Therese Droste — Online Friends Make A Difference

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Weight Watchers, without warning, closed the community forums that had been around for 15 years plus. The only WW official forum for the WW community is via CONNECT which you must be a paying member to use. In addition, unless you have an Iphone and pay for the app usage, you can not interact other than to read any postings/threads (I have a Windows phone but still have to pay the full amount yet can’t do anything but scroll).

Years of friendships, advice, etc. GONE without any warning.

Not impressed in any way with WW as of recently.

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Im a Lifetime member of WW, too but I regained my weight and just couldn’t get back on track this last time.  Since quitting, I’m back in control on my own.  I’m disappointed that I don’t have access to their forums any more.  Sometimes reading them is what got me to rejoin.  Being/staying in touch.  

All is well, though.  I workout 6 or 7 days a week now and eat usually modeling the WW Points plus plan.  I’m down 18 of my 30 lbs needed for goal.  It’s all in the brain power.

«The quieter you become, the more you can hear». (By Ram Dass, an American Spiritual Teacher) em{amp}gt;

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Because everything is online, it is hard to do old programs anymore unless you track on paper and have a way to calculate points.

While I understand that it is hard for WW to maintain various databases for all of their different plans, not every plan works for everyone.  There are people who still do a form of exchange because it works for them and it’s easy to do.

To me, Momentum Plan was the end of the road for me with WW.

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QVC Shopper — 1993

# IAMTEAMWEN

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I have had an inversion table for at least 15 years and it has helped me immensely. I do not fully invert and you can set it only as far as you would like to invert, you can start off very small and still feel a huge difference. The first time you do feel some pressure in your head but it’s not too bad unless you are congested or have a cold. The more you invert, the more benefits. I now use it when I feel stress, something is activated in the brain for me when I invert and it immediately relaxes me. I begin to fall asleep on it that’s how comfortable it is once you use it daily. I also had very bad back pain at one time but usung it daily completely eliminated the back and neck pain. The new ones now have excellent padding on the feet, mine does not but I wear tennis shoes that are cushioned so it does not bother me at all. I have also had knee issues and it doesn’t bother my knee at all. I cannot say enough about the benefits and the ease of use. The newer units are also more stable with rubber feet and again, you can invert just slightly at first and work up to a deeper inversion. I am only on it 3-5 minutes a day and it is Wonderful! 

I have mine in the living room.

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My husband has been watching the Teeters infomercials and thinks that would be the thing he needs to relieve his lower back pain.  I told him that he cannot use an inversion table due to his high blood pressure and because he had a brain bleed several years ago.

His PCP ordered a TENS unit for him.  It would probably help him except that he has a pacemaker.  We talked to his Cardiologist about using TENS with a pacemaker and he said not to do it.  I read thru the instruction manual and it said in 3 different places that TENS should not be used with a pacemaker. 

I used Teeters inversion table in the past and really liked it but due to my BP problems, I won’t use one now. 

The TENS works for me and I am happy to have the temporary relief that it provides.

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I’ve had it twice, once in each thumb.  Hand doctor wanted to do surgery.  I opted for physical therapy and it worked perfectly!  No more problem.

Mine was caused by picking up my grandbabies.  And, I’m hypothyroid, so I’m prone to tendon and ligament issues.

The key is to find a PT who specializes in hand treatment. 

«I’ve been here since October 2006. Wow!»

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I have had trigger finger in my thumb, and middle finger. In my case, I was holding a tablet a lot, and when I bought an e reader pyramid where I could lay the tablet my trigger fingers went away. If you do any repetitive motions, stop, and see if it clears up. 

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I’m interested to know if anyone has had any experience with TGA, Transcient Global Amnesia, or knows of someone who has? And the circumstances surrounding its onset. The affected person loses their short-term memory for approximately 24 hours, can be stress-related or, in my father-in-law’s case, most likely triggered by a dermatology procedure involving a type of black light treatment for skin cancer on his forehead. Within 24 hours he was completely back to normal. (The ordeal began when I called him later the day of his procedure to ask how it went, and he had NO idea what I was talking about, and said he was confused bc nothing was familiar to him as he looked around his house! My husband raced him to the ER thinking it was a stroke. They admitted him, ran every test imaginable, concluded no stroke, no heart attack, nothing except numbers that were off the charts GREAT for a man in his fifties, let alone 84! A neurologist working closely with his doctors made the diagnosis of TGA.)

