The September issue of Weight Watchers magazine has a fresh new approach to its cover design and content. We chat with Editor Jacqui Kwong about healthy living and the exciting new direction the mag is taking.
Jacqui, as editor of Weight Watchers magazine, there must be a huge amount of creative effort (and a few hilarious moments) involved in a relaunch – can you share some stories with us?
There were several memorable moments for the whole team, but one of the funniest things was when we asked our cover star and WW member Leah Niewman if we could cut her beautiful long blonde hair and dye it pink! She bravely agreed – and thankfully she loved the result – but the look on her face when we first put it to her was priceless.
The new look is contemporary and very appealing, there seems to be a fresh designer prettiness to the pages. Are you reaching out to the next generation of readers?
Weight Watchers isn’t defined by an age or a generation – it’s for anyone wanting to improve their health and make positive lifestyle changes – this can happen at any age. However, we did a lot of research which affirmed the direction we wanted to head in terms of a freshness and youthfulness while still being aspirational to and attainable for everyone. After all, healthy living is for everyone and we should have fun while living that life!
There are articles on fashion and beauty, real life stories and personal profiles as well as recipes and fitness tips – would you say the magazine is now as much a lifestyle magazine as a weight loss magazine?
Absolutely. Health and weight loss are still at our core but we’re going beyond that. We’re about celebrating every stage of the journey. And there's no end point to getting fit and healthy - even the fittest and healthiest people need motivational boosts every so often and we hope to provide that within the pages of our mag every month.
How significant is a holistic approach?
Almost 80 percent of Australians use holistic medicine as a primary form of health care and this number is likely to grow. Weight Watchers has always been about eating well, cooking fresh and understanding nutrition from a holistic point of view. Our mind is also extremely important in living a healthy, joyful life. Mindfulness is such a wellness buzzword at the moment, but it's nothing new. When practised often it can really help us get the most enjoyment out of ourselves, our relationships and our food! For example, it has a big effect on emotional eating as you appreciate your food and listen to your body.
Who, or what, inspires you personally?
I'm inspired by people who challenge themselves to learn more about themselves and who are passionate about what they do. This includes everyone from the amazing members we profile every month to my yoga teacher, who is all about unleashing your inner guru to get the most out of life, enjoy the moment and slow down in our fast-paced world. I also really admire Jamie Oliver and his philosophy that eating a variety of simple, fresh and delicious food with your family and friends nourishes the soul. My kids also inspire me by being so present in the moment - kids do that so well and I can definitely learn from that! Forget stressing about the future or stewing on the past, just be here now!
Delicious recipes are a feature of the magazine. What’s your favourite dish in this issue?
I’m a fan of The Little Veggie Patch Company’s fresh herb salad. They’re urban farmers helping people start up gardens in the city, no matter how small the space. All you need to grow your own fresh produce is a bit of wall or balcony and a patch of sun.
It’s great to see a high profile brand like Weight Watchers changing and evolving. Can we have a sneak peek of what’s coming up for the brand and the magazine this year?
We have some very exciting issues and events in store for 2016. We’re focusing on themes such as fun, fitness, happiness and there’ll be a couple of jaw-dropping surprises that you'll have to wait for!
How important are subscribers to Weight Watchers Magazine? Why subscribe?
Our subscribers are the first to get their issue in the mail and they’ll be the first through the door for our food and fitness events coming up, too. We love our subscriber family – they never miss an issue.