Well Done and Really Wrong

January 19, 2015


I worked as a producer in the wild and crazy days of advertising in the 1980s and 1990s. I adored the brazen creativity and imagination that infused the field.

To this day I love watching well produced TV commercials, such as this Weight Watchers’ spot that is part of their 2015 integrated campaign, Help With the Hard Part. Everything from the copy writing to the art direction to the post production are all excellent. I grin from ear to ear as I replay this masterpiece. Why, you ask?

Well, I have a not-so-secret affinity for TV commercials. My mother said I absolutely loved watching them as a child, dancing along with the jingles while I ate my lunch in my high chair as we tuned into the classic daily soap opera, Love of Life. (How predictive of my future!)

While I appreciate the creative brilliance of the Weight Watchers’ TV spot, I intensely dislike the message. It is shaming, misleading and really wrong.

News flash! Weight Watchers cannot help with “the hard part.”

With their weigh-ins, points system, and diet mentality, Weight Watchers simply cannot help anyone heal so-called emotional eating, no matter how catchy the jingle, or how hard they try to sell you. They are a diet company that starts and finishes with the scale.

Diets are all about restricting food and restraining behavior to lose weight, so that what you feel, and the way you feel about yourself magically changes as the numbers on the scale change. This ad’s carrot is actually a stick that says you and your emotions are hopeless over eaters. Weight Watchers is selling a weight loss system steeped in diet mentality, not a way to get to the root of why you “eat your feelings,” never mind what a feeling actually is. Doing that – getting to the root of why you eat when you aren’t hungry – now, that’s the hard part.

And how did I get to be so diet savvy?

I am a recovered Weight Watchers’ member and long-time chronic dieter who eventually (and thankfully) ditched the ever-popular diet mentality to embrace Intuitive Eating, a common sense, hunger-based approach to eating and self-care.

Today, I’m a psychology of weight coach who helps women end the struggle with emotional eating, compulsive overeating and binge eating disorder. Day in and day out, we work together on “the hard part” with nary a scale in sight. By practicing Intuitive Eating principles combined with the therapeutic insight of the IFS (Internal Family Systems) model to heal the hurts that drive emotional or compulsive eating patterns, they learn how to transform their relationships with food from the inside out – their relationships with food and their bodies shift from hard to easy.

I love helping with “the hard part.”

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

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