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Just an FYI that if you have any reason to go on Lasix, watch out.  

I’ve been wearing hearing aids for about 7 yrs. without any severe or sudden changes throughout that time period.  I recently thought I had an equipment issue with one of my hearing aids, but it checked out fine.  Then I noticed when I didn’t have the aids in, I felt like my right ear was blocked up like I had a cottonball in it.  I made an appointment with my audiologist, saw him Wednesday, and found out I had a significant change that was in accordance with what I said I was experiencing.  He wanted to do some further testing to find the source of the loss so we scheduled another appointment.  

Earlier this summer I changed my prescription diuretic.  I’d been taking a simple Hydrochlorothiazide pill for high blood pressure.  For some reason I began retaining fluids and the medication wasn’t cutting it.  I saw my nurse practitioner and she switched me to Lasix.  Boy, it really did the trick.

So when I got home from the audiologist the other day, I started doing some of my own research and found out that one of the side effects of the Lasix is hearing loss!  I cancelled the audiologist appointment, quit taking the Lasix, and am re-trying the Hydrochlorothiazide again (different dose).  Right now I’m just hoping and praying the new loss isn’t permanent, that my hearing will go back to what it was once the medication get flushed from my system.  In reading about the side effects, I was surprised to see a couple other things on the list that I’ve experienced, but brushed off. 

Anyway, just thought I’d send out a warning to research your prescriptions and pay attention to your body cues.  

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Unfortunately, stopping the Lasix and waiting may not be enough to restore your hearing if you suffer from Sudden Hearing Loss.

Regardless of the cause, the best treatment is to see an ENT who specializes in hearing, specifically an Otology/Neurotology specialist as you might find at an Ear Institute if you can find one. Ask your Audiologist.

The reason is that those of us who already have hearing loss are at risk for Sudden Hearing Loss and there is a narrow window of opportunity for treatment to work before it becomes permanent. People with out pre exisiting hearing loss can have it too but we are more susceptible.

Sudden Hearing Loss is a true audiological emergency and is treated with oral steroids and if you can find a specialist who does them…steroid infusions into the ear.

The window is 4 weeks…then the loss tends to be permanent.

This happened to me. I have had hearing loss since birth and wear hearing aids. Mine occurred as a side effect of medication too I think, but it can also be Autoimmune Disease or a virus. I will never know for sure the cause. It is just one ear. That is the usual case.

Sometimes hearing loss is due to a temporary cause such as an ear infection. Since you saw an audiologist you have probably had that ruled out. I am surprised you were not sent directly to an ENT.

The problem I had was inner ear. I was put on oral steroids and had 2 steroid infusions (they will do up to 4 infusions) and then my hearing improved with just a little loss remaining. Stopping the Lasix may not be enough, you may need treatment to calm the inflammation in your inner ear and restore your hearing. I surely did.

Please look up Sudden Hearing Loss and seek treatment if it seems to apply to you.

Let me know how you fare and I would be interested in the comments of anyone else who has had this problem.

Thank you for starting a thread on this important topic.

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@NAES wrote:

@JeanLouiseFinch,

    I had made some notes in reference to your sudden after effects from the medication you referred to. Was I surprised that ‘ yours may have caused hearing loss to some degree? NO. I have many reports from our patients who notice or complaints FROM different medications.

Unfortunately many health providers pass over the real problem or send

_ patient _ to either a specialist, or you are left to figure out on your own.

The most recent post medication complaint was a diuretic. This was given after an outpatient procedure laser eye. As I understood, the technician called the specialist( another hospital) had left wo checking patient. 

Patient’s eye level was seriously very high. The instructions were to take 1 very powerful diuretic, wait one hour, then released to go home. 

