Unpaid SW Consultants?
Before I carry on with this post, let me just make it absolutely clear that I'm not here to offend anyone, and I mean that! Just playing devil's advocate I think.
I joined SW at the end of January and generally I'm really pleased. I've had a few struggles for various reasons but I'm doing OK and this site has been a godsend, not only for lots of good ideas and for answering queries, but because I've read such amazing stories from people who have done so well and it's truly inspirational and has kept me going. Now I'm almost 2 months into the plan, I even feel a bit confident in answering posts when people post up questions.
I'm a full time carer for my elderly Dad. When my Mum passed away almost 9 years ago I had to give up a well paid and rewarding career to care for my Dad. Now that all my savings have been used making my mortage payments, gas, electric etc. I have to claim Carer's Allowance which is topped up by a bit of Income Support, so my income is a little over £90 per week. So all my bills have to be paid out of that. So things are a little tight to say the least! But as I was determined that I HAD to lose weight and seemed unable to do it by myself, so I juggled my finances and my budget about so that I could afford to go to SW.
I'm sure there are plenty of people on this site who have to live on a very low income, just the same as I do.
When I was looking on here yesterday, I was struck by the number of people who are doing SW themselves from home (that is, not going to a group or paying to do it online) - and coming on here to try & understand the plan and get their queries answered. I actually think that's a bit of a cheek. It's using the genuine SW members on here as unpaid SW consultants - so we pay to follow the SW plan and then hand out all the information to others who pay nothing.
Am I alone in thinking like this? Maybe I've just woken up today with a "I hate the world" mood! It just feels a bit unfair to me, but maybe you'll all tell me I'm being a bit mean.
Really interested to hear others opinions.
I do slimming world from home. I went to the classes a few years ago and really disliked them. I also struggled to commit to one class a week due to other commitments so found myself having to go to various classes and feeling like I didn't really "belong" in any group. I disengaged entirely, stopped going and didn't lose anymore weight.
One day I decided I wanted to lose weight and didn't want to have to go to the classes. I already knew the plan from going to the classes, knew it worked and so decided to go it alone. I very rarely post queries as I already know the plan and use the 1 syn per 20 calories rule. I post a food diary on here to keep me on track and to get feedback from other posters. I also in turn, provide support to others or answer queries despite the fact I do not go to class, or do not pay £5 a week. It is not just those who pay to go to class that support other members of this forum.
I think the classes are about more than just losing weight to a lot of people. It also provides a social element. Whilst, this wasn't for me, it doesn't mean that I am a cheeky sponger by using this site. It is a free site to provide support to people who wish to lose weight or have a healthy lifestyle and there are more than just SW people on here.
I think everybody's journey is their own and how they choose to go about it is entirely up to them. We are all trying to live healthier lifestyles and lose weight so technically we all have one major thing in common regardless of what method we choose to pursue it.
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I don't think anybody (or at least the majority) on here do use people as free consultants, it's a support network, and people give equally as much advice and support as they take.
I'd much rather pay for group and have someone who might not be able to afford it or doesn't feel comfortable going ask me for help to become a healthier and happier person than I'd want them to suffer in silence because others might think they're cheeky scroungers.
It's not about money, it's about people wanting to help themselves and others - some people (like Opal_Lily) have paid to go to group and haven't gotten on with it, the information doesn't just get wiped from your head, she shouldn't automatically have to swap diets because other people pay for the right to use SW.
Times are tough, not everyone has a spare £5 to go to something they might dislike every week just to hop on a scale when they could do the same at home (not disparaging anyone who goes to group, I understand there's more to it than that, but personally not really happy in group so I'd only stay for WI), it's like freebies from magazines, everyone appreciates a little bit of something free!
I also do it at home but I started off as an on-line member and so paid SW for all the information, bought recipe books from them and have a subscription to the magazine so that I stay up to date on new products etc. Most of my SW journey has been as a Do it Yourself-er.
There are many reasons why people don't attend a class; my reason it that I'm severely deaf and can't cope with large groups of people. I don't feel that people on here are unpaid consultants - they are people on the same journey who understand the problems and are willing to provide a support network and offer advice and tips. I hope I also, in however small a way, also help people by sharing what has worked for me, pointing out errors that people have made or just boosting morale or motivation.
You may find yourself that once you know the plan and you've been doing it for a while (it took me over three years to get to target) you also decide to DIY, particularly if you are good at self-motivation.
Finally, SW is aware of this forum. There are certain rules which protect their copyright but whilst it is possible that they lose a few members because of the support on here, it is also possible that the enthusiasm and success demonstrated by contributors to this forum encourage people to sign up to group.
I'm abroad so I don't have the opportunity to to go to group, if I could, I would! I daresay it would help me!
