Hi Friends 🙂
Thanks for the nice words about my race! It went much better than I thought it would. But my legs have felt so tired and worn down – I hope they heal up. Walking up stairs is so awful and going from sitting to standing just makes me wince in pain. That is reason enough to train properly – which I didn’t do…
I’ve gotten a few comments and emails about my Weight Watchers experience as well as my former employer, Jenny Craig. I’ll get to WW later (hopefully later this week), but I thought I’d talk a bit about JC today.
I started to work for Jenny Craig in 2007 as a Weight Loss Counselor.
I had no idea about their program when I started there, but I got hired. (I am still friends with my former manager – it was worth it to work there because I got to meet her!) I went through training which focused mostly on selling food and exercise products (dvds, balance balls, ankle/wrist weights, resistance bands, etc). We were paid a measly hourly wage and earned commission off the food and products we sold. We also got paid for program upgrades, having clients with the highest percentage of weight loss, and things of that nature.
The JC program itself isn’t bad: Clients are told to eat 5 times per day: 3 meals and 2 snacks and the program includes lots of fresh produce. However, all of the meals are Jenny Craig meals: frozen dinners, canned soups, bagged cereals, snack bars, single serving bags of pretzels, cheesecake and the like. I won’t lie and say the food wasn’t good – I thought it was delicious. But the servings were small and the meals were expensive — $2 for a bag of cereal (one serving), $6-7 per dinner, $2 for snack bars and $3-4 for cans of soup. A weeks worth of food would cost $120+ and then you still had to buy fresh produce and dairy products (skim milk or fat free yogurt was recommended).
So in addition to the cost and the processed foods, the other issue I had with the program was little wiggle room for potential clients with food allergies. Most of the meals (if not all) contained dairy and wheat. And if you wanted to avoid artificial flavoring or coloring, forget this program. *I will say that during my final weeks with Jenny Craig, the food was slowly being changed from having High Fructose Corn Syrup to using Brown Rice Syrup – which to me was a step in the right direction.*
But the program wasn’t all bad. I think it was good for many clients to have the one-on-one support and to have someone weigh them weekly – it held them accountable. I did like that the JC program tries to attack weight loss/weight management in three ways: food, exercise and mindset. You need to get over the mental games when you are trying to lose weight, and I appreciated that JC did its best to incorporate that into the program. Unfortunately most of my clients thought the mindset part was worthless and as a result, didn’t do so well on the program.
I also thought the program did a good job with trying to help clients get to maintenance – after you lose ½ of your weight you start eating your own food for 2 whole days and as you keep losing weight while eating your own food, you get “rewarded” with more and more days of eating on your own. This would make the program cheaper (not having to buy the JC food) and would hopefully give clients the tools they need to continue to keep the weight off. Sadly this is when many clients stopped coming. They thought they knew it all and quit the program. And all too often they would come back in a few months right back where they started.
I think in ANY weight loss/exercise program, consistency is key. And it is too bad that more of my JC clients didn’t stick with it. I won’t pretend that I was the best weight loss counselor, but I did my best.
I worked for JC during the Kirstie Alley days — as annoying as she was, I kind of liked her. She has a new show on Lifetime that I have watched twice — plus she has a new weight loss program out. Anyone heard about that?
So, all in all, I don’t think the JC program is awful – there are definitely some not so good things (little emphasis on exercise and the reliance on processed, prepackaged foods) but there were good parts as well (focusing on having a weight loss mindset, being held accountable, focus on fresh produce). I do think that many of my clients needed to be told what to eat and when to eat — soon they became habits and they were able to lose weight quite successfully (1-2 lbs per week). Sure I wish the food had been healthy and had been prepared at home, but sometimes you have to choose the lesser evil: eating junk food or eating processed JC meals that are at least portion controlled. I do think that what works for one does not work for another — and I think learning portion sizes is a good way to lose weight/maintain weight loss, which is what the JC meals were intended for. The program sets you up to EVENTUALLY prepare your food at home and track it using the Diabetic Exchange System.
What do you think of the Jenny Craig program?
If you have any questions about Jenny Craig I’d be happy to answer them – just note that my knowledge is about their program from 2007-2008. I have no idea what other changes have been made since then.
One of Jason’s coworkers brought us a Spaghetti Squash:
I’ve eaten them before but I’ve never prepared it myself! Any fun ideas or tips on preparing it?
1. Do you have a former boss or teacher perhaps that just made an impact on your life? The best part of working for JC was meeting my manager, Susan. She is hilarious and has this tremendous love for life. She lost 40 lbs with JC and her transformation was amazing! She is a truly great friend who has always supported me in whatever decision I made.
2. Jason and I are planning on taking a quick weekend trip in November – any suggestions on where to go? It must be continental US since we are planning on leaving on a Thursday night and returning home on Sunday – Chicago or Vegas came up – we’d like someplace warm please…Cost is a factor, but we haven’t decided on a price limit yet, so all suggestions are welcome and appreciated!
Enjoy your day!