I just started weight watchers last night with a friend of mine. While I have lost weight in the past, it was with diet pills and not the lifestyle change way. My friend and I went to our first meeting together but neither of us really liked it. It felt more like I was at church than anything else, however, we are determined and are going to try different meeting and see how that goes. Our goal is to go to meetings for the first 10 weeks to get the material then join the online version of the program. As far as the program goes, I have "done" weight watchers in the past meaning I have bought the material and tried it. I was not motivated to really give it a shot but I am this time around. My friend has severe arthritis in her hips and back. She is young and needs a hip replacement very badly, yet, they will only do the surgery if she is totally debilitated (which is in about 2 years) or she loses weight. I have several reasons for joining, including myself, but she in the top 3 reasons why.
But that's what I like about where I am, there are a few meetings to choose from each week if I wanted to. I've been too lazy to switch since I made meeting friends at my current group, but I'd switch it up for a new leader if given a chance myself. Every group is different.
I am sorry to hear about the pain your friend is going through, hopefully losing weight will help her back as well.