Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Jenny Experience

Well I am pleased to see and hear that some from my other blogs are reading this one. It is also nice to know that people are interested in health and weight loss....especially since we Americans tip the scales in obesity compared to most other countries (pun intended).

I can't speak for anyone else but one of my biggest issues with weight loss is when I am cooking. I am a taster. I don't usually cook by recipe so I have to taste here and there to make sure things are right. As any taster will tell you....depending on the meal or item you are can taste your way up to several hundred calories pretty quickly which really doesn't fit into any meal plan. I always thought that if I either had a private chef or was on one of those high dollar pre-packaged meal programs that I would be golden. I even went so far as to stock up on Weight Watchers frozen meals and Lean Cuisine frozen meals one time. The problem with them is....being frozen meals...depending on your microwave...they don't always cook right. Even when they do, the meals are chock full of preservatives and the taste is far from appetizing, so that ended up being a bust.

I used to watch those commercials for Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig and think to myself...if I just had the money to do that, I would be thin in no time. I mean, Kirstie Alley did why couldn't I? The one that impressed me the most though was Marie Osmond and her Nutrisystem loss. I have always been a Marie fan and in my much younger days I was often told I looked like her...which was a bit awkward since I had full intentions of someday marrying her brother Donny. I mean one wants to be the girl who looks like the husbands sister! But I digress. Marie looked phenomenal after her Nutrisystem triumph. However, it might be mentioned too that in Marie's case...Nutrisystem had a little alot of help as she was dancing 7 hours a day 7 days a week on Dancing with the Stars at the time. Still be able to just have your meals ready to go and not have to worry about cooking, tasting or really any excess time in the kitchen which is nothing but temptation....what heaven that must be.  And don't ever let anyone tell you that star power in advertising doesn't sell. Having a weight issue makes these stars more like the average joe. It gives small town mom and Beverly Hills mom something in common. So when we see Kirstie, Marie and Mariaha struggling and losing and them looking at us from our tv sets while we eat a meatball sub and they look fabulous and they tell us....."you can do it too!" we believe!

So last March my youngest was about to have a major surgery and I was eating my stress by the handfuls. I had gotten a little bit back from taxes and I played with the idea of joining one of these pre-packaged meal programs. After reading up a bit it looked like both Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig were pretty comparable in product and outcome so I did the enie meanie thing and chose Jenny. I made an appointment to check it out and went in. First of all...they are salesmen that talk to you. Granted they are all former clients (or so they say) but they are also salesmen. You can tell because after every explanation they would say "So are you ready to sign?" Usually those tactics turn me off....but I was kind of frantic that day and I wanted to I listened and before I walked out....I had signed. Let me just say was one of the more expensive purchases I had done in a long time. You pay your signing fee and your first weeks food up front. I had something going on the next week and was not going to be able to make the appointment so I actually ended up purchasing two weeks of food that first time. So after signing up and paying for two weeks of food...I had spent nearly $1,000.00. was a lot!

The way Jenny works have a counselor whom you meet with weekly. They weigh you, discuss the week ahead and help you plan your menu which for the most part is already set up for you. The only tweaks they make are if you are allergic to something or really don't like a certain food. They have menu's for vegitarian/vegan's and I believe they also have a diabetic menu. The first month or eat strictly from their menus with the addition of maybe yogurt or a salad. You are given breakfast, lunch and dinner along with two snacks and a dessert. After you have become familiar with the portions and eating 5 times a day...then you start weening off their food and start preparing your own within the guidelines they set for you. Weekly the meals run about $170-$180 and if you lose all of your goal weight within the year you get half of your original signing fee back.

I will say that Jenny food is very good. Half of the food is frozen and half is shelf packaged so that it can be stuck in a purse or brief case and go with you anywhere. I really never tasted anything that I didn't just love. The first two weeks that I was on Jenny I followed it to the tee and lost 6 lbs. I was thrilled. Then it was time to go to St. Louis for the surgery. It was my plan to get another two weeks of food and take it with me while I was there. Then it dawned on me that I would have no place to put the frozen stuff. Plan I got all of the shelf packaged stuff to take. The nice thing about Jenny is all their breakfast meals are interchangable as are their lunch and dinner. I was set to go. Then I found out that because we were flying on Wings of Hope to STL, that I had to pack extremely Jenny! I did manage to take some of the snack bars that Jenny has but other than that I was on my own. STL proved to be more stressful than anyone expected and I fluxuated between eating the wrong things and not eating at all! Neither works for weight loss so I ended up gaining back the entire 6 lbs while I was there.

After we returned home....I tried to go to Jenny at first....but David needed constant attention and people brought us food (WONDERFUL FOOD) and I was just too tired and too stressed to care. My counselor called a couple of times but she didn't ask me why I wasn't coming....nor did she really try to coax me back in. Not my idea of a good counselor especially since Jenny prides themselves on their counselors being the big draw to weight loss. Truthfully....a little coaxing might just have gotten me back. Soon though I realized that financially I couldn't pay that kind of money weekly and I just gave up. Sound familiar to anyone? We have all done the "give up" and this time it really hurt because there was a lot of money involved. Like most big companies money was their main priority and once they had it.....their desire to keep me was zero. I never heard from my counselor again.

If I had to rate the program.....I would say that if you can afford it, I really believe Jenny could work for you (given a good counselor). As I said the food is amazing and I can see why the stars lose on it. If I had Kirstie money....I too think I could have easily shed my weight on Jenny. I feel like our local Jenny needs to work harder on retaining customers as I think the counselor effort spent compared to the money I spent was very sub par. So here are my ratings 1-4 (1=not great 2=okay 3=really good 4=outstanding).

Food- 4
Program- 3
Money- 1
Support- 1

Again....had I had the money and had I had a counselor who was more involved with her clients and less involved with the commission I would say that I could have been successful on Jenny. All of the components are there for success and if it is something you would want to try ....I say go for it. You will never be hungry and you will love the food.

I am still working on the GM Diet and I am anxious to see how this all pans out. The reunion is getting closer and although I will not be a size six by next Friday....I wouldn't complain if I had accomplished a 6 lb. loss. Lets hope the weight loss fairy is my friend!


  1. I have always wondered about these plans myself. It is always good to hear a normal persons experience before you go in and spend that kind of money. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. I was on JC and my counselor was fabulous. When she knew I was going to be having a bad week she either call me or email me daily sometimes. It sounds like you needed to ask for a different counselor. Sorry it didn't work for you. I lost 45 lbs. You are right though, it is pricey at the very beginning.

  3. How could you possibly think you would marry Donny when I was already planning for him to marry me. :)

  4. All in all Jenny Craig sounds like a great program. I think I should start saving for this one. If it works then the money is worth it. Thanks for the information.