 Word was received from patient within «3» hours to staff members of severe cramping throughout the pelvic area, along with severe pain and complications ref: urinary tract.

 Patient ended up being seen by PCP, then referred to an urologist. No indication of any bacterial infection but all the earmarks of damage spasms of bladder and nausea.

Patient had to undergo a cystoscopy and was put on at least six different medications. The symptoms lasted over 1.5 years. 

 From last follow up — after ( almost ) 3 years, the symptoms returned. 

 Patient from last recorded information is now under an urologist’s care. 

  Absolutely, I believe your keen observation.

 IN THE EVENT YOU MAY HAD MISSED MY PREVIOUS.

I AM FOLLOWING YOUR HEARING LOSS CLOSELY.

AND! I DID READ YOUR MESSAGE A FEW MJNUTES AGO.

@ {amp}gt;CO  @JeanLouiseFinch 


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@Hondagirl wrote:

Dr. gave me Supprep… Reading horrible reviews on the stuff…. Anyone who has tried it let me know what could I mix so I don’t get sick…


@hondagirl

I have had many of both, twice upper and lower together. Not much of a prep for Endo, no drink/no eat, simple.  

Have no idea what Prep you are talking about. For my 20 lower(colon) procedures, my Gastro Doctors give their patients no choice. It is GoLytely or NuLytely, pretty much the same. One comes with more flavoring packets than the other.

In October 2015, I drank gallon number 20 of the combination of the 2 that I mentioned above. I  managed to get all 20 gallons down, and kept all of it down.

Not my most pleasant of times, but no horror stories from me. Too many more serious issues for me.

Wish you the best, now? «Bottoms Up»!

hckynut(john)

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Had my colonoscopy last week….I go every three years.  My cleansing procedure involves eating a light breakfast of toast and an egg.  Then, about noon I take 4 Dulcolax.  And, I mix 32 oz of Miralax with Gatorade, and refrigerate.  My doc said I could also use Crystal Light, but it gave me some «issues» the last time.

Three hours after the Dulcolax, I drink one glass of the solution each hour for four hours.

Fleet enema two hours before leaving home.

I always get a score of 9 out of 9 as far as my colon cleanliness. 

«I’ve been here since October 2006. Wow!»

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Exactly what prep did you take. I mentioned in your other thread that last October 2015, I drank my 20th gallon of either GoLytely or NuLytely. Not pleasant for sure, but it was necessary as all the Gastro Doctors I chose, will not do a Colonoscopy or Lower Double Balloon Enteroscopy on a patient that refuses to use this prep.

They all have told me it is because other preps were not as reliable, thus they could not complete those procedures. Thus is was a wasted test for them and the patient and required scheduling another procedure.

Glad to hear they found and removed the polyps, even though you have to get checked again in 6 months. When I was in the hospital for my bleeding right colon(a month), one week I had 3 Colonoscpies. Yes, 3 gallons of GoLytely, and my only nutrition? I could only have Apple Juice and Orange Jello for 17 days.

I hope things go easier for you in your next 6 month procedure. Also, thank you for taking the time to let all of us here know your results.

hckynut(john)

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I don’t know if the original poster had the tests already but I had it done on Dec 2015 and I just wanted to add my «two» cents to hopefull help others.  My husband just did his colon. yesterday and I’m tell you MY TIPS worked for him, even his doctor complimented him on how «clean» his colon was so I believe my advice will help you.

I’m tell you the following tips:

1) you won’t know the difference of doing both test due to the anesthesia, please get it done together.  That way you are under anesthesia ONE TIME{amp}gt;

2) Most colonoscopy instructions say….to start drinking the gallon at 5:00 pm.  I BEG ANYONE WHO EVER READS THIS POSTING….Please do not wait until 5:00 pm to start the gallon drink.

If so, you will be up until 2:00 am using the bathroom and you will not get any sleep. Which will make you cranky and annoyed.

I started at around 11:00 amd I told him to start his drink by no later than 2:00 pm.  Here is why.

