Sunday, February 13, 2011

I need a vacation! I also need to not gain weight...

After all of the ensuing debate following last week's post, I'm kind of bushed.  I think I have now figured out why most CEO's don't write blogs where people can post and comment at will(!).  That said, it is more than worth the occasional bloody nose so I can have a whole new way (in addition to going to meetings) to stay grounded on what's going on out there.  In any case, I really do appreciate the feedback, both the better and the less better.

I've got one more busy week in front of me with a quarterly earnings release, a trip to visit some meetings in Baltimore, and a bunch of other stuff.  As of Friday night, I rush home to finish packing so I can take off with my sweet, understanding family for some quality non-work time.

I'm rolling up to my second year anniversary as a Lifetime member in good standing.  I'm in a very good place, and maintenance has never felt better.  The 3 PM apple-snack trick has been just one example of my happy food place.  It's not as though I haven't had my lifestyle challenges.  The Superbowl last Sunday was a particularly brutal example of how to be a thousand miles away from on-plan utopia.  Who knew that I would love pimento cheese dip quite so much?

If I have one particular habit that I really owe my maintenance success to, it is clearly exercise.  Food lapses come and go, but exercise has been my constant OP buddy.  I've been getting at least an hour in for six, and sometimes seven, days per week now for as long as I can remember.  At this point, it really is just habit.  I would characterize my workout frequency more as an example of my captivity to ingrained routine than to any lofty notion of discipline.  When I don't get my workout in, I just feel kind of off.  It's kind of like walking out of the house with a shoe missing (not that this doesn't happen).

I have been able to form my religious Rube Goldberg workout routine because I am largely in control of my environment.  I can almost always find a way to navigate to a weight room for my four day lifting split.  Finding a piece of cardio equipment is usually a pretty manageable task.  I am pretty good at picking hotels that either have a decent gym or are located close to one that allows me to buy a day pass.

All this comes to a crashing halt next week, and I will have to rely on all different exercise options.  We're going skiing.

Really hoping I don't end up like this...
I didn't even start skiing until about five years ago as I was entering my fortieth year.    Now we go once per year for a week, enough for me to get a little better each year.  Learning to ski at an older age is not for the feint of heart, particularly for those of us who do not cherish the idea of embracing a tree at high speed. You would be hard pressed to identify anyone else on the mountain who looks quite as tense and un-fluid as yours truly.  The best visual I can give you is that of a person with terrible constipation wearing restrictive knee and back braces.

So do I find skiing fun?  I think so, but I cannot be totally sure.  I am more than a little envious of those people who can effortlessly glide and swoop down the slopes without a care in the world.  For example, my kids.  It is an exercise is complete humility for a so-called industry leader executive-guy to be routinely humbled by a 10 year old little girl.  She doesn't actively dress me down with insults and taunts, but it's almost more sad that she periodically has to wait patiently for me to catch-up with nothing but a sweet smile on her face.

Do I enjoy skiing?  Yes.  I like trying to get better at it each year, and it's definitely a worthy challenge.  I also appreciate the fact that it's a great workout.  Terrible and risk adverse skiers like myself get an exercise advantage over all of you pros.  Why?  Because we have to take three to four times as many turns to get down a slope.  That's work.

This gets me to the point of my post.  I have ever increasingly become a big fan of active vacations.  Sitting on a lounge chair with a frozen drink keeps me happy for about two, maybe three days, and then I start climbing the walls.  I love a vacation where I can hardly stay up past 8 PM because I am so physically wrecked.  So no, there will be no weight room for me for the next week, and there will be no two wheeled vehicles.  Yet, I have no doubt that I will have more than enough AP's to keep me going in good health.

From an eating perspective, I will follow my usual vacation plan:  keep breakfast healthy and OP, stay sane for lunch, and let it hang loose a bit more for dinner.

I'm not sure if I will get back to post another one of these before I get back, but I will be thinking of all of you!!!




  1. Just want to say have a great vacation! I follow the same sort of guidelines for when I travel on vacation, I try to stay active and I usually come home with only a small gain.

    Enjoy your rest, you deserve it.

    And for what it's worth I love P+ - I find it to be very flexible, livable, and I have great success in maintaining my 33 lb loss. Thanks for your honesty and transparency as CEO of a great corporation.

  2. Have a great, well earned vacation. I am not much of a skier myself (after breaking my femur in two places as a child, I just lost my sure footedness).

    So glad you blog!

  3. Hey Dave,
    Just so you know, I think PointsPlus is great! I'm one of your leaders and am newly energized in the meeting room because of it and Jennifer Hudson! I think the zero point fruits and most vegetables are fabulous and hope that never gets revoked. It really DOES lead to healthier food choices and makes staying on plan easier. So hang in there and "smile pretty" or whatever the male version of that is :) And then have a WONDERFUL vacation. I hope you're going somewhere with great snow!
    (I'm in Maryland, but don't get to go to your town hall meeting... I have to work. Sigh...)
    Anyhow, Take Care and enjoy the kids!

