Well, I guess we shoulda seen this one coming. Now that Jessica Simpson has made her second pregnancy official with a way-too-adorable Christmas announcement on Twitter, Weight Watchers is chiming in. They are reportedly thrilled for her (mm hmm), but a rep notes that Jess will "not be following the program during the pregnancy while her weight and well-being are monitored by her obstetrician, as is recommended for any woman during pregnancy. After she gives birth, Jessica and her doctor will decide when she may resume following the Weight Watchers program." Oookay ...
Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying Jess should be sweating bullets over WW Points values of food all day long while carrying Baby #2, but to completely shelf the healthy habits that purportedly helped her shed 50+ pounds? Terrible mistake! It would be for any woman.
At least as far back as I can remember (and it's been almost 10 years since I became a Weight Watchers Lifetimer), the company has always said that their program is NOT a diet. "Diet" is pretty much a dirty word you should erase from your vocabulary. Their plan is a "lifestyle" that teaches healthy habits, like eating whole foods, drinking water, moving more. Why, then, would they discourage women like Jess from following the program -- or even a "pregnancy-friendly" incarnation of it -- while expecting?
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I get that it probably has a lot to do with not wanting to step on doctors' toes ... and thinking pregnant women should listen only to their obstetricians. But sorry, OB/GYNs are not necessarily nutritionists or personal trainers. And there's also likely a lot of fear surrounding encouraging women to watch their weight while pregnant, because it may seem like a slippery slope to pregorexia. But there's a real difference between being obsessive vs. maintaining healthy habits while pregnant.
The criticism Jess had to endure during her pregnancy was out of control, but if she deserves finger-wagging for anything, it's for seemingly subscribing to this idea that pregnancy gives you a perfect excuse to pig out meal after meal. Indulging here and there due to cravings -- okay, fine. But pregnancy shouldn't be treated as a free pass to abandon a healthy lifestyle. If anything, it should be a reason to want to keep eating as healthy as possible and keep using that pedometer to make sure you're moving enough -- you know, as long as the doc says it's okay. And as long as a woman's body is accustomed to more exercise (as Jess's should be), most docs will say it's more than okay -- it's encouraged! (Similarly, a review of studies earlier this year suggested that weight-watching could be beneficial if done moderately and if the mom-to-be is overweight to begin with. Interesting ...)
Ultimately, wasn't Weight Watchers supposed to be teaching Jess to eat right, respect, and take care of her body? Why, then, should she automatically stop doing those things now simply because she's having another baby? It just doesn't add up ... But as long as Jess has a healthy pregnancy, oh well, guess she can get back on the diet lifestyle roller coaster bandwagon once again nine months from now.
Do you think it's a bad idea for women to follow anything remotely resembling a diet while pregnant?