The drink and it takes like 1 1/2 hours for you to start going to the bathroom, then you have to drink 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes. That gallon is a lot to drink and if you wait to the last minute you stress yourself out and if you RUSH some people vomit it back up.  WHICH YOU DON’T WANT.

He started at 2:00 and by around 8:30 pm he was at the 3/4 gallon point where he could stop drinking it and leave the remaining as the required second portion for in the morning. 

But undersand, even though he stopped drinking the medicine at 8:30-9:00 he was still going to the bathroom at 10:30 -11:00 pm.  By 11:00 pm he was «done» for the night and was able to get a good nights sleep. 

He had to have no liquids 4 hours before his appt.  His appt was noon, so that means by 8:00 am there was no more drinking. I had to set the alarm for 4:00 pm to allow him to finish the last 4-5 8 ounce glasses, then he started using the bathroom again.

He was done by around 8:30 am with the bathroom and we left by 9:45 am for the hospital.  We had to arrive 1 hour before his appointment.

Just as a sidenote, if this helps anyone else, my husband HAD to go to work the day before his colonoscopy but he left at 1:00 pm.  I recommend that if possible, anyone taking this test should leave work no later than 2:00 pm.

Also my husband «WORKS» physically at his job.  SO he had to get some protein to do the lifting etc required at his job.  He drank three protein drinks all them were VANILLA, no chocolate, etc.

He had a soy EAS protein drink at around 7:00 am, he had  a vanilla muscle drink at work, and atkins vanilla at around 5:00 pm.  He was starving but he had to get some protein which helps you feel full.  Many doctors have a menu for diabetics which allow them to drink ensure.

Also, I did not cook around him or eat around him on monday.  Which was helpful because he said when he was at work, when others had lunch he had to go to the back of the store. 

Just as another point, make sure you buy apple juice, white cranberry juice, iced tea, ginger ale, propel, and have them on hand.  What he did was drink the 8 oz of the medicine drink then follow it up with a drink of his choice.

ALso he did not put the flavored pack in the gallon of medicine.  He used flavor enhancement liquid (you know the little bottles of kool aid, etc —make sure not red/orange or purple) then he would add to some of the 8 ounce glasses.

Also have straws ready. I hope this helps someone.

Well, they found 6 polyps in my husband so please everyone understand colonoscopy’s are a requirement NOT AN OPTION. 

Happiness is ALWAYS an inside job,
Don’t assign anyone else that much POWER
in your life!!!

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@MILKI wrote:

Hello and Good Morning Everyone viewing this subject! 

I am an Endoscopy RN. I work with 3 Gastroenterologists in the South Sacramento region. My long time profession career path was an OR nurse, and certified by AORN. However, I have been working in Endoscopy since 2011. 

We RNs at my facility are all conscious sedation certified and nationally recognized as sedation certified RNs. We run 3 rooms on a daily basis, performing anywhere from 10-18 procedures per day, with some patients getting 2 procedures performed in one visit, the EGD and the COLONOSCOPY.

Most refer to the EGD as the ENDOSCOPY  procedure, however, the word endoscopy is the general term for both procedures, where EGD is the proper name of the endoscopic procedure where a scope enters the mouth, into the stomach, and a COLNOSCOPY, is a DIFFERENT TYPE scope( the scopes are NOT INTERCHANGEABLE , enters through the ****** area to reach the CECUM, for the investigation of colon polyps, diverticulosis, Crohns and IBS, and other LARGE INTESTINE ( only) conditions. 

Our Preps( preparations) vary from physician to physician, and also the instructions can be different from physician to physician. I HIGHLY SUGGEST(!!!!!!) eating light meals ( no corn, watermelon (seeds) , pepper, avoid a lot of protein, for several days up till the day before  your COLONOSCOPY( not the EGD). On the day before the colon scope EAT NO SOLID FOODS AT ALL!!!!!!!

