Target membership

When you join Slimming World you might be asked for your Personal Achievement Target, which is your self-defined goal weight.

You can define your target as anything you like, within certain boundaries, and and also change it over time if you want.

If you achieve your Personal Achievement Target then you will qualify for Target Membership. This means you can weigh-in and attend any Slimming World group for free for the rest of your life.

You can keep your target membership, and access to all Slimming World online resources, indefinitely as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • Your weight stays within 3 lbs of your target weight (up or down)
  • You attend and weigh-in at a group at least once every 2 months

What happens if I go outside of the 3 lbs range?

If you are a Target Member and your weight varies by more than 3 lbs (up or down) from your Personal Achievement Target weight then you will start to be charged again for coming to group, and normal membership and attendance terms will also apply. However, once you get back to within 3 lbs of your target you regain your target membership.

Can I change my Personal Achievement Target?

If you reach your target and then decide you want to lose more weight, then your can amend your Personal Achievement Target – as long as it is by a minimum of 7 lbs below your previous target.

Slimming World doesn't want you to set unhealthily-low targets, so your consultant will not let you set a Personal Achievement Target that would give you a BMI of below 20 – which is defined as the lowest safe weight goal for slimmers.

Also if you drop by 4 lbs or more below this lowest safe target then you will be given four weeks to return to your target range before your membership is cancelled.

Starting over again

It’s pretty much 6 months to the day since I last went to a Slimming World class. I can’t even remember the exact reasons why we stopped going. Either way, it no longer seems important. The only important thing is that we’re starting over again!

Last time we did Slimming World I lost a total of 5 stone, so I know the plan works. That’s the only reason we’re going back.

It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. And some people may say it’s insane to be going back to Slimming World – for the 3rd time now – when all that happens is that I lose weight, eventually lose focus, leave, and then put most if not all of it back on again. But what’s the alternative? Not going back at all? If I did that then I would just continue to gain weight, and no good will ever come from that!

So I’m starting over, again. I’m going to a new Slimming World group tomorrow morning, and I’m going to go back on plan. I may not ever reach my ideal weight – but if I give up entirely then I’m probably going to end up in an early grave! Sorry for the bluntness there, but it’s true.

But let’s not dwell on negativity. We’re drawing a line here over the past and looking firmly to the future. A future of healthy eating and hopefully a more healthy body!

What is image therapy?

If you’re new to class, you’ve probably heard people talking about “image therapy” but you might not be sure exactly what it is.

The word “IMAGE” in a Slimming World context is actually an acronym which stands for¬†Individual Motivation And Group Experience. It’s when the consultant, after making any announcements or giving a brief talk on something, goes round all the people in class to ask them about their week.

This is an opportunity for members to reflect upon their progress (or lack thereof), and to ask any questions they have about the Slimming World plan, or to seek inspiration from the consultant or class members.

What do people talk about?

I’ve heard lots of things discussed during IMAGE therapy, including recipe ideas and plans to deal with difficult upcoming events (such as weddings and dinners out). The consultant will often aim to head off any negative emotions, and instead try to focus members on practical steps that might turn their situation around.

It can also be tempting for members to turn their ‘go’ at speaking into a confessional session!

Do I have to take part?

No. You can decide, without stating any justification, that you don’t want to speak in front of the class. You can either opt out permanently by talking to your consultant in private, or you can opt out for just a week at a time if you just don’t feel like talking that day. And don’t worry about not speaking. Most people will not even notice you kept quiet, and those who do notice will understand why you might not want to join in – after all, we’ve all been there!

Will the consultant announce my weight?

The consultant will never tell anyone in class was you weight is, or what it was in the past. They will often highlight what you have lost that week, or in total since joining. For instance, they may say “Richard has lost 2 lbs this week, and a total of 1 st 7 lbs since starting 12 weeks ago!” When these losses are announced, it’s normally class etiquette to clap to congratulate the member.¬† The consultant will probably gloss over if you maintained or put on weight; instead focusing on only your total loss to day.

What are mini targets?

Your consultant may ask you if you want to set a mini target for the week ahead, which might be a weight loss target or a body magic goal. They will record the target on their tablet, and may mention it back to you the next week – but they will never criticise if you fail to make it. Some people don’t like to set mini targets as they feel they are setting themselves up for failure – but others like to use them as a motivational tool, and to help them keep focus for the week ahead. As with all things, it’s your decision about whether you want to join in.

Do I have to stay for IMAGE therapy?

No. There are plenty of people who come, get weighed, and go. We all lead busy lives, and we all understand that we don’t always have the time to stay for group. However, having said that, it’s almost always beneficial to stay for class and for the IMAGE therapy sessions if you can. The interaction with other members, and the individual support you will receive, can make all the difference in terms of motivation for the coming week.

I’ve had weeks where the last thing I wanted to do was sit in the group and admit what a terrible week / day I was having – but forced myself to stay, and then came out the end with a completely different outlook, and all fired up for the week ahead.

Lazy assumptions

I got an email last night to the email address associated with this blog.

It was from a casting agent, looking for couples to sign up for an “Extreme Makeover Show” for cable TV in the US.

The details of the email seem to suggest that the show will involve people getting plastic surgery, and that the makeover would somehow solve any relationship issues between the couple involved.

First off, I have a real problem with the notion that the way people look has any bearing on the success or otherwise of a relationship. People may be initially attracted to each other because of their appearance, but relationship problems between a couple are rarely down to how someone looks – they’re mostly to do with how they treat each other – and that can’t be fixed with a face lift!

Secondly, I dislike the idea that the casting agent has targeted me with their email solely because I run a weight-loss blog. I haven’t ever talked that much about body image, and I’ve never talked about the relationship with my wife – so I can only surmise that they assume I want cosmetic surgery because I’m overweight.

It’s a lazy assumption to make, and a pretty insulting one. They’re apparently starting with the premise that being fat is ugly, and therefore overweight people will jump at the chance to get surgery.

I know that some people do seek surgical help to help with weight loss, in the form of gastric bands and bypasses, and that can be very helpful in some cases. There are others that get tummy tucks and face lifts to get rid of excess baggy skin after losing a lot of weight.

But it’s a lazy assumption to presume that all overweight people want to go under the knife.

Losing my mojo

I can’t seem to get in the zone at the moment. And I’m definitely going way over my syn limits pretty much every day.

I know what I’m doing wrong, but I can’t help myself.

My only mitigation, and the one thing that stops me going crazy, is to keep going to my Slimming World class. I might be maintaining or gaining, but I know if I didn’t go to class I’d be way worse!

So by keeping going to class I can hopefully keep in a holding pattern, until I find my mojo again.