shame. I liked the magic that happens when people come together in community and feel less alone. I wanted to be part of creating that for people. I later learned that I didn’t need to work at WW to do that. I could create my own business and do the same thing. We all start somewhere. 

When I was hired I was not in the “correct”  BMI range. Fuck, I don’t actually think I have ever been. EVER. Maybe for like 2 minutes when I was 5 years old? People have always been surprised by how much I weighed and I’ve had a lifetime of people telling me how/when/what I need to do with my life. Thank you doctors, teachers, friends, parents, friends parents, magazines, tv, guidance counselors…should I keep going here? I CAN keep going…

I was probably for the first time in my life in a place with my body that I felt good in. It was a new place for me so I was unsteady when speaking about it and it was a process. While I was still focused on a number on the scale (I had been conditioned by society to care about this for my entire life) I started to focus less on it because I even though I was gaining weight, my pants size was going down, I felt more energized and I had a medical check up + blood test that said I was "excellent" (look I was excited that for ONCE someone gave me an "excellent" for something - NOT (!!!) that you need to have any of these things. I'm sharing to set the stage for what my mindset was and where my physical body was at (on the inside at the time) summary = I felt good. 

For the first time in my life I was starting to feel comfortable and confident in my body. FULLY comfortable. Then I was told it wasn’t good enough. It didn’t matter that I felt great. I had to change. Those were the rules. 

(These are emails from a part of my time there. They are unedited except for the names (hi ___ and when I say "best, kimberly" I don't give her name. It's all there and some of it makes me embarrassed that I said, but it's the truth.) 


Middle of January several years ago: 
Boss: “Hi Kimberly, You are getting so close to goal - bravo!  Can you see yourself 4 pounds less?  What is your goal and tell me what you want to have happen with your weight - when do you want to get there?”

Me: "Thank you very much! Happy New Year, by the way. I can definitely see myself 4 pounds less. My goal was 137, but I think 140 might be more realistic. I would like to get there and maintain it. I think the high 130s/low 140s range would be a good place for me. I'm not sure when I want to get here by, but it is my goal - as slow or as fast as it goes. Ideally by late March/Early April based on a healthy weight loss pace."

Boss: "OK – that works!  It is important to have a goal so you know where you are going. Are you still thinking you would like to be a leader?  I know you are not working at the moment but I could put you to work as a leader anytime!  You need to be at goal so you can think about this – no pressure and no rush. "

Me: "Yes, the idea of being a leader still sounds very exciting to me! As I am still on my own weight loss journey I'm not sure that I am quite ready to advise anyone yet. Hopefully I will be there soon!"

As you can, there is still questioning and doubting myself happening. Change doesn’t happen over night - esp. when someone in authority makes you feel like you are wrong. It felt uncomfortable, but I didn’t know what to say. That quickly changed. Her "no rush" comment was BS. I was in one role, but in order to be in another/continue working there, It was mandatory that I be a certain weight. 

Beginning of February, about 3 weeks later (I had ignored her “advice”). I was running, doing a bit of strength training and eating what felt good and gave me energy. I felt in sync with my body and what it needed. It felt good to listen to my body.

She was not happy. I received this email:

Boss: "Hi Kimberly, I know you have been traveling which makes the plan harder.  As a WW employee you need to demonstrate the success that you are! However, you are not yet at the top of your healthy range. You need to weigh in weekly until you get to the top of the range.  Does that feel doable?  How can I help?  are you attending a meeting?"

Me: “No I have not been going to meetings. I thought it was okay to be within 10 pounds of the top of the healthy weight range in order to be a receptionist? Would it help you if I got a note from my doctor? I had my annual physical a few months back and I was told by my doctor that my weight was great (when it was higher than at the moment) - after doing tests and blood work and everything coming back as either "very good" or "excellent." She actually mentioned that I should ignore the BMI scale. I'm happy to give you a copy of those results if weight watchers needs it.“

—> I was enraged when I received the email. This seemed like a calm way to respond. I thought saying "WELL my doctor says I’m great" would make a difference. I was pissed off that someone was telling me my body wasn’t good enough (yet again).

Boss: “Yes, it is OK to be within 10 pounds to be hired and work.  But you need to lose 2 pounds per month until you get to the top of the range and get to LT.  I don’t want to stress you and this is not meant to be punitive.  I just want to see you keep heading down!  Does 2 pounds seem doable? As long as it is OK for you to lose weight I don’t need the MD note.  The only reason to get a note is if you want a goal that is over the 25 BMI or you have a reason that weight loss is not healthy for you at this time.  I don’t think either apply, right?”