Drink a lot of water all through the day and evening to keep as hydrated as possible, especially helps for the IV insertion that will occur for your sedation, Gatorade, Chicken, Beef, Vegetable Broths, Coffee and Tea( no creamer or milk), Popsicles and Jello( can not be red or purple in color and the popsicles can NOT contain ice cream, clear juices( no pulp juices, and drink , drink , drink!! 

If you need to mix your prep, do so and chill in the refrigerator before drinking. I also suggest drinking it through a straw, less likely to mix with your taste buds, and you can get more down , more easily.

Follow your GI doctors instructions as to how to take the colon prep, we have our patients take the entire gallon  in 2 divided doses, starting at 6 pm, to finish by 7:30, and the second half at 11 pm, to finish by midnight, and nothing more to eat or drink UNTIL AFTER the procedure is completed.

We also have our patients take , not take,  certain meds that they may be on before their procedure, but please check with YOUR DOCTOR PER THEIR INDIVIDUAL INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING MEDS. Also, make sure your physician knows if you are on BLOOD THINNNERS, HAVE A HEART CONDTION BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE, not on the morning of ! 

Hope this helps!! 

MJ


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Dear Hckynut(John), 

 Thank you for your perspective! Like yourself, I too am very much a patient advocate. I  have on many many occasions have spoken up to a physician , especially a surgeon , when it came to defending the rights and wishes of my patients. Being an OR RN for nearly 38years, and spending these additional 6 years working in GI, I have had to learn to develope a hard skin because of my advocacy position for the people I give the very best care I can personally give. 

I , too , have had my share of my own personal colonoscopies from my IBS issues, so I too know all the ins and outs, so to speak. Having worked both in the Hospital endoscopy units, and now, working in an outpatient facility , the level of patients are entirely different . Different how, one may ask? Most, not all, of the inpatient ( in house as we say) are usually much more sicker and truly face a lot of concerning health issues that require them to have much more extensive  type endoscopic and invasive procedures. I was not referring to those patients in my original posting. I am referring to the patient that, although they might have health concerns like, Barrett’s esophagus, Crohns, IBS, they are generally healthier than those we treat in house. 

At my facility, we RNs screen each patient carefully for underlying health issues, that could potentially cause more harm than good , and those patients need to have those procedures in a hospital where the needs and means to address those issues that most outpatient facilities do not have, sometimes the difference between life and death, can be treated more successfully.  

We call each and every patient 3 days before any scheduled outpatient procedure and strictly go over each and every detail , hence what was written in my first post. What is still amazing, for a lack of a better term, is that no matter how detailed we are, no matter how many questions we answer, no matter how many classes a patient attends in our office on what to expect on the day of their procedure, no matter how costly it can become, we still will have patients come in, state they are «clear» , only to have the scope entered( colon) , and that thick brown matter that I spoke of, precludes the Gastroenterologists from completing the procedure, hence, INCOMPLETE, come back again, next time do a two or three day prep. 

Nothing is better in the teaching rhelm than that of ones own personal experiences. Having been an RN, actively working her entire 43 years, retiree as an AIr Force Flight Nurse and OR / GI nurse, with 23 years of military service to my country, both active duty and reserves, hopefully, both of us can teach and educate anyone that is interested, in the subjects at hand. No matter how mundane and insignificant these procedures may be to some, these small necessary procedures, can make the difference between living a healthy life  or facing life with colon cancer. I wish you the very best !

MJ

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There are a few factors that are worth noting when you look at your tongue: shape, shadings, markings, wetness, texture, and coating. A healthy tongue should look like a kitten’s tongue or a young baby’s tongue: symmetrical and evenly pink. It should not tremble. It should have a thin, transparent coating. All the taste buds should be flat, orderly, and free from bumps, lines, cracks, and patches. It should not have foam, hair, fur, be too dry, or too wet, or have a foul odor or taste.

Interesting read!Cat Happy

http://www.prana.com/life/2014/10/27/ayurveda-life-tongue-says-health/

ayurveda-life-tongue-says-health-02

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I saw the Juvo board recently when I was on Stamina Products website looking for accessories for my pilates reformer. The juvo board looks amazing to me, but at 700 dollars it’s more than my pilates reformer was lol. Still I’m really interested in getting one. Has anyone tried it or own one? I think it would be a great addition to my pilates workouts. 

