Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Recap: My Bling

As we finished out our last big race of the year with #surfandsanta15 I was thinking about how amazing 2015 was and still is.

I saw a lot of people post all their bling from the year and I just wanted to show some of mine off too. All these people are my bling.  My best bling I earned this year are the friendships I made with some amazing people.  So here it goes.........

First and foremost, my wonderful wife.  I couldn't be more proud and honored at the same time.  She supports me, she loves me and she has also dabbled in her own running journey.

Who couldn't ask for a more amazing group of people to run, train and party with.  I have officially been a pacer for three training teams.  I remember last year for #surfnsanta14, I showed up for the team picture and didn't know anyone.  This year, we have 160 new and old team members.  The difference from last year to this year is truly amazing.  I don't ever run alone anywhere.  Each and everyone of the team members I help pace each week is the best bling I could find.

I couldn't post anything without posting about #teamawesome.  Who is #teamawesome?  It's everybody.  It's the people always smiling, always cheering the last runner, and always being positive. It's who we are.  My mini-team is honestly the best people in the world.  They inspire me daily.

Last but not least.  #DEEZRUNNINGHOEZ

Did I tell you I was the only #hoez that didn't run the Seashore 50k.  Not only did my peeps run a total of SIX MARATHONS and countless half marathons, they all kicked ass Saturday at their first ultra.  Hats off #hoez.  But without these 4 blingtastic friends, I wouldn't be who I am as a runner.  My #hoez are so awesome that after running her first Ultra, Kim showed up in costume and volunteered at the J&A PR Bell and Chalkboard that evening at #surfnsanta15.  Who does that?  

That's why I love my bling.  My bling is way better than your bling because it involves people, friends, family, and life.  

I hope everyone else had a wonderful 2015 and I hope everyone also has a wonderful Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2015

My Disappointment in Weight Watchers

I hate to even write about this but I have been very disappointed in Weight Watchers over the past few months.  I hit my goal weight in June and received my lifetime membership in July. But since then I have had a roller coaster of a ride dealing with Weight Watchers.

Let me start this by saying that I understand that I have my choices to make for eating habits and that they have been out of control since I started marathon training in the summer.  During the summer months, I was really able to eat anything I wanted and not worry.  But since I finished my marathon I have struggled a bit to maintain my weight.  I am really only two (2) pounds away from where I need to be but I could lose my lifetime membership if I don't get back on track.  To some that's not a big deal but to me it is.  I am also very proud of where I am.  But Weight Watchers has not helped any of this for the past several months.

I want to also say that I haven't been able to make meetings which as I analyze how I felt after last night's confrontation (talk about it soon) I know this hasn't helped with my habits.

It all started in late summer when I went to go weigh in at the Red Mill Weight Watchers store.  I showed up and weighed in.  I was well below my goal weight and was happy.  As I was catching up with one of my favorite Weight Watchers employees, she mentioned to me that the store was closing and they would find a new site later.  I was saddened by this.  Not for me, but more for the struggling people who are trying to lose weight.  Losing the Red Mill store is probably the biggest mistake they made.  They will lose out on a lot of walk ins, new customers, and what not.  After, I asked what I could do to voice my opinion on this and they didn't really give me an answer.  So I went online to the website and emailed customer service.  At this point, I got the wonderful generic email back from Weight Watchers that doesn't help anyone.  It probably is the least helpful response anyone can get.  During this, I get a message from one of the Red Mill store's leaders, Elyse.  She quickly becomes defensive and tells me everything will be alright.  Instead as I tried to tell her, I wasn't angry.  I was disappointed.  She said they would be looking for a new site for the store.  Quickly, she got defensive like I was attacking Weight Watchers but instead really, all I was doing was wanting to tell Weight Watchers Corporate that I am disappointed in their decision to close the store. I

Soon I would find out this was a hoax.  Instead, after I finally got a hold of someone at their wonderful customer service phone number.  And after multiple tries, the regional Weight Watchers lady calls me personally and basically tells me that the reason they closed the store was a business decision.  It had nothing to do with them losing their lease (as I was told).  I was pretty disappointed to hear this.  I told her about my disappointment and explained to her that Weight Watchers is not a business, it is a lifestyle.  And it affects our lives greatly.

For me personally, closing the store meant I had less of a likelihood to attend a meeting because we live so far from suburban areas.   By closing the store, it also meant that there were going to be less meetings.  For you "Non-Weight Watchers" people, the company has been making a huge transition from in person to online over the past few years.  They have jumped into the deep end into the online presence and think that the digital world is the future.  But they forget that we still need to meet and talk, learn and grow.

While this all is happening, Weight Watchers then decides to tell their customers that the Activelink (activity monitor) is being discontinued after two years.  This is after loyal customers purchased both 1.0 and 2.0 for $50 a piece and paid graciously $5 a month for two years to have it connected to your app.  Basically, I paid $220 for a activity monitor that doesn't work anymore (That is two fitbits).  In return, they offer me 20% off on activity monitors only on their website.  They also said they would allow the activity link to be active for a month longer and did not work.  I was pretty disappointed about the activelink.  I wore it everywhere.  I wore it every moment I was awake.

Next onto the issues came their wonderful app updates.  Since October they have been updating their app and website to be ready for their new system.  I think everyone who uses Weight Watchers and is a techy person can say they are probably the only company I have ever seen who updates an app that doesn't work.  Its 2015 not 2007.  You shouldn't update an app and put it out to millions of users who live and die by it and have it not work for days.  For some, still not working.  But since October, they have deleted your favorites, foods, and all kinds of stuff.  Mind you, this is all while I am struggling to maintain.

Then here is the kicker.  Last night, December 10, I go to a meeting at Courthouse Methodist in Virginia Beach to learn about the material.  I show up and I am greeted by the wonderful Lori.  We talk for a few.  I told her I wasn't weighing in because I didn't need to until December 21 and I was just coming to learn about the new program.  Instead, I was scolding by the meeting leader, Susan, and I was told they couldn't even give me the new material because I wasn't weighing in.  She was actually really rude about.  Lori then asked if I wanted to weigh in.  I told her I knew I wasn't going to make it but I still attempted.  So I stepped on and I was a few pounds over.  No big deal.  I knew it.  But I basically had to be shamed into stepping on the scale and feeling bad about myself just to try to get the new material.  Instead, this should of been the moment Weight Watchers stepped in to help me.  To support me.  But instead, Susan was sturn on her decision and made me feel like I wasn't a customer and not important.  Lori told me I could stay for the meeting but by then I felt ashamed and embarrassed.  I was also pretty disappointed that I couldn't feel supported when this was probably the first time in the two and half years I needed support.  It's the holidays, I am on maintenance and I am struggling a bit trying to maintain my weight.

I have never been so disappointed with Weight Watchers.  I am decided to just not do Weight Watchers anymore.  Basically, get rid of the lifestyle I have been working on for over the past two years.

But instead, I am not going to let someone be such a negative impact on me and I am going to move forward.  I am going to keep doing Weight Watchers because I love the program.  And I love the people I have met that are struggling like I am.  I am going to get back on track and be where I want to be.  But I will not ever let someone feel unsupported like I did last night.  Doesn't matter where I am.