  4. Thank you for your openness and vulnerability! Personally, I LOVE PointsPlus and have been seeing just as much success on this plan as I have on previous ones (since the early 90's).

    Have a wonderful, relaxing and blessed vacation. Time with your precious family is so deserved!

  5. I am fortunate enough to live in a state that has world class skiing. I have to say it beats the pants off of a gym to earn AP any day of the week. Also, thanks for the honest perspective of what it means to be a WW member, it's very refreshing.

  6. Dave,

    Here is the advice I give my members when it comes to travel and vacation. 2 meals for sustance and 1 meal for pleasure. Adding that to your active vacation should lead to your success. Travel safe and enjoy the time with your family, you deserve it. You have worked so hard to give us the best program ever.

  7. Have a fun time skiing. Enjoy the time with your family as you will never pass this way again! I learned my lesson last year, worrying about dumb stuff ( money and food) while skiing in Vail, but then my son ended up asking his girl to marry him slope side. Priceless. A pound or two can be taken care of when you get home. Enjoy.

  8. I am sorry you got ambushed by some of the less satisfied and very vocal folks on the new plan. Some of them have been harping since week one about the plan not working. Many are not working the program correctly but they think they are. And they refuse to keep an open mind and really give the program a fair shot, let alone go & talk to a leader about what they are doing.

    I really kind of wish the online tracker would be fixed to let these folks subtract the points they want to subtract, so they would just shut up and stop posting over and over again on the PP message board about how much they think the new plan sucks because they get too many pts.

    Some of those complaining weren't losing on momentum either. Many refuse to adopt new eating habits, or to up their activity. They just give excuses and whine about how they can't lose on the plan. Some of these folks post the same messages over and over again how the new plan don't work, from thread to thread. It would be nice to give the discontents their own board at ww to beat up the new plan on. Its funny but I do think some of these folks would be losing wt now if they had spent more time trying to figure out how to make the plan work for them instead of complaining on the boards the same thing over and over again. I doubt these folks will go away; some do seem to live to whine and make excuses. And some just like to stir the pot on the PP board, and flame at will.

  9. Hope you have a fabulous ski trip... it's one of my favorite vacations for all the reasons you stated above - it's a great workout but a ton of fun. Plus it's a sport the whole family can do together! Enjoy! :)

  10. Thank you David for your very real and funny and relatable blog. I look forward to reading it every time. I hate it has turned into a place to vent for people unhappy with the changes to the program. Maybe you can set up a separate venu for that. It is so much easier to blame the plan than our own obedience to it. In my opinion, WW just keeps getting better and better! Thank you.

  11. This entry made me laugh out loud! I am 48, and attempted to ski for the very first time two weeks ago. The weather was terrible, and the conditions were totally icy - not the ideal time to be a novice. I never actually got the hang of it, never made it up the mountain (additionally, I am terrified of the ski lift, lol), and was totally exhausted just from picking myself up after the numerous times that I fell. Add insult to injury, my 14yr old picked it up in record time and within an hour was skiing like a pro!

    Have a wonderful vacation! I look forward to reading all about it :)

  12. Dave, I loved your post. Learning to love cold weather sports is a constant theme on my blog, and I wrote about and linked to your post here:

    And, as for kids being better skiers, Dave let me tell you this. I started to ski when I was three. I'm now 49. I actually skied competitively for a while, and have probably, in my past, skied some of the most challenging runs in this country (including Mary Jane in Winter Park).

    My ten year old daughter is now on the way to being a much better skier then me. It has to do with age, Dave. When you get to a certain age, you learn that your legs can just no longer take the punishment of the slopes (and icy moguls). You trade in your longer skis for shorter ones, and learn to only ski moguls when there's a good layer of fresh snow on them.

    So stop worrying that your kids ski better, and just enjoy the ride (and the calorie burn). And, btw, if you haven't tried cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing, you should.

  13. Hi Dave,

    First of all, have a great vacation!

    Secondly, I have to admire your willingness to leave the comments open after last week's posts. I just read them all. Wow! You've got some folks out there a little upset but you've also got lots of us who love the new program. I had not been at goal for two years and within three weeks of PP coming out, I was back to goal and enjoying free meetings once again. Love it!

  14. Hi Dave,

    I just wanted to comment to thank you for writing this blog, and to beg you to keep it going! I applaud you for having the balls to write as the CEO of WW.