Don’t Change Your Authenticity for Approval

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I have to laugh when Andrew Lessman is in his factory, says it is hermetically sealed, you see the workers with all white clothing, shoes, caps to cover their hair, some face masks, and yet he has his dog running around inside the factory.  Is it just me?

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@MomCat wrote:

LOL!!!  You aren’t the only one with these dog thoughts.  I love some AL vitamins, but he can skip all that solar panel, super clean facility talk.  Means nothing to me.  He and his environmental friends can go take a hike.  Oh, that’s right, he hikes daily.  Ugh.  Presentations are getting hard to watch.   


Well, many of us who care about the environment, especially so we leave it fairly intact for our children and great grandchildren, actually appreciate his forward thinking in creating his facility so it has a small carbon footprint. If only all the other manufacturers of other products would be so caring and smart, it would be a better world for all us. I try to buy as many of my products from companies that care about the environment and do what they can to minimize their impact on the environment so I appreciate when companies talk about it so I know these facts.

General/Daily Thread

You can talk about anything here!

Moderator:

bee_camber

The new Weight Watchers Freestyle program has had about a month to simmer and now it is time for a review.

Check out my post Weight Watchers New Program Freestyle if you are looking for information on the new program.

I am hearing all sorts of complaints and joy over what is a major change for the program. The people that hate the new program have one thing in common: they were losing weight (or maintaining) on the old plan and now have been not as successful with Freestyle.

Wouldn’t you hate a program that messed with the habits you have learned that actually help you lose weight? Losing weight is hard enough!

From one unhappy member:

The new program is too restrictive. I never ate more than 3 ounces of meat with any meal, so trading that 1 point of chicken or tuna or whatever for the loss of 7 points a day was not acceptable. I can no longer fit red meat, condiments, avocados or a bit of red wine or a tiny candy bar into my week, so I gave up and quit the program.

Many people who have started Freestyle are finding it to be far more restrictive than Smart Points because you lose 7 points per day! If you had it all figured out – all of a sudden you had to refigure it out.

Or this member:

Gained weight and was very hungry all week long. High protein/low carb diets are the worst for me. If I wanted a high protein/low carb diet, I’d do Atkins or South Beach or any number of other diets out there. Weight Watchers was the one plan that knew how to balance carbs and protein for a healthy diet and weight loss. I’m extremely disappointed — all that protein isn’t particularly healthy, it’s EXPENSIVE, and it most certainly isn’t balanced.

I agree that the emphasis on “Zero points” chicken breast, eggs, fish, etc. is pushing protein but I am sure that it is not as extreme as South Beach. I understand that this member is pretty frustrated with the program.

The people who love Freestyle are vegetarians who eat beans and tofu (zero points!) and others who find that the new zero point foods were already in their plans. So for the “free protein” eaters, the decrease in daily points was no big deal and made the diet easier for them.

I wish Weight Watchers would stop saying “you can eat whatever you want and lose weight” because while the statement is true – I think it is misleading especially given Freestyle. You have to stick to the zero points foods or you will be super hungry.

For those of you who are working the program and loving Freestyle – here are some recipe lists for you. All of these Freestyle recipes are very low in points and easy to make.

Please share your review of Weight Watchers Freestyle. Hate it or love it?

I joined WW and am really disappointed with the website. It seems the mobile app is more comprehensive than the online site. Do you follow weight watchers and do your posting here? What works best for each site? I don’t see message boards like I do here. How do you incorporate the two sites?

Food Finds, Recipes, Cooker Chat {amp}amp; Questions

Come on in and share your love of food and cooking! Slow/Multi/Electic Pressure Cookers and Air Fryers welcome!

OK, I’m back to defend WW. Seems like everyone here is sterotyping all WW members as mean, nasty people and it just is not true. Now, I’m not defending the members who were nasty on the WW website, but that doesn’t make ALL WW members mean people.