ME: "I am a bit confused - so I can't be 10 pounds above to work? It is mandatory that I reach 2 pounds per month? It does not stress me out at all nor do I feel that it is punitive. I am just comfortable at my current weight, especially since my health overall is great. I have been focusing much more on fitness (training for a half marathon) than weight loss so that is where I am at.  I am okay to lose weight, and yes, my ultimate goal is maybe around 140, but I can't be sure of that. I might get to 150 and feel great about that as well. I am not in a rush to get there which is why I mentioned my doctor's visit."

-> I was trying to stay strong in what I said. I was mad because she was telling me how I was feeling. I wasn’t feeling stressed. I never said I was. I hated how she spoke to me. It did make me feel small so I responded and was still trying to proof my worth by siting a specific number to please someone else. (spoiler: NEVER GOT THERE because hello it's nonsense.) I was working out and feeling good, but of course in the back of my head I still had an idea that I was “supposed" to look one way. You can see that it’s a mix of me being self assured but also doubtful. It’s a cycle. I know many of us stay in this headspace for awhile. IT SUCKS. This is the journey. I happen to have my in email. The boss was NOT happy with me saying I felt good or defending myself.

Boss: "I’ll call you tomorrow and we can talk, it 9:15-9:30 AM OK?  You have to be LT to work for WW.  You can be hired with 10 pounds to go but you need to continue to make progress at a rate of 2 pounds per month to get there.  There is flexibility in that but you need to lose.  LT for employment purposes means the top of your range.  I think you are 5’5”(?) so that means 155.  Your actual goal may be 140. Let’s talk and I can make it clear.  It is on page 33-35 in the employee handbook for your reference."

That was it. She ignored what I said about me and my doctor and how I felt. She called me the next day. I repeated the same thing and just said things like “ok sounds good” I ignored her advice. I didn't lose the weight I was supposed to lose. I'm pretty sure I gained a few more pounds (see: training for a race. Feeding my body. You know - living...) I stopped working at that location and started working at another location temporarily and then I stopped working there all together. 

You might look at this photo and think What!? That's crazy "you look great." What I am saying doesn't deserve more attention than someone in a larger body that would say the same thing. You might listen to me because I run/look smaller/am the "acceptable" version of body positive in many ways, but my body is not better than anyone else's. Weight stigma is harmful. we need to not judge people in larger bodies. The "help" and "concern" you have are actually more harmful to health than you think. It impacts lives.

You might look at this photo and think What!? That's crazy "you look great." What I am saying doesn't deserve more attention than someone in a larger body that would say the same thing. You might listen to me because I run/look smaller/am the "acceptable" version of body positive in many ways, but my body is not better than anyone else's. Weight stigma is harmful. we need to not judge people in larger bodies. The "help" and "concern" you have are actually more harmful to health than you think. It impacts lives.

This is me a few months after I was told I needed to lose more weight because it was in the employee handbook. I stayed around the same number which was never in the BMI scale because I didn't want to have to stop working out and eating so that my weight would be acceptable.

This is me a few months after I was told I needed to lose more weight because it was in the employee handbook. I stayed around the same number which was never in the BMI scale because I didn't want to have to stop working out and eating so that my weight would be acceptable.

I’m sharing this because THIS WORK IS FUCKING HARD. There are times when you question yourself and your believes and you are shakeable - especially after a lifelong experience in diet culture and someone in authority telling you what you need to do, what you should do, and how you should look. She was telling me what I should weigh and made me feel my value was directly connected to it. 

I know this isn't the worst thing and that many people have to deal with daily commentary about their body - but It was just another thing where I thought FOR FUCKS SAKE. I want you to know that it’s not okay to judge someone based on their weight. You also don’t need to judge yourself. You don’t need to weigh yourself every day, every week, every month or even at ALL. Your value does not come in any WAY/SHAPE/ FORM FROM A NUMBER ON A plastic or glass piece of shit. It’s plastic with a battery covering it. (same goes for your pants size. It doesn't = value). Why are you giving all your power away to these things?  I know it's because when you get there then it's when when everything will be good. Then you can start doing all the other things. We are promised that everything will be solved, but even when we get to those places then we usually only stay there for a short time and then feel bad when we leave them. We cycle in and out - often throughout our lives. This sucks. 

I gave my power away to a scale and diets and what I thought was right because it felt like the answer. It felt like if you could just get to x number I would feel good. THAT is where I would have no problems. I mean I knew in my head that all my problems wouldn't be solved, but the goal was still there. I thought "well I don’t want to be TOO THIN". I gave up on my original obsession of being 135 pounds because that would be a perfect spot on the BMI scale, but OF COURSE I told myself I still had to be within the range - just at the top. I have no recollection of ever being in that range at any point. I’ve been higher weights of course but I have always been deemed unacceptable by numbers no matter what my body looked like who how "fit" I was/was not. My body settled where it was supposed to be - where it felt good and it’s pretty much been there since. Sure it probably deviates sometimes, but the set range is always the same. I don't obsess about it. I just live my life. It's pretty f*cking great not worrying about it. Does that mean I never had a bad body day? NO, I AM HUMAN. But it means I don't let my life be controlled by other people's expectations or a battery wrapped in plastic. 

