December 02, 2013

Losing weight is not easy. Oftentimes we hear that weight loss is less about going on a particular “diet” and more about making lifestyle changes, as difficult as that may be. For over 40 years, Weight Watchers has been the champion in transforming lifestyles, one pound at a time, and what better way to promote wellness among the WPI community than to bring a Weight Watchers program of their own to campus.

Karen Goudey, associate director of international admissions, says the program was reintroduced on campus back in June of 2008. Over the next five years, membership continued to increase and pounds continued to be shed, but that’s not to say that maintaining a steady group of members is easy. “The ongoing challenge is keeping up our membership,” says Goudey. “There’s a natural ebb and flow to the program depending on the time of year and what motivates people to try to lose weight.” For example, summer membership is greatly impacted due to the academic year’s break.

A surprising factor working against the membership numbers is the WPI’s Weight Watcher success. When members reaches their goal weight and continues to maintain that weight, they are considered Lifetime Members. Though certainly a positive result of the Weight Watchers program, once a member reaches this status he/she is no longer required to pay a membership fee and cannot be counted toward the minimum meeting attendance target that Weight Watchers requires in order to keep the meetings ongoing and provide the program with a trained meeting leader.

With this in mind, Goudey hopes to boost membership over the next weeks so that the Weight Watchers program can continue to meet past Dec. 5. “Assuming this happens, the goal for the upcoming year is to continue to grow our numbers, particularly bringing more men to the program. And we’d love to see more students participate, as well,” she says.

Currently, Weight Watchers meets on campus on Thursdays from 12:15 to 1pm with Weight Watchers leader Alison Mello. However, if members are unable to make the WPI meeting, they are welcome to to attend a meeting at any Weight Watchers center that week instead. The meetings are a time for the leader to bring up important discussions. As Goudey explains them: “We share successes and struggles, and support each other through our efforts to replace bad habits with healthy ones.”

The main goal of the WPI Weight Watchers chapter is to change the attitude many have toward weight loss. “This is not a ‘diet’ and the challenges don’t end when you meet your ‘goal weight,’ but rather, it’s a program to help people identify unhealthy habits that need to be altered or broken, and learn good habits to incorporate into their everyday lives.” The end result? A healthier lifestyle and a happier you.

For more information on Weight Watchers at WPI, contact Karen Goudey,

Are you wondering whether Weight Watchers can help you?

Weight Watchers meeting leader, Alison Mello, will be in the Rubin Campus Center lobby from 2 – 3PM today, December 2, to provide information about Weight Watchers and answer any questions you may have about the program and their meetings. Please drop by the Weight Watchers table to pick up some information, or just to meet Alison!

If you’re waiting to check out the Weight Watchers meeting until after the holidays, please know that unless membership is increased THIS WEEK, the group may not have enough members to continue their on-campus meeting!!

by Taylor Nunez