And no, we are not hungry all the time. That is if you go to meetings and actually listen to your leader about eating fruit, veggies, and plenty of whole grain, high fiber foods.

Go to my SP page and click on the link to the WW team here on SP. They are a fantastic group of positive, helpful, encouraging ladies. I have NEVER seen a negative, rude or nasty post there. There are a few lifetimers on there who are maintaining and they are a big help.

But for the record, I don’t like WW message boards either as you can read on a post I made earlier this week on the WW SP team group forum. (Before this thread was started!)

Have a great day everyone and don’t forget to encourage someone today. emoticon

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Therese Droste — Online Friends Make A Difference

Online Friends Make a Difference

By: Therese Droste

When Michele Lawless hit a weight-loss plateau in 2004, she turned to her buddies on the WeightWatchers.com message boards who were facing the same problem. The online group resisted the idea of taking up running until someone suggested that they run for something, such as raising money to battle breast cancer.

«That night, I learned that my identical twin aunts had been diagnosed with breast cancer,» says Lawless. «Preparing for a fundraising event became like a crusade for me.»

Lawless and eight other WeightWatchers.com General Daily Thread (GDT) members trained for and completed the Boston Komen Race for the Cure, one of more than 115 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) walk-run events held each year across the United States to raise money for breast cancer treatment and research. Training for the event pushed the members past their weight-loss plateaus — and much more.

«What began as a community of women interacting online about weight and health issues has grown into a true network of friends,» says Lawless, 42, of Portland, Maine.

Support for Beginners
The spirit of the group attracted others on the GDT board. Julie Bianco, 28, from Weymouth, Massachusetts, saw the online postings and joined in. «I always wanted to run, and the Komen race gave me a great goal and added an incentive,» says Bianco, who ran her first race in 2005. «It gave me more motivation to prepare for the race knowing that I was running toward something.» Team GDT now has 35 members. In 2005 and 2006, they raised more than $72,000 for the Komen Foundation.

The online group supports new and old members as they begin to walk and jog in preparation for upcoming Komen events. «The board members would really cheer me on as I prepared, and we relied on one another leading up to the race for support,» says Bianco, who has lost 62 pounds and maintained her goal weight for more than a year. «Someone on the GDT board always seemed to have a running tip, or a helpful way to deal with aches and pains. It kept me going as I trained. » Bianco and other Team GDT members also use the www.coolrunning.com Couch-to-5K Running Plan, which helps people start walking and jogging to meet a race goal.

A Chance to Help One of Their Own
The WeightWatchers.com GDT group took on new meaning when a member was diagnosed with breast cancer. «When one of our own was facing the fight, it drove us together as friends who not only shared the weight-loss experience together, but also cared about each other’s lives,» says Lawless. A week after her chemotherapy ended, the member walked with the group in a Race for the Cure. Lawless’ twin aunts, currently in remission, continue to be involved—they throw a barbeque for Team GDT after the Boston Komen event each year to show their gratitude.

Joyous Events
The Komen races are motivating goals, but they’re also fun and spirited social occasions — like a high school or college reunion. To pump up the mood, participants wear matching long-sleeved t-shirts and create unique Team GDT items for the group to wear, such as pink pompoms or chocolate-covered Oreos decorated with pink ribbons.

This year in Boston, the group met at a restaurant the night before the race, under a giant yellow «wide load» banner, the type used on highway trucks. «It’s crazy, all-out spirit,» says Bianco.

In an added twist, many in Team GDT are meeting face-to-face for the first time at the Komen events. «You’ve talked to these people online for months, and really feel like you know them well, even though you haven’t even seen them,» says Bianco. To lessen the confusion when meeting in person, everyone wears a button listing both their screen and real names.

Many in the group have reached goal weight. Lawless has lost 45 pounds and has 20 more to go. Now, she doesn’t worry about weight-loss plateaus or motivation. «There is nothing like the feeling of running across the finish line with teammates, holding hands, and knowing you are running towards one minute, or hour, or day of helping someone become healthy,» says Lawless. «To run embodies freedom and health.»

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