Diaries Magazine

Eight Things You Learn When You Go to a Slimming Club

Posted on the 01 June 2014 by Ravenswingthog @ravenswingthog
Even if you've never joined a slimming club, you probably know what one is.  Basically, it's a group that you go to regularly (typically once a week), you get weighed, you get encouragement to lose more weight, and often tips on healthy meals to cook.  And they absolutely work for some people.  Perhaps even most people.
It didn't work for me, but that's probably down to my own views and opinions than anything else.
Nevertheless, if you are considering going to a slimming club, here's a few things that you'll learn.
8) There's a plan that if you stick to it, will make you thin.
The club will have a plan specific to itself, that if you follow it, will make you lose weight.  Weight Watchers have points, Slimming World has red and green days (and extra easy if you're a more recent attendee), others will have their own plans.  All you have to do is work out what you can and can't eat, and stick to the plan!

Eight things you learn when you go to a slimming club

A bottle of water, and three tacos filled with chicken, salad, a dash of vinaigrette and a little american chip spice, with a side of pickled onions?   That would be free on a brown day.

7) No one sticks to the plan
Sure, you do at first.  The first week of your slimming club, you'll stick exactly to the plan.  You might even be a little stricter on yourself.  And you'll do fantastically well.
But over time, your willpower weakens, and reasons pop up that mean, absolutely, that you must drink huge amounts of beer tonight and follow it up with a deep fried cake kebab.
One of the great things that I remembered when I did Slimming World was what was known as "Twilight Night".  On Slimming World, you had a number of "sins" that you could use each day for unhealthy foods, like a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps.  But on the day of the weigh-in, what you would do is use your sins beforehand (although see number five), but then after weigh-in, people saw it as a free night.
I will absolutely guarantee you that at least 30% of the people leaving the slimming club immediately went for a takeaway.  And the other 70% couldn't afford it, because...
6) Slimming club costs money
It isn't a free evening you get here.  You have to pay to attend (and often pay even if you skip a week), and the club will be selling recipe books and the like there, I remember when I went to Slimming World they sold their own healthy snack bars called Hi Fi bars.  Hi Fi bars are bloody gorgeous but not desperately cheap, and because you could have one as a "healthy extra" instead of using your limited number of sins on a typical chocolate bar, you buy them, and as a result you find yourself getting through a couple of packs of bars in a week.  Then you often need to donate a piece of fruit or something every week for a competition for the biggest loser that week, or make an example of a healthy meal to take in, and the cost of the group adds up.  I'm not saying that it isn't worth it, but it could be the cost of a takeaway right there.
Speaking of takeaways, all those twilight nights have added up, and you're not losing as much as you want to.  So...
5) You try to cheat.
The day of the weigh-in people go to ridiculous lengths (except obviously for exercising) to manufacture a weight loss, because if you get weighed and you haven't lost, the group leader will be asking questions of you.
The steps taken may well include:
  • Not eating or drinking before the weigh-in - you'll find people often getting weighed, then having a cup of tea. Not the other way round.
  • Going to the toilet right before the weigh-in to maximise that loss (or minimise that gain).  Good luck if you're in a rush for the toilet at slimming club, because prior to weigh-in, every single person there will be in there trying to make the difference between staying the same weight and losing half a pound.
  • Getting a haircut - or even shaving off arm hair.  This makes virtually no difference whatsoever but you try it anyway

However, what it won't include is trying lighter clothes.  This seems logical to me - start slimming club in jeans, a padded shirt, a jumper, a coat, and trainers, and if one week you've not done very well, switch it for shorts, t-shirt and flip flops, but it is a unwritten rule that you must attend slimming club in exactly the same clothes every week.
Of course, none of the above cheats work, so you will end up with everyone looking at you while you get interrogated by the leader as to why you put on half a pound this week, but if this happens there's an easy solution.
All you have to do is slip in a comment about a rival slimming club, because...
4)  Every other slimming club in the world is wrong.
The one thing that the group leader hates more than someone gaining weight is a rival slimming club.  I don't remember a single occasion where any of the group leaders that I've experienced (yes I have tried multiple slimming clubs) had anything good to say about one of the other clubs.  I kind of imagine that while the plans may differ from club to club, their general aim is the same - to lose weight.  So I foolishly imagine that perhaps eating more fruit and veg, less fat, and maybe going for a bit of a jog now and then might be a good thing.
Oh no - it's all down to whether you're counting points, or whether you're counting sins.
My partner has suggested occasionally that I give Slimming World another try.  The last time she suggested it I threatened to join Weight Watchers as a response.  She never mentioned the idea again.
But for me, I found that after a while sticking to this plan starts to get you down.  And you discover that...
3) The most critical thing in the world has to be done, by you, at exactly the same time as slimming club happens.
Slimming club will be at the same time, on the same day, every week.  Within three months of starting you'll find something - anything - that absolutely must be done at the time, with the result that this week, you can't make it. Doctors appointment, cat to be taken to the vet, the lawn absolutely must be cut tonight, whatever it is, you can't believe that it's clashed with your club, you've really got absolutely no option but to miss it this week.
Just this week, of course.
But why would you not want to attend your slimming club of supportive friends?
2) Slimming club folk hate other slimming club folk
I've already mentioned the group leaders, but not your fellow losers at the group.  The competition for the title "Slimmer of the week" is intense.  I've had some nerve wracking evenings when, after securing a weight loss of two and a half pounds, you have to sit through twenty other people, and all you can do is hope and pray that no one did better than you.
 "Mary, you lost half a pound! Well done Mary!" the group leader says.  You all burst into applause, while silently thinking that's not enough Mary, nice try!
This will go on until almost at the end of the group, you are defeated by someone who lost eight pounds because they're been in bed all week with stomach flu, and let me tell you, the applause that follows that announcement is almost drowned out by everyone thinking you lucky bugger, I wish I had been throwing up all week!
But there is one last thing.  And I have to tell you about the mistake that everyone makes, and the reason why.
1) Slimming club folk despise the fallen.
Everyone picks the slimming club closest to home.  Of course you do - it makes sense, it's the least amount of traveling time, it's convenient.
But if you're not one of the ones that manages to get down to their target weight, and end up dropping out of the slimming club, you can never get takeaway again, because every time you do, you will walk out of the takeaway, whilst stuffing your face with chips or pizza, and come face to face with someone from your old group, one of them that didn't drop out and is now six stone lighter.  And they'll look at you with a smile of superiority.
Which almost conceals the look of lust they give your burger.
You can't even go to the supermarket because one of the group will work on the checkouts and see the black forest gateaux you've purchased - and because you chatted to them in the group, they'll know that you live alone, and they know that you're going to get home, microwave it so you don't have to wait, dump it in a bowl and eat it with a ladle.
All in all a good reason to order your food to be delivered, I feel.

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