    I re-joined WW in September and have lost a total of 30 pounds...although I have 40 more to lose. I have seen much greater losses after switching to PointsPlus, and love the new plan. I think people who were used to the Momentum plan are just resistant to change, which was anticipated by WW and addressed in the Weekly meeting materials the first week the plan was introduced...I wish it had had more effect!

    I can very much relate to the experiences you have described on your blog about working the new plan, and applaud you for backing the change WW decided to make so firmly.

    All this to say, "Keep up the good work!" Your members appreciate you.


  15. Have a great vacation!

    I thought I should "weigh in" (ahem) since I was one of those folks who was pretty vocal in the days and weeks after PointsPlus was launched. I finally gave myself over to change, and yes, I had to make some changes to my meals and eating habits, but I am still losing! I've had some blockbuster weigh ins, particularly since the holidays have passed. Yes, I miss my fat free chips and some of the processed foods, but reserve them for treats now rather than daily parts of my Plan. I limit fruit to 2x a day and have added more veg into my meals. Overall, the change has been good for me, I'm about 13 pounds away from Goal, and plan to stay there!

  16. You know what P+ does for me? It motivates me to EAT BETTER, MOVE MORE, and REPEAT. Mr. K., you & the WW team have a great thing going, and I for one am grateful for the Weight Watchers corporation. I too read all of the comments from your earlier post and would like to extend an apology to you on behalf of my WW peers who seem to be so malcontent.

    ...But you're going skiing. Who cares about a bunch of malcontents when you're about to hit the slopes? I know I wouldn't!

  17. Have a great trip. I am a skier and used to curse the times when I didn't remember to build enough moment to get past a "flat plateau" - now I welcome the increased activity ;-)

  18. Dave,
    I absolutely look forward to reading your blogs. Your writing definitely touches me. It really helps to know that the president of WW struggles with the same things that I do, from trigger foods to travel to grazing to the time it takes to get down the hill skiing. You do an amazing job of describing the successes and struggles that you experience. You do so in such a positive and relatable way that it makes me feel absolutely normal. So often, the timing of your blogs are spot on with what I am experiencing .... down to the ski trip this weekend. I have learned a lot from you and I understand and appreciate that when I slip up a bit or get totally off track, that I am not alone. I am not the first person to lose my way, and when I do, I will get back and succeed day by day, whether it is to get the last 10 pounds off to get to my goal or to simply maintain until whatever is going on passes. I agree that this is not the forum to debate but rather to celebrate and learn from each other. Keep on writing and I'll keep on reading!! Thanks Dave!!!!

  19. It is wonderful that you allow us to voice our discontent. We have really been through a bad time the last few months with WW. Many sites were closed & combined to make a small meeting room with over 100 people! We were closed for a day by the Fire Marshall! The majority in our meetings are not losing anymore and we don't have points finders or products either. Why did you mess with success! You might be a nice guy, but some of us feel very taken advantage of by WW. You use to be a company I was proud to be a part of. Even billing has gone haywire, my monthly pass was slowly moved up by a week over the last 5 months (was this one more way for WW to make money off of us?

  20. I love the kind of vacations, like skiing, where you get your exercise in without even thinking about it. Have fun on the slopes!

  21. To "Anonymous" who posted on Sunday at 8:53p. I am not flaming. And I do know how to work the program correctly. I have lost 50 pounds on previous programs but am not losing anything on this program. I know how to track. I know how to measure and weigh.

    When I talk to my meeting Leader, she has no answers for me. When I asked how to make healthy choices in the store without having to buy a calculator, she basically told me that there is no way because the math is too complicated. How are we supposed to live a plan like that? Eating out is impossible because there is no way to estimate the POINTS in what you are eating.

    I do not appreciate being attacked because P+ is simply not working for me. Good for you that it is working. That's awesome. But the truth of the matter is that there are many many people for whom the program is NOT working and we do not have any forum to address our concerns. Momentum and Flex worked for us. P+ is not. If we had the option to choose which program we could follow, similar to when Core and Flex were running, I would love to stay with WW. I loved the plan. Loved. As in past tense. Now I'm paying $40 a month for nothing.

    Please think twice before you attack us for flaming. There are hundreds and possibly thousands of us who are feeling disgruntled, frustrated, angry, and disappointed and our concerns are not being addressed. "Keep going" is not helping us. "Eat what you used to eat" also isn't helping us. If we do that, aren't we then just following Momentum? But when we lose, WW gets to say that P+ is awesome and is clearly working.

    No one is ambushing anyone else. No one is whining. We have valid concerns. Many people have been following WW successfully for years and are now gaining. Wouldn't you be concerned too?

  22. You're coming to Baltimore this week? Swing by a Columbia, MD meeting - we have Cheri, the BEST Leader ever!!! She's fantastic!! I've lost 133 lbs on WW and couldn't have chosen anyone better to share my journey than Cheri!

    Have a great vacation.