This is a small example of weight stigma people face every day. I have the privilege of a passable body. Weight stigna and oppression do not help people with their health. They never will help. This is real and it’s part of society. We often don't realize that the comments, commentary and compliments we give people can contribute. 

We need to stop valuing bodies that only look one way. Not everyone has the courage to stand up to BS (or a body that would be listened to as easily as mine if they did speak out). It takes time and discomfort. If you need help with it, I am HERE. I didn’t just wake up one day and become the person I am today with courage to speak out. It took a LONG TIME. The above was one of the few breaking points towards the end of my journey where the lights came on and I started to see that I was not the problem. My body was not the problem. Other people’s narrow minded views and expectations were the problem. 

The companies and programs that teach you that you are going to change your life and feel good by counting points/macros, cutting out sugar for 21 days, carbs for 30 and whatever else you cut out are part of the problem. These are always based on someone else’s rules for what you should do and what your body and life should look like. (even when these people are trying to help and they say it comes from a "good" place) You are never given the chance to listen to your own body so you default to someone else's food and life rules. They often work short term, but leave you stuck in cycles of good and bad behavior on/off the wagon and result in passing on beauty and body expectations to our daughters, nieces and friends. We say we want to change the world, but then why are we still letting plastic and restriction tell us how to live our lives? Why are we passing these rules onto the next generation? I believe we have the power to change how the game is played. 

Need help with this? Join my 2x a month email HERE. Or find out more about working with me HERE. 

If you would like additional information on the science of weight, here are a few resources I would suggest as a starting point:

"You shouldn't look the way you do for college interviews" An open letter to a horrible dietitian

Dear horrible nutritionist/dietitian (whatever your title was with ALL your degrees), 

When I was 17 you told me I “shouldn’t look the way I do” when I was was about to go on college interviews. 

I needed help.

I went to your office because I was feeling lost with food and generally really depressed and you told me my value as a person was contingent on my ability to make myself physical smaller. That was my issue? really? 

Leaving your office that day I felt even worse than when I walked in. I felt alone, misunderstand, and numb. I never went back to your office because I knew you were wrong. I didn’t have the words to express how I felt then beside saying “mmmhmm. okay. right” and staying silent. Don't worry, I found them now: 

FUCK YOU. 

You are/were a medical provider that was supposed to create a safe space for people. The first words out of your mouth were that I shouldn’t look the way I looked. “Let’s get a handle on this. We don’t want you going to college interviews looking the way you do.” 

You were “well known” in your field. You came “highly recommended.” Why were you trying to base my value as a person on if the chicken breast I wanted to eat was the size of my palm or not? 

Didn’t you want to know how I was feeling? And why? I think you just wanted another person to walk away from your office as a "success story" that you could tell other clients. You didn’t care.

I’m so glad I knew enough to know that you were wrong. I never went back to your office. What about the other people? What about the other people that don’t have the same amount of trust in themselves (and resources) to know right from wrong with people in authority? Did those girls keep coming back to your office week after week feeling bad? Did you make them feel worse? 

This is not unique. Many people have the same experiences. Medical providers fail people every single day. There is so much more to health then the space a body takes up in a room. I don’t know how long it will take for people to realize that, but I hope they do so soon so that less 17 year old teenagers have to walk out of offices and into college interviews feeling the way I felt.

————

PS. I got into my top choice college after going on my interviews “looking the way I do.” Now I help people so they aren’t caused the same harm you caused me. Thanks for letting me know what helping people does NOT look like. You were one of many. 

What really happens when you go on a diet, lose weight, and feel AMAZING

What happens? 

You try a “diet” called a “diet”  but also code named often as “cleanse” “way of eating” “clean.” 

It works. 

You lose weight. 

You feel light. 

You get compliments. 

Fast forward 30/60 days/3 months/1 Year. LIFE happens. You eat carbs. You eat sugar. You tell yourself you are “bad” because you at “bad” food. You go on vacation, you were “SO BAD” and “ate so much." 

You feel bad about yourself. You start another diet. Repeat cycle. Repeat again… FINALLY (maybe?) realize it’s not about putting food into “good” or “bad” catgories, you are tired of falling in/out of feeling good/bad. 

