I like to think of myself as a techno savvy guy but these last few days have given me new insight into why people embrace neo-luddism (opposition of technology).
I have now been on the Weight Watchers online system for over 6 weeks. This week I hit a snag. I had been traveling quite bit this week and – while I had been mindful of portion size and my food choices – I was unable to faithfully track my points. It was not from lack of effort but lack of connectivity, technology and/or a combination of both. Can I get a collective “ERRRR!” You know what I mean.
First let me state that I do not have a “fruit” or “robot” smart phone. While it is smart, it unfortunately is the type of phone Bill Gates would have and is third in market share. Thus, it does not have an official Weight Watchers app. When you visit the Weight Watchers site, it recognizes my phone as a mobile device and immediately recommends you download an app for one of those “other” phones. The existing mobile site is ancient in design. I can check my weight loss and enter food for points but it never displays a summary of the day, totals or anything really valuable. I personally believe that once apps were created for those other phones, the mobile website department at Weight Watchers was shut down and someone forgot to turn off this archaic mobile site.
So not to worry because I had my laptop with me. Unfortunately the hotel I was staying at was having Internet issues. Sure, you can connect…at barely 1.0Mbps. For those who may not be savvy to Internet connection speeds, this is painfully slow. I had flashbacks of the days of dial-up modems as I waited for the graphically rich, function heavy Weight Watchers online site to load. Well……..OK, it never actually loaded.
Thus, I was forced to visit a coffee shop I found a block away from my hotel. As I opened up my laptop, I was delighted to find a 24Mbps connection just waiting for me and about a dozen other coffee drinkers. Wait…is that a barista watching me? I don’t drink coffee and don’t care for hot tea. Not wanting to be seen as an Internet freeloader, I then felt obligated to buy an 8 point (ouch!) Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. Five minutes later, I had recalled everything I ate for the day and entered the points. This included the whipped cream coffee-free confection that was the cost of my current Internet access. Fortunately, I then walked (briskly) back to the hotel and gained a point for the round trip of exercise. Uh! I have to ask myself if this points game is really working for me.
I recall about 10 years ago when I was on Weight Watchers for the first time. I visited meetings and carried around a little paper booklet that logged all my points for the week. You also needed to carry around an “encyclopedia” of foods and their point values. I recall it even had fast food options. I assume it is still being printed.
Coming home to family and friends was great. Coming home to a relatively fast Internet connection was almost as good. This experience has helped me realize some things:
Weight Watchers has helped me recognize what healthy portion sizes look like.
Being on Weight Watchers is like having training wheels on your bike when you are learning to ride. The actual goal is to be able to make healthy eating and portion choices on my own without tracking.
I am becoming more mindful of what I eat.
My smart phone needs to get smarter or be replaced.