My name is Mary Roma and I am the Founder of WoW - Work Out World, the largest family owned and operated chain of health clubs in New Jersey. For 25 years, my family and I have been committed to KEEPING JERSEY STRONG.
Back in 1992, I was working closely with the New Jersey chapters of Weight Watchers to bring their groups into my health clubs. They had a few concerns about holding Weight Watchers meetings in a public place where people were exercising, which seemed a bit strange to me even back then. But I knew the importance of exposing all weight watchers (not just Weight Watchers members!) to a gym atmosphere so I was willing to address their concerns. Their concerns included building a separate entrance and exit for Weight Watchers clients to use, having a private room for them to use and ensuring that any and all mirrors were covered with paper. Ultimately the people at Weight Watchers said they felt their clients just would not feel comfortable opening the door to a health club.
Since 1992, I have felt in my heart of hearts, that they made the wrong decision. I felt that they were treating and placing their followers in a bubble in which they binge diet the 48 hours before a weigh-in, rather than placing them in a cocoon surrounding them in an atmosphere where people were choosing a healthy more balanced approach to health and fitness.
I hear all the time from long-term WoW members that coming to the gym the first time was a little intimidating, but once they did they realized nobody was looking at them. Nobody was judging them. People are at the gym to work on themselves. To be “their best self” :)
When I heard that you are now a part of Weight Watchers, I realized that almost 25 years later, my dream for empowering women to feel comfortable in a health club could come true. No one empowers women to take control of putting themselves first like you, and women need to understand how a healthy diet and exercise is a marriage needed for success. You can open the door to health clubs for weight watchers around the world.
I personally invite you to come open a door at WoW. Come take a class at WoW. Bring some weight watchers with you.
Let’s show them to walk proudly though the main entrance, straight to the mirror and break a sweat. And then eat right; think positively, the scale will naturally follow.
Yours in good health!