The problem is that these things DO NOT WORK. They only work short term. They do not teach you how to deal with what is really going on (in your body or head). You know that an apple might be better for you than a cookie. duh. You don’t need a fucking diet plan to tell you that, but you still sign up for these plans. You follow, it works, then it doesn’t, feel bad, repeat. It's not great. You know it's not. You are happy and feel great when you do them/end them, but then when you are "bad" you feel guilt and shame and honestly disappointed in yourself so you try again. The problem is not you. It's what you are trying and the system that takes advantage of keeping you on the shitty diet mentality treadmill. (We can call it the "clean eating" treadmill if that makes you feel better. Same thing). 

It doesn’t matter how it is broken down. You guys -->> you can literally go ON a cookie diet. (google it). It IS a thing. You will lose weight. You will feel lighter. You will get those same compliments I mentioned earlier. 

You join programs and you tell other people you do it because you want to “be heathier” I don’t care if it’s the south beach diet, the atkins diet or now whole 30. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME. You don’t tell people it’s because you want to lose weight, but secretly you do. There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight by the way! Topic for another blog. You say you want to “get healthy” because socially that’s acceptable even though “get healthy” is usually code for “lose weight” when health is about waaaaaaay more than weight. You know this and you are thinking "YES I know. But I still want to be thin."

It sucks. It sucks to see people do these things. It sucks to see people feel good. Then fast forward 6 months/1 year/2 years and realize they are still in the same place. They still think they are good or bad based on what they ate.  Their value is what the number on the scale says or their pants size (not actually how they feel or what their doctor actually says).  Maybe they are thin/fat/really "in shape". Doesn't matter because visually you often can only tell a tiny bit about how someone feels day to day. I know people on all levels of the body spectrum that have the same exact thoughts and say/do the same exact things. It sucks. 

The honest truth is that I’m not even against these plans as a whole. I love people testing out new things for themselves and their body.  The problem is that they say they go into with with wanting to develop a healthy lifestyle, but usually these programs are not grounded in long term success and what the person still *really* wants is not "health" but is to lose 20/30/40/50 pounds and be thin. Thin becomes more important than health, but no one wants to say that. These plans are not set up for that. They are set up to give you short term wins and teach you that if you eat this way you are good, if you don't then that's why you are not healthy, don't feel good and are fat and unworthy. 

If you are reading this and relate, Email me: kim@Kimberlyweiss.com Shoot me a quick email and tell me ONE thing you could use some help with. I promise to answer. Or share your thoughts below. You are not the problem. Your body is not the problem. Your willpower is not the problem. 

 

Why you should eat brownies for breakfast and how to stop eating everything in your fridge

Do you ever have those evenings where you want to eat everything in your fridge - a bunch of chocolate or cheese or bread or really just anything that that looks kind of good? Have you ever stopped yourself and said “ok, if I still really want this tomorrow - I’ll have it in the morning.” Doing this might mean that YES you end up having have a brownie (or two or three - no judgement!)  for breakfast because it stops you from going down a binge path the night before and feeling bad about yourself for the next 3 days/week. If this is the case then YES. EAT THAT DAMN BROWNIE FOR BREAKFAST. Or maybe you just want one and it has nothing to do with the night before.

Maybe you already had your greek yogurt with berries and chia seeds and you have a craving for a brownie. Eat it! Maybe you just have half of it - maybe you have all of it. Maybe you decide well you know what I don’t actually want it right now - I just want sugar so I’ll have this apple instead because I would rather have this (I know this scenario doesn't often happen - but it could! I've had it happen - weird I know)

If you eat it, enjoy it, savor it. Don’t call yourself bad or say you have no will power. You do. You just wanted a brownie. That's it. You are allowed to eat things you like. 

Instead of saying you are bad/messed up your diet/insert mean comments you tell yourself for eating yummy things, try saying "DAMN that was a delicious brownie. I’m glad I enjoyed it!" and carry on with your day. It’s when you start labeling foods as bad or wrong and your behaviors of eating something as weakness that the problem starts. You feel shame and guilt so you have another and another and then decide the day is over anyways so you might as well have more. You are not a bad person for eating a brownie.

It’s okay to eat a brownie for breakfast.

And if you don’t like this advice and it doesn’t sit well with you then guess what? DON’T EAT a brownie for breakfast. Go out and find what works for you. Not your best friend, not your mom, Not what women's health says to eat- EAT what you want to eat.

What is something you think of as "bad" that you have had for breakfast? Mine is probably cake which I feel great about it because hello? It's cake. Or cold pizza (by cold I mean you order it the night before when you are still *tipsy* and it sits out so it’s room temperature and delicious in the morning.

Are you reading this and thinking - UGH yea but I can never stop. You make it sounds so easy Kim! It's not. Then let’s chat. Jump over here to schedule a free chat with me and we can talk about brownies and eating our feelings and whatever else is going on for you right now because you deserve to both be happy and eat your brownies- OKAY!? And yes it is possible and no it does not require a juice cleanse.