  23. I not only find your WW member attitude refreshing, but I am somewhat amazed and intrigued at your CEO attitude as well! Having worked 33 years for 2 different Fortune 50 companies, I've observed CEOs in the highly aloof "untouchables" arena to the hands on, "been there myself". Clearly, who have been there and really do have and WEAR the t-shirt! Great job staying close to the real reason for your success.

  24. Hey Dave,

    Enjoy your well deserved vacation. I will be working on finding my "happy food place" while you're earning all those APs !!

    ~Regina :)

  25. Dave may not like that I'm posting this, so feel free to delete this Dave, if you like.

    To the Anonymous poster who posted at 3:51 on the 15th...this might help you. I read online somewhere that you could estimate Points on the old plan as 1 Point = 50 calories. The web site also said that 1 PointsPlus = 40 calories. I've tested it a lot since I switched to the new plan after Thanksgiving and it's correct MOST of the time.

    Again, Dave, feel free to delete if you disagree.

    The new plan is great, because it encourages and pushes you to eat better foods. With the infusion of lots of fruit that I have added to my diet since the switch, I have found that I am much less interested in eating a ton of sweets, which I definitely craved while working the old plan. All I'm saying is give it a chance, and maybe you'll fall in love with it too.

  26. I just wanted to say thanks to all of the WW members who have posted positive reviews of the new PP program. I am a vulnerable new member to WW and after reading all the negative comments about Dave's blog last week I was feeling discouraged about continuing with the program. This weeks comments got my head back in the right place and I really appreciate that. I've lost 9.5 lbs since starting 2 weeks ago, and more importantly for me I'm enjoying eating healthier foods and the encouragement to work out has me back on the treadmill after a very lazy year. So I guess the program can't be that bad!

  27. Thank you for being faithful and honest in your blog. I look forward to reading it every week! I hope you have a wonderful vacation! I moved to Florida a long time ago - from New York - and got away from winter sports. Skiing was not my favorite but ice skating was. I now enjoy excercising and walking. I love the beach and look forward to a getaway for a few days every year - my stressbuster and enjoyment. I am almost to my goal weight - the last 5-10 pounds are coming off extra slowly - but that is ok - I am with WW forever! I hope and pray to stay committed.

  28. Dear Dave,
    I do really love how honest and open you are in the blogs. It's very refreshing, and it gives hope to those of us who have lost and gained before and are wondering if we'll ever make it to Lifetime and stay there in real life. Knowing that you are realistic, imperfect, and flexible while still making it work is so encouraging to me.
    While I have struggled with the new PP program, I think I'm finally settling into it. I did have to adjust my points allowance downward in order to lose weight, but I find that always happens when I'm a few pounds away from losing that point the regular way! My husband, on the other hand, is not losing at all, and I really feel like the new program gives him TOO MANY points(62)because he is tall and fairly heavy. He is NOT having success and it's very frustrating for him - and me. I'd love to hear your opinion on that.
    I agree that skiing is not for the faint of heart, having been a childhood skier who gave it up when I got old enough to realize I could KILL myself that way! Have fun on your vacation, and try NOT to run into any trees.
    P.S. Since I'm a teacher, I just have to say the expression is "faint of heart," not "feint of heart" - that would be a move used by your heart to distract an opponent while attacking!

  29. I think it is completely awesome that you are are CEO and you blog and answer comments. It's enouraging, inspirational and shows what a great leader you are!

  30. I have tried what you suggested. I ate the old way and just waited to see how the points fell. I was out of points on PP by supper, but I also cal. pts. for the old sys. & had some left. I have returned to the old way & count my fruit. Happy to say, I am losing again.

  31. I can't sit still for longer than a couple of days either. I've found the best way for me to keep the lbs. off when on vacation is shopping till you drop & walking to every store. It does make the vacation more expensive, but OH, WELL!!

    To those who are having problems losing, I was too. I've been a lifetime weight watchers member for 10 years, doing the same workout for the whole time & I started gaining weight while eating the same. My leader gave some information about how your body becomes tolerant to that same exercise & it doesn't work as well any more. I added an eliptical work out to my routine & lost 3.2lbs. the first week. 10 more lbs. to go & I'll be back at my lifetime weight.

    I have met few people in upper management who actually "mingled with the masses". I'm impressed!!

  32. Dave,
    I am sure that you are having a great ski vacation. As someone who dreamed of skiing from the age of 8 and waited until my late 20's to learn, it is magic every time I go.
    As a meeting room staff member, I was recently asked about activity points earned in skiing by a very fit, double-black diamond skier. Perhaps you could guide us to an accurate answer next week. Now go follow your family on a great powder run for me.

  33. February 13th at 8:53: your total lack of respect for the experiences and opinions of others completely eliminates you as a credible judge of anything.