In the comments to my last post, there was a question about how to figure out activity points (APs). I started to reply in the comments, but decided that it merited a quick post instead.
I do talk a little about how the program works in this blog, but the points formula and the activity points formula are patented and, not surprisingly, fiercely protected by Weight Watchers. Some websites (and a very good program for the Palm to count points) have been shut down or threatened with legal action for giving this information out for free. I will say, though, that the number of activity points you earn varies by exercise intensity and weight, so I couldn't give a quick answer even if I was willing to do so.
I am sure that if you do a Google search, you could find the formula for points and activity points -- they were part of WW's patent application and turned up from time to time on the WW boards. But I have several years' worth of materials and could do the program on my own if all it required was having the right information. For me the support and accountability of the meetings makes a difference, no matter how much I complain about them sometimes. That's why I prepaid ten meetings a couple of weeks ago, so that I would continue to go even if I had a rough week or two.
If you go to just one meeting, you will have a points and activity points slider and the Week One book, which has everything you really need to do the program on your own. A single meeting will probably cost $10-20, depending on your location. I think most markets have free registration right now to lure in the New Year's Resolutioners. If you like it, you can keep going, but even if you don't, you'll have the real information from Weight Watchers and not some blogger's personal spin on the program.
By the way, I have a voluntary health savings account at work, and am coming up on the end of the year, when I have to spend the rest of money or lose it. My 10 weeks of prepaid meetings were an allowable expense. I didn't even think of submitting that until my husband suggested it, but the administrator didn't even hesitate. You just need to ask at your meeting for a receipt when you pay. I thought I'd put this out there in case anyone else is looking for a way to spend their end-of-year surplus.