LOL - Resident WS expert here. I hardly ever check new posts anymore, so you got lucky I saw this thread to answer a few questions. I mostly check HERE
for WS users, questions, answers, ect. Plus, page 1 has links to a lot of useful information, such as old posts, recipes, and so on.
Anyways, let's see if I can address some of these.
Ultimately, measuring veggies isn't that big of a deal. Veggies, especially the dark greens, which you should steer towards anyways, are "negative calorie" foods...meaning it takes more energy to eat and digest them than they provide. You'd have to eat 20 pounds of brocolli to gain 1/2 a pound! So, eat as much as you want (as long as it isn't the starch or "sugary" veggies...such as corn, carrots, tomotoes, peas, ect...measure those!) The main reason why they tell you to measure is to make sure you get ENOUGH of them, as you need them for the fiber on the WS diet. Plain and simple, there is not enough fiber in the pre-packaged foods. And most people don't get enough veggies in their day. So, measure to make sure you meet the minimum requirement, but after that, eat to your heart's content.
Personally, I think the cake is horrible. I'd rather drag my tongue across glass shreds. But, I have found a way to make a cake using the regular packets (again, the link up top has links to those recipes) and it is better...no where near the real thing of course, but worlds better. and the cheesecake...save that "optional" fat throughout the day...then add 2 tablespoons of fat free cream cheese to the cheese cake...voila! Instant success!!!!
WS DOES in fact except exchanges. They actually are REALLY good about making sure you are happy. All you have to do is buzz them through chat on the diet direst website or call them. You will be taken care of....like, they LITERALLY have the best customer service EVER!
I've been on WS since 01/13. I have dramatically slowed weight loss due to the fact that I work out heavy....by heavy I mean I run 2-3 miles three times a week and do heavy lifting 3 times a week. So I have to add food into my diet. That being said, The first 4 months of WS, I followed the plan 100% and lost 38 pounds in that time frame. I do a very modified version of WS now, due to my heavy workouts...but I do still use the products and have crazy amounts of knowledge on the stuff (and other topics.) All you gotta do is ask