I’ve made no secret of the fact I am not a massive fan of attending Slimming World groups. I like the principle of the plan, and I can see how the meetings can really help some people, but I struggle with them. For some, attending group is the sole reason for their success. That’s why I always encourage people to at least try and visit a group to get a feel for whether or not it works for you. For me personally, I have had a few experiences that have put me off amongst other things.
Slimming World Group – Why it’s not for me
The first significant factor surrounding my disdain with Slimming World group is the cost. It’s under a fiver each week, but unless you stay for the duration, you’re mostly paying someone to tell you how much you weigh. That’s why if you are committing to going to a group you really have to plan on staying because what else would motivate you to go.
If you are staying for the full group meeting and getting a wealth of support from your group, then the cost really is minimal. Still, that relies on you having an hour and a half each week to spare – which I don’t always have. It’s hard juggling everything I already have to do without blacking out a chunk of my day or evening to attend a group. When I was breastfeeding Hugo, it was impossible to escape for an hour and a half, which meant he had to go with me. This resulted in me being entirely occupied by him and getting nothing out of the group at all!
Now Hugo is older it is much easier to leave him. Still, by taking that time out of the day or evening, I feel guilty that I am neglecting other things that I should be doing. Work, family time, housework etc. I have to ask myself – does the benefits of attending group outweigh the sacrifices?
A few years ago, I attended a really lovely Slimming World group where the members became a little community. It was such a lovely bunch of people that were so encouraging and friendly. That, however, has not always been my experience with Slimming World groups, and I have subsequently joined several groups that I have not enjoyed.
Whenever you get a group of people together, it can become cliquey, and I found this is a common theme amongst some groups. Not all groups are like this, but you’d be forgiven for being put off any group that was. I think a good group starts with a good consultant who encourages that community feel.
I’ve got to be honest, attending a Slimming World group is anxiety-inducing for me. It’s a process of meeting new faces and all in all feeling a bit awkward – for me anyway. It’s that idea of joining a group of people already familiar with each other and feeling left out, I guess. A bit like starting a new job except you’re the one paying, and you don’t HAVE to be there.
The Benefits of Group
Attending group comes with some benefits that you won’t necessarily have at home like support and company. Losing weight can be a lonely road and with lonely comes other emotions which can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Having people to discuss your weight journey with can really have a positive impact on your losses. I’ve tried to emulate this with my Instagram stories, and I often get people private messaging me on there seeking or providing their own support. It works on a small scale, but of course, at a group meeting, there is a wealth of support.
Do you Need to Attend Group for Success?
The simple answer is no. I lost nearly four stone a few years ago, and I didn’t continue with the group sessions after the first month. The principles of Slimming World work and if you have the motivation and willpower, you don’t need to pay a fee and attend a group each week. That being said for some people, the group environment is essential, and they rely heavily on the support from the consultant and group members. If that support is there and the community of the group is strong, this can be a really vital key to your success. A good group is motivating, social and fun, adding value to your life. They swap recipes and offer support and encouragement when needed.
I’ve always said that attending group isn’t for me, but it’s mostly due to the types of groups I have attended in the past. Like with anything there is going to be good and bad, and I think if a group would benefit you don’t let one bad group put you off. Try a few different ones in your area, get to know various consultants and see if you can’t find one where you feel at home.
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