I went to SW classes when I was home for quite a while and its true, you can't just erase that stuff out of your head!
The help on here is incredible but I wouldn't use it as a consultant!!
I might be wrong about this, but I think the majority of people on here who follow SW at home have paid to go to group in the past and have the information, but have decided not to go back to a class this time, for whatever reason.
I'm paying to go to group at the moment, and have done so many times in the past. I also signed up for SW online once, when I didn't want to go to group, but thought that this was extremely poor value, as it is expensive compared to other plans, for a very mediocre website. SW have had A LOT of money out of me over the years (classes, magazines, recipe books etc), so if I decided to go it alone at some point, and just use my existing books and this site for support, I would not feel at all guilty about it, or like I was ripping SW or anyone else off.
I think that the number of people on here trying to follow the plan without ever having gone to SW at all must be relatively small - it would be very hard to follow the plan properly just from the magazine and tips on here, and this site does respect copyright laws and doesn't divulge things like full plan details or full free food or HEX lists - people just answer specific queries. I can see why it might grate that people aren't paying when you are, but personally I would rather people were tackling their weight and health issues in a safe and sensible way, whether they are going to group and paying or not - and I think it is great that there is a site like this here to support that.
I myself do it from home for a number of reasons. Firstly all the classes in my local area are all when I work. Secondly I can't be doing with all the "clicks"
I did go to group a couple of years ago for about 8 months, then my shifts changed at work. So like others have said I have paid my way, have got all the books & buy the magazine every month xx
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Some people need the support of a group, others don't. Some don't have a group near to home or work or at a convenient time.
Some go to a group and don't stay to the class just go to get weighed. We all have different needs.
We are a support to each other on Minimins. I don't think of any of us as unpaid consultants.
Plus any support we offer is voluntary. No one has to answer queries. I pay for online. Its symbiotic in that I will answer queries but also take advice and support. I never feel obliged to do so.
I understand where the OP is coming from although i do think the problem is a lot smaller that she see's it.I look at it as there being basically three types of SW users on the site.
1) Full-Time, go to the meetings every week and get most of their information from meetings, packs, website, etc
2) Part-Time, either they are online members (for any number of reasons) or they no longer do the meetings.
3) Freebies, These are the people who have never gone to meetings, and have bought the information packs on ebay if at all.
The third group are the problem as they have not paid SW a penny, yet still benefit from them and use the nice people of these forums as replacements for the proper information. However there are very few of them that i can see and there is no reasonable way for Minimins to stop them joining/posting, so don't let them worry you.
The vast majority of posters here are happy to support each other on an equal footing.
Last edited by rm247 : 18th March, 2014 at 03:15 PM
Hi i just want to say its not true for all . i am a paying sw member the reason i come here is that i am new and my consultant is not helping much all that happens there is you go in weigh your self then sit on the chairs and you get told how much you lost or gained then its like how was ur week .. i have questions but no answers thats the reason i come here .....
I agree with Lickthelid, I feel like it's a two way street, I offer advice if I think I can help and I'll ask for help when I need it, it's a support network and it shouldn't matter whether you pay or not.
I think if SW cared about it themselves they'd make the effort to have a Slimming World forum open to paying members only. Weight Watchers have a forum open to non-payers too, so I assume neither organisation are worried about lack of income, so I wouldn't worry on their behalf.
I'm currently on a low income and I pay to go to a group too, but there has been the odd time when I've tried to go it alone and still used the site, I don't feel like I'm being cheeky when I do and I don't even consider whether anyone else pays or not, it doesn't bother me either way. x
Started WW- Jul '13 @24st 1lb- BMI-52 and 66lb lost in total so far.
I'm sorry if that wasn't your intention but my goodness your final point was a sweeping statement. Surely these "problems" should be further subdivided into those that CAN pay but freeload and those that CANT pay. The reason that the forum won't stop them is because that would be elitism. This is a support network. Would you deny medical advice to those that couldn't pay for it yet asked for it or that aren't working so they aren't technically contributing to the national insurance? Its all a bit daily mail isn't it? If you don't put in you shouldn't take out etc etc blah blah. We all gain from this place. We all give and take to varying degrees. Those that take plan advice might offer emotional support to another "full time" member. It makes them no less valid. Apartheid is over ladies and jelly beans....mmmm jelly beans
Originally Posted by rm247
Last edited by lickthelid : 18th March, 2014 at 04:35 PM
I go to class but find there is very little time to talk to the consultant. I pay one volunteer, get weighed by another volunteer and then usually leave. I don't feel comfortable with image therapy and certain members tend to dominate it. I feel sad about this as when I was previously a member I enjoyed the class but now it is less of a discussion, more just listing everyones results.
I can ask questions on here without feeling stupid, and it takes the